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Back story:

Last summer my brothers and I took our dad on a salmon charter in our home town of South Haven. It did not take long for one of us to buy a boat and try it for ourselves. In the middle of the summer we bought an old (expirenced) StarCraft 22' fishing boat. Complete with 4 downriggers and enough equipment to give us a pretty good start.

We have been out a dozen or so times and are so far unsuccessful in our attempts in landing a fish. He have had somewhere around 6 fish on. We normally run 8 poles 4 riggers 2 dipsey divers and 2 planer boards.

I am hoping this forum will be the education we need to figure out where the fish are hiding.

Any tips from the community are greatly appreciated. So thanks in advance.

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This year has been very tough. But don't be afraid to run ever lure like a few spoons a few plugs a few flies. Also increase your odds by putting stackers or some people call them sliders. Basically you have 8 rods in the water and 12 lures. I like fixed stackers because you can control the depths they run. I fish our of South Haven. Let me know if you have more questions. Pm me maybe we can meet up and I can show you my set up.

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There is defiantly a learning curve to salmon fishing. Ask as many questions as you want.

Who did you go out with on your charter? My son mated all summer on the ItI'llDo boat in South Haven. They had a good summer, but had to work hard, and stay on fish to get catches.

Welcome to the site.

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Welcome to the site! As the others said it's been a very tough year, there's half as many king salmon in Lake Michigan this year as there was just 3 years ago because of the cuts in stocking to save the bait fish population. The groups of fish this year are just much smaller than normal as a result which makes staying on the fish much more difficult. Even so, try watching these seminars from some of the better captains on the southern end of the lake. They have a wealth of good info that we've applied and had success with. Also, I have not read them yet (though I plan to this winter), but I'd pick up the Keating on Kings books and give them a read.

Fuzzy Bear Charters (Michigan City and Pentwater)

https://vimeo.com/60660270

https://vimeo.com/37716155

Best Chance Charters (Saugatuck)

https://vimeo.com/62977029

https://vimeo.com/39522920

Ralph Steiger (Portage, IN to East Chicago) small boat guy which is a nice perspective to hear from

https://vimeo.com/35607478

https://vimeo.com/20548265

Hit Man Charters (Grand Haven) talks about "fishing the mud" and he's one of the best around at it

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

Part 3 -

Part 4 -

Part 5 -

Part 6 -

Part 7 -

Part 8 -

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Definitely a tuff year...new at this myself got a few early in the year, spring early summer, but got skunked last two times out. This site has a wealth of good info and great advise. I ditto the last post on Keatings books, I got them and laminated copied pages with lures/color/depths/temps/species into a book I use when setting up. Best I can say is stay patient and hook up with the guys that know what they are doing. Good luck

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