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Everything posted by zgrinder

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wow, I am really surprised you paddled out so deep this late in the year. But obviously the action was spectacular. Nice catching!
  10. Brilliant to find and stay on that cold water spot!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Those kings are studs! Nice work fishing down deep.
  15. 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.
  16. Nice king! Sorry about the gear. Should be able to get the Canon parts to fix it.
  17. Fished with Tom from Water Dog mid-day. Set lines close to 2:00 somewhere around 140FOW, 4 riggers, 2 wire divers, no long lines. Outer riggers set with blue silver J-plug & spotted green spinny / proctologist fly 115' down. Inner riggers, SW tipped with wonderbread Brad's cut plug & herring oil down 140' and light line rod with mag frozen seagull down 125'. Mag dipsy with blue holographic spinny / blue bubble fly out 200' and std. dipsey + mag ring out 210' with spoons, stopped the rotation at std. size frozen seagull. The probe down 115' was still at 63 degrees so we pushed out to deeper water. Just past 200FOW we got action. Mag frozen seagull on light line took a big laker that stayed down forcing us to clear lines on the SB side to bring it in the boat. There was a steelhead jumping out of the water behind the LT we were pulling in that we eventually figured out was on the SW rig. Boated that and two more SH came immediately on the J-plug and the blue bubble fly. At that time we had zero lines in the water and were in 235FOW. Got everything back down, turned around and the two dipseys took back to back kings under 10#. Coming back into about 195FOW the blue bubble fly on the dipsey got hit again with another SH. After about an hour and a half of non-stop action it all came to a halt. Pulled lines near 6:00 and came in. Went 7 for 7 with 1 LT, 4 SH and 2 kings. 5 of the 6 rods took fish. No big kings this trip but plenty of fun! Fin Warrior
  18. Nice work in the AM. Need to get the divers way out and the riggers below 100 to find cold water right now.
  19. Fished the evening bite from 7:00-10:00. Up till just before sunset I was doing more trouble shooting than fishing. Checking voltage on each of the 4 riggers, determined the Cannon Mag 20 rigger with the Depth Raider unit that came with the boat (my old first generation Fish Hawk was superior) was putting out 0.81 volts. So I grounded the cable to the raw water spicket McGiver style for the trip. I am strongly considering equiping Fin Warrior with a Smart Troll system in the off season and retiring the Depth Raider. Next, after sending my wire lines down multiple times with a Fish Hawk XD using different types of divers, I determined I spooled them up this spring with way too much 30# mono leader. So I striped that down to about 7' and improved the depth by 10 or back where my charts are useful. Tinkering came to an end when just at dusk Janet yelled tip up and we had our first king that came on Silver Streak Frozen Seagull down 92' on the SB aft rigger. It charged the boat from the time it hit and came in so hot we lost it under the swim platform in the attempt to net it. As soon as that rod was back in the water the wire diver 190' back on a one set went off with a small king that we unhooked at the back of the boat. I did not get that rod down when the newly grounded SB rigger tipped with a white dodger / white fly tipped up however the fish came unbuttoned quickly. Did not even have time to reel in the slack when SW on the Port aft rigger down 100' with a wonderbread Brad's cut plug and herring oil errupted. Janet played it like an expert while I neutral dropped the engine a number of times to allow line to be gained. The fight finished with a 16' king in the boat. Some where in that fight the white dodger & fly tipped up again but nothing on it. Then the action came to a complete stop. The little radio chatter seemed to indicate most boats were struggling during sun up. I ran the old school 4 riggers and two wire divers and no long lines. 4 of the 6 lines got hit all in 135 FOW but it was strickly a sunset bite for the Fin Warrior. Will be back out on Sunday.
  20. Really am thankful for the color and detail of your posts. So happy for the good days that you have had on the water and the 'catch pics' are priceless. Thanks for sharing. I am amped for getting out this weekend in Holland.
  21. A split ring failure is indeed rare. Had that happen one time as well. NBK is a 'Go To' spoon. Three years ago Killer Blue was the ticket on the business end of a SWR. Not the "Go To' lure since 2018. Happy to read the action was good in Pentwater.
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