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zgrinder on Fin Warrior

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Everything posted by zgrinder on Fin Warrior

  1. Greatly appreciate the trolling details shared regarding what did not draw bites. That is just as valuable as the setups that catch fish. I don't have data to share other than my own trolling experience. I believe in most cases, when the sun is high and the bait fish is limited, action in the skinny water comes to a close. in the past, July is that time period. So I concur you are spot on in your assessments.
  2. Sorry, see the next post answering the tuna question. Nice fishing!
  3. That is my favorite Brad's Cut plug - the watermellon variety. Ran a white wonderbread yesterday but no interest. Perhaps I should have stuck with the tried and true favorite. Did you run it with tuna in the cavity? In my experience, once the tuna has about expired, the Kings are on it.
  4. Fished solo as Janet is not getting up at 3:45am to go fishing but that is OK. Cleared the pier heads at 5:30am, went a little north and set down in 90' of water attempting to work 80-120FOW. It was a beautiful morning however by the time the sun started to peak over the horizon there were boats everywhere. I couldn't get a good trolling line or make early lure changes (meat never left the ice box) with all the maneuvering. In hind sight I should have pushed further north before setting down. Landed one sub-10lb king before 8:00am that I let go. IMO, heavy boat traffic slowed the bite. The limited radio chatter reported 1-2 fish landed. Did not cross over any bait at this depth. Headed out to 170FOW, pulled one downrigger and added a second dipsey, both set ~ 60 down, tipped with orangish-UV spoons for SH. Did not have the changes in the water for 5 min and a SH hit one of the dipseys. Kept it. Got a LT on the lone rigger, released it. Ripped the rigger and put SWR back down very deep as I was marking fish at ~125 down. Could not get any interest on the deep line. Funning thing is when I was ripping lines, SWR gathered water fleas over much of the mono backing. After I got all the fleas off, popped the line from the ball, put the ball away and the spoon, floating on the surface 100' from the back of the boat got smacked . . . . by a lake trout. It must of followed the lure as I slowly brought it up cleaning off the fleas and decided to grab it before it got away. I did not try too hard to bring it in and it successfully popped off at the back of the transom. Made for a humorous finish to the day. Data below.
  5. I have come to find that if you want the lake to yourself, Sunday evening is a great time to drop lines. I see the skinny water is still producing. Glad you were able to hook up with 2 kings for the effort and thanks for the report.
  6. Heard you on the radio last night reporting one of your meat rig hook-ups. Impressive catch in the skinny water. Love the screaming drag clip!
  7. Fished 5:30pm to 9:30pm with Janet tonight. Set down in 125 FOW about 1/2 way between Holland and Port Sheldon. Ran a deep program so only 4 lines to avoid tangles, 2 downriggers and 2 wire divers with mag dipseys. SB rigger started with an 11" blue-silver paddle & blue fly. Port SWR tipped with a silver blue J-plug. Started running both around 85-95' deep. Spoons on the wire divers set between 70-80' down on the Smart Troll probe. Pushed out with no action until 170 FOW. Had two quick strikes on each of the dipseys but did not land a fish. Continued out to about 190FOW and nothing. Decided since nothing else was happening to make a big loop to get on the same west troll over 170 FOW and swap out the blue paddle fly combo with a white paddle fly combo and move to a Wonderbread J-plug. Just as we were reaching the hit depth, the port dipsey got smacked good, while I was changing into long pants, and Janet skillfully got the bent over mag wire dipsey out of the holder, over the SWR and into position at the back of the boat. She couldn't gain any ground on the fish so she passed the rod over to me. The fight ended with a 13.5lb king in the back of the boat on a mag gold & green UV spoon I picked up at the Outdoors Show in GR this year. Janet is very good with the net, I would have struggled mightily netting the fish alone with the long lead on the dispey set-up. We did another loop and the starboard dipsey got bit in 166FOW heading west again. We landed a laker and released it. Another loop across 170FOW produced nothing so we decided to head into skinny water for the dusk bite. Right at sunset (not visible on the horizon) in 102 FOW the port dipsey got hit again with the same lure. We landed a small king, got the hook out quickly and let it swim off to grow big. Final thoughts: Fish were not interested in the deep lures on the downriggers. Dipseys in the 52 degree range out to the side of the boat saw all the action Fish were coming up for these spoons. We marked no bait the entire trip. Visibility was poor due to the Canadian wildfire smoke drifting into MI. For most the evening it was between 1/4 and 1/2 mile. I had the Furuno radar running the entire trip. Nats on the other hand were robust - Sunday will be a repeat boat cleaning day. Water fleas are starting to show up on the lines. Enjoyed a fair amount of banter on 68 this evening. Fishing chatter has been hard to come by so I enjoyed this much. Kings and SH were being picked up in 90-110FOW by other boats - not sure how big. My probe data indicated I had to get down below 90' to find temps <50 degrees which is why I ventured out deeper and ran a King only program, no high lines for Steelhead this trip. Data below.
  8. Nice fat king - congrats. Dock mate fished Holland Thursday evening and said the fog was bad here too.
  9. Excited to get out this morning as it was overcast and I tend to do better in these conditions. I counted 11 boats out by the time I got on a plane north of the harbor mouth. Drop my first line at 7:05am, 11" white paddle, white fly and decided to drop it a bit deep for morning at 75' on the ball in 99 FOW. Presentation got bit at 7:07am before I could drop the second line in. Result, 10lb king. I thought great, this will be a good day but then silence for the next hour until SWR produced a small king. The line somehow got underneath my dipsey out 200'. I purposely did not put that out on the side with the big paddle figuring the paddle might get into the dipsey. No, SWR did and after enough pressure, the dipsey was lost along with a Smart Troll probe. Ouch. Means a lot less beer for the the rest of the summer to pay for that loss (like that will really happen). Ran over bait 1in 105 FOW then in 115 FOW with one tip up break off and SWR that I could not get to because of a lure change and by the time I got to the rod it was gone. Sun came out so I ran out to 180 FOW - no marks after 150 FOW and nothing. Came back in, sun got behind the clouds and got a SH in 133 FOW on a UV Orange Crush. The Great Republic was making way to Holland right on schedule for a 2:00pm ETA so once it was in sight, I ripped lines and came on in. Data Below.
  10. That is one great story. Many thanks for sharing. I have had a few good size kings that did not rip long lines when hit and only begin to fight when pressure is applied. So happy you got it in the boat. Went out Sunday mid-day, not expecting much and got just what I expected. Skunk with black flies to keep things lively. Perhaps things will pick up mid week.
  11. Thanks for the report. Plan on getting out Sunday and hopefully Monday. Fin Warrior has been tied up way too long.
  12. That King in the cooler looks like it still wants to feed! Nice work on managing your lines and getting that King in the boat.
  13. So sorry you lost gear on the trip today. Not inexpensive to replace. I have walked Janet through what everything costs if their is a break off. She knows and cheers me on when I retie nots. Best of luck on your next fish.
  14. FBD - your commitment is admirable. I am toying with tomorrow morning close to the pier heads at day break. God I hate getting up that early but mulling it over with a beer.
  15. Got out with Janet for an evening float and excited to put 6 rods in the water this trip. There were 2-3 other boats out and we all appeared to be working 90-120 FOW. We were paired with one North of the harbor. Chatted a little bit on the radio, it was slow for everyone. Went 2 for 2, both small kings. Kept the first for dinner tonight and let the second foul hooked one go. Tried running a ball right off the bottom with a SD/fly but got nothing but mussels. Cottonwood scum was fouling up the lines as well. Marked a number of bait balls inside 100 FOW with 40 degree water down 60 feet. With the lake being calm, cold water and little boat traffic, I would not expect the fish to be out in deep water but they did not show up inside of 150 FOW the last two trips. Data below.
  16. Attached is a one page article from GLA in 2013 authored by Capt. Greg Mariuz of Profishient Charters, Saugatuck MI containing CU and Pb core data trolling at 2.5mph. For comparative purposes, the data I collected used a depth raider to calibrate speed to 2.5mph down 45' at the ball (typically reads 3.3mph SOG on GPS). A mag spoon was on the business end of a 70' Fluorocarbon leader and the probe was attached a few feet prior to the Cu-Fluorocarbon union. 10 passes of Power Pro backing (~70') were let out after the Cu union left the rod tip to get the Cu fully underwater. I did not experiment with letting out more backing which might place the bait deeper. My Penn 330 GTIs will only hold 370' of 30lb Power Pro backing prior to the initial 4 passes of dacron on the spool so I stick to 10 passes to get things submerged. I spooled up the Cu reels in 2014 and could not find a receipt or empty spool so my best guess is I used 45lb Cu. Cu and Pb Core Depths from GLA Aug-Sep 2013.pdf
  17. Got down to the harbor at 4:00pm just as a North wind started to kick up. Worked on some rigging and chatted with dock mates wondering if the wind was going to continue to pick up or lay down. Then it occurred to me, it will not be so stinking hot with a North wind and no flies so I pushed off solo at 6:30pm. Decided to fish North of the harbor, not as deep (100-140 FOW) with a 2-dipsey, SWR on rigger program. Kept the SWR rig down 65-70 on the LC and ran the dipseys a bit deeper, 46-58' down via Smart Troll probes. Finished the night 4 for 6 with an additional tip-up. All 4 kings were 5lb or less - I released them all to catch them when they are bigger. Right at sunset, SWR got hammered with a very acrobatic fish. I could not budge it after the initial run. I decided to clear the two dipseys as a precaution in between fighting the fish, which the only ground I could gain was by running up to the helm, dropping into neutral, reeling fast, and engaging the motor again. Did that 8-10 times. After 35 minutes, got the first of two colors onto the reel, fish visible at the top of the water, got net down, engaged the motor once again and up goes the tip - gone. I went from heart pounding to no pulse! Thinking about it after my great loss, the fish might have been foul hooked since it was so hard to budge - had that happen before. Secondly, this is what happens when fishing solo. Having another mate on board would have made things easier but I do like the challenge of fishing solo knowing there will be more losses. Finally, marked only one bait ball in 137 FOW in the 30' range. Good luck and tight lines. Data below.
  18. This is my third year with the Smart Troll system. The software upgrade made to the app mid-2022 really helped the stability of the temp & depth readings. Prior to that, the data would wander out of range or update at a very slow rate. In my opinion, the prior issues are fixed. I have 4 probes. Battery life handles a 6 hour float. I typically run a 6 or 9 rod spread based on the number of people I have aboard. I am not a fan on running a bunch of junk (i.e. long lines) on boards - bait doesn't get deep enough and a tangle can take 30min or more to recover from. I always run my red & green probes on each dipsey or the inside ones if I run a pair on each side. What ever the diver is, accuracy the charts from the mftr' are best if running 2.0mph or less. Running 2.5-2.7mph has the bait much, much higher. Today, I cannot imagine running dipseys without a Smart Troll probe. If I am running a 4-rigger spread, I will put another probe down on the deepest rigger with the paddle wheel attachment. Out of the box, the paddle wheel speed is not accurate. My system, it typically runs about 1.0mph faster. The app allows you to calibrate the speed to another system (e.g. SOG, Fish Hawk, Depth Raider). I mainly use my Depth Raider for speed at the ball (miss the Fish Hawk on my former boat but to run electrical from the sensor unit to the dash is a night mare on my Rampage, so I have learned to embrace the Depth Raider). The 4th probe is a back-up in case I lose one or to check the depth of another line, such as lead core, weighted steel or copper. I don't leave the probe on junk lines when I am fishing. I place an OR16 center pin clip at the front and the back of the probe and attach both clips to the line just in front of the dipsey, not between the dipsey and the bait - less chance of a break off loss in this positioning. I believe the instructions call for attaching the probe to the line with only one clip at the front of the probe. I feel greater security using two clips. The app is written for an Android platform so if you only have an i-Pad, it will not work. I picked up a used Samsung S2 on the internet with the bigger screen. The S2 has a 4-5 hour battery life so it is best to plug it in to a 12V receptacle or connect it to a battery pack I just purchased an INIU 10,000 mAh portable charger for just this application on Amazon for $30. Bottom line, the system is pricey but being the data geek I am, I am happy I made the investment.
  19. Fished south of the harbor mouth from 5:30pm to past sun set in 130 to 175 FOW. Ran 2 downriggers, one SWR and one dodger/UV blue Salmon Candy fly in the range of 55'-75,; 2 dipseys on a 2-set in the range of 43'-57' (Smart Troll); 2 outriggers with 300' and 200' weighted steel - both clipped with a 12oz torpedo diver (about 60' and 50' down based on past Smart Troll measurements). Finished the night 1 for 4. Ran one rigger with a clean spoon down 140' on the counter for about 45 min but no action. Ran into 120'-90' after sunset but no action. Only marked bait on the final run in closer. Data below.
  20. Smart to put a 12oz torpedo diver on the 300 Cu. I was collecting data on Monday night with my Smart Troll. 330' Cu was only getting down 44' at 2.5mph. Adding the 12oz torpedo diver or a 16oz lead ball brought the presentation down to 60'. The Smart Troll system is providing me a good education on depths of my baits.
  21. I participated in the Sep 20th Zoom call hosted by MI DNR with the proposed stocking plan for salmon beginning 2023. Unfortunately, salmon will no longer be stocked in Holland by DNR going forward due to the low natural reproduction coming out of this location. Saugatuck however will be increased by 25%.
  22. That is a real kick in the shin. I lost one years ago on my former boat and this year, lost a Smart Troll probe but not the ball when the Cannon auto stop was not zeroed out at the surface. I keep a good watch on the cables as I am confident you do as well but they will show up unannounced and when you are least looking. Hate when a costly passion is made more costly by my own doing.
  23. Agree, a gentle bump in the stocking in the southern part of the lake would improve the fall runs. This past Monday I was impressed at the number of fish stacked on the bottom just outside of Saugatuck and not what I have observed in the Holland/Saugy area the prior couple of years.
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