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Fished Thursday and Saturday this week out of St. Joe. King fishing is still going strong. Thursday we went 21 for 30. All on Magnum spoons, Green Dolphin, Green Froggy,  Blue Dolphin,  Carmel Dolphin and Modified Coyote, all caught fish. Riggers were set @ 44 48 52 and 58. all took multiple hits  power pro dipsy's set on 1.5 out 168, amd 168.  4 color and 5 color lead core both took fish. and 10 color took a couple of hits. Had 2 300 copper rigs out but only had 1 hit on them. Fish are in the top 60 feet and are still there 70 to 160 FOW. Straight out to about 3 miles north is where we fished. Best thing is this is old time Downrigger fishing, 8 to 10 feet behind the ball and the fish are not shy. 2.7 to 3.0 on the Fishawk, and have fun. Saturday was the same program but the 300 coppers got hot. Ended the day 15 for 24 we had several short hits on the riggers, busted the rubberband and were gone. We did get the Grease drought broken, 2 both on the 300 Copper. Blue dolphin. This is the best spring king fishing biggest fish and biggest numbers I have ever seen in over 45 years on the lake.  Will be out of action for a bit as the motor I just had rebuilt lost oil pressure on the way in Saturday and pretty sure it is toast.

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St. Joe has stayed really strong for Kings - I am delighted but cannot understand how the DNR kept predicting a collapse in the fishery.   Did you examine what they were eating?

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These fish are gorged on Alewives, Big Alewives. I have marked top to bottom schools in the area,  I believe that most of the fish I have taken are not stocked fish. Not one had a clipped fin, all really healthy and really angry. I grew up in Oregon, my brother fishes there, when I sent him pictures of our catches he replies that he fishes for 8 to 10 hours, and get 2 fish, that is their daily limit,  they  are limited to 1 rod per person, and have to use barbless hooks, and must release any  wild (non hatchery) fish. We here in Michigan have it pretty darn good. I am 72 and started fishing Lake Michigan in 1973, I will bet we get some fish over 40lbs this fall.

 

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The five kings we had Saturday only one was planted.  However, all had empty stomachs except one had one alewife in it that was mostly digested.  The fish were fat and healthy and pulled like cold water kings should. 

How much must a salmon suck at being a salmon if they can't find an alewife right now?

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Nice catch Mike, hope the motor does not cost to much.

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It better not cost me anything, I just put almost $6000 into that engine. It only had about 30 hours on it.

 

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These fish are gorged on Alewives, Big Alewives. I have marked top to bottom schools in the area,  I believe that most of the fish I have taken are not stocked fish. Not one had a clipped fin, all really healthy and really angry. I grew up in Oregon, my brother fishes there, when I sent him pictures of our catches he replies that he fishes for 8 to 10 hours, and get 2 fish, that is their daily limit,  they  are limited to 1 rod per person, and have to use barbless hooks, and must release any  wild (non hatchery) fish. We here in Michigan have it pretty darn good. I am 72 and started fishing Lake Michigan in 1973, I will bet we get some fish over 40lbs this fall.
 

I agree with a prominent sportswriter commenting on our steelhead Salmon lk trout fishing , he was born and raised in Oregon and lives in Michigan now , he said , if I DIDNT live here I would Move here, Fish on , King Me!!!


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On 5/20/2018 at 9:52 PM, CJ428 said:

I am delighted but cannot understand how the DNR kept predicting a collapse in the fishery.

Well, they went from stocking around 8 million kings a year in 1995 to a 330,000 last year.  That is a huge change.  The logic was the invasive mussels are messing up the food chain which is killing off the alewives, which is 99.9% of what the kings eat.  However, I am amazed at much bait I've seen the last couple of years.  And these kings are getting huge.  I think we are catching more fish, and bigger fish now than we did when they stocked the salmon in the higher numbers 20 years ago. 

I know some guys and 1 charter captain that got out of salmon fishing - sold their boats and gear while there was still a market for it - thinking the collapse was inevitable like it was in Lake Huron.  But, these low stocking numbers have allowed the alewives to rebound, and with them the salmon.  What I was expecting to be the worst King fishing of my life has been some of the best these last two years, and now onto year 3.

For 2018, the DNR now plans to stock 553,000 Chinook salmon, up from 330,000 that had been planned previously for this year.

 

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