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Just wondering how your fish counts from this summer compared to last summer. Mine were way down.

Now, a good day for me is probably a poor day for most of you. Last year, I brought home four fish per trip on average. The best trip I had last year was a 10 for 10 outing. I didn't get skunked at all last year.

This year my average fish brought home per trip was 1 with the best day being a 4 for 6 outing. So this year's best was last year's average. I was skunked twice this year and on those days I didn't even get a release.

(Both this summer and last summer I missed a big chunk of the prime August fishing days.)

So I was way down and I'm wondering if others were the same or if it was just me. How did this season compare to last season for you?

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Slightly better this year. Fewer and smaller steel. Not enough kings either year. Brown fishing best I''ve had both years. Out of the 150 fish over the last two years, over 100 were Brown's.

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Having only fished a few times this year, and not wanting to target Lakers, my fishing was way down.

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2/3 of last year catch. No fish over 15 lbs. Estimated equally split between steel lakers and kings, previously 50-75% kings. Just over 2 fish per trip on average with 1-2 skunks per month. Best outing was about 7 for 9.

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I got skunked both times on Lk. Michigan this year. Last year I averaged two fish per trip. But due to health issues at home, my trips were far fewer than last year.

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When I did go I had probably equal as last year. I didn't go as much this year as last summer. I had mostly kings this year out of my catch. We only targeted lakers once out of Leland. I can say from the river reports, or lack there of, and zero fish spawning behind my house currently the numbers are waaaayyyy down.

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Thought this year was worse than last which was not very good; out of 15 trips or so we got skunked 3 times; kings down south in St Joe and S Haven were almost non-existent; did get 10 kings in Manistee in late August though; caught 17 kings of which only 3 had clipped fins, i.e. planted.

Many a day laker or steelhead got the black n white kitty out of the box. Sad.

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My numbers were way down this year, I blame my lack of fishing, but maybe not. Didn't get out much at all. On the fin clip, do any other stockings get in the lake from other states where they do not fin clip 100% of the fish?? Are all non-clipped fish really natural reproduction??

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Fished almost only out of Whitehall, I fish solo a lot and usually don't get skunked, this year I got skunked 13 times out of 33 trips, last year I got skunked 3 out of 48 trips. Hmmmmm ya, I would say this was a very discouraging year to say the least. Last year 200 fish, this year 60. The main thing that saved me last year were steelhead. With all of the really cold water last year I probably caught well over 100 steelhead last year, this year, probably less than 10. Very similar results with other in Whitehall this year from what I heard on the radio. Not thinking 2016 is going to be any better..... Did manage a couple of nice fish this year and my best outing was just 9 for 12 with 3 guys fishing.

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My numbers were way down this year, I blame my lack of fishing, but maybe not. Didn't get out much at all. On the fin clip, do any other stockings get in the lake from other states where they do not fin clip 100% of the fish?? Are all non-clipped fish really natural reproduction??

All states stocking kings clip the adipose fin.

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Very similar to last year. Had 157 bites this year compared to 160 last year, and our landed rate was up a little from 67% to 70% with one more trip this year. Had 2 skunks this year out of 23 trips, but only had 5 trips that we didn't catch a king over 10 lbs. our king catch was 43% of our total compared to 50% last year. Our average king weight was actually up from 9.8 to 11.1 lbs this year. No kings over 20 lbs this year but a few in the 18lb range. I will say I had to fish better this year to maintain those numbers though, and did better when I could stack some trips together in consecutive days. 14/19 was the best trip this year, but that included quite a few lakers. Fished mostly Port Sheldon, but also Holland, Muskegon, and Traverse City

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My catching was pathetic this year. I did not target lakers at any point. I did target Steel twice. After the anemic spring king bite I seriously cut down on my Lk Mi fishing. I only went out about a dozen times this year. Spring ho's were good to average. I landed about 2-3 fish per trip the rest of the year with one skunk. Best day was 8 landed with 4 being kings. I will most likely switch my target to spring ho's browns and summer steel next year and travel more to Saginaw and Erie for eyes. Might try to learn inland lakes for panfish.

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I only got out four times this year and caught one 4lb King. And that was my first trip of the year back the 1st week of May. My lack of time on the water was much due to being busy when the lake was fishable and free when it was to rough for me to get out.

I also had a number of nights when fishing was an option and I just didn't go because the fishing has been so poor. I love being on the water but didn't feel like spending the gas money to get to the lake and wash lures for four or five hours. How sad is that!

I can count on one hand the number of times I have been skunked in the last decade and this year it was on 3/4 trips. Now I am not like a lot of you guys who can put a bunch of fish in the boat every time out, but I can usually manage 2-3 fish every outing. This year I just couldn't find them.

Reading about the current state of the fishery it sure feels like we are not going to see good numbers again for at least a couple more years. I am no biologist but the current stocking plan sounds logical to me and hopefully will result in better bait fish populations and in the end net bigger and higher quality salmon populations down the road. Until that happens I may be hanging up my salmon gear or even liquidating much of it in 2016. It has been years since I have focused on inland lake fishing and 2016 may be the year I go back to it.

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My King and Coho totals were way down, my Lake Trout totals and Steelhead totals were up. We did not get to fish the Brown bite early and only got a couple. My fish per trip count was down too. Last year we averaged 12 per trip this year we struggled to average 7 to 8. We were down from over 180 fish to just 97 for the year. We also did not fish as much. Wasn't on the lake from June 16 to Aug 4.

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My King and Coho totals were way down, my Lake Trout totals and Steelhead totals were up. We did not get to fish the Brown bite early and only got a couple. My fish per trip count was down too. Last year we averaged 12 per trip this year we struggled to average 7 to 8. We were down from over 180 fish to just 97 for the year. We also did not fish as much. Wasn't on the lake from June 16 to Aug 4.

Supertramp, I'd love to have your bad days. :)

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Supertramp, I'd love to have your bad days. :)

Jason:

I have been fishing St Joe for 40 years, and I run a big boat 31' Chris, our minimum spread is 12 rods, I have a Chart plotter gps , a big screen graph, Fishawk, and auto pilot. It is not fair to compare. I fish 1 port, and I was at one time a Charter Boat Captain. Now we fish for fun. You do just fine, I would love to have you join us next spring for a day out of the Joe. Jon Marvin was out with me this spring, and Darkmind fishes with me often.

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well I didnt' see anything from this side of the pond so , my numbers are waaaayy down , 2 skunks , maybe 10 kings 20 lakers a few coho and half dozen steelies .

All in all everyones numbers were down . The fish that did bite hooked up for the most part , very few drive bys or misses.

We had no coho season , they stayed south of Racine .

From what I understand next year might no even be as good .

Largest hatch of Perch in decades so if we don't have a bad winter we just may have perch to fish in a few years .

That is if they can find enough to eat along with the alewives .

Starting to look like the might be crashing. Lets hope not.

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Like the norm, we found 2015 much tougher, fewer kings and smaller fish.

Because we come from NC and only fish a couple of periods (this year only 1) our numbers can be skewed. While our fish average "only" dropped from 6.7 to 5.7 it seemed we had to really work and come up with an alternate plan quickly just to put a few fish in the box. If we did not run off shore and have some nice steelhead catches a couple of trips, our total numbers would have been significantly reduced from 2014.

Port: Frankfort

2015

9 Trips from 6/28-7/4

Fish: 52-72 5.77/trip

Best Trip 16-22, 7/2 AM 20 mile off shore to SW after being blanked for two hours over N Bank

Slowest Trip 2-3, 7/3 PM 2 browns between piers after being blanked on N Bank

11 dinks

6 double digit fish

Biggest fish: 18# King

4 Browns; 1 Coho; 8 Lake Trout; 23 Kings; 16 Steelhead

2014

9 Trips from 6/12-7/4, 8/30, 8/31

74-104 6.77/trip

Best Trips 13-16 on 6/14 AM North side of Saddle 150 FOW; 12-20 7/4 AM North Side of Saddle and west troll off shore

Slowest Trip 2-2, 8/30 PM in combat fishing between piers

4 dinks

29 double digits fish

Biggest Fish: 19# King

1 Coho; 2 Lakers; 6 Steelhead; 65 Kings

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Yeah I'd like to have his bad day, too.

Any time you want to go out of St. Joe, your are welcome to join us. We fish Tuesdays and Sundays with some holiday weekends spread in there. Not sure when we will splash in 2016, but later than normal as we are having some repairs done first, getting the aft decks re paired, and new bottom paint. PM me here if you want to fish. We do ask for some help with fuel as the boat is expensive to run, we burn about 20 to 25 gallons on a short day inshore, but can burn up to 90 gals. if we run offshore to 200 or more.

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Hopefully my season isn't over yet - but we will see how the weather/wind cooperates. Had a decent year this year - better average number than last year. The species sure did change a bit though.

Last year I ended up with 194 fish in 35 trips - or 5.5 fish / trip

This year I'm at 118 fish in 21 trips - or 5.6 fish / trip

Species ____ 2014 Total (%) ___ 2015 Total (%)

Chinook ______ 91 (47%) ______ 48 (41%)

Steelhead _____40 (21%) ______ 15 (13%)

Lake Trout ____18 ( 9% )_______ 36 (30%)

Coho ________ 30 (15%) _______14 (12%)

Brown Trout___ 15 ( 8% )________ 5 ( 4% )

Lake trout made a big increase in my catch this year, but all the other species dropped several percentage points.

Next year I'm going to try and fish for whats available more - which probably means my lake trout numbers are going to take a large jump again. I'll update this post when I call it quits for the year. Hopefully the steelhead/brown trout numbers will have increased by then.

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