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Terrible Pier Head Fishing Ludington


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We typically go to Manistee the Thursday after Labor Day and hit the pier heads and Manistee Lake very hard for Kings. Several people told us that fishing was really slow up there so we went to Ludington on a good tip. We have three boats working the pier heads and out to 50 feet on Thursday and Friday and Saturday morning and saw a total of seven salmon landed. I suspect things were a little bit better today but it was very very slow while we were up there. I think the run is a few weeks late. We would've went out to the shelf and the other hotspots if the waves would've been acceptable for our 16.5' boats.

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The fish were still out deeper. Just the wind and weather we have had. I saw a post from a Ludington captain saying he was surprised by how many mature kings were still out in the big lake. Some north wind this past couple days but turning hot again. Should be south wind again. Next cold snap should have them going up. Sooner or later they will anyway.

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We threw about everything at them. #3 and 4 glow and non glow jplugs and meat and flies and crankbaits on slide divers dipseys. Riggers 25-50' back. Lead core 3-5 colors. Planers and plugs. I think we were just a bit early. Always worked at manistee for at least a few fish.

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When the water is 68 from top to bottom over 100' FOW, what depth do you fish? Put rigger ball on bottom and bring it up to 3'-6' off bottom, suggest 20' leads. Lead core at 80' FOW up by point went 4 times with 8 colors, big paddle and short blue flies. Fish are deep until cold water from north flips the lake. Diver out in 80' FOW high 150', lows out 100', glow spatters w/meat plugs going. Sliders on riggers up 15' from main, flintstones and moonshines. Hoping for cold water, too much south winds, now high winds today.

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We fished Mkg Sunday and there were fish in the arms, channel, outside and in Mkg Lake and there were several caught. Water was 52 surface and downright cold down 20 just outside of the mud. At times even in the arms the down temp was cold. We ended 1-3 loosing one at the net and another in mid fight spit the hooks. The one we boxed was a dark hen with white meat......she was past ready.

We were 1-2 with our first pass in the breakwater before 7:30 and could only manage one more hit after that. We made a pass outside early in the dark with nothing to show and then went into the breakwater and basically stayed there and in the channel until we quit at 10:30 or so.

Another note most all of the charters were right in there with us all morning. From what I have heard Sunday was the first real sign of a fair amount of fish showing up.

Not sure what the S wind will do but at some point the mature ones have got to get moving and get upstream before its too late.

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