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Northpoint 6/1 and 6/2

After a couple of weeks of struggling to get back out on L. Michigan, I was finally blessed with a good fishing partner and a good outdoors-man in Thomas Hurley and we made the trip from Springfield, IL for a couple of days of R&R. Weeks of great reports and heavy fish boxes on the West side of the lake from Chicago North have been a joy to read, but at some point ya gotta get out and drop rigs for yourself.

June 1:

We decided to go out deep until we found cold water and target Chinooks. Fisherman on the East side ports have been doing well on Chinooks, and we decided to try and join the party. At 200 ft, we found a nice pocket of 46 deg surface water. A quick check with the Fish Hawk device found water temp of 42 deg down 60 ft so we deployed the gear and went to work. We targeted Chinooks for five hours with all the regular gear like meat rigs, flasher/fly, and typical Chinook spoons with NO success. Eventually, we turned to a shallow Coho program to try and salvage a couple of limits. The two Lakers caught on shallow Coho gear were a pleasant surprise.  Here’s how it went for us fishing out of Northpoint in both WI and IL waters:

Wind: Calm conditions early with SW winds @ 5-10 Kn subsiding to 2 kn by the afternoon.

Water Temp (at the 200 ft deep contour): 46 deg F at the surface and 42 deg F down at 60 ft depth (per my Fish Hawk device) warmed up to 48 deg F late in the morning, but still 42 deg down at 60 ft when we left about 1400 hrs.

Program (with two aboard): Two riggers. Two Dipsy’s (slide divers). Three Cu and Pb off 2 planer boards (Cu: 200 ft;  100 ft Cu+60 ft Pb; 5 color Pb).

Best speed: 2.7 mph SOG. We kept the deeper gear going at about 2.2 to 2.4 mph SOG.

Best lures:

1.      “Super Gold Bullet” (4.65”) spoon made by John King set on down riggers (DRG) and sliders. Sliders accounting for two nice Coho and one on the DRG. We had an epic hit on this spoon being run behind the 200 Cu that turned the planer board into a bobber for a very long time. Lost this fish. Hate it when the big ones get off.

2.       “Jager Bomb” (4.65”) spoon made by Michigan Stinger. One Coho on a slider and one 9 lb. Laker on the slide diver set at 30 ft deep with lure 45 ft behind the diver.

3.      “Purple Frog” spoon (3.5”). I couldn’t find the real spoon anywhere in my spoon boxes so I had to modify a Michigan Stinger ‘purple raspberry’ spoon with green UV marker. Spoon looked like crap, but it got crushed by one very nice 11 lb. Laker off the 200 Cu and one Coho off same.

4.      “Alewife SUV” spoon (4.65”) made by John King. Deployed off DRG at 60 ft deep. One Coho. Had three more hook ups on the Alewife spoon that got off.  The SUV properties of this spoon are not to be believed until you see it in the water. It is quickly becoming my favorite spoon.

5.      “Copper no name” prototype spoon (4.65”) made by John King. This spoon has pinkish crinkle UV tape on the front side and a plain copper back. This spoon was being run on the DRG off a two color Pb 60 feet down when it was crushed by one chunky Coho.

6.      “00 red Dodger with a blue and gold peanut fly”. Set on a hybrid rig of 100 ft Cu and 60 ft of Pb. One Coho.

Four of the ten fish were loaded with multiple class Alewife from two to seven inches long. Even the fish with nothing in their stomachs had plenty of digested food in their system.

Best fishing location: 200 ft depth on a southbound troll directly East of Northpoint and into WI waters. This is approximately 7 to 8 miles out. We played out to 220 ft and as close as 185 ft depth with no success.

Best direction: S.  Underwater current was flowing N.

Best Depth: 30’. According to my bathymetry maps, there is very little topography in this area.

June 2:

Woke up to a calm morning. We were tempted to go out to the 300 ft depth to continue the chase for Chinooks, but a change with my fishing partner’s work schedule forced us to stay in close and go for some Coho fun. Dropped lines at 160 ft when we hit some 48 deg water with numerous fish showing up on the sonar unit. Started on a south troll, and all HELL broke loose after the first Cu hit the water. These Coho are I N S A N E. Every lure we put out got hits. But I gotta give my fishing partner all the credit for opening my eyes to the value of these silly Alderton Action spoons and pinkish/tinsel flies. He had the whole dodger/fly program dialed in on a day when I was clueless.   

Wind: Calm conditions early with SE winds @ <3 Kn subsiding to NO wind by noon.

Water Temp: 49 deg on the surface. Didn’t check the depth before setting gear, but the fish Hawk showed 44 deg at 60 ft.

Program (with two aboard): Two riggers. Two Dipsy’s (slide divers). Two planer boards with Cu and Pb (Cu: 200, 100 ft Cu+60 ft Pb, and 5 color Pb alternated throughout the morning).

Best speed: 2.7 mph SOG.

Best lures

1.      “00 Alderton Action orange dodger with a pearl/shrimp or silver tinsel/pink fly”. Leads were very long at 20” to 24”, which is what the fish wanted. I was not happy with the little or no action that the fly was getting from the dodger. But, did I say it’s what the fish wanted???? They did. This simple rig accounted for seven of the 10 fish. The most exciting hit of the day came on this rig off the 100 ft Cu/60 ft Pb line deployed off a planer. We saw this fish jump WAAAAAY behind the boat and then saw the rod dip and scream line.  After several epic runs and a steady retrieval, we finally manage to net a fabulous 10 lb. steelhead 20 minutes later. WOW what a great fish. This fish had done battle before as one side of its jaw had been completely torn off (but had healed). Another fish hit on the sliver tinsel version of the fly (behind the 5 color Pb on a planer) and pulled a big TX44 back like a bobber, wrapping the leader around two of the lines before kissing us goodbye.

2.      “Super Gold Bullet” (4.65”) spoon on a DRG slider at 25 ft deep (estimated). One Coho and two hits that came unbuttoned. We had one large (unidentified) fish crush this spoon but lost it right at the boat.  

3.      “Jager Bomb”off a slide diver at 25 ft deep with a 45 ft lead. One Coho.

4.      “Alewife SUV” spoon in 4.65” size off DRG run behind a 2 color Pb. One Coho. Did I say this was my favorite spoon?

Best fishing location: 160 ft depth SE of Northpoint.  

Best direction: N and S. Didn’t matter.

Best depth: 15’ to 40’

Left the water at 1000 with a couple of nice limits of and all Coho box with the one great Steelhead. We should all thank the DNR’s throughout the great lakes for continuing to use our license fees in a way that helps us to enjoy one of the top salmonid and char fisheries in the USA.

Disclaimer: I am not supported by any manufacturer mentioned in this report. I am merely passing on information that has worked for me in order to help others catch more fish.

 

Fish box 6-2.jpg

Fish clean statn 6-1.jpg

L mich 6-2 steel.jpg

L. Mich harvest 6-2.jpg

L. Mich harvest box 6-1.jpg

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Thanks, Ed. Pretty average, but it is just so cool to be out on the water and then have a reward like this jump into the boat. Our counterparts out west where these grand fish originated don't even get a season (out in the ocean) due to the drought and other factors. We are so blessed...

 

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I'm one of the guys that is happy to share in all the details because I hope for all to get involved with catching fish. I see guys at ramps and fish cleaning stations and try to talk with them and get a cold shoulder and mumbling when I ask the typical when, where, how Q's. Not me. I hope everyone has tight lines and safe returns to port.

 

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taimen:

Funny you mentioned that purple/yellow/purple spoon.  Here's the goofy situation with that one: that's my attempt to make what is called a "purple frog". The commercial version is a purple kavorkian like spoon with black dots with a yellow band in the middle.  I didn't have a purple frog. So I took a kavorkian and painted it with a chartreuse UV marker right on the boat. Know what?  The damn thing catches fish!!! Couldn't believe it. And, the fish really EAT the spoon; in other words, I always find the spoon way down in their mouth, not on their lips. Lakers, especially love to eat this spoon.

Moral of the story? Use  your noggin........

Tight lines.

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