Sunday, September 27, 2015
The mature King Salmon fishing on Lake Michigan and its many tributaries has been noticeably slower than normal over the past few weeks. This either means that there are less fish in the lake to return, or the run is later than usual. Only time will tell, as anglers continue to spend many hours on the water for a few fish.
This was the story for Derek and I over the weekend as we made a trip to Sturgeon Bay in hopes of tangling with a few King Salmon on our Walleye gear! Our trip started off with a bang, as Derek hooked into a beautiful Steelhead on his very first cast on a Jigging Rapala! Yes, thats right a Jigging Rapala! When Derek said that he had one I rolled my eyes in disbelief, but I was quickly a believer as I heard his drag start to scream and within seconds a tank of a Steelhead was dancing on the surface!
After a solid 5 minute battle with several aerial displays, Derek was finally able to guide this beauty into the net! The fish bit as the Jigging Rapala hit the bottom in 22 feet of water! We were hoping to tangle with a couple Brown Trout, but honestly never expected to land a Steelhead! Things certainly started off with a bang, so we continued jigging in hopes of landing some more fish but only had one other fish on briefly.
As the sun began to set, we couldn't help but enjoy the amazing sunset and peace and quiet as there were wasn't another boat in sight and the Salmon began jumping out of the water all around us! We were unable to hook up with another fish until after the sun had set and the moon took over.
Derek and I tried fishing skein, Gulp, spoons, and even trolled Flicker Shads and J-Plugs without a bump for nearly 2 hours when we switched to casting Berkley Flicker Shads. I had just casted out and gave the Flicker Shad a couple cranks when WHAM! A big King Salmon absolutely crushed my lure and took off across the canal! If you have never caught a large Trout or Salmon on spinning tackle then you need to give it a shot as it is a rush unlike any other!
The fish had its way with me for the first five minutes, screaming line off my Pflueger President which was music to my ears and this bite had been a long time coming! We eventually were forced into starting up the boat and chasing her down as she was headed for obstructions along shore! After an intense 10+ minute fight in the dark, I was finally able to ease the fish into the Frabill.
This beauty of a hen King Salmon was easily in the 17-20 pound range, and had made the entire trip worthwhile as I had been on a mission to land a King Salmon that night! After a few pictures, I bled the fish out and threw it on ice as this fish would die anyways in the coming weeks after spawning and the skein will be used to hopefully catch more Salmon down the road!
We continued casting at night, having a few fish on briefly before they managed to pull free. It was almost 11:00 and we had both begun to tire from casting, when once again my crankbait got crushed! "Fish On!" I yelled to Derek as he spun around a attempted to get a video of the fight! We quickly realized that we weren't setup for filming at night! This fish tired a little quicker, but was still a great fight with quite the story!
As the fish surfaced by the boat it shot off like a rocket, right between the bowmount trolling motor and the transducer cord on the trolling motor! I was now fighting the fish through that narrow space! Derek and I somehow managed to get the rod through this opening and continue to fight and land this fish! After that battle we were both wore out and decided to call it a night.
Even though we didn't catch a ton of fish, we still had a great time enjoying our time on the water! Hopefully the action continues to improve over the next couple weeks as the fish will hopefully continue trickling in for the spawning run! I will be switching gears back to Walleyes in the coming weeks, then eventually back over to Trout as we near Deer Season! For those of you that take the time to read my posts and check out the site I want to thank you as well as apologize for the lack of posts this past summer. Fishing time has been at a premium for me this season with a new job and growing family. I hope to find more time to post in the coming months, so thanks again and if you ever have fishing questions feel free to post on here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to help you out!