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Playin Hooky

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Everything posted by Playin Hooky

  1. Haven't been out of PS in years. May connect weekend. Is Pigeon Lake all No Wake? Or just channel? Or after dark?
  2. "Minimum speed needed to maintain control of the vessel" is how it read back in the day. Don't know if that has changed...but that rule was certainly subject to interpretation.
  3. Wow Kevin! First speeding in the channel...now drugs and women for hire! Translation for the new guys: pushing a little wake gets you to the fish (or home) faster. Cocaine is strictly reserved for those days you need a little pick me up after fishing dark to dark in tournaments The ladies are a last resort when posting "need a rider" doesn't work and the bite is on fire!
  4. Disregard all previous posts. You don't even want to get started doing this...unless your other addictions are falling short of expectations! Welcome to the madness! You've come to the right place.
  5. When I worked a sheriff boat in Cheboygan county we never trolled more than 2.4-2.7 in the channel this time of year. That's pushing the limits of making a contact per hour. Verbal warning or did he ticket you?
  6. If it's tough to get your kid out of bed for the start of a school day, especially the last school day of the year, set the alarm and tell them you're headed to Grand Haven for a charter fishing trip! 20 students came to school for the 0340 departure for GH. We made it to North Shore Marina with only one missed direction and boarded the boats HILLBILLY (the boat I chaperoned), DEVIL DOG, HOT SPOT and FISHIN ADDICTION for a quick trip to the big lake. For many of these students it was their first time on the lake in a boat if at all! We set up in 70 fow and trolled west. A 100 CU with Craig's SH bait fired first but a nice steelie came unbuttoned after an aerial display. Shortly afterward a low wire diver with meat 70 back fired and our first fish, a chunky 10#+ steelie, came to the net. We fished out to 160 with nothing else to show, then turned eastward again. 120 fow gave up another steelie of about 4# on the 100 CU setup as before, then a 200 CU with a mag blue dolphin hooked up a 7# king. A short time later a 75 Cu with Hog Wild went and another nice 10+# steelie put on a show and came to net. After turning out from 95 fow the Craig's bait fired again with a fish bound for Spring Lake that came off after a long screaming run. Last fish of the day was the biggest, a king of 16+# on a 150 Cu with Craig's bait and took a tag-team effort to land. The look on the kids' faces when that fish came over the transom and hit the floor? Priceless! 100-120 was best. Many marks but nothing going on riggers for us and 2 of the other boats. Overall it was a slower morning than some years past, but that's fishing. 4 boats finished with 21 fish (8,6,5,2) but all the kids (and adults) had a fantastic time and each took home a bag of fresh fillets. Thanks again to Captain Chris of Hillbilly, Captain Butch of Devil Dog, Captain Brett of Hot Spot and Captain Jason of Fishin Addiction for the fantastic time they showed all my students. There is no better way to bring home the lessons learned about the Great Lakes fishery than through this amazing opportunity!
  7. "When the cotton comes, the kings go" said Dan, the mate on captain Chris Johnson's charter boat "Hillbilly." I wouldn't say the kings were gone, but they sure were hard to come by last Thursday when my environmental science class fished out of Grand Haven for our annual Great Lakes fishery unit finale. After postponing on two previous dates due to storms, the kids elected to head for the west shore at 3:45 AM and give up an easy last 1/2 day of school for the chance to see and fish Lake Michigan for the species they had studied. A stiff east breeze greeted us when we got aboard the boats at Chinook Pier. Reports after the multiple fronts that rolled through the previous few days were not optimistic--but we were FISHING! A quick trip down the channel to a fairly calm lake and a short drive to 70 fow and lines were soon in the water. Success was mixed over the next 3+hours. Catches ranged from 2-7 fish per boat, with several fish over 15# and the big fish pushing 20. Only one laker was mixed in with the 16 kings. Most productive water was the 120-140 range where the water cleared slightly. Paddle/fly combos and spoons with chrome were the best presentations from 40 to 105 down. Everyone had a great time even if they didn't get a chance to have a big one on the line! It was awesome to experience the lake, the chartering operation and see the speed and skill of the captains and mates in the fish cleaning station! Special thanks to the captains and mates of our charter group this year-- Reel Action, Catch-A-Bunch, Hot Spot and Hillbilly--all worked their tails off to put the kids on fish in really tough catching conditions!
  8. Good report Nick. Good to start the year with fish in the box! Hey let me know if you need someone to set lines for you this summer. Sold my boat and it may be a bit before I find the next one...
  9. I can't see what everyone is worried about--according to the graph in the link, L MI levels have actually gone UP...(since 64-65)* *This is the type of data representation that has been used by global warming "contrarians". Taking a subset of data and showing a point-to-point decrease in global temperatures can make the Earth look "cooler". Correct in that context, but the long-term change is WARMER. The contrarian would say that "L MI can be shown to be increasing in its level--must be a government conspiracy that the lakes are getting lower". But...those of us with firsthand knowledge of the lake know better, don't we? (Like those who have been studying climate for decades KNOW what they are seeing...)
  10. Talked to the angler's uncle yesterday (I work with his wife). He said he had to help the youngster hold onto the pole as it was a long drag/fight to crank the beast to the boat--and they were BOTH tired by the end! He wasn't sure of the weight and it may not have gotten to a certified scale, but did end up with the taxidermist. Its tail went well up the side of the cooler and the cap'n was totally amazed by its size. Made the mid-teen kings they got look small!
  11. Direction can make a difference! Tues AM we had a current moving north that caused a difference of .6-.9 mph on the down speed. Had to slow down going south, speed up going north to keep consistent lure action. Cross-current took some bites as well. If you don't have the down speed/temp, watch your dipsy rod, listen to your cables hum and watch the blowback on the rigger weights from different directions. Trolling is a huge science experiment with so many variables it is tough to control them! Thankfully the primary variable--fish--are almost always hungry and many of them are not too selective about what they smack...as long as it goes by at a speed and direction that appears natural! I won't say it gets "easier" with experience, but the experience allows you to rule out factors to fine tune what the fish will best respond to, when you find them, on any given day! EMBRACE THE MADNESS!
  12. Thanks Terry. Having not been there in a month and not seeing a lot of favorable reports I wasn't sure what to expect. WH usually has a few fish around, even if you have to hunt for them1
  13. Robt, that radar would've been handy--especially to give a guy an idea of when he needed to pay VERY CLOSE attention!
  14. Hawk, That line ran for miles! Thought at first it was a bubble trail of a boat that had gone in. Just as we hit the foam we got a 12# king as we went through it from cold to warm the first time in about 95 fow, then the dink king in the warm side, lost the next one on the warm side, and caught the last two on the cold side. Warm and cold were relative to the surface, everything underneath (40 down) was 45 degrees. That scum line ended up in about 45 fow by the time we headed in around 230P. Fog was still thick, allowing us to only see the dune tops above it. Water in the channel was 58 degrees! What was most interesting was the wisps of fog coming off the colder water that gave it an almost brown appearance because of the way the sunlight was hitting it. Awesome memories!
  15. Worked hard to fill a 3-man limit in Whitehall today, fished 6A- 2P. 4 fish in the first 1/2 hour inside 50 fow had our hopes high...but it wouldn't last! Fish were scattered throughout the water column and across the area! FOG made it challenging too! Ended 16/18, released a shaker king. 1 steel, 3 coho and 11 kings from a 4# dragger to a 17 lber. Fish were hitting everything from plugs and spoons on 3, 5, 6 color, 150 and 200 ft Cu, to 50 down on the rigger, fc/flies on dipsies 95-180 back on 3.5. Awesome scum line set up in over 100 fow and pushed toward shore. 60 degrees outside without fog, 47 inside in a fog bank. Hadn't experienced that before! Thanks to everybody out there on the radar, radios and horns keeping each other safe! Only a handful of those dreaded "OMG! A BOAT! TURN NOW!"
  16. Thanks Nick! It was kids like you that drove me to get them outside as much as I could--that way i could hide from you guys! LOL! If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by and see what I've done to the place. I think you'll find it much different than you remember.
  17. but this is also one of the highlights of the year for me as well! And the ONE sure way that I get on LMI before July the past few years! Filleting lessons today and the grilled salmon beat the popcorn chicken from the cafeteria! HA! I would ask that those of you who "wish" that you school, or kid's school would do something like this--try to be the reason that your kid's class gets a chance to go on a trip like this. Many of you know captains...who know captains...that could also make a trip like this happen. I started by asking one captain--Curtis (THE Purple Taco) who got a group of his buddies together and got us started. We've had several different captains join the effort over the past few years and all have been most gracious and have given the kids their all in providing a great learning experience. Talk to your kid's teachers and see who would be motivated to make this work. Fundraising can be an issue, but can be solved--if there's a will there's a way! The result is MORE than worth the effort! It's the best way for the students to learn about the resource and much easier to connect concepts like water quality, invasive species and economics of the GL fishery when they've experienced this. Let me know if you need any help selling the idea to teachers or administrators. I'd be happy to help!
  18. At 0345 today 19 sleepy students from my Environmental Science class loaded a bus and headed to Grand Haven for a morning of GL fishing. The forecast was dead right for a change (thanks NOAA) and a stiff breeze greeted our arrival at Chinook Pier. We boarded 4 charter boats and headed to the big water to put our studies of fish species and anatomy to practical use! Confused seas and building waves from a northerly wind had a few kids looking for the exits early, but the fish were at least slightly cooperative! No true pattern emerged with fish coming on long coppers, divers, riggers and short cores. 60 to 140 fow held fish. When we headed in with waves approaching 4', the boats had boxed a total of 40 fish--including a GL Slam! Everyone got on fish, and the boat with the class' 5 female students took top honors going 13 of 14! The students were amazed by the experience--especially how efficiently the cleaning process went in the pit at Chinook Pier! Even those with a little green around the gills agreed the discomfort was worth the opportunity to enjoy the highlight of the school year. Special thanks to Capt. Brett of the Hot Spot, Capt. Matt of the No Limits, Capt Butch of the Devildog and Capt Chris of the Hillbilly for their efforts in making this an affordable, enjoyable and memorable trip for these high school students! Tomorrow's lesson plan: Filleting and grilling GL salmonids!
  19. Hey Dave, What type are you looking for? I have 2 of the Traxstech (then Pursuit sports) lexan multi position we used for dipsy and in-lines, and also 4 of their net holder tubes we used for in-line planer rod holders. You would need to buy track and install on the gunnel or trolling bd... Let me know if they would work, Eric
  20. I stopped eating lakers and feeding them to my family many years ago when I got back the scale sample report for a pair of lakers we caught out of Saugatuck. 20" fish @ 7 yrs old, 21" @ 8 yrs. NEVER thought they spent that much time in the lake to grow so little! Bioaccumulation being what it is and the 3 primary concerns of location, age and feeding habits, I figured 2 out of 3 was bad (with all due respect to Meatloaf). If I have guests aboard that don't share my concerns we'll add them to the cooler and I am sure to fillet and trim them very carefully. My b-i-l will take them to smoke--but he smokes cigs also!
  21. Nice job, Bob! While our trips to the Straits this season have not been as productive as on S Lk MI, we definitely had our fill of that delicious scenery!
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