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Newbie questions from Florida man

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Hey everyone, 

Got a couple newbie questions- we just moved to Madison, WI from North Florida and I'm trying to learn the basics of salmon fishing. I'm used to either fishing shallow grass flats for inshore fish, or heading 30 miles offshore to find 100' of water for grouper and snapper, so I apologize for my ignorance! We have a 2007 Parker 1801 center console with a yamaha f115 that I'd like to bring over to Lake Michigan when the weather is good. 

 

- downriggers- obviously electric are much more convenient, but is there any reason to not get a set of uses manual ones? Do you have to pull the ball up every time you get a fish on? 

- seems like as soon as ice is out, you can find them in the harbors. Is this correct? 

-any advice on tackle selections? I dont want to break the bank, but would appreciate any basic advice on colors/setups. I know this is probably a giant topic, just looking for the basics. 

 

Ive dine a bit of research online but there is so much info out there it can be overwhelming. Any other advice is greatly appreciated! 

 

-alex 

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I also should mention that I have some trolling stuff, like planer boards and big trolling plugs that we would use to troll for king mackerel. Is any of this usable up here? 

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Welcome to the forum. Here is class 1 of 7:



Watch them all. Your spring will start with browns and then cohos. Kings ususlly follow the alewives near the ports in May. The guy in the video fishes the west side. Should be perfect for you.

Sent from my LG-Q710AL using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

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Welcome to GLF Alex! Yes you will need to bring the downrigger weight up every time you take a fish on that rod or if you want to change a lure. You might want to consider booking a trip with a charter. Let them know that your getting started and want to learn and I’m sure they would be happy to help out. If you like books, Dan Keating has some very informative ones that you could take a look at. http:// http://www.bluehorizonsportfishing.net/


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Welcome to GLF Alex! Yes you will need to bring the downrigger weight up every time you take a fish on that rod or if you want to change a lure. You might want to consider booking a trip with a charter. Let them know that your getting started and want to learn and I’m sure they would be happy to help out. If you like books, Dan Keating has some very informative ones that you could take a look at. http:// http://www.bluehorizonsportfishing.net/


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I was thinking about doing that actually, may give it a shot in may or so. I do enjoy reading, so I'll pick up that book. Thanks for the advice!

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Manual riggers are OK.  They get old, but if you don't fish a lot, you can generally start with some used ones then sell them for as much as you paid for them and upgrade.

 

As for tackle, that can get stupid in a hurry.  My best advice on that would be to pick a species / area / time frame you want to fish, then gear up for that.  Browns in Milwaukee in April is going to be different than coho farther south in May which will be different than looking for lakers and / or kings in June / July which will be different than coming half way to Michigan to look for steelhead (rainbows on your side of the pond) way out but up high in the water column.

 

We had a day prefishing a tournament where we started for kings at the pier heads trolling planer boards, slide divers, and downriggers with spoons on all of them.  Ended up not working, so we ran about 10 miles south and out to 80' and pounded the bottom with dodgers and flies on riggers ad wire divers picking away lakers.  Then we heard a rumor of steelhead on the beach, so we ran to shore and fished all planer boards with flat lines (no lead core, no weight) in 6' of water limiting out on steelhead on mostly rapalas and thin fish and losing a lot of gear.  And my wife wonders why I have so much gear...

 

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Sent you a pm. Willing to help shorten the learning curve.

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Salmon fishing is not a,really poor man's sport. It can get expensive in a hurry. We were all in you shoes at some point.

If your not going to fish a lot on the great lakes manual riggers are fine. But when you get into fish they are a pain.

The tackle you need will depend on what your going to fish for and out of what port.

I suggest going to a tackle store at the port your going to fish. And talk to them about what is good in that area.

It is going to be overwhelming at first. Just don't go to overboard on equipment in case it's not for you.

You will want some spoons, and a few flashers/rotator and flies. I suggest 8"spindoctors for the trolling flies and generally a 24"leader for the fly with an 8" flasher/rotator.

You will need cannonballs and releases for your downriggers. You can run 2 rods off of each rigger if you want. You use a stacker release for that.

At most ports you rarely have to travel more than a few miles to catch fish. Sometimes they are in close.

If your going all out I would get a speed/temp probe like a depth raider or fish hawk. If you can't afford that get a good thermometer and you would need to find the temperature break/thermocline. But the fish might not always be in that area. I always fish in,above and below it. And let the fish tell me where to fish.

You will need downrigger rods and level wind reels. You can get a couple diver rods and reels. Just make sure the rod holders are strong.

Read up on the great lakes boating regs. Fur safety equipment.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Fish-Whisperer-Trolling-Flies-and-Teaser-Flies-466297460573695/

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

 

 

 

 

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