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I'm getting frustrated with fishing this year.  Haven't been able to get away from work when the weather is nice.  Been too wavy when I've been free.  Finally got a day I could take off work and hit Ludington this morning.

Fished from 6:30 am til 12 going 3-5.

1 king and 2 drop back rough steelhead in the boat.  Other two bites were kings.  Bite from 80 to 220 fow. No pattern, other than 3 bites on blue dolphin.

Still trying to figure out how my boat fishes.  But I feel I can't catch fish anymore.   Other boat were reporting 5-10 kings in the box.

Need to learn to adapt to what's working I guess.

I shouldn't complain, but I'm cranky and running on little sleep!

Al that said, it was an awesome day on the water with my dad this morning even if the fishing wasn't great for us.

 

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I'm getting frustrated with fishing this year.  Haven't been able to get away from work when the weather is nice.  Been too wavy when I've been free.  Finally got a day I could take off work and hit Ludington this morning.
Fished from 6:30 am til 12 going 3-5.
1 king and 2 drop back rough steelhead in the boat.  Other two bites were kings.  Bite from 80 to 220 fow. No pattern, other than 3 bites on blue dolphin.
Still trying to figure out how my boat fishes.  But I feel I can't catch fish anymore.   Other boat were reporting 5-10 kings in the box.
Need to learn to adapt to what's working I guess.
I shouldn't complain, but I'm cranky and running on little sleep!
Al that said, it was an awesome day on the water with my dad this morning even if the fishing wasn't great for us.
 
Sorry for length but I'm a bit frustrated, too. Certainly no expert for sure, but try to get as much different info as possible. Way different year this spring.

Retired and new boat all decked out and been trolling since March during tiny "windows" between weather. Fished New Buffalo, South Haven, Holland, Port Heldon so far. Planning on moving north.

People in Benton Harbor saying they missed their spring king "peak" and they've moved north?

Heard one theory that most trout/salmon did not come as far south for winter, and that may be why spring bite in south is light?

South Haven seems like maybe their peak is finishing? Ludington and Manistee charters are doing real well right now. Last week some people were saying Whitehall - Muskegon?

Just seems like "great spring king migration north" maybe kinda not on fire in Holland-Port Sheldon a bit. Some kings caught last week and today off Port Sheldon finally, but not like last three years? One boat at PS was 5 for 7 today with no downriggers- 40' to 80' down in up to 200' FOW.

Best king was over 15# on Kevin's GF flasher with Pickled Sunshine. That's a Tangled Tackle from You Tube basic for 3 years.

Don't give up. Call bait shops. Look on line. You Tube sometimes helps? Ask at the launches. Most people are willing to be truthful?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

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Hang in there jdh. Sounds a lot like my attempts -- nice when I'm working and Gale force winds on my days off. On top of that I just tore my bathroom apart to remodel it, agh! I am hoping to get enough done on the bath so I can get out by the weekend. As far as tactics and catching fish, I have learned a lot by reading posts on this forum and sifting through other information sources. I attended a seminar this Spring with speaker Russell Gahagan. I learned a lot I am waiting to apply this summer. Prior to that I watched a lot of his YouTube videos and others. There was a lapse in my salmon fishing for about 15ish years. Coming back into it about three years ago I found everything had changed. Learning to adapt to different strategies and new techniques was hard for this stuck-in-the-mud angler, but that was exactly what I had to do. I went from a few fish in the freezer three years ago, to doubling that two years ago, to three milk crates of fillets last year to share with friends and family. Last year I added two wire divers (slide divers that is) to my arsenal and they paid off well. I still occasionally ran braid divers on the outside them. This year I have set up a couple of weighted steel line rigs to experiment with. I fish primarily out of Frankfort, but I plan on hitting Manistee or other nearby ports to learn more about those areas. I might even make it to Ludington if my truck holds out. Good fishing to you down the road. It gets better the more time you put in on the water.

Sent from my moto z4 using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

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Thanks for the replies.  I have all the gear - copper, leadcore, wire dipsy, mono dipsy, etc.  I think I just need some more time on the water to figure things out and get on some patterns.  My goal this weekend is to clean up the boat and get everything organized and labeled.  That should help on the water.

I need to get this figured out!

-JDH

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For me, it seems like the kast couple of years the fish are more concentrated in schools. If you can find the school and stay on them, you do well. If not, you don't get much. Last year we got a two man limit (which could have been a 3 man if we had another person in the boat, the fishing was crazy good.) I talked to another fisherman at the cleaning station. They were 2 for 4, fishing the same FOW with more poles than us, but they were couple of miles north.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

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Finally got into some fish. The new Hewescraft was great in the varying winds and current. Two planers each side. 250', 300', 350', 400' copper/ weighted steel.

Tues May 25 Port Sheldon approx. 8am to noon. 170' to 190' FOW. Fish were 40' to 80' down. Mostly blue or blue green spoon - both mag size and Super Slim. Of course one hit the Kevin's Girlfriend spin doctor with Pickled Sunshine  type fly.  First fish within 2 minutes of setting first down rigger 80' - blow back was nuts even with 200# Power Pro and 12# ball. Lure was likely 65' to 70' ft down? Mag blue DW spoon maybe 45' back at 2.5 to 3.0 MPH at lure per Fish Hawk.

Fish Hawk was showing currents were strong and constantly changing. Planers were all over. Signal from brand new probe was in and out all morning. Called Fish Hawk and tech called back (after we got home) and said its very common when fishing deep in strong deep current, like when you're getting huge blow back, and then not. Tech said simply turn up the GAIN.  I didn't even know you could. We tried to reset it by unplugging two cables but of course no change. While scrolling buttons we saw the screen that said "GAIN 15" but never realized you could just with lower two arrow buttons on left.  

But we ended up with 6 for 8 fish and had a freaking blast. We two old guys - 68 and 78 - had a double on. They crossed lines and it was panic time. But between laughing and screaming we changed places and rods and threaded rods around and got both darn fish into the box. Then we both couldn't talk for a while until we calmed down and caught our breath. That's exactly what I bought the new boat for. What a morning.

So final score was something like 4 kings and 2 coho for total of approx 44 lbs. Nothing really huge but 3 were approx. 10 lbs.  Fish were hitting 400' a bit more than others. A couple hit on Downriggers approx. 80' down.                 Mag and reg spoons blue or blue green, and the one on Flasher Fly.

We'll be back, baby!

 

 

 

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Thanks, Randy. Yep, the Fish Hawk improved our catch more than any other piece of equipment. We bought the X4 but if I had to do it again, I'd get the X4D. You could know the actual depth of your lure and not just how much cable is out. Also (they claim) you could mount a tablet in transom area, and get all depth and temp data on your tablet back there where you're setting lines?

We're planning a day trip to Ludington next few weeks. Any tips?

 

 

 

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Good to know. 

No tips on Ludington. I live up by Frankfort and am more familiar with that. I eventually want to trailer down to Manistee and maybe Ludington a bit more in the future though and learn those ports as well.

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I think the winds dictate where people fish off of Ludington.  Bait can get pushed around.  Most of the time I've fished, I've gone pretty straight out - and I've done very well in the past.  I do know people will run north to the point - but I think that's more in July and August.

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