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Pentwater, 3 good trips

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Saturday: 9 for 11

We were planning to set up in 80 FOW but saw good marks in 50 FOW as we were motoring out so we stopped to check it out. Sometimes I've had that pay off big time where it takes 2 hours to get all your lines set because you keep getting bit. Other times it has been a waste of time. We dropped the probe down and found 61-degree water near the bottom. We decided to fish it anyway and picked up a 6-pound brown trout. I don't do spring brown trout fishing so this is the first one I've caught. With no other takers, we quickly slid out to 80 FOW. (Unlike you guys in the Southern ports where there is no such thing as quickly sliding out to deeper water.) Anyway, we picked up a 14# king on a glow plug in 80 FOW on a rigger down 70. We had good bait marks in there and worked out to 100 FOW where we picked up another fish - a steelhead if I am remembering correctly.  

There was a lot of traffic from the Ludington tournament. Most people were right off the point and I don't like combat fishing so we stayed off the dunes and moved west of the group and headed back north. We had good marks in 150 FOW and better marks near 170. We ended up getting most of our fish in this deeper water. King bites were down around 60 - 80 ft. Steelhead and coho bites were around 40 - 60. It was a spoon and flasher-fly bite for us. We only got one fish on a meat rig despite giving them a lot of time in the water.

The hot bait for us for the Yeck Wart Frog, magnum-sized on a SWR rigger. The ball was around 70 ft down. It went 3 times and boated a 17# king and a steelhead.


Riggers and divers targeting 70 - 80 down did most of the damage. We did get a king on a 250 Cu Green Jeans spoon. Oh, I should add, this was a Grand Slam trip for us. We got 1 brown, 1 coho, 1 steelhead, 2 lakers, and five kings. The biggest king was 21 pounds and a new PR for my daughter. The king hit on a heavy, ringed slide diver out 240 with a Kevin's Girlfriend meat rig.

Sunday: Didn't fish. The lake was super calm too.

Monday AM: 6 for 9

We started in that 80 - 100 FOW range and picked up a 17# king down 80 in 100 FOW on a double-glow plug. After not much action we slid out and got bit in 130 FOW on a Green Jeans spoon on a 250 Cu. We had additional hits in 172 FOW (Green Knight spoon on a high diver out 220), 164 FOW - Steelhead on a 250 Cu NBK, that Yeck spoon pictured above on a SWR ball at 80 in 174 FOW. The hot bait was a pro troll flasher that was green and had this gold/RV-looking tape on one side with a double aqua Howie fly. It was on a low slide diver out 190 feet. It took 4 hits. 1 was a coho. 1 was a king lost 10 feet from the net. Two we don't know. So the deeper water was better for us and we had a lot of late-morning (after 10 am) bites out there. We lost some really big fish today. Riggers and divers were hot and took a lot of powerful hits. One king showed us I needed to re-spool the wire diver as he took it to the backing. I didn't have as much on the spool as I thought.  The big King for the AM trip was 24 pounds.

Monday PM: 8 for 8

We worked the 150 to 175 range and it yielded two fish: a nice steelhead and a 4# laker that was hooked in the tail. When they are hooked in the tail... four-pounders fight like 20 pounders. We had good marks out there a tried a couple of directions but didn't get any king bites so we headed East for shallower waters. The rest of this trip is kind of a blur. We had fish all full time from about 8:15 PM until dark. There was always at least 1 fish on. Often more than one. We once had four on at one time. We had some young ladies in the boat who do a lot of inland lake fishing, but for one, it was her first big lake experience. We had some massive rigger and diver hits. Line was getting ripped out incredibly fast. The big king (24 pounds) pulled out 800+ feet of line on high diver (green knight spoon out 220). We also had a 300 Cu that pulled drag for what felt like a minute or two but was probably 30 - 40 seconds. It wasn't a fast pull, but it was steady. There were a lot of violent hits. We took 6 fish between 130 and 110 FOW. 5 were kings: 24, 21, 20, 8, and 6 pounds. The magical flasher fly that took 4 in the morning didn't get touched. Since most of this bite was later in the evening, a lot of my glow moonshine baits got bit. We only had 1 meat bite. The bites were a bit higher too, with most coming from 40 to 60 down. It was mainly a spoon bite but we did get a nice king on a plug. Riggers and divers did most of the damage again. Also, since we were always fighting fish, I didn't reset the poles when the fish came off. We were trying to avoid getting more fish on the line thinking that with the younger anglers, we might get tangles and lose both fish. It was a special night with a lot of king fishing action. There were a great sunset, moonrise, and trucks on the dunes. My buddy took most of the pictures and shot some videos. If I get some copies I'll post them.



So the bottom line is the kings are in Pentwater now. If it's like last year they will be there consistently through mid-August, with some days better than others. Another thing is my riggers and divers were on fire for the first time this year. I think it's a combination of 3 things: 1) Kings are in 2) The fish were deep and my longest long line is a 300 Cu  3) I put together a three rigger program.

My boat has an 8.5' beam and outboards, so usually I only run 2 riggers, both out to the side. For these trips above I picked up a new Willie T's ball cannonball that has an adjustable fin that lets me send it to the side so I could spread my riggers out just a bit. For the chute rigger, I ran a big paddle and flasher fly. I made it my highest rigger bait. I know a lot of captains make the chute rigger the lowest, but my theory is that big paddle attracts them and I'll run it in warmer water and I'll run the two side riggers below it in the colder water. They'll see the side lines as they move up to check the big paddle and again if they peel off the big paddle and go back down into colder water. I felt I had the divers and riggers working well on these trips, but it's always easier to do when there are kings around.

I'll post some pictures in the comments.


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Good catch’s. The wart frog standard size is one of my favorites. I haven’t seen the wart mag before, only the regular frog, which I have. I’ll have to look again next trip north. Don’t know anyone selling them around me anymore. Wish that would change. Dick made some great spoons that flat out catch fish.

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