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Pentwater 8/4 AM, 6 for 9

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Left the dock around 5:15 am.  Once we hit the big lake we headed south.  I noticed a lot of activity on the sonor so we stopped way short of our destination to inspect it.  There was a lot of bait on the sonar.  My dad thought it was broken.  But we noticed a few big arches on the screen so we dropped lines.  As we were setting our 3 line, the 100 CU with an orange moonshine spoon took a hit.  We boated a 13# king.  We continued south in the same water depth (57 fow) until we ran out of bait.  Then we circled back on our GPS trail and didn't find any bait or arches there either.  I'm not sure how that much bait totally disappears, but it did.  We started a West troll to deeper water. 

In 87 fow the 200 starts peeling line like we hooked onto a missile.  This was my worst fear - a big fish on my 200 Cu setups.  That's because the reels are too small for how I'm using them and after the copper, I don't have much line for backing.  This fishing was peeling line so fast I was sure I must have forgotten to tighten the drag a bit after the putting the board out.  Usually I keep them somewhat loose so the drag pull helps alert me of the strike, but given the lake was totally flat I figured I had just left the drag too loose.  So I tightened it a bit.  That made zero difference so now I was sure I had forgotten to tighten the drag once the board got in place.  I tightened it a little more.  Still no difference.  The line was peeling off just as fast as before.  It was peeling too fast for me to grab it to try and get any sense of where the drag was set at.  At this point what I should have done was turned the boat and started to circle the fish.  I didn't.  I tightened the drag just a little bit more and "pop", the line goes slack and the pole goes straight up in the air.  I believe it broke at the copper to mono backing point.  Then I tested the drag.  Oh my was that drag set tight.  I had a hard time even pulling it out.  So that was a massive, massive, fish.  So while we were on the boat I ordered two new reels from Captain Chuck's to replace my 200 coppers so I have more line capacity.  With the size of fish we're getting now, I think it's needed.  I feel like if I had the extra line capacity, I would have been more patient and let it peel line for a couple of minutes straight without getting worried.  We hung around in that depth for a bit with nothing else to show for it so we slid out.  

In 120 FOW the wire slide diver starts bouncing, but not peeling line.  It was set with a mountain dew colored spin doctor and meat rig about 55 feet down.  We boat a small 2# laker.

Somewhere in here was also pulled in a 12# laker on the deep rigger (set 50' down) on a white/glow paddle and fly.  

In 135 FOW we took a 19# king (personal best for my 10 year old) on the same wire slide diver setup.  These are the first fish I've caught since switching my wire rods over to slide divers.  As this fish is peeling line, I'm realizing I don't have an sort of shock absorber between the fish and pole.  So we played him with a pretty loose drag.  He would run and headbang and peel line, but those reels have tons of wire on them so I wasn't worried about getting spooled.  We played him nice and easy and got him in the box.  The bait was presented about 50' down.

I can't recall the depth, but we had a nice king hit on a 200 Cu with a big Blue Haze paddle and meat rig.  That one was one for about a minute before it came off.  It was a nice fish.  

In 162 FOW we picked up a 9# steelhead on the same 100 Cu with the orange moonshine spoon.

In 175 FOW the downrigger pole starts bouncing like crazy, but doesn't release right away.  It was a classic slider hit.  I had a fixed slide diver set up about 15 above the ball, so presented about 35' down.  The bait was a sliver and lime green, old-school SS spoon.  The pole released but by the time I grabbed it the fish was off.  The bait was a Moonshine dancing anchovy spoon.

We picked up another steelhead on the 100 Cu orange moonshine spoon as we were pulling lines in 150 FOW.  It was a 12 pound steelhead.

The 250 Cu didn't fire, neither did either of the high divers or one of the riggers.  I switched baits out a few times, but the ones that didn't take anything were a wonderbread J-plug, Kevin's girlfriend spin doctor and meat rig, Moonshine Hulk spoon, a Captain Chuck's custom blue/green moonshine spoon, a stinky Leroy paddle and meat right (white paddle with black static-like markings on it), and a couple of other spoons I can't remember.

At the fish cleaning station, we did better than most.  Several of the guys only had 3 or 4 hits.  Saw one guy with a 31# king that was caught north of the pier.  There was another guy that got a 32# king south of the pier a few days ago.  There are some big fish around.  One of them is attached to my 200 Cu setup.  For some reason when I connect to my phone I'm not seeing the microSD card, so I'll have to reply with the pictures.  So we finished the day with 2 lakers, 2 kings and 2 steelhead.




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BRAVO. Great team work.

From one father to another:  your best decision of the day was putting a  life jacket on your boy. Double BRAVO.

Hope to be up your way later this month.

tight lines and safe returns to port  

the Greek

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Great story.  Great pictures too.



One if the most impressive reel abuses I've seen was a paddle fly down 100' on a 50# braid rigger rod with the drag cranked down.  Rod turned sideways in the holder and it went to 600+ on the counter before I could trip the wire diver and copper board on that side to get them to the surface, and turn on the fish.

We were in a tournament and I was already spending the big fish pot.

9# coho.


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