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This will be my first attempt at Coho fishing this spring out of St. Joe Wondering if i can fish for them without riggers early in the spring. I am set up with boards for walleyes, Should i invest in some led core and dipsys? I dont fish the big lake so i dont want to spend the money on riggers. I think from reading the posts i got an idea of what to do, i would like to long line run a few dipsys and maybe a couple lead cores??

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We used our diver disc on the boards. Last year when cwe went the fish were about 8-10' down. Best lure was red tiger brads thin fish 6 down 40 back on a rigger second was same lure 20 back on a disc

Of a board. We used of Saginaw bay walleye gear and every thing took hits.

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Early season my best rods are flat mono lines with 0- 1/2 oz bullet weights off boards. I think you are off to a good start.as the water warms up you'll have to figure out how to target the 10-20 down area and that can be accomplished with heavier bullet weight, or riggers, dipsys and leadcore.

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I got all of romanacks stuff on the dvr. Love his shows. I was watching the coho gthe other day. I like his pasha lake canadian trip. Tryong to convince the wife. I need to go up there. Think I will get some lead core. This will also work for mid summer walleyes on tghe bay or lake mille lacs in mn

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Planer boards and deep diving cranks will get you to the deeper fish just fine. I rarely fish in water deeper than 20 ft when chasing coho in the spring. Most of the time I am in 5 to 12 fow. Those coho are really aggressive, they have no problem chasing after a bait that is several feet away.

If you already fish for walleye then you more than likely have some form of snap weight. Those alone will get you plenty deep enough. I use lead core for both salmon and walleye. My walleye cores are 2 and 4 color. No reason to invest into riggers if you don't want to. But I also use my riggers for walleye, more in Lake Erie than anywhere else.

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This will be my first attempt at Coho fishing this spring out of St. Joe Wondering if i can fish for them without riggers early in the spring. I am set up with boards for walleyes, Should i invest in some led core and dipsys? I dont fish the big lake so i dont want to spend the money on riggers. I think from reading the posts i got an idea of what to do, i would like to long line run a few dipsys and maybe a couple lead cores??

If you go to fishing reports on this web site. most guys who report there trips will say in there report what they are running for a spread. I have posted alot myself and find that most of us are running pretty much the same program. you can target this by looking at when the post was made. Date,month and time. hope this helps get you some answers quicker.

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Dont rule out mono lines either. Running and orange brad thin fish on a mono line will boat fish. Coho fishing is the easy part of great lakes fishing. Mid summer kings is where skill outfishes luck.

1-2-3 color leadcores on boards will fill your box when coho fishing.

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I have started investing in red and orange lures like thin fins and any other orange lure. Got a couple small spoons also. I have not gotten my boat out this early before in the spring but do I need to winterize after fishing, say in late march early april? I'm afraid of it freezing up after I bring it back home.

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orange flashers/dodgers and peanut flies or haircut flies are pretty much all the west side charters run. You can catch hungry coho on just about anything, they really are not picky eaters. As far as guys around here are concerned, if you want consistent catches of cohos just stick with small orange flashers/dodgers and small flies. That being said I am a fan of thin fish for cohos too :)!

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i always like to have a couple of riggers down with a couple of large broken back minnows just in case theres some kings around. but you dont need them for early season coho. i like the rainbow pattern broken backs in any brand on my riggers for the kings. but some large reef runners just flat lined might work just as good.

we just use crank baits. we start out with med runners and some deep runners to find the fish. then we just match what the fish wants. if you already are set up with boards your ready for early season coho,s.

you can run small divers with spoons if you want to run them. i have never run dodgers and flys early in the year, but i guess they are really hot behind divers. but you dont want to get to deep or you will miss most of the fish in the early season.

i,ve seen many limits come on nothing but cranks in the early season. i,ve used everything from hot n tots to rebels and hed good luck with all of them. we have caught alot of fish coming out the mouth of the harbor. and we have caught alot of fish running a crank bait right at the back of the prop wash. good luck, and let us know how your doing.

something elce you might want to think about is fishing new buffalo. they will be there much earlier than st joe and the fishing can be red hot. that where we did most of our early coho fishing. being from indiana we just bought our mich license and fished in michigan, and then just moved north as the water warmed. then we did our fishing in south haven. we just liked new buffalo early and then we liked fishing south haven untill we would move over to lake erie for the eyes the last of may or the first of june. good luch, and just have fun. the coho can really get you jumping around the boat. and if you do happen to hook a nice king it,s a great bonus.

sherman

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Alot of good info here!! I take my walleye boat down to St Joe a couple times in the spring! I usually just run some mono high lines with plugs and then i like to run the small disc divers with a small orange flasher and a peanut fly and just run them directly off the back of the boat! I do like running my short cores,1,2 and 3's but i also like to run some 5's and 7's if im not in a pack and i'm out deep enough! The last couple yrs i've taken some nice kings on the deeper cores! Hope this helps and good luck!!:thumb:

Scott

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If you go to fishing reports on this web site. most guys who report there trips will say in there report what they are running for a spread. I have posted alot myself and find that most of us are running pretty much the same program. you can target this by looking at when the post was made. Date,month and time. hope this helps get you some answers quicker.

Here is a report from a trip out of st.joe with what we run. took a 4 man limit that day and if I went back out that time of year I would run the exact same program for spring coho. This program is prettymuch how anyone who has expirence in spring coho will set up. hope this helps and yes do run alot of clean mono high lines. that early with that water temp you dont need to be down more then a couple of feet. Riggers work great in that time of year as coho are attracted to the sound of boat motors. run everthing 10' or less off of the ball of the rigger.

here it is

Had the whole program going. Took fish in OO orange dogers and sigs coho candy penut fly on 1 color swr on boards. took fish on thinfins on longlines and boards.took fish on orange chartruse and red rapalas. took fish on hot n tots and tad pollys on the riggers 8' behind the ball 9' down. Hot n tot was a clown color and tadpolly was chartruse and orange. Hot n tot took 7 fish on the rigger. Set lines at 8:00 pm and was boxed out by 1:30. Wind kicked up and took over an hour to get back to the piers in 3 to 5s. Best depth was 16 to 20' and took fish from junk cars all the way to the power plant. 50 back behind the board and 150,100 and 75 out on the boards was very productive all in all great day. here is the pics of that day.

04-03-10stjoe005.jpg

04-03-10stjoe004.jpg

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Last spring I had the last week in March off and went to South Haven every day it was calm enough to fish my 14'.

We took 84 coho, 2 browns, and a steelie. I ran two mono flat lines right next to the boat, and 2 yellow birds per side. Mostly crank baits and stick baits, mostly orange and gold.

If they are there and the water isn't muddy, you can catch them like crazy. Coho don't get to be 9# in 18 months by acting like walleyes.

PM me when your trip gets closer if you want info.

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Last spring I had the last week in March off and went to South Haven every day it was calm enough to fish my 14'.

We took 84 coho, 2 browns, and a steelie. I ran two mono flat lines right next to the boat, and 2 yellow birds per side. Mostly crank baits and stick baits, mostly orange and gold.

If they are there and the water isn't muddy, you can catch them like crazy. Coho don't get to be 9# in 18 months by acting like walleyes.

PM me when your trip gets closer if you want info.

Wow thanks guys for all the info, Now just waiting for the weather.

How crazy do the launches get in the morning when the fish are hitting?

Prolly only have 2 people in the boat so max six lines, prolly only 5. 2 boards, 2 out each side then one right down the middle.

again thanks for the help

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New Buffalo is never busy. St. Joe - launch at the St. Joe launch and not the Benton Harbor DNR launch - it gets 10% of the traffic. South Haven was never busy last year too. As for So Ha, it's rare that the coho are up that far north that early, but who knows this year. I've gotten out three times on the big pond already this year.

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Like silver one said , heres a couple of my reports from last spring.

I left the dock thursday in hopes to do a little prefishing for the brown blast.

Well that was a very productive day finishing 31 for 40+ ,with 27 coho ,1 small steelhead, 1 nice laker and 2 very nice kings. With several kings and lakers lost .These were all taken from the a frames to the plant. with divers out 40, riggers down 14 and 18 and 2 colors and hi lines on the boards.

Heres the pic of Thursday.

p4070315.jpg

Well after that catch I thought we had something figured out. So Saterday we ran down the the same spot and could not find anything to speek of and ran back a little north and found nothing more than all the cohos a person could catch, we ended the day 21 for 26 all coho

So heres the. pic of the catch and also what worked the last to trips.

p4030310.jpg

p4100319.jpg

p4100320.jpg

This is one of my reports from last spring, the baits are what i mainly run

i also mix in some small dodgers and flys from time to time but mostly small spoons and boddy baits.

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sounds like you have got some good advice on here. a good time to fish new buffalo is any time you can get on the water from here on out. the fish come in early down there. i usely start by going south to the indiana state line. alot of guys just buy both license for in and mich and keep trolling all the way to michigan city in. but i live in indiana and never had a reason to go past the state line, so i just fished in mich waters. from the time the ice will let you fish at new buffalo we have always caught coho. and usely picked up a nice king or two. and remember to start letting out some cranks before you clear the inlet. we have caught alot of fish before we get out on the lake. but alot of that will depend on boat traffic. good luck to you. keep us posted on your fishing.

sherman

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Flat mono lines back 40 to 100' with Brad Thinfins will fill your box if the fish the fish are there. Nice to use planer boards to get more spread, or a planer board mast, but many times not nessecary to do that. Red/black tiger strip thinfins or gold/black back have produced well for us over the years. 8 FOW to 25 Fow is usually the best depth. Most of the time the fish will be in the top 10' of water. Good luck.

Duane

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