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HOLLAND in tight 9/23


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finally some colder water so decided to give the mud and channel a shot

fished a couple hours... was honestly a little disappointed that there were not more fish eating in there

had 3 strikes... all in channel and east of big red... only one stayed hooked up - size3 plug 15 down on rigger

anyone else figure something out with the salmon run here off holland or even saug then sure appreciate info!

 

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uggh... bad sign they weren't even biting down in Saugatuck

stay tuned kids and I may brave the rain and give it a whirl a few more times in Holland Channel in the next 48hrs... if they are gonna run and however many are left this cold front has gotta be last call 

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A buddy and I trolled it two Sundays ago during overcast and a hard NE and got nothing. In my experience most of our kings show up after three years so with us only getting a plant on even years the even years are relatively dead. I did really good on late summer mature kings straight out from Holland in 2017, 2019 and last year before the tropical heat screwed it up but 2018, 2020, and this year were dead for me.

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wish you were wrong but think you're probably right!

regardless, we will have fun trying and we aint after no 3 year olds... we want the behemoths so we can put em on the wall :)

got a 41.75 inch male on Oct1 2019 (Saugatuck mud - freezing rain sideways east wind howling)

got a 42.5 inch male 3rd week in Sept last year (Holland Channel - 11 footers banging pier from the North)

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I participated in the Sep 20th Zoom call hosted by MI DNR with the proposed stocking plan for salmon beginning 2023.  Unfortunately, salmon will no longer be stocked in Holland by DNR going forward due to the low natural reproduction coming out of this location.  Saugatuck however will be increased by 25%.
The reason I heard was because they planted so many walleye and musky they determined they'd just eat through most of the smolts before they make it to the lake. I try not to dump on our DNR but if that's the case then they effectively ruined a great local fishery

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Don’t be afraid to dump on DNR. It’s our responsibility as licensed anglers to hold them accountable for their decisions and actions. Compliments when we’ll done, criticism when poorly done. Just do it in a professional and polite manner.

Personally, the data they have shared suggests most of the chinook north are self sustaining. In other words, they no longer need stocking. Different story south. If true, chinook plants should be moved south.

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Good to hear saugatuck is going to get more plants. But it will never get back to what it was when I was a kid. Picked up 1 big male yesterday. Hopeful  this rain will be the what we need to get the last push in the river then it will be time to fish Steelhead.

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What river south of the Pere Marquette pumps any kings back into the lake?

 

Saugatuck should be increased by 100% getting all the Holland plants.  These fish don't only support 1 or 2 days of harbor fishing 2-3 years after they are planted, the support the local fishery for the 2-3 years until they run.

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Fished Holland Harbor Friday night and did my part to help strain the weeds out of the channel and lake.  Cycling through rods non-stop to keep them clean.  No marks at all out front in the 54 degree water so didn't waste time in there.  In two passes down the channel didn't see much to stay in there either, so went into Mac.  Had one big rip in there, missed one hit, and caught three (3) small sheep.  Pulling lines in the near dark looked over and one rod tapped a couple times like a perch hitting a minnow, but the board didn't move.  Looked suspicious so we pulled that one next and found a 21" walleye hanging out.

Mac has walleye but it's a tough nut to crack.  I fished it six times this year and caught walleye twice.   Granted, when I do catch them, they are very nice, healthy fish.  I crack up when I clean the walleye we catch on the bay - a 20" walleye in the bay barely cracks 3# but the same fish from Mac is usually 4#+.

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Does Lake Mac even have much of a walleye population?  If it does, it's a well kept secret.
Or maybe I'm just out of the loop.
There's a decent population but they're super hard to catch. Aside from fall and spring when they feed in the harbor they're pretty lethargic. My dad and I see tons of guys slow trolling the drop offs in the summer and they few guys I hear from say you'll pick some up but you'll also be dealing with catfish and sheephead left and right

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Don’t be afraid to dump on DNR. It’s our responsibility as licensed anglers to hold them accountable for their decisions and actions. Compliments when we’ll done, criticism when poorly done. Just do it in a professional and polite manner.
Personally, the data they have shared suggests most of the chinook north are self sustaining. In other words, they no longer need stocking. Different story south. If true, chinook plants should be moved south.
I've been screaming from the mountain top that Ludington shouldn't be getting planted. They're almost ten years removed from a plant and their natural run is bigger than any planted run yet I see they wanna put 100,000+ in the big sable every year instead of further south where they're needed.

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"My dad and I see tons of guys slow trolling the drop offs in the summer and they few guys I hear from say you'll pick some up but you'll also be dealing with catfish and sheephead left and right"

 

And sailboat races, and ignorant power boaters, and territorial so called walleye charters that will run you over when you're the only other boat fishing.  I swear though it's about 10 sheep per walleye, and one cat fish per walleye.  At least the sheep are easy to tell as they hit and fight hard and tend to head up to the top.  The cats stay down and head shake and every one makes you think it's a 30" walleye until it isn't.

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Fished Holland Harbor Friday night and did my part to help strain the weeds out of the channel and lake.  Cycling through rods non-stop to keep them clean.  No marks at all out front in the 54 degree water so didn't waste time in there.  In two passes down the channel didn't see much to stay in there either, so went into Mac.  Had one big rip in there, missed one hit, and caught three (3) small sheep.  Pulling lines in the near dark looked over and one rod tapped a couple times like a perch hitting a minnow, but the board didn't move.  Looked suspicious so we pulled that one next and found a 21" walleye hanging out.
Mac has walleye but it's a tough nut to crack.  I fished it six times this year and caught walleye twice.   Granted, when I do catch them, they are very nice, healthy fish.  I crack up when I clean the walleye we catch on the bay - a 20" walleye in the bay barely cracks 3# but the same fish from Mac is usually 4#+.

How do you fish the walleyes in lake Mac? Planers and crank baits? Target depth? Thanks


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Yep, planers and cranks.   Just when you think you know what kind and color they want, another one becomes the hot bait, so I shotgun each trip based on conditions and then try to dial in color / type / depth if I get enough hits to make a pattern.  Try to play chicken with the drop offs as the fish like to hold against them.

My biggest walleyes have come on J-plugs looking for kings though.  Which is weird as if they are targeting big lures, I also run a lot of deep thundersticks for kings and have never had a walleye hit one of those.  

 

 

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Yep, planers and cranks.   Just when you think you know what kind and color they want, another one becomes the hot bait, so I shotgun each trip based on conditions and then try to dial in color / type / depth if I get enough hits to make a pattern.  Try to play chicken with the drop offs as the fish like to hold against them.
My biggest walleyes have come on J-plugs looking for kings though.  Which is weird as if they are targeting big lures, I also run a lot of deep thundersticks for kings and have never had a walleye hit one of those.  
 
 
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Very helpful! Many thanks.


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No worries.  It's frustrating but fun when it works, and the fish are usually really nice.  Forgot to add that I roll right along at 2.5mph give or take, which scares the crap out of the guys drowning worms.

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