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zgrinder on Fin Warrior

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Everything posted by zgrinder on Fin Warrior

  1. Set out on a short evening float with Janet, pushing off after 6:00pm. Ran almost straight out and set down in 110FOW pointing south to south west. Four rigger two dipsey program for the night. After replacing two Off Shore clips on the downrigger balls Janet was setting down, finally got the dipsey down on my side of the boat. Before I could get the first of two riggers down, the SB dipsey went off. Did not zero in speed or depth at that point but what the heck. Boated a nice 12# king - good start. Then after getting all the gear finally down, we were in 140 FOW which I had not intended to get out that far but there we were. About an hour passed before we got back into shallower water and crossed a massive ball of bait stretching from 30' down to almost the sea bead. After passing through, the the port rigger with a white paddle and fly popped and we boated an 8# coho per Janet's call on the ID. Got that back down after two attempts as the paddle was getting into the SWR. Shortly thereafter, SWR with a charged glow mag Blue Jeans went into full song. Based on the score lines on the spool, I estimate about 400' of line that got ripped off. Then the battle was on. The white SD/fly on the adjacent rigger got severed in the run so we tucked that rod away. The Squall II drag was cranked almost to the no limit zone and I could not gain on the fish without neutral drops. We did that for 15-20 min then the King decided to let go of the hook and it was all over. The spoon was tipped with what I call a stout big king VMC hook which did not bend but upon inspection, it looked like only one hook was deep set based on the material left behind. My day to land a 20#+ king this year will have to wait for another day. After getting SWR back down, we got bit again. Downrigger down 60' tipped with a blue SD and fly took a small king that was hooked lightly allowing us to release it. Before pulling lines, the mono dipsey with the mag Blue Dolphin got bit again but the fish came off in the fight. We pulled lines just after sunset. Overall, we had action between 120-114FOW but not any deeper. We never did get to under 100FOW as I had planned. Nice action for a very limited float tonight. # Time Fish Weight FOW Latitude Troll Wind Dir. Speed @ Ball Rod Bait Depth Bait Temp Bait 1 6:55pm King 12 120 SW SW 2 Dipsey - Mono 63' 44 Mag Blue Dolphin foil 2 7:58pm Coho 8 125 S SW 2.2 DR 20# 66'@ball White SD / White fly 3 8:20pm King 118 N SW 2.5 SWR 70'@ball Glow Blue Jeans 4 8:50pm King 5 117 NE SW 2.4 DR 20# 60'@ball Blue SD / Blue fly 5 9:05pm King 114 NE SW 2.4 Dipsey - Mono 45' 48 Mag Blue Dolphin foil
  2. Thanks for sharing your night of fishing. Sorry you had to donate 300' of copper. Hate when that happens but glad you got the board back.
  3. A big congrats on landing a brown trout. They are very hard to come by in SW MI.
  4. I don't know that the fishing out of Holland or PS is any better than Grand Haven. There is no structure to hold fish in this area and fish stocking in Lake Macatawa has been infrequent. Suggest finding a tackle or bait shop in your area and talk to them. They usually have a handle on where the fish are and what they are biting over the last few days. Second, I would put some powder blue flies and blue spoons down even if you are only fishing down 50-60'. Kings and SH like blue offerings. Third, consider adding a high line to the mix - like 35-40' down targeting SH. 10-color lead will get you there if you have it. If not, a dipsey with a ring will do (100' of line out on a 1.5 side set if trolling under 2.5mph, add another 20' if trolling faster. These are my approximations from using Smart Troll probes on my gear). Lure choices might be a reg size silver-blue spoon or something with orange in it. Coho may hit this as well. Last, the traditional approach is to set down and troll West-East until you get into some action then North-South. Many boats run NW or SW to start. This is smart. Personally, I like to start against the current with a NW or SW troll then make decisions from there. This is just my choice, everyone has their own formula that they like the best. One more thing I feel compelled to add. At the depth your putting the bait down and with a rigger/diver mix, I would set the downrigger leads at 2.5 to 3.5 passes. A pass is one level wind across the reel in one direction or 9-11' of line depending on your reel. I don't know if anyone uses that term anymore. When I bring it up on my boat with someone I have not fished with before, I have to explain it. This will keep your spread tight and draw fish in. The long line guys don't fish this way but that is a long conversation for another time. Catch'em all your next time out!
  5. I bet you slept well on Saturday. That almost qualifies for an all-nighter. Nice fishing and many thanks for the report.
  6. Hey Buddy, no need to apologize. We are all happy you posted a report. Catch them all next time out!
  7. Went out tonight with Brian and Sue from Sweet Caroline just across from our slip. We dropped lines about 6:00pm north of Saugatuck in 133 FOW and trolled south. Set up with 4 downriggers; two with SD/fly & two with mag spoons, two mono dipseys with mag spoons, 10 color LC (mag spoon then J Plug) and 300’ weighted steel with meat on Offshore mag boards. After nearly two hours of trolling, we hit a big laker in 129FOW on SWR tipped with a silver/blue holographic mag spoon down 76’@ball. It was sent back to bite hooks another day. After an hour went by, we hooked our biggest king of the night at 14 lbs. The bite came on a north troll in 135 FOW, DR down 65’@ball on a blue-clear-silver UV fly (forget the brand). After another half-hour, we hit another 10lb king in 138 FOW, north troll but on a dipsey down 50’ with a charged magnum bloody nose. The last two hits were just after sundown. 10-Color LC finally got bit with silver-blue J-Plug on the business end producing a modest SH. While fighting that fish, we got our double with a small size king hitting the same SD fly combo on the port downrigger. No other hits for the night. For the evening, marked few fish and no baitfish – where have they gone??? Had a good night with just a few biting flies. # Time Fish Weight FOW Latitude Troll Wind Dir. Speed @ Ball Rod Bait Depth Bait Temp Bait 1 7:50pm Laker 16 129 42o 40.650 NW NW 2.2 SWR 76'@ball 52 Blue/Silver Mag Spoon 2 8:50pm King 14 135 N NW 2.2 DR 20# 67'@ball Hypnotist Fly on a SD 3 9:20pm King 10 138 N NW 2.2 Dipsey - Mono 50 49 Mag Bloody Nose charged 4 9:39pm Steelhead 6 133 NE NW 2.2 Lead 10 Color 49 Silver Blue 3" J Plug 5 9:46pm King 7 132 NE NW 1.8 DR 20# 65'@ball 49 Hypnotist Fly on a SD
  8. Dennis, you are blessed. You have a fish goddess to bring in the big ones. Happy fishing.
  9. I have fished the night bite for most of my time on the water because while I was working, that was the time available to me. Having a bit of moon light is a plus. Not a big fan of pitch dark. However, baking in the sun mid day is no picnic either. My crew from Waukegan days is not here in Michigan so I don't fish the darkness as much unless it is past sunset float. Then game on.
  10. Nice work and get some ice in that cooler. It is warm out there.
  11. Great pic of those nice kings. Out of town guests left this morning & looking forward to getting some of that big king action that everyone is posting about.
  12. Many thanks for the report. No action on Bloody Nose - that is mighty surprising. Love the pic of the steelhead - must of been fun to bring it in.
  13. That is a big fish catch. Nicely done and congrats on your new fishing platform!
  14. Great night of action. Looks like the fish stayed put through the past few days of winds. Thanks for the report.
  15. Great effort to fish mid-day. Done that many of times and thanks for the report. Brad's Cut Plugs are a favorite in my spreads and not surprised you saw action on this presentation. Got my upgrades complete on the Kubota and hope to get out on Finn Warrior some time soon.
  16. What a beautiful Monday night - calm seas, minimal flies and biting fish. Planed straight out to 110 FOW then set up on a NW troll. With warmer water pushed in, ran two deep riggers with a spoon and a fly and 300Cu with a meat rig down the chute. Lines were down about 10 min when the SWR with mag PK Blue Fishnet spoon got bit in 143FOW. Boated a 9lb fish. Struggled to ID it last night and this morning but will peg it as a SH. It has many of the markings of a brown trout and is slimy like a brown but the spots are not continuous. Plus it would be unusual to hook one that deep. It is a plant without the adipose fin. Switched the troll to NE to move back into 145FOW and had a stout hit on the 300Cu meat rig. Fish ran for 8-10 passes but after making a little of the ground back, it came off. To my surprise, I put the teaser set up down without a flasher. Set it back down with a flasher and it didn't get bit the rest of the night. Just got that rig back in the water and the SB downrigger down 72' with a blue SD/blue silver fly took off on the same NE troll. Great fight resulting in a 17lb king. After about 30min of no action, change the troll to SW & SE. Trolling speed bumped up from 2.2/2.4 to 2.7/2.8. I got nothing but a shaker with the faster troll going south and could not dial in a 2.2mph speed with the trolling values. Got back on a northernly troll about 8:30pm and noticed the speed was much higher so the currents must have shifted. Caught and released a small 4lb king that bit a clean blue silver meat head on a SWR down 76' in 149FOW. The blue SD/fly, down 72' in 142FOW got bit a little while later trolling NE at 2.8mph. Kept that one as it was hooked very deep. Did not get any action at dusk again but had a great night overall. # Time Fish Weight FOW Latitude Troll Wind Dir. Speed @ Ball Rod Bait Depth Bait Temp Bait 1 6:03pm Steelhead 9 143 42o 48.100 NW S 2.4 SWR 78 52 Magnum PK Blue Fishnet Foil spoon 2 6:49pm Miss 0 145 42o 49.400 NE S 2.2 Weighted Steel 300 45 Meat Rig - Blue head, blue teaser, 11" silver blue paddle 3 7:02pm King 17 143 42o 50.200 NE S 2.4 DR 20# 72 49 Chrome Blue SD/Blue silver fly 4 7:49pm King Shaker 130 SW S 2.5 DR 20# 72 49 Chrome Blue SD/Blue silver fly 5 8:40pm King 4 149 42o 49.600 NE S 2.7 SWR 76 49 Silver Blue Meat Head - no teaser/paddle 6 8:51pm King 8.5 142 NE S 2.8 DR 20# 72 49 Chrome Blue SD/Blue silver fly My project 13 2024-06-25_09-43-45.mp4 Clip of the Catch (2).mp4
  17. Great king fishing. The madness of a triple is pure adrenalin.
  18. I would be delighted with a cooler like that on a very short float. Nice work. If you have Amazon Prime, you can have our downrigger balls shipped for free - kind of crazy with that amount of weight. The price is reasonable too.
  19. Hit the big pond tonight with Seafoam and Little Boat on board. It was great to run 9 lines on Fin Warrior for the first time this year. Set up prior to 6:00pm just north of Holland Harbor and gave the Steelheaders lots of room that planed out in front of us. Program: 300Cu with at green paddle and teaser meat rig to SB, 300 weighted stee with a green paddle and a water melon like Brads Cut Plug loaded with Tuna to port. High and low dipseys on port/starboard with spoons and SD/flies. Two downriggers, one light blue SD/fly and one spoon. Pushed one of the non used riggers to center and ran a blue-silver J-plug down the shoot. The 300Cu with meat in 132FOW on a North troll got hit immediately and we boated a 18lb king. There was much rejoicing as we optimistically thought there was more to come (Monty Python fans will appreciate that comment). Over an hour went by before a high diver, 42' down on a return SE troll with a mixed veggie got hit. It was a good fight but came off. Got the business end to the boat and the hook was gone on the Mixed Veggies spoon and the blank was bent 45 degrees inward. Don't recall seeing a spoon get destroyed like that before. Bent it back into shape, put a fresh hook on and put it back down (I actually like the spoon action better). Kept the southernly troll going and boated a 6lb coho in 119FOW on a down rigger down 75 @ the ball tipped with a blue SD and powder blue fly. That set up came alive again an hour later in 137FOW, same basic trolling direction, producing a 4.5lb coho. In between those two fish, we boated a 8.5lb SH on inside dipsey, down 50' tipped with a bloody nose spoon. Evil Alewife on a down rigger down 75' in 133FOW on a SE troll got pounded right at sunset. Unfortunately, we lost that due to a break off at the terminal tackle knot (I can't believe my double uni knot failed). There was one other 6 for 6 catch on the dock but no big kings. Radio chatter seemed like a lot of boats were searching a lot till dusk. Had a great time with new friends. They have some pics of the catch that might follow this post.l
  20. Similarly, my wire divers have 6' of 30lb mono to the penny just short of the business end so I can break them down without getting curlies. I decided to go with mono for the shock absorbing bonus against the wire. Longer amounts of mono will reduce the depth the wire diver can get to - I verified it so keep it short.
  21. Impressive catch of kings and I see that those tasty 8lb coho are still hanging around. Appears green was the clear winner in the color selection. Plan on giving it a go tonight.
  22. Hey Ed, Check your inbox on the GL Fishermen site. Sent you a private note. Rich
  23. Nice work with the meat rigs. Bouncy but no flies! Plus you get artistic points for capturing the Great Republic in the background coming into Lake Mac for a night landing.
  24. I store two lengths of 25lb fluoro dipsey leaders on Tackle Buddy Snell Holders in my tackle box. 9' leaders are used for clean spoons and 7' leaders are used for dodger/fly set-ups. The 9' spoon leaders are tied off with a small 30lb coastlock snap swivels on the business end to minimize weighing down the spoon action. The 7' dodger/fly leaders are tied off with a 30lb interlock snap swivel. The different snap swivels also helps me know which is which when I deploy or store the gear. By trial and error, this is the maximum length of leader I can use to net a fish fishing solo - and that is pushing it. Most of my divers are clear Dream Weaver Deeper Divers although I have a few traditional dipsey hold overs. I have a pair of Chinook Divers but have not used them in a long time - struggled to get the releases set right. I believe the plastic divers are more forgiving in this regard. I set the depth of my dipseys using a Smart Troll probe attached to the line just prior to hooking up the dipsey. I have lost a number of probes over the years which has hurt the pocket book but have finally worked out a method of attaching the probe that has yet to fail. Plus I clip off that portion of mono and retie the snap swivel before each trip to assure fresh line is in the OR-16 clips. When fishing solo, I set my dipseys at 1.5. Trolling at 2.3-2.5mph, the Deeper Divers sink about 4' for every 10' of mono deployed. Traditional dipsey divers with the ring attached perform the same. One last thing, the weight in the Deeper Divers rattles around in the housing. I put that extra room to use by picking up a roll of lead tape with adhesive backing (2g per inch) on Amazon, unscrewing the back of the diver and inserting lead tape cut to the size of the weight profile (requires two side-by-side pieces, not one on top of the other), adhesive side down on the existing weight, and screwing the two pieces back together. Does it make much of a difference? I don't know but I am running with this idea for now. I do have two slide diver rods on the boat but have not run them yet this year. They are spooled up with 30lb Power Pro tipped with 80' of 25lb fluoro (leader and diver attachment location.) Had a bad string of break off slide diver donations a few years back and got reluctant running this program. This year, I changed all my knots over to a Double Line Uni Knot, both fluoro and mono. Formerly, I used a Trilene Knot for almost 30 years. Believe this knot is fine for mono rigs but suspect it is a poor choice for Slide Diver rigs. The Double Line Uni Knot will get hung up a bit in the eyelets if used as a knot on the back end of the leader but I am getting used to it. I have had one break off with this knot when a king hit a Stinger Kevorkian on a high dipsey at dusk and took the lure. Fish might have cut it. I could not find any evidence that the knot failed (no curled up line at the end).
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