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Charter Captain
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Everything posted by HitMan

  1. No problems from 8,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado!
  2. Fish-On Bait and Tackle in Nunica has it, near Grand Haven.
  3. It's most used name is the Mid-Lake Reef complex. This houses the Sheboygan reef, the Northeast reef, the Milwaukee reef, and the East reef. It can not be fished because it is a spawning sanctuary for Lake Trout. It has tight refuge areas, which begin as soon as you enter the Wisconsin fishing waters. The reef is not in Michigan waters. Here is a link to the map of the reef: http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/images/refuge1.gif Hope this helps!
  4. We have been using the Stinger pancake weights made by JimBob out of Muskegon for over 20+ years. They are the most used downrigger weight of charter captains in Grand Haven and the surrounding ports. As long as they are tuned and bent correctly, they are hard to beat. I will never use another downrigger weight.
  5. The last week of May until the middle of June is USUALLY the slowest and toughest fishing from Muskegon southward. I would recommend Whitehall or Pentwater at this time. Otherwise, the Salmon can be few and far between, south of Whitehall. This is the time of the Grand Haven tournament and it is usually won by a boat making a long run to the Northland. Whitehall is a nice quiet place with a lot less fishing pressure than other ports on the lake and some of the best fishing grounds. Otherwise, Muskegon would be my southernmost choice, if I wanted to have some fun fishing for those three specific weeks.
  6. Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon would all be good choices. Holland and Muskegon is going to be way cheaper for slip rentals than in Grand Haven. The fishing is generally better in Grand Haven and Muskegon than in Holland once July and August come around, but it depends on how much you want to pay and where exactly you want to fish.
  7. Jeff, It may be beneficial to post in the "Welcome Center" some information about yourself, as well! Also, WELCOME!!!
  8. Yes, you should be traveling directly into the current, or at least quartering it, and your down speed should be faster than your surface speed. That is what it is all about, your down speed is the speed your lure is traveling at, so the surface speed doesn't always tell the truth or tell you much of anything. Yes and no, usually the current and the waves are similar, but some days, the current can be opposite of the waves and wind. For example, the upper water column current could be the same as the waves, but the lower water column (where you are fishing) could be the complete opposite. These are the days a bumpy ride occurs. Also, the water and current can only travel so far South and North until it has to turn around and head back the other way. For example, if it has been a North wind and current for 6 straight days and you go out fishing and the wind is still North, the current may be coming from the South because the water has traveled for so long to the South, it has to eventually turn back around and head back where it was going from. In the oceans, the currents can continue to go for much longer distances, but on our little lake the water can only travel for so long in one direction. Also, an easy way to eliminate wasted time is to stop in the morning and troll around in a circle to figure out the current while using your probe. Another way is to set a couple lines (riggers and divers) every morning and do the same thing (troll around in a circle) and then figure out your troll and then finish setting all your lines. Hope this helps!!!
  9. My family has always caught them in the live trap, covered the trap with a blanket, hooked a hose up to the exhaust of a vehicle, and stuck the hose in the trap, and they magically pass away. It is the easiest way for no stinking involved.
  10. I say this over and over and over, in person, in seminars, and online. In my opinion, currents and direction of troll is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of Lake Michigan fishing. You can forget about your lure colors, rod choices, etc., as the majority of good catches vs. excellent and limit catches is the direction of troll! You can go out fishing, troll around in circles and catch a fair share of fish, but if you want to catch limits of fish and win tournaments consistently, you have to have a good troll. Usually, the best troll is into the current. We (and many of the best on the lake) will troll for 10-15 miles if needed, to stay on "that" troll. This is the main reason why charter boats and lots of other guys don't like turning for smaller boats who are driving all over the place, especially in tournaments. We will also troll in one direction for a bit, pull lines and run back, reset and retroll through that same spot going the same direction as before, if needed. Why waste time going back 3 miles the wrong direction, and even worse, not catching any fish? But, as soon as that boat turns around as you were traveling before, you hit a double!!! An example of direction of troll and currents!!! The earlier posts explained it pretty well, on how to determine where the current is coming from. We do not use a down temp/speed indicator. We do it all off the fish finder thermoclines, diver rods, and downrigger cables. That is just a personal choice. Otherwise, if you start paying close attention to the nearshore currents, as soon as you exit the pierheads, and the offshore currents, where you are fishing, you will greatly improve your catch rate!!! Yes, there are different nearshore and offshore currents, as well as different currents within the water column. Lake Michigan has some great currents that are pretty similar to the oceans.
  11. Lots of GOOD eating there! I would love to catch those next weekend!!! Good Job!
  12. If you live anywhere near a Boater's World, they are going out of business, and as of today, I was told the reels were 20%-30% off. This was at the store on 28th street in Grand Rapids. They may have discounts online as well, but I haven't checked yet.
  13. I have always changed my dipsy diver colors, just like spoon and flasher/fly colors. I fit the color to the sky and sun changes and this is all year long, no matter if it is a spoon or a flasher. I start every morning with 2 or 4 White/Crushed Pearl Glow Tape divers and as the sun gets higher I switch to 2 or 4 Chrome divers (this has been for the last 10-12 years). As previously stated, I sometimes will switch to Orange divers while offshore for steelhead, but we are usually trolling too fast to keep the divers in the water, so these are used very rarely. While offshore, we usually fish all surface boards and lead cores, with a deep downrigger. Hope this helps!!!
  14. We have been using Owner hooks on our flies for 5 years now. They are by far the sharpest and strongest fly treble hook made. However, they are pretty pricey! We use the "Stinger-41 Trebles" in Size 1 for our flies. No matter what brand of fly it is, the stock hook comes off and these hooks go on. During tournaments, we replace the leader and hook after every couple fish, just because of it's pure sharpness!!! The hooks can be found on their website.
  15. Well, I agree, I have over 12 of the original Thin Fins that are all beat up, so... from that evidence, I would say they don't catch fish either! If you are going anywhere from St. Joe south for Coho and all the way down and over to Racine, that is all you need. In any event, I would say it is the BEST coho lure ever made!
  16. I would assume Vince is speaking about the Spring and Fall, only when the water is cold and then again for the Salmon Run; those are the only 2 reasons to fish inside of 75 feet consistently. Once the water warms, he is out in 90-200 feet like everyone else.
  17. 1) Green Dolphin Scorpion Stinger 2) Black/Gold Size 11 Floating Rapala 3) Orange/Gold Size 11 Floating Rapala 4) Holly Christmas Scorpion Stinger 5) Golden Shiner Scorpion Stinger (Gold Blade) 6) Perch Scorpion Stinger (Gold Blade)
  18. I personally like 30 pound copper better than 45 pound, but the 45 pound gets you deeper quicker, but isn't as user-friendly as the 30 pound. I have always used Opti-Tackle 30 and 45 pound copper. I would recommend having (2) 450 feet coppers on your 800s and (1) 300 foot copper on your 700. These will get you down around 75-130 feet down. The 50 pound PowerPro is a great idea no matter how much copper you are using. Let me know if you have more questions!!!
  19. Personally, I have used the Shark weights and am not a big fan. They are overpriced and not worth the money. I have always used JimBob weights, which are now marketed by Stinger. Here is a link: http://www.mistinger.com/cannonballs.htm I would recommend using a round weight off your center rigger, or back two riggers, and pancake weights off of your outdowns. The pancake weights' fins can be adjusted and tuned for better tracking. Some guys put them at as much as a 45 degree angle so they pull out from the boat, which avoids tangles. Usually, we keep ours around a 20-25 degree angle and never have any issues. Most people dislike pancake weights in currents, or wherever, because they are fishing them off the back of their boat, and not off to the side, which they are designed and made to do. That is why they have adjustable fins. Hope this helps!
  20. Captain Gary's stocks JimBob weights which are currently marketed by Stinger. Fish On Bait and Tackle in Nunica, MI also carries these weights along with Lakeshore Outfitters in Saugatuck, MI. http://www.mistinger.com/cannonballs.htm
  21. Heavier spoons usually come with split rings. Lighter spoons generally do not, i.e. Stinger spoons. That is why they come like they do. Personally, any spoon over 1/2 ounce I have always put a split ring on. Examples of this would be Fuzzy Bears, Silver Streaks, etc. On a heavier spoon, the split ring helps you troll at a faster speed while not losing the spoon action. Lighter spoons are made to troll at faster speeds, so no split ring is needed.
  22. Fly skirts are never junk! They just keep getting better and better. Rapture Trolling Flies don't rarely lose any hair, so there is no need to even worry about ever having to junk those out. But, other tinsel flies that do lose hair, the less hair the usual the better they get. This is the idea behind the "No-See-Um" series from Rapture Trolling Flies that Jeff and I came up with in 2002 after seeing how much better skirts with less hair produce than brand new bulky flies out of the package.
  23. I am flying home the 21st (Saturday) and will be there on the 22nd (Sunday) with my dad!
  24. 1) Green Dolphin Scorpion Stinger 2) Black/Gold Size 11 Floating Rapala 3) Orange/Gold Size 11 Floating Rapala 4) Holly Christmas Scorpion Stinger 5) Golden Shiner Scorpion Stinger (Gold Blade) 6) Perch Scorpion Stinger (Gold Blade)
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