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  1. Fished the shore to the south last night. Beautiful water, stain, nice chop, some clouds, 51-54 degrees. Had a good rip on a monkey puke stinger off a one color about a mile south but it got loose. Then we ran into cat tails and junk, at first so bad it was hard to troll, then so bad we could not even drive the boat. Had to pack up and run out to 25' to get clean enough water to troll back. Nothing out there.
  2. DNR stopped planting browns south of Pentwater last year. Never the less, we are going to try for them soon.
  3. I use 10# on my short cores for browns. I cut it off when the steelhead show up and also to use them as SWR's on the riggers. With all the variables that come into play, it's all but impossible to say that something works better than something else. If you think it helps, then it helps.
  4. I remember fishing some Stinger Tournament in Muskegon and coming into the channel at the same time as him, and thinking "man, that is one sweet boat". Then he made some comment about racing, and all I recall was I burned a pile of gas but was winching my boat up on the trailer when he pulled up to the dock at Fisherman's Landing. I hope he was thinking "man, that's one fast boat"
  5. Caught my first king in 1979 and have been running a boat since the late 80's before I had a driver's license. Back when you had to register your VHF and have a call sign to begin a transmission. 20# Big Game on my rigger rods, except my bottom pounding for lakers / meat rig rods. Those are 50# braid with a 25' top shot of 30# Ande.
  6. Probably the only time there won't be weeds there. DNR is going to have fun enforcing the new law about removing all weeds from your trailer at that launch.
  7. Crap, early May. Please come to West Michigan. Last May was stupid for kings, and if not, there's other fish to catch. St. Joe and Saugatuck have extensive charter fleets, but any of the ports you listed will work. I would pick a port then ask for recommendations. Holland has their Tulip Time festival the first full week of May and fills up with 100k tourists. All of whom locate themselves between my house and the lake. It becomes a mess to get through town. One thing to note, it's pretty standard that the charter cleans your fish and you take them with. I'd make that a point to discuss before booking, so it doesn't get weird after the trip.
  8. Four hours can get you well north of Muskegon depending on traffic, and west Michigan is truly a beautiful place. But fishing in early June in these parts is a crap shoot at best. I'd head somewhere between the IL /WI border and Milwaukee in that time frame. The fish migrate around the lake in somewhat predictable patterns and that should put you in the middle of it.
  9. Two man limit. Stumbled into a tight school about 3/4 mile north tight to the beach all by ourselves and just kept beating that stretch to death. J9 firetiger, f11 yellow rapalas and a red black squiggles thin fish were best. Motor is loading up again and we had to put the riggers down to get enough drag to bump the revs to keep it going. Prop hub full of goo. Just had a thermostat, plugs, and gear oil changed so I'm not happy. 25 years on this motor and it went to the shop twice because I broke it, never because it failed.
  10. No amount of flags will fix stupid. Fellow trollers cut us off all the time. Push you off your line, turn right behind you. I had a sailboat watch a steelhead jump behind me a couple times and then ran it right over. Not a clue that I was fighting it.
  11. This is what a report is supposed to look like. Not some stat sheet, but a story that makes me feel like I'm in the boat...
  12. Manual riggers are OK. They get old, but if you don't fish a lot, you can generally start with some used ones then sell them for as much as you paid for them and upgrade. As for tackle, that can get stupid in a hurry. My best advice on that would be to pick a species / area / time frame you want to fish, then gear up for that. Browns in Milwaukee in April is going to be different than coho farther south in May which will be different than looking for lakers and / or kings in June / July which will be different than coming half way to Michigan to look for steelhead (rainbows on your side of the pond) way out but up high in the water column. We had a day prefishing a tournament where we started for kings at the pier heads trolling planer boards, slide divers, and downriggers with spoons on all of them. Ended up not working, so we ran about 10 miles south and out to 80' and pounded the bottom with dodgers and flies on riggers ad wire divers picking away lakers. Then we heard a rumor of steelhead on the beach, so we ran to shore and fished all planer boards with flat lines (no lead core, no weight) in 6' of water limiting out on steelhead on mostly rapalas and thin fish and losing a lot of gear. And my wife wonders why I have so much gear...
  13. Welcome! Hopefully this spring is as stupid as the last spring. Everyone was a hero in South Haven in May last year. Guy I know kept pointing out how great he was, he entered the Holland tournament later in the summer and in four days of prefishing and the tournie never hooked a sliver fish! Rumor is South Haven is getting a new fish cleaning station, so that'll be a huge plus for a beautiful port that doesn't get the attention it deserves.
  14. Back to back uni knots on all my cores. Some have several as I step the leaders down from 20# mono to 10# FC. Never had one fail. I have (4) one colors, (2) two colors, a 4 color, 6 color, 8 color, and two full cores. Good advice on the extra loops for the braid. Make sure to keep the FC moist as you snug it up. Snagged one on the bottom last year and had the gears in the reel strip out, but the knots held. Not sure if I won that one...
  15. I'll be there selling, but don't have too much any more. I've pretty much got all I need. But I'll be looking for a few reels too. Usually lots of good stuff there. Come with a plan else you can spend a pile of money before the second or third table!
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