"Cooler By The Lake"
2018 Lake Superior Fishing Log
Information on tagging. About 5 of us local fishermen participated in a Michigan DNR Lake Trout Hooking-Mortality 6-year study being conducted in Marquette (Lake Superior) beginning in 2010. This unique study determines hooking-mortality rates of lake trout to help DNR biologists evaluate whether certain size limits are having the desired management outcome. The tagging portion has ended in 2013 but data was collected on recaptured Lakers through 2015. Click here for my highlights during the study. The study has been completed and published. I hope to post links to the complete study here soon.
Click here to see last year's log - 2017 or click here choose prior year fishing reports
24 Oct 18 Star Log - it's over for the season. Don't recall as much wind and rain without a break. Just to let you know Cooler By The Lake is resting for the wintertime. More, including reports, to follow.
30 Sep - Finally a break from personal commitments and unfishable weather. Sure, it was 37º when I left the launch but it was calm. I had extra clothing layers on but it really didn't feel that cold. Perhaps that's because when I sent the Johnson rod down and started the starboard rigger down, the Johnson rod quickly produced a nice Laker. It got crazy as the rigger bell then rang with a Laker on. Then another on the Johnson. Here're some tidbits. Going one way, the current was so strong I backed the kicker off way lower than usual and was still doing 2.2 mph, and had hits. Turning around 180º I was doing 1.2 mph, and got hits. So much for speed some days! My kicker suddenly quit but restarted. This happened again about 15 minutes later. Finally I squeezed the bulb and saw gas shoot out of the connector to the motor. Dah! Someone, and perhaps we can figure who, didn't pushed the gas connector on all the way. But why did this happen after all the trips with no problems and I hadn't touched the connector. Pushing it on further corrected that problem. OK, boiling it down, best speed was 2.2 - 1.2 mph. Huh? Best depth - 150' - 170'. Summary, I fished 3 lures because I didn't have time or need to fish my usual 6 lures. Never ran my 2nd rigger down. Ended with 10 Lakers on, 5 in the box and 4 released. Fantastic for 1 1/2 hours of beautiful time on the Big Pond.
19 Sep Surprisingly, there was good wind forecast so I thought I'd change my Big Jon Brute rigger out which isn't working with my ole Big Jon electric I have for backup, bought in 1983 and has a million miles on it but works flawlessly. Moral of this story is that new and improved is not always improved. The old one was hanging on the wall and that's when I noticed there wasn't any line on it. Mumble, mumble. OK, found a spool of seven-strand SS and loaded it on. Launched and out I went, greeted by 1 1/2' - 2' rollers but not a problem though I kept the trim tabs down to keep the air from under the boat. I think you know what I mean. With the rollers the boat was rocking but my sea-legs were up to it and out went the gear. Not long afterwards the Johnson rod wiggled and I wasn't sure there was a fish on but thought I'd better check. It came in so easy I had doubts. Yup, a dink which I hoisted up and released. Not long afterwards, the starboard rigger bell rang and the Johnson rod, both of which produce some eaters. Then the wind picked up but not a problem. Then a rigger bell rang and I wasn't sure there was anything there but decided to check it out and yup, there was one lethargic Laker hanging on that went nuts once in the net. Looked over to see the starboard rigger bouncing which produce a nice Laker. I decided it was time to do a 180º turn and point the pointy end of the boat homeword to get the last one. Then the Johnson rod produced so there I was with my final boxer in exactly one hour. Most were around 180', give or take. As I got nearer to the launch, it was much calmer and almost no wind. However, home chore-time looms as it's supposed to be windy and rainy the next several days. But then today wasn't supposed to be that good. But it was!
15 Sep 18 Yup, almost two weeks since last out. Thought I might have to be retrained. Frank and I planned to run a bit to a favorite spot but looking at the radar, it showed a big red patch to the west so we decided not to go very far, just in case. The rain to the west was predicted to miss us which it later did and winds to be light which they weren't. An hour and a quarter passed and we had no runs, no hits, no errors, no marks so the call went out to let the whining begin. That helped as we got a double which picked up our spirits. Action picked up too and we managed 7 Lakers, none of which were very big but excellent eaters. The last two came off of Frank's rigger as a single line double. My good electric rigger was not working so I manually lowered (and raised) it to 135' and just left it there. It didn't produce anything so Frank and the Johnson rod did the heavy lifting. Great to be back on the water.
2 Sep 18 Here it is September already. Sunrise today was at 7:11 a.m. and when I launched at 7:30, the parking lot was full. En route there were places of heavy fog so I spun up the radar but the fog cleared off where I set lines at 130'. It wasn't 10 minutes before the Johnson rod bent over, then quickly snapped back - the fish gone in seconds. An hour passed with no hits and only a couple of marks. Then a double and a single after that. Then a nice Laker inches from my net earned its freedom and away it went. Two more Lakers and I wrapped it up in just under 2 1/2 hours. Seas and winds behaved themselves and the fog heading homeward wasn't too heavy but I was glad to have the radar going. Great time on the Big Pond.
30 Aig 18 Another break, at least in the forecast, as it was favorable at 5-10 mph SE. So out I went and quickly found SE winds at 8-13 mph and 1'+ seas but I was still OK with heading out on one of my longer runs. I sent the Johnson rod down first at 160' and worked on my starboard rigger when I looked up to see the Johnson rod bent over big time. I wasn't prepared, no net out, and other things. Grabbing the Johnson rod, I could hardly budge the Laker for about a minute, then got a few slow cranks on it and it was a struggle for about 5 minutes when the line went limp. No bad words were spoken, just thought about. So the starboard rigger went down to the bottom and gave me some real grief coming up due to an issue with the rigger. The port rigger I ran 3 lures on and down at various depths, from 99' to 66' (no voodoo here eh). I did that just so I didn't have to mess with it and because I marked a ton of who-knows-what-marks in the top 75'. That rigger produced nothing. But on the positive side, I picked up two more Lakers at 180' and turned the ship homeward and shortly caught a double, wrapping it up in a little over an hour. Beautiful ride home. Looked at the Big Pond two hours later and it was capping. No reports tomorrow!
26 Aug 18 Calm seas and no wind made it very tempting to head out, despite the traffic of the fishing contest. However, although there were lots of vehicles and a filming crew of some sort, it was no problem to launch. I set lines at 135' and plied roughly those depths for nearly an hour, with no action and almost no fish marks. Finally, I picked up a dink (small Laker) and released it. Meanwhile the wind kicked to 12 mph for a while, then slowly quieted down. Another hour passed with no hits and my little pea brain went paranoid thinking what if I get skunked and come to the launch with a filming crew there. It has been my experience when you come in with your limit no one is at the launch. However, come in with one or none and there're all kinds of people asking how you did. So after two hours, finally a nice Laker, then another and 2 more in a 20 minute period. I usually quit at the 3-hour mark so I started hauling in gear, only to discover a nice Laker on, of all things, the Johnson rod. Huh? I think that happened either last year or the year before, but rarely. So I got my limit and predictably no one was there when I came to the launch.
25 Aug 18 With a somewhat unexpected improved forecast, winds appeared light and the rain was moving out so I set out at 11:15am to mild rollers, requiring some trim tabs. I set lines at 180' and was mumbling no marks or hits after half an hour. Then the Johnson rod connected, and not too much later, the starboard rigger went off. There were very few marks so I ventured to 190' and after a while decided to reverse course. Well, the port rigger bell rang soon and produced a single line double, a challenge when alone but I got them both. So I thought, I'll just kick back, point the boat nose towards home and enjoy the calm winds and water, hoping to get the last one for my limit. A little more time passed when the port rigger bell went off, then the starboard rigger, then the Johnson rod was bouncing. A triple when I needed one so the short of it was I had to release two. Fun but I felt like I was fishing in a fish nursery as none hit 3# but were good eaters. So, in an hour and 45 minutes, 7 fish in the boat and 2 out and a great time on the water. As I came to the launch, a guy I don't know came down the dock to help me dock, then offered to help me get the boat out. I didn't need the latter help but thanked him and wish more boaters were as thoughtful.
23 Aug I checked winds at the Coast Guard Station and the readings diminished to 4 mph, gusting to 8 mph from the west. But I should know better as readings there from that terrible, somewhat sheltered area are often inaccurate except for winds from the south. Against my better judgment, and with a rainy forecast the next several days, early afternoon I set out for a short fish. Well, it was rough and capping but I sent the Johnson rod down and started to set a rigger out. In just a few minutes a quick hit on the Johnson but it didn't stick. Five minutes later, a solid hit which was really pulling. It was on for about five minutes when the line went dead. I checked my anemometer and winds were averaging 14 mph and it was not settling and I wasn't having much fun so I pulled my gear and headed in after about half an hour.
19 Aug 18 With a good forecast of 5-10kts SW but, diminishing, I set out on some pretty lumpy seas, winds at 13+ mph. So arriving at my second favorite spot, it was decision time whether to fish with the wind and waves or go further and take them on directly so I chose the former. I started in 155' and slowly worked deeper. Suddenly the winds backed off but it took a while for the seas to settle. Half an hour passed and only one fish mark. With 5 lures down, finally, the Johnson rod bent, then the port rigger and then I heard the starboard rigger bell but didn't see any signs of life there. Short story, three Lakers in the box, one was wild and went under the boat and all over but luck prevailed and I got it. I turned into the diminishing waves and picked up a 4th after about half an hour. Thought it'd be a good time to point the bow homeward and I did, for a relaxing, non-eventful hour of trolling. It was time to wrap it up when the 5th Laker hit on a stacker. Great day on the Big Pond as I steamed homeward in great water with good time memories in my little pea brain.
16 Aug Struggle be my name today. Tried a new (actually fished it years ago) in 60-110' produced only one Laker in an hour so Jim and I pulled gear and move a couple miles to an ole sacred site. Don't know what happened to all the Lakers that were there in the past. Marked only a couple and caught the same. Winds were SE at SE 10+ and seas 1'. Listening to weather reports and heading back to port, we were in a windy zone. Still, a good time and the BS was a-flyin'.
12 Aug 18 It's pretty unusual to have this number of calm days stacked together but today was another dandy. Frank and I set lines at 165' and worked back and forth to deeper 200' water slowly picking up Lakers. We refer to this area as the nursery as the Lakers always seem to run small. Then, along came the U.S. Coast Guard to board us for an inspection. I swung my starboard rigger to full astern and two of the CG crew boarded us. In the middle of their inspection we caught our biggest Laker on the Johnson rod and managed to tangle into the rigger swung back. It was a Goat Rope but we got the fish while they watched. These guys were pleasant and professional in doing their job. Yes, we passed the inspection. Nearing the 3 trolling hour point it was hot and dead calm and I suggested we wrap it up in 15 minutes. Shortly afterwards, With 7 Lakers in the box, Frank had a single line double and my rigger was bouncing with a Laker, a triple. Well, I lost mine but that was OK. Great day!
10 Aug 18 Another calm morning as guest Jim Price and I set lines at 130' to a slow start. We marked few fish and caught few Lakers. What a beautiful day but the excuses flew about too calm, too bright, etc. Boiling it down, we caught 5 Lakers in a little over 3 hours, all of a decent size. Depths ranged from 125' to 180' and we saw no pattern of the best depth. We did find running a lure about 30' off the bottom paid off twice with bigger Lakers.
8 Aug 18 Another day of calm seas and winds as Frank and I set lines at 125'. It wasn't long before the first Laker hit so we plied those depths for another hour with only one more hit but was a miss. So we worked to the 170' depths where the action was better. A single line double was followed by a couple of rigger rattlers that got off. We boxed a few more and Frank was on his phone resolving an issue where he couldn't hang up when the second single line double hit on his rigger. So I kicked into gear and landed both. We later joked that we always get hits when playing with the electronics. Bottom line was we boxed 9 Lakers, but missed 6 solid hits in a little over 3 hours. Great day!
6 Aug 18 Today's fishing conditions were far better than the last trip as Frank and I set lines at 165'. An hour passed with no action and very few marks. Then a double. Go figure. Another hour pass with no action then a triple. With 6 in the box, we decided to troll towards home, sticking to 170' - 190' and picked up 3 more, wrapping it up after 3 1/2 hours. Calm winds and seas made for a great day, catching fish being a bonus.
3 Aug 18 The forecast for light winds and my desire to try some shallower fishing prompted a fishing trip that over-road my gut feeling it was going to be windier than predicted. So Rick Sarasien and I headed out in already lumpy seas and winds at 8 mph. We set lines at 110', marked very few fish and finally had a bell ringer that stayed on about 15 seconds. We turned into the building winds and waves and got a nice sized Laker to within a foot of the net and away it went. We headed for deeper water, still marking very few and got another solid hit that didn't stick. By then, winds were kissing 13 mph and 2' seas and just not comfortable nor easy to fish so we pulled the plug and went home.
31 Jul 18 With things to do during the day, and perfect conditions on the Big Pond seas, I set out just as the sun was coming up. I very much enjoyed the boat ride to my fishing spot. The Johnson rod went out first in 135' of water. I turned around to set up the starboard rigger and the Johnson rod was bouncing. I wasn't ready as the net was still stored, port rigger in the way, but I got my act together and boxed the Laker. It wasn't long before the Johnson rod hit again, but this time the Laker tangled into the starboard rigger line, something that rarely happens. When fishing alone, dealing with the this goat rope was a challenge, but I caught the Laker. Then as I turned over deep water, the starboard rigger went off. I looked at the counter and it was at 136 clicks over 190' so that Laker was suspended. I honestly don't remember why it wasn't near the bottom where it is most of the time. It wasn't long after I picked up a 4th Laker. At the 2-hour point to the minute, the starboard rigger bell rang and I looked up to see the Johnson rod bent over. Gee, a double when I could only keep one so I released the one on the Johnson. Depths varied but it seemed 170' - 180' was best. Marked very few fish. Great ride to port in near calm conditions.
Jul 18 Great day. Guests today were Steve Knoll and Edna Swiger. We set lines at 135' and ranged to 180'. saw two marks and got no hits in the first hour and a half. Finally, we boxed a nice 4# Laker. Slowly, we'd pick up a Laker here and there, with the 180' range working best. It was absolutely beautiful on the Big Pond with calm seas and no wind. Nearing the 4-hour mark we decided to quit with 8 in the box when someone discovered two Lakers (we won't mention names here LOL) hanging on so we ended with 10 nice Lakers, no dinks.
29 Jul 18 OMG, another fantastic day after the usual non-fishing days. Frank and I left port under calm seas and winds and set lines at 165'. His rigger wasn't down 2 minutes before a hit that stayed on until just behind the boat. But that was encouraging, nonetheless. Not surprisingly, that didn't predict what was to follow. It was slow but occasionally, we latched onto small Lakers. In the interim, we had a few "Goatus Ropus", which is Latin for Goat Ropes, where we got tangled. Yup, my fault, turned too fast. There were a couple others but I won't go there, albeit minor ones. So, we ended with 8 Lakers and 5 misses ( all misses were big ones - yeah right) in a little over 3 hours trolling. Conditions could not have been better, nor the company! Fun! Addendum: Ran a surface line again with the same unproductive results.
24 Jul 18 Today proved a beautiful day as Grandson Cooper (17), Frank and I left the dock to perfectly calm seas. We set lines at 165' and waited an hour before our first hit...and miss. But action slowly picked up when Frank had a single line double (2 Lakers on one line.) This was followed by Cooper reeling in a nice Laker on the Johnson rod. Here and there we picked up a Laker, Frank having two more single line doubles. I don't recall 3 single line doubles on one day so that was fun. We plied waters from 150' to 200' and wrapped it up in 3 1/2 hours with10 Lakers in the box, having released a dink, and missing 5 good hits. Seas and winds were perfect, albeit a little warm at times. Great day!
18 Jul 18 Another day of struggling, fooled by a boxer within 5 minutes of setting up at 140'. Then an hour passed, few marks but finally another Laker for the box. Oh well, a Laker or Chinook slammed our rigger and that lasted for about 10 seconds. Condensing the drama, we missed three more consecutive rigger-rattlers and were taken a little aback. So we wrapped it up after under 3 hours of trolling with 3 Lakers. Conditions were decent, not like predicted with a NE 10 mph wind and 1' rock and roll seas. At least it was cooler than it's been. Looks like conditions won't be good for a few days.
15 Jul 18 My guest for the second time this season was Tyler Bell (14) as we set out in calm seas and light winds. We set lines at 170' and pretty and much stuck to the 160' - 190' depths. Action was slow but each Laker we caught was fiesty. It was getting very hot with no wind and after two hours and 4 Lakers in the box, we pointed the bow homeward hoping to get one more, which we did. We pulled the pin at 2 hours and 45 minutes to head in. It wasn't any cooler on land.
14 July 2018 Gee, another fantastic forecast. When we arrived, a fisherman had his boat launched and tied up to the dock. He then drove and parked his vehicle at the far end of the parking lot. He then walked back to the sign/pay box and completed his paperwork. He then walked back to his truck to put the ticket on his dash, do some other stuff, and get his dog. Meanwhile, I'm waiting to launch whilst he could have done all that stuff before launching and tying up the dock. Where is the thinking and courtesy of some boaters? This is not an isolated incident. Recently, after a fisherman launched, he started fixing up his downriggers and other gear several minutes before going out. All while I'm waiting to launch. OK, enough venting for now.
So Frank and I headed out on calm seas to set lines at 165' of water. It wasn't long before our first hit. In a hour and a half we had 6 in the box and then the usual slowness set in. We worked the 160' - 190' depths and picked up 3 more in the next hour and a half. I commented let's head home and Frank said there's only 9 in the box. So I counted them 3 times and yes, there were 9 so we pointed the boat trolling homeward and finally picked up our last Laker. Conditions were excellent but it was hot at times with no wind.
Frank and I headed out in calm seas and winds to set lines where last we went.
10 Jul 18 Struggling was the word for the day. Frank and I fished depths from 130' to 230' and ended with 4 Lakers in 4 hours. OK, we had 3 real thurmmers but saw only one. Great day on the water otherwise. I don't think we marked 20 fish. Talked with several other fishermen later to find their luck was similar.
6 Jul 18 What a super day with a great forecast that came true. Frank and I headed out under clear skies and calm winds and seas to set lines at 170'. We pretty much stuck to the 170' - 200' depths where we picked up 9 Lakers in a little over 4 hours. When we had 5 in the box we decided to point the boat towards the launch and fish another hour and managed to pick up 4 nice Lakers. That worked well.
2 Jul 18 We had a somewhat sticky decision with winds predicted from south 5-15 mph where 5 is great, 15 not good. But Frank and I headed out with the understanding we'd bunch it if it wasn't pleasant. Turned out winds and seas were near calm as we set lines in 190'. We plied waters from 160' - 220' and eventually picked up 4 Lakers in 2 1/2 hours. We were checked by the DNR which went well. The winds and seas slowly built and we decided to quit when winds gusted to 18mph in 2' seas with white caps. Still, it was great to be back on the Big Pond. Getting off the water was a challenge with 3 Michigan National Guard huge water vessels around the launch and a boater trying to get his boat on his trailer for 15 minutes. I exaggerate not!
25 June 2018 After our slow fishing the last trip, Frank and I agreed we should change hats (no fishermen superstition here eh) and we headed out in pretty calm seas. I talked Frank into fishing a place that usually produces a few nice-sized Lakers this time of year. Well, after an hour and a half of nothingness, we decided to move a couple of miles to another favorite spot. We set lines at 190' and it wasn't long before the Johnson rod produced a small Laker. Not long after that, we had a triple and quickly reset one of the lines only to get another Laker. Almost a quad! After a couple more Lakers making 7 in the box, we hit a quad with a single line double on Franks rigger, the Johnson bouncing and I had one. We only needed 3 for our limit but it worked out as one got off. As we wrapped it up after 2 hours. Seas that had been relatively calm, were now being stirred to some whitecaps by a 10 mph NE, cold wind so our timing to get off was excellent.
22 Jun Frank and I were not planning to run far but conditions were so good we thought why not enjoy a boat ride. We set lines in 130' and slowly worked deeper. Marks were scarce and Lakers more so. We ranged waters over 220' but only briefly. There were places we saw multiple marks but no takers. Finally, we boxed two nice Lakers and continued on another hour with no more hits. So we agreed to quit after a little over 3 trolling hours, putting away the net and some other gear. As I reached for my rigger to bring it up, a hit and the final Laker came to us. We call them 11th hour Lakers and this has happened any number of times in the past. Fun day!
21 June Another beautiful day as my guest Tyler Bell (14) and I headed out in calm seas and winds. We set lines at 160' and worked as deep as 230'. About half an hour passed before the first Laker hit. Then an hour passed without a hit but then a triple. We didn't mark many fish but it seems we never catch the marks anyway. We wrapped it up with 5 Lakers in two and a half hours. Surface water temperature was 47º and the air 53º. The Johnson rod finally produced after being on sabbatical for a few trips. Below is a picture of Tyler reeling in a Laker.
20 Jun Redemption, just kidding. Today my special guests were Frank Lorsbach his son Ted, and granddaughter Miranda (14). Super conditions with calm seas and winds as we set lines at 175'. It wasn't 10 minutes before the first Laker hit and went into the box. Slowly, we picked up 4 more Lakers, one on Frank's home-made sardine can lure. It's so flimsy that it gets all bent up and he has to reshape it. We had a minor goat rope where I tried to break the release loose by pulling on the line but the line broke. Good news, the line stayed into the release and we hand lined the Laker into the box. Miranda midway wanted to operate the downrigger and was amazing how quickly she grasped how it all worked. With 5 lakers in the box and ready to quit, she caught a Coho, boat's first of the year. We ranged in depths from 165' to 220' but didn't see a pattern of what depth was most productive. Didn't mark a whole lot. Average speed was 1.8 mph but that varied with the current. Here's a picture I finally got posted. Click on it to expand, back button to return here.
19 Jun 18 My guest today was Gary Gibbs and the both of us had high expectations as we headed out under beautiful, calm and sunny, conditions. Down went the gear in 145' but nothing happened for an hour and a half when we finally boxed a Laker to allay our fears of a skunk. Then another hour and a half of marks but no more takers. So after plying waters from145' to 220' for 3 hours plus, we were quite philosophical thinking what a beautiful day on the Big Pond. I believe it's called fishing.
14 Jun 18 I doesn't get much better than today where the forecast for light and variable winds came true. Today my guests were Steve Knoll and Edna Swiger from Bruce Crossing and where they refer their place as Hermitsville. We set lines at 175' and patiently waited for over an hour without a hit. Finally, of all things, a double and two nice Lakers went in the box. Then we then ran into several patches of big fish marks but they apparently were not interested in our lures. We plied water from 145' to over 220' and eventually caught 4 more nice-sized Lakers in a little over 3 hours. A most enjoyable time on the water with lots of tales and stories told. Here's a picture of Steve and Edna. Click on the picture to expand, hit back to return here.
10 Jun 18 Another beautiful, calm day so I headed out for a short trip because of other obligations. I set lines at 165' and in 20 minutes the first Laker came on board. I didn't mark vary many fish but that doesn't mean you can catch them when you do mark them. A second Laker was boxed after 30 minutes. The port rigger was dragging bottom so I decided to raise it to my superstitious but often effective 136 clicks. Danged if I got my third Laker on it, probably 40 feet off the bottom. With that third Laker, I wrapped it up in less than an hour and a half. Fun!
9 Jun 18 With guest Joe Arntsen along we set out on a calm ride where we set lines at 150'. We ran the same track as yesterday when it was so productive. Today we marked only a few and had no hits the first hour. Then as we moved to deeper water we started to mark and catch some nice ones but we considered the action as being quite slow. We ended with 4 nice Lakers in under 3 hours. Winds remained fairly light, but was pretty cool.
8 June Finally a calm day. All my fishing buddies were busy so out I headed in beautifully calm seas just after the crack of dawn. I think I enjoy the ride almost as much as fishing. I started in 150' of water with the Johnson rod, then my rigger. Before I could get the 2nd rigger out, the starboard rigger produced a nice Laker. I've never seen so many fish marks and it wasn't long before the Johnson rod bent over and produced a nice Laker. In an hour and a half I had 4 Lakers in the box when the port rigger hit, then the starboard rigger, a double when I could only keep one more. Following my ugly netting job, I released the sixth Laker. Most Lakers caught and marks seen were between 150' and 170'. Ironic this is where on the previous trip here we struggled to catch 3 Lakers in 3 hours. That's fishing eh!
30 May 18 The abbreviation OMG (like another word we won't mention), can mean any number of things. Today OMG stands for struggle to catch Lakers. Jim Price and I headed out in somewhat hazy conditions and a 1' lumpy seas, but still decent to motor to plane and fish. With a SE wind it was a cold 47º with considerable rock and roll to the boat. Well, an hour passed and we marked 2 fish but nary a hit. Finally a nice 4# Laker, then another dry period before another 3# Laker. Surprisingly, the winds died off from a steady SE 10 mph to about 3-5 mph but the seas didn't know that as we were on a long fetch. Shortening this unexciting story up we caught our last Laker just before quitting at the 3 hour mark. This is the Spring fishing I'm used to, but hey, fun nonetheless as Jim has stories beyond. Not only that but he says when we're in the right place lining up this point and that on land whilst I'm an electronics guy with 3 GPS, etc. 😁
26 May 18 OMG! Another calm day with only patchy fog predicted Well, one out of two isn't bad so Frank and I headed out in calm seas and clear skies with radar spinning, in calm seas. We could see we would be quickly running into fog And there it was. Our original plan was not to go far because of a slight chance of rain and possibly a quick thunderstorm around noon. So we set lines at 180' and I don't recall why I stopped my rigger at 139 clicks but it went off, ending with a nice 4.5# Laker in the box. Huh? Anyway, the fog hug in there the whole time and we managed two more nice sized Lakers and missed two more in the three hours when it was the end of our usual trip length. Besides, it suddenly looked ominous to the west so off we went. with 3 great Lakers. We plied 165' to 220' and didn't see a pattern of where they were. Marked some big marks but there're still there. Got home and the skies opened up so we timed that right. Once and a while you get lucky.
24 May 18 I wasn't planning to fish today but my friend Jim Price was off work and conditions were pretty ideal. Yeah, it didn't take much to talk me into heading out. We went in a different direction, to both of our favorite spots. Seas and wind were perfect. We set lines at 180' and nothing happened for 45 minutes, then a dandy 4# Laker visited our cooler. Steadily action happened about every 20 minutes, one of which was a single line double on Jim's rigger. Nearing the 3-hour mark we could see dark skies and obvious rain to the west so up came the lines. On our way to port, with radar spinning just in case we needed it, down came heavy rains and briefly fog and a burst of wind. The air temperature had dropped to 41.6º. Rounding the breakwater, the rain and wind turned benign and we pulled up to the launch in calm winds and only a drizzle. Sweet! Suddenly, with 7 nice Lakers in the box, the temperature shot up to 65º and all was good. Fun day!
23 May 2018 Surprise, still another great day, condition-wise. Frank and I headed out and set lines at 195' and went an hour with nothingness. Finally the Johnson rod produced a 5# Laker that fought all the way. Then more quiet but it was beautifully calm. Eventually, we picked up 3 more Lakers. One coughed up a big Smelt so I tossed the smelt over the side and there wasn't a Sea Gull in sight. It wasn't two minutes before one came by and scooped it up. How do they do that? Anyway, nearing the end of our run the breeze picked up and I looked at my thermometer at 41º, What! We got to shore and it was 75º just before we got in the marina. Albeit a slow day but a good one.
22 May 2018 Another beautiful day with calm seas and winds with an ole friend Gary Gibbs who joined me. We set lines in the place that's been productive lately, Of course with the understanding that can change by the minute or hour. We set lines at 200' in beautiful seas and weren't interrupted by any hits for an hour. Then finally a nice Laker on the Johnson rod and a little later one the port rigger. After about 45 minutes of nothingness, a triple of which we got 2 of 3. In short, we wrapped it up after 2 1/2 hours with 7 niced-Lakers in the box. Can't say which depth was best but perhaps 200' would be a good stab. Another wonerful day on the Big Pond!
21 May 18 Seas and winds were calm as Frank and I headed out, setting lines at 195'. It wasn't 5 minutes later that Frank said he had 2 Lakers on, a single line double. Good start! Typically, action was in fits and spurts. We plied waters from 160' to 220' catching some at various depths. We both had to get in early so after 2 1/2 hours we pulled the pin, catching 9 Lakers and releasing two dinks (small Lakers). Conditions remained great the whole time. Fun trip!
20 May 18 The past evening forecast's was for small craft warnings overnight to be dropped at 5 a.m. Angst! So I drove to the Lake to look for my self early morning and saw more rollers than waves. So this Captain suggested we head out and if it wasn't comfortable, back home we'd go. Well, with much enthusiasm, out we went into some nice 3-4' rollers, but at a decent angle and with a little trim tab down, not a bad ride. My guests Joe Arntsen and Luke Bourdage were so pumped they didn't care about the lumps on the high seas. Out went the gear, starting at 195'. Nothing happened for the first hour then slowly action picked up. We plied depths from 160' to 235', with the best depth around 195'. After 3 hours we had 5 nice Lakers in the box and we were planning to head in shortly. Then Joe said he had something going on his rigger and sure enough, there were two Lakers on one line, a single line double as I call them. Conditions steadily improved as the wind died off and the rollers slowly decreased so sea legs were in order most of the time. Joe and Luke are ole buddies and the bantering as to who caught the biggest or did best or whatever was a lot of fun to hear. So we wrapped it up after 3 1/2 hours with 7 nice Lakers and a good time. Click on the picture to expand and use the back button to return here.
19 May 18 Well, it finally happened - Frank and I got out for our shakedown cruise and maiden voyage for the season. The wind and seas were a little dicey at the shoreline but settled the further out we went. Part of that effect is the cold water tends to dampen the colder air and slow things down. I've experienced this many times early in the season. Finally, in relatively calm conditions we set lines, the Johnson rod going down first at 192'. It wasn't 5 minutes before the first Laker, and a nice 6.5# one went in the box and I didn't even have my rigger down yet. Not long afterwards, Frank had one on. Action was fairly steady as we plied depths from 155' to 236'. We had two doubles, each double producing only one Laker but that's OK. Nearing the two hour point the winds picked up from the East, not to mention a drizzle on occasion, I suggested we bunch it and got a quick concurrence from Frank. As I reached for the Johnson rod it bent over and we boxed our sixth Laker and headed in. No major issues during our initial trip and the Lakers were a gift. Missed two Lakers but they will be there whence I go back again. Surface water was 37º and air 40º. Things are looking up!
13 May 18 Seems the ice won't leave. Here are pictures I took yesterday from Hawley Street and Presque Isle Marina. Hoping for a South wind and some warmer weather. Click on pictures to expand. Use back button to return here.
30 Apr 18 Still lots of ice on the Big Pond. Looks like another week or so. This will be the latest start since 2014 when it was 4 June, again, because of ice.
5 Mar 18 Setting up the log for the coming season.
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