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  1. Didn't say they don't work - they do and quite well. I'd never put a pair on my boat (21-footer) just because of the amount of room they take up when not in use. I've never did a side by side comparison - left side Otter, starboard side, ski-type, but I'm not sure the difference in performance (if any) would be easily apparent. If you go back a few posts and see my comments about side drift on a windy day, I don't think any type or brand can overcome a boat drifting sideways as much as it's moving forward.
  2. If I had my choice, I'd like mercury levels to be zero. However, for some reason, the fish in the Great Lakes are easy targets. Any time there's a slow news day, out trots a story about how horrible the Great Lakes trout and salmon are to eat. What about tuna fish - plenty of mercury there. Also in swordfish, also in commercially caught walleye and perch in Lake Erie. These stories have been around since the 70s. That's 50 years. One would think if there was a spike in cancer, cerebral palsy, birth defects or other diseases around the Great Lakes someone would have put two and two together and figured it out. One of the reasons mercury levels aren't lowering is because a good deal comes from natural or environmental sources. Doesn't make it good. Consider risk assessments. A meal of lake trout carries about the same risk as smoking a cigarette. About the same as walking around for a few hours in downtown Chicago. About the same as a chest X-Ray.
  3. I've been on a couple of boats using Otter Boats. #1 they worked very well. I was impressed. This was at salmon speeds, say 2.5 or so. #2 - They are huge! It's like having a couple of lifeboats in the boat with you when they are on board. No biggy on a boat with a 10 or 12 foot beam, but you might as well bring a couple of extra coolers or a St. Bernard along with you. #3 - one of the boats had one that had been patched back together using fiberglass repair stuff because someone had stepped on in or dropped it and it broke. (Probably tripped over it sitting on the back deck.) If it's going to be bulky, it ought to be tough. #4 - Somewhat expensive at $120 each. #5 - Currently out of stock at everyplace I checked to see their price. - even Amazon.com
  4. The only issue you will have at super low speeds is if you are experiencing a moderate to strong crosswind. I use 300 coppers and 100yd leadcore set-ups behind big boards. The only problem is getting a pinch pad release to hold against the strong pull. Solved that by putting a #16 rubber band on the line and pinching the rubber band in the pinch pad. The band grips tighter, but when it stretches when a fish pulls, it get's smaller in the grip and will either just break or release from the pinch pad. You'll probably have better luck running the tether from a Tee-Top than from a center mounted mast. Don't be too quick to switch. It probably won't be money well spent.
  5. Trilene Big Game is great. I wish their solar color was color fast. It fades after just a few trips. Still strong, however.
  6. It never hurts. It might help. Want to take the chance which day it is? Not me. Unless I'm running a dodger or flasher, it's fluoro to any spoon or plug.
  7. What do you catch in Northern Cali? I've fished in San Diego many times - long range.
  8. Check out www.charterfish.org for a list of Indiana's North Coast Charter Association captains. Great fishing in June for salmon, lakers, steelhead. Or go north to Waukegan or Winthrop Harbor. Good fishing there, as well. No need to go any farther from the Chicago area.
  9. Get ''em where you can find 'em. You'd have been okay at Portage and terrific at East Chicago or Hammond with that wind.
  10. Used to be Action flasher. Now I thing dreamweaver makes them. Look at them from the side (edge) and they are sort of Z shaped.
  11. I've got some of the triangle flashers to try out this year. I've used some of the Brad's cutplugs in the past and found them to be a pain to use and mostly don't catch fish. Perhaps if I try them in combination. I also have some Mack Attack triangles to try this year where you put the scent material in the flasher. I'm guessing they will be better for lake trout than salmon. On the other hand, I catch literally hundreds and hundreds of salmon each year (mostly coho) on small dodgers and trolling flies so I'm certainly not going to abandon that program.
  12. At Portage, the Port of Indiana sticks out into the lake almost a mile. It's to the east of the mouth of Burns Ditch. Makes a great windbreak for East and Southeast winds. At EC you can fish on anything from north, NW, W, SW, straight south and pretty well on a SE wind. E and NE are the worst. At Hammond, you can fish all but E and Southeast, but you may have to bounce across some waves to get to the calm water provided by the Calumet Harbor breakwall.
  13. I'm not dissing MC but there's not much "protected" area to fish there. I've fished it many times. Much more protection from evil spring winds farther west at Portage and even more at East Chicago and Hammond. If you are coming from the east, like from South Bend, it's about 20 miles farther to Portage than MC. The Lake County marinas are about 15 miles farther. From points south, say up I-65 Portage and EC are actually closer than Michigan City.
  14. Speed - stay less than 2.5. Generally, 2.2 is a good starting point. Don't overthink it - we are talking tenths of a mph. Ice is gone and the wind is going to blow a million mph the next couple days. I don't think we'll see it again down here. Don't overlook ports farther west. Sometimes better fishing (frequently) and also more wind protection - especially at East Chicago and Hammond.
  15. Albright knot? What, doubling back the mono or fluorocarbon and then doing the wraps around the doubled line with the braid? I use the albright to connect a leader to copper line and in a couple of saltwater applications. I certainly believe it's imprudent to change what's working (don't fix what isn't broke.) Still, the FG knot is similar in function to the albright knot, but would absolutely be thinner and assertedly as strong or stronger.
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