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westrate

Charter Captain
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About westrate

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  • Birthday 04/17/1945

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  1. It was a crazy week of rough water and good fishing. The week started catching lake trout on bottom in 100 feet of water, or coho in 240 feet of water. The trout were biting white and chrome Goldstar dodges with white and green spin n glows behind them. The coho in the deeper water were living 25-50 feet down bit on Double B orange flashers with mini-Rapture flies, and on Stingers. The best Stingers were the freakin mixed blue or green veggies, the coyote, and double orange crush. This week produced coho, steelhead and some Chinook throughout the week. Later in the week we fished 130-170 FOW. We found a mix of species and sizes. Friday morning produced one of the best early bites of the year. We took 8 fish, 2 kings over 20#, in the first hour and a half. These fish bit the same spoons as the fish in 240 earlier in the week, and white fishscale and white blue bubble Protroll flashers with wildfern and no-see-um Rapture flies. Unfortunately, the wind blew too hard to fish on Saturday or Sunday. We are looking forward to getting back out this week. We expect that the fish are going to continue to move into the120-160 FOW area. Follow us at @CaptCHcharters on Twitter for day by day fishing reports.
  2. Another week of waiting for the salmon to show up. This week we again fished that 90 to 120 foot of water and caught from 6 to 14 fish per trip, however the lake trout still made up the majority of the creel. There are some steelhead, coho and some 4 year old salmon mixed in but most of the fish are lake trout. Saturday we fished in 105 foot of water in the morning and caught six fish-two lake trout three steelhead and one 4 year old Chinook and lost or missed another 12. The sea flea is so bad in this 100 foot range that you needed to constantly clean your lines so, with the afternoon charter, we decided to do some looking and ran out to 220 foot of water and trolled out to 265 foot and back in to 220 foot. We boated eight fish-four 4 year old Chinook and four coho and lost or had another 10 hits. In the 100 foot of water depth, we fished metal Gold Star silver and white metal flashers with green and white Spin n Glows on the bottom and Ace Hi green splatter back and green glow ladder back plugs on 200 copper. A variety of flasher and fly combinations produced on the dipsy divers and downriggers, but nothing consistent. In the 240 foot of water it was 300 copper with silver bladed Pro Troll flashers and Rapture No See Um flies and small stingers (orange and green and orange and blue) on the 200 coppers. The Downriggers were run 45 and 50 foot down with stingers as the base lure and on add a lines 10 foot up. Dipsy Divers were run at 100 and 200 foot out with silver bladed (mountain dew, mixed veggie, all silver, green) Pro Troll flashers and mirage and oceana flies. Some good news on the perch. There were reports of limit catches of perch in 20 to 30 foot of water, however this was 9 miles south off the clay banks of Glenn. One boat caught 150 perch in 2 hours. Perch fishing off of Saugatuck and Holland was spotty with some decent catches one day and then nothing the next. There are a lot of salmon out in the deeper water and a tremendous amount of 3 year classes of bait. Because there is so much bait in this water, it may be some time before the salmon stage in the 100 foot range and we will have to run out to deep water to fish. For more information or for charter reservations contact me at [email protected]
  3. We are beginning to see some silver fish (salmon and steelhead) show up in the creel; however the majority of the fish are still lake trout. This past Friday we caught 14 fish, 5 were silver fish and 9 were lake trout. Today we boated 13 fish, 5 were salmon and steelhead and the rest were lake trout. The fish were found in the 110 to 120 foot range with the lake trout coming on the bottom and the silver fish coming in the top 40 foot. The lake trout were taken on the downriggers by bouncing bottom with metal Gold Star dodgers and green spin n glows. The salmon and steelhead were taken on 75, 100, 150 and 200 foot of copper line with small 6 in orange dodgers and Rapture green twinkle flies and orange stingers and fuzzy bear lures. We also ran the inside wire dipsy divers on the bottom with the metal dodgers we used on the downriggers and the outside dipsy divers at 100 and 150 foot out with silver green pro troll flashers and Rapture hypnotist flies. For more information or for charter reservations, email me at [email protected]
  4. Fishing really picked up off of Saugatuck this week with catches in the double figures and 14 fish boated on Sunday. The bait continues to set up in 100-130 FOW. The lake trout are feeding near the bottom with coho and steelhead near the surface. A few kings were taken usually 50-80 feet down. Best baits for the lake trout were Goldstar dodgers with spin and glows or Rapture flies bounced along the bottom. Our best combinations were chrome/glow with a no-see-um, chrome/lazer with a Oceana, hammered chrome with a green spin and glow, and white with a pearl spin and glow. We had action on coho and steelhead on high divers with small orange dodgers and mini-Rapture flies (wild fern and hyptnotist). On the coppers we caught steelhead on 50-150 coppers with jarger bomb, dbl. orange crush, and coyote Stinger spoons. We expect the kings to move in the bait as it continues to stabilize. Follow the action on twitter @CaptCHcharters.
  5. Another week of “June†fishing; however there was some indication of some changes may be taking place. The old saying that “Fishing slows when the cotton flies†certainly holds true this year. Early in the week we started with cold water from top to bottom but by Saturday we were seeing water temperature pushing 60 degrees with a little more thermal stratification taking place. Wednesday there were some steelhead taken in 150 foot of water and in front the Holland piers but by Friday, when we fished again, they were gone. Friday we fished from 120 to 180 foot of water and most of our fish came in the 120 to 130 foot range. We did try the water out to 240 foot and hooked and lost one lake trout but it came 140 foot down. Down riggers with green/glow Pro Troll and Rapture Last Supper fly got hit 2 or 3 times at 100 foot and at 60 and 70 foot with magnum Stinger green dolphins and blue dolphins. Wire dipsy divers with white/glow mountain dew Pro Troll and a Rapture mirage fly produced again at 120 foot out. 200 foot of copper with Stingray green/blue dolphin and the 300 foot and 400 foot of copper with silver flashers and green hypnotist flies each got hit once in the 130 foot of water. For fishing information, and/or charter reservations email me at [email protected]
  6. Fishing has been slow this last week with creel numbers of 2 to 5 fish. The water has turned cold with 49 degree water on top and 40 degree water on the bottom in 100 foot. We caught fish in 75 foot out to 200 foot, however there was no concentration and we caught fish on 100 copper to 160 foot down on the downrigger, so once again you had to fish whole water column. You can catch lake trout by pounding bottom in 75 to 100 foot of water; however a lot of these were small fish under 22 in. The salmon were caught from 100 to 200 foot of water and were found throughout the water column. To point to one lure and one set up that worked consistently is hard to do, however the only combination that we pulled every day and produced everyday was the white/glow mountain dew Pro Troll with a Rapture mirage fly on the high wire diver at 200 foot. Thursday we ran downriggers at 50 to 60 foot with free sliders (small green dolphin and blue dolphin) and they went multiple times, however on Friday they never produced a hit. Friday we had hour best success with 200 and 300 copper and silver flashers and green flies but then on Saturday we only had one hit on a copper and that was on a 150 with a blue green dolphin stingray. Next week the report is south winds and warmer weather so possibly we may get some stratification of the lake temperature and as a result concentrate the fish and bait in a smaller water column. For more information and or fishing charter reservations email me at [email protected]
  7. Fish are scattered throughout the whole water column with a 10 degree change from the surface to 150 foot down. You have a chance of catching fish 15 foot down and 120 foot down. Saturday we fished from 120 to 180 foot of water and we caught lake trout in 130 foot of water and salmon in 150 to 170 foot of water. The Chinook salmon are running in the mid to high teens with Coho salmon weighing in 5 to 10 pounds. Saturday we had only one lure that went more than one time (silver flasher and mirage fly on 300 copper) and the dozen hits were scattered from 30 foot down to 120 foot down on Stingray spoons and Pro Troll Flashers and Rapture flies. 200, 300 and 450 foot of copper produced hits with divers at 200 and 250 foot of line and downriggers at 40 to 120 foot down. For more information about Saugatuck Fishing or to make a charter reservation, feel free to email me at [email protected]
  8. This past week produced some interesting fishing with some very good catches in the 120 foot depth the first part of the week and then the salmon moved out to deeper 180 to 200 foot depth. Early in the week we took 75 6th graders fishing (19 boats) fishing and caught 90+ salmon and trout in the 120 to 130 foot depth. Friday and the early weekend the fish were in the 140 foot depth and then Sunday we had most of our action in the 180 foot depth (no real change in temperature) producing 1 lake trout and 4 four year old salmon and one small salmon that was returned. Our best pattern on Sunday consisted of 400 and 300 foot of copper with the stinger dive bomb weight with silver and silver green Pro Troll flashers and Rapture Last Supper and Green Hypnotist flies. This was completely different from early in the week when the best was 200 foot of copper and Stingray lures with green and orange. On Sunday the downriggers produced best with silver Pro Troll flashers with Mountain Dew and Green and Green Hypnotist flies at 90 and 60 foot down. Compare this with the early week when our downriggers produced at 40 and 50 foot with magnum Stinger spoons and regular Stinger spoons on the add-a-lines. No patterns to the colors since the best two were green/blue dolphin and bloody nose. No real pattern on the dipsy divers either and we tried multiple lengths out and lures. The only thing that more than once on Sunday was a white Pro Troll with silver hologram tape and the sour apple fly at 225 foot out. It appears that the fish and the bait is moving constantly, so you just have to go out and try different depths and patterns until you find the right combinations. For move information or charter reservations, email me at [email protected]
  9. http://www.greatlakesfisherman.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=6953&c=2 19 charter and private boats took 75 6th grade Saugatuck Middle School students on a fishing excursion on May 21. As a reward for participating in the salmon in the classroom program, the Michigan Lakeshore Charter Boat Association and Allegan Ducks Unlimited arranged this outing for the students and then cooked the fish and fed all the students and captains after the trip. The students caught in excess of 90 fish with the largest being 19.5 pounds. Gift certificates were given to the largest fish caught by a boy and a girl. In addition each student went home with a rod and reel donated by Cabelas. I would like to thank Jim VanBrocken (Jim Bobber) and Dennis Eade and the crews for taking thier time and coming down from Holland to help out. Your assistance was greatly appreciated.
  10. This past week produced some very good chinook salmon catches of 6 to 8 fish with some pushing 20 pounds. The fish are coming in 80 to 140 foot of water and from 20 foot down to the bottom. Friday and Saturday all of the bait in the stomachs of the salmon were 4 to 6 in long, however on Monday they were feeding on a different year class that went from 3 to 4 in in length. This would explain why we had the best luck with Stingray and magnum Stingers last week but regular size Stingers worked best on Monday. There were some reports of fish being caught out to 180 foot, however the best fishing was in 90 to 130 foot of water in the morning and then we had to go out deeper (180 foot of water) and fish deeper (90 to 160 foot down in the afternoon. What appeared to work best was meat at the deeper depths, however for us, it was slower fishing in the deeper depths. The chinook salmon are coming from 20 to 60 foot down on 100, 200 and 300 copper with orange crush, UV blue dolphin and green dolphins. The down riggers were run at 50 and 65 foot down with the center downrigger just off the bottom. Green dolphin and bloody nose Stingrays on the out downs and either a green/glow Protroll 11 in flasher and Rapture last supper fly or a glow frog Stingray run down the shoot produced fairly consistently. Dipsy divers were run at 140 foot out to 220 foot with a variety of lures and flashers and flies and nothing proved to go more than once a trip. It seemed that if we caught a fish on a particular lure and color we should take it off and try something else, since it would not go again. No reports on the perch fishing either from South Haven, Holland or Saugatuck. For more information about the fishing conditions or to make a charter reservation, email me at [email protected]
  11. Five days of high winds and high waves limited fishing to two days this past week. With gale force winds and wind out of the west one day, north the next, south the next, and then repeated the lake has had the waters mixed with no real temperature break. Friday we fished the morning and found surface water was 65 degrees and the water 120 foot down was 61 degrees out in 150 foot of water. We started fishing in 100 foot of water and tolled out to 225 foot of water. We did catch 8 fish ( 3 two year old chinook, 2 three year old chinook, 1 four year old chinook and 1 lake trout) out in 180 to 190 foot of water, however every fish hit below 100 foot with two caught on the bottom in 185 foot. There are some fish up at the Allegan dam, and there are a few fish being caught in front the piers, however fishing here is very slow with water temperature in the high 60's. The fish we caught hit flashers and flies on the downriggers 100 to 180 foot down, dipsy divers at 350 foot out and 240 foot out and on 450 feet of copper. The best combination was the 11 in Pro Troll white fishscale flasher and the 8 in white fishscale flasher with the Oceana fly (these two had 6 hits). The Stinger frog flasher and the Pro Troll silver fishscale flasher with a green hypnotist fly each produced 2 hits. For fishing information and charter reservations, email me at [email protected]
  12. The salmon are still staged in the 80 to 100 foot depth, however there are a few salmon being caught from 40 to 60 foot of water. With the strong east winds last weekend, we were limited to trolling east and west which limits the time you can fish in the staging area. Boats took any where from 8 to 20 fish with the majority of the creel make up of salmon. In that 80 foot depth, the temperature broke at about 50 foot and dropped from 57 to 47 degrees and then 41 degrees on the bottom. The 150, 200 and 300 copper produced very well with Ace Hi plugs (green glow, green glow black ladder back, green splatterback, pear black dot and pearl pink dot) on all of them. On the downriggers and dipsy divers we ran the following Pro Troll flashers (11 in white fishscale, 8 in. chrome, 8 in. white mnt. dew, 8 in white dble glow) with Rapture flies (oceana UV, wild fern, green no see um and white pine) pulled behind them respectively. Downriggers were run from 50 to 80 foot and the dipsy divers had 100 and 150 foot of wire line out. For more information or charter reservations email me at [email protected]
  13. Our fishing continues to very good with catches of 9 to 20 fish per trip, however, you will have to move out to deeper water to get a consistent catch. After the big blow the weekend of the 11th, the lake turned over and we had water temperatures in the 40's. With the drop in temperature, the bait moved into the river water and out to deep water and the salmon and trout followed. There were steelhead caught off the Saugatuck piers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but trolling there produced very little action. Most of the fish were caught off the piers with shrimp under a cork. The best trolling success occurred out in 200 and 220 foot of water from the surface down to 100 foot. As the water began to warm, the bait started to collect in 150 to 170 foot of water and the salmon and trout followed and by this past weekend we were catching fish from 60 down to 160 foot. The catch consists of mostly chinook salmon (3 and 4 year olds) with a few lake trout, coho and steelhead in the catch. The best method continues to be flashers and flies, however we did catch a few salmon and steelhead on the silver red head and green splatter back Ace Hi plug and on the mixed veggie stingray. The best combination of flashers and flies were: 11 in white glow Pro Troll with either the Illusion or Green Hypnotist fly 8 in silver fish scale Pro Troll with Green No See Um 8 in Super Frog with Green Hypnotist 8 in Green Wiggle with the Illusion 8 in Blue Wiggle white blade with Blue Bubble Rapture fly 8 in Glow Frog with Green Glow Hypnotist For information and/or charter reservations email me at [email protected]
  14. Compared to the last few weeks, this past weeks fishing was definately slower. Creel numbers went from 12 to 30 fish per trip to 6 to 15 fish per trip with a mixed bag of chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead and lake trout. Then we got hit with the strong winds and storms on Friday and Saturday and the water temperature went from 76 degrees to 45 degrees and the fish scattered. On Sunday there were fish caught from the pier head out to 200 foot, however the bite was slow. Today we caught 19 fish from 90 foot of water out to 190 foot with the best fishing in 180 to 190 foot. The best bait combinations continues to be flashers and flies and some plugs. On the downriggers, dipsy divers and 300 copper we are pulling white fish scale 11 in Pro Troll with a Rapture Illusion fly, the super frog with a hypnotist fly, white blue bubble with a Rapture blue bubble fly, green wiggle with illusion fly, mixed veggie with wild fern fly. On the 100 copper and on the 200 copper we are running Ace Hi plugs (silver red head, green glow UV, wonderbread, and green splatter back). For fishing information and charter reservations email me at [email protected]
  15. Last week the fish spread out a little however the result remains the same with limit catches almost every day. Early in the week we were fishing in 100 to 115 foot of water and during the week we moved out to 120 foot and then out to 150 foot and on Saturday we caught fish out to 180 foot of water. Every day we would start fishing in 95 foot of water and move out until we either marked or started catching fish. We would start fishing 60 to 90 foot down and as the day progressed we would lower the baits to 90 to 150 foot down. The creels continued to consist of 75% chinook salmon with the remaining being a mixture of coho, lake trout and steelhead. The best combination continues to be flashers and flies on the downrigger, dipsy divers and 300 and 450 copper with spoons and plugs on the 200 copper and on 150 copper. The following are the combinations that worked best for us last week: 1. 11 in. Pro Troll white/glow with a Rapture hypnotist or illusion fly on the deep downrigger. 2. 11 in Pro Troll double UV white blade with a Rapture second wish fly on the deep divers 3. 8 in. Chrome silver blade fish scale with hypnotist fly. 4. 8 in Super Frog with hypnotist fly 5. 8 in white blade Pro Troll with double glow and a hypnotist fly 6. 8 in green blade Pro Troll with double glow and UV second wish fly 7. UV mixed veggie Pro Troll with purple no see um 8. UV on UV Pro Troll flasher with UV illusion fly 9. White green wiggle flasher with UV illusion fly In the last half of the week we have been running more and more UV flies and when we tested UV on one side of the boat to identical non UV flies on the other, the UV out fished the regular flies. Very little perch fishing this past week since 1. the salmon fishing is so good, most boats are fishing for them and 2. the perch are spread out in different depths. For more information and/or charter reservations, email me at [email protected]
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