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zgrinder on Fin Warrior

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Everything posted by zgrinder on Fin Warrior

  1. Glad you landed at least one. It will be 8 more days before Fin Warrior is in the water. I assume the sand bars you refer to are the ones created a couple of years ago when we had the massive blows.
  2. Happy you found a calm day to get out. Been watching the webcam north of Holland and it has been fairly rocky as of late. Nice catch!
  3. Likely the last troll for the year. Fished mid-day in 180-240FOW. Found a slick with a number of gulls sitting in the water. Ran up and down that with no luck. Finished the day with a small SH on a full core and a coho that did not trick the SWR down deep. Save it for dinner tonight. Tried fishing up high with long lines for SH or coho and one down deep but found little action. Fishing in shorts with no flies in the middle of October was a gem! Will begin the prep for next season. Fin Warrior
  4. Very nice SH! Tough fishing with all the warm water stacked up again on the eastern shore.
  5. Set lines at 4:30pm in 110FOW half way to Saugatuck trolling south. Found multiple clusters of arcs on the fish finder down 80-100' but could not get any takers. Once I got past Saugatuck, I stopped marking fish. What started as a NE light blow became a 12-16kt steady rip NW that was not in the forecast. I would not have bothered with a trip if that was known. Pulled lines early and came in. There were at least 5 other boats fishing similar water. Talked to one that picked up 3 kings right at dusk but no action prior to that. I would like to try again tonight if I can trust the 10-12kt SE forecast. PS buoy indicates some colder water is coming back in. And no freighter traffic out of port Holland tonight.
  6. Fished off of Water Dog last night straight out of Holland. Lake was calm till dusk when the wind picked up. Set down in 140FOW and kept heading west as we set lines. Found some decent marks in about 190FOW but not much beyond that. Riggers were set down 110'-115' to find cold water but they did not get bit. 300' copper with a Wonder Bread spoon on the business end took a shaker and a small king that we decided to keep around 190FOW. 250' copper had one on that got off as we were removing the board. High and low dipseys did not get touched. Appeared we were one of 4-5 boats out for the evening. Typical fall fishing between the big blows.
  7. After the other night working to get in around a cargo ship, I worked the internet and came up with a site, marinetraffic.com, that at a no-cost registration will allow tracking of 5 vessels. Just so happens there are 5 cargo ships that operate out of port Holland: Calumet, Cuyahoga, Great Republic, Manitowoc and Saginaw. The site provides for setting up a fleet of 5 vessels to track. Unfortunately, the settings cannot be saved so whatever information that you prefer to view has to be reset each time. Not a big deal. My plan is to check this site for inbound/outbound traffic before piloting out for the night bite. The most active cargo operations are by the Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 tug/barge platform (see https://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/peremarquette41.htm for the amazing story of the history of the two vessels). We saw this cargo operation coming out of the harbor while fishing on the 3rd moving what I believe was scrap iron from Padnos Co. I will be tracking this operation separately. The tug/barge is much smaller, not taking up the entire channel and is in and out much faster. Much easier to maneuver around. Hope this is helpful. Fin Warrior
  8. Pulled out of Holland about 4:30pm and motored down to Saugatuck for the evening bite. Set down in 120FOW trolling south. A few suspended marks on the plotter but most were near the bottom. Took a 5lb king about 6:00pm on a spinny/blue-green fly (old Siggs Rigs) down 80'. About 30min later, same rod went off but lost it about 30' in back of the boat. Guessing it was about the same size. About 7:30pm began moving set-up around for the night bite. Took the flasher off the meat rig and went with just the DW white glow bait head, charged it and put it down 99'. It got bit very quickly. Another 5lb king that somehow also got into two other lines. One was quickly undone, the second not so much. Did not pick up anything else and marks were few. Janet was a little on edge coming in at dark in front of the Great Republic as we had a hard time picking up the bow lights - aft pilot house no problem. We had plenty of safe distance - not something I dare take chances on.
  9. That is a great story. And great work by your crew to get all the gear up to square up the trolling line and boat the fish. Nice work!
  10. Many thanks for all your posts to the community who fish on the East side of the lake. They are much appreciated by me and the members who post here. I note that my fishing friends in IL prior to my 2008 move to MI are not sharing the same fishing reports as the MI side of the lake. So I am rewarded to have the MI network. Have a great off season and much fish luck in 2022. For what it is worth, at a social event tonight in downtown Holland, I heard there were some large catches in South Haven in 120FOW. The info is sketchy (third hand) but I may run down there tomorrow as anywhere around Holland continues to be for some reason a no-bite zone.
  11. I noticed a fair amount a couple of nights ago. I suspect the thermocline is rebalancing. I downloaded the temp data from the lowest probe on the PS buoy and it is obvious the colder water is coming in. I am hoping that will set up for a good king run in the coming days.
  12. Great report. Fish are down deep in Frankfort as well. I take it that #127 is your lucky number. Or perhaps that is all the wire on the rigger . Great pics, like the last one in front of the Frankfort signage.
  13. Fished from 5:00ish to dusk Monday and Tuesday. Monday fished 115-145FOW looking for big kings but I was blessed with lake trout, caught and released 3. All came in about 125FOW on high divers down about 50', aqua fly and a blue silver spoon. Found some nice bait balls off the sliders. Ran over them twice, one pass at dusk but could not get any bites. Marks were plentiful. The chatter on 68 was the same, marks but no bites. After sunset the fish finder came alive with marks and small balls of bait. I got nothing but a big tangle that I left on the back of the boat until the following morning. I must admit, getting all the gear squared away and retied at sun up with a big thermos of coffee is very satisfying. Tuesday decided to start deeper in 160-190FOW. Very limited marks and no bait. Came in to 120FOW for the dusk bite. Had one rip on the SB dipsey tipped with an aqua fly during a hard turn to port but it came unbuttoned rather quickly after a short run. Lots of marks in the 45-60' range. A couple of comments on 68 that running fast, I assume 2.5-3.0mph was getting action but not sure what the action was. Appears the fish are biting up north but not so much around Holland.
  14. Wow, I am really surprised you paddled out so deep this late in the year. But obviously the action was spectacular. Nice catching!
  15. Skunked. Worked 120-180FOW. Simply just too much warm water piled up on the MI shoreline. Had the riggers as far down as 150' and could not get below 52 degrees. Found a nice bait ball at 165FOW with fish suspended below but could not get them to bite anything I passed through it. I note the PS buoy indicates some colder water coming in. Will try a few runs this week.
  16. As promised, a pic of the 9" spin doctor and double skirted howie white crinkle fly with the size 2 Mustad hook. The skirts are separated for the pic but they lay simply one on top of the other. I run double skirt flies in the fall for the same reason I move to magnum spoons - bigger bait profile. It helps to trim off some of the tube from the underside of the fly skirt with a box cutter to get a tighter overlay. Probably should have put a coin next the hook to help with visualizing the size. Lead is 22" from the connecting loop to the very top of the first fly skirt. There is enough hardware hanging from the back of the spin doctor that justifies the shorter fly leader.
  17. Dual report. Tuesday 8/3 Janet and I went 3 for 5. 2 LT, one small king boated (lakers released). One big king miss in 70FOW on a white spinny white fly on a downrigger as we were pulling lines with our last 2 lines down. We fought it for a while but it unbuttoned early in the fight. All hits came after sundown. There are three threads to this. Thread one - When the big fish strike occurred, my Penn 310 drag opened up and kept opening up each time a tightened it down. This fish was never going to be caught. So I brought all 16 reels I rebuilt in the off season and found I put the washer with the two points in last on 8 of the 16 reels. How I made this error I dont know but now that I opened each one up I am confident they will work - got my inspection time down to 15min a reel. Thread two - The king spit out the Gamakutsu #2 hool like it was a Skittle. This had to be changed. Thread three - the big hit came in shallow as I was working in from 120FOW to wrap up the night, save that info for the next trip. Thursday 8/5, Janet is off to NY and I am solo running 3 rods but looking for big fish so this works well. Lines down at 5:30pm at 120FOW. Marked fish to about 150FOW the a ghost town out to 180FOW, decided to come back in and work slightly skinny water. No tip ups and it is 7:30pm time to go shallow. Note to thread #3, I was the only boat inside of 115FOW for the dusk bite - very happy to be there alone. Note to thread #2 - prior to launch, I set up a big fish rig. I have 4 reels set up with 40lb Ande for seaflies so I used what I had (30lb test would be just fine). I figured at dark, the fish will not sense how big of a line is in the water. Next, I rigged two back to back Howie white crinkle flies, one over the other over a Mustad 4/0 hook at 22" to run on a 9" white paddle. Dont ask me why I got these hooks, it was an ordering mistake, the larger hooks I run are Mustad 2/0's but they will bend with large king. I figured these monster hooks will not unbutton. I will try to send a F/U pic tomorrow when I am back on Fin Warrior. Made all my dusk bait changes and wound up 3 for 4, all kngs as the sun disappeared, bam, bam, bam then it was over. The big king rig took a 15.5 pounder that was a joy to bring in. I new the line would not break, the monster hook would not come unbottoned, and I could bring the fish in hot and not lose it in the net by myself. The high dipsepys did not get any action unlike when the water was colder on Tuesday. Another note to file. So what i want to share for those dusk fisherman is to not be hesitent to beef up a big king rig and work shallow. I loathed long lines but if you must, I expect this strategy will work as well. Best, Capt Dick Fin Warrior
  18. a 15# king in 45min of fishing is a highly impressive catch rate! And you made the right call to play is safe - you don't have to go out but you always must come back.
  19. Nice king! Sorry about the gear. Should be able to get the Canon parts to fix it.
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