The Fishing Is just Starting
It's that time of year again when the south end of Lake Michigan starts to clear of ice and the feisty coho start to feed heavily.
The time to cash in on this great action is now.
The coho and smallmouth bass are starting to get active and feeding heavily. If you are fortunate enough to be able to get out on the water via boat there are a couple of options to search out the coho. You are able to cast jigs and twisters as well as crankbaits in the warm water discharges of the local steel plants. You may also pick up some nice big browns while you are doing so.
Trolling can be quite effective and allow you to cover a lot of water. Typically the best presentation will be utilizing planer boards and long leads to get the baits out and away from the boat. However, often times these fish will hit baits run right in the prop wash of the boat.
Some of the baits that I like to troll with include: Spro McStick 110 and Spro McRip baits , Red/Black thinfin, Rapala Taildancers, J-9 Rapalas, OO dodger and peanut fly, as well as smaller Stinger spoons. Typical stretches behind the board often run between 60 and 80 feet and if downriggers or dipseys are used they are typically only down 15-to 20 feet as you are only fishing 25-30 feet of water.
Look for dirty water and clear water transitions. The fish will use these as ambush points for an easy meal. The dirty water also warms faster in the sun and will concentrate these fish into good schools.
Smallmouth bass are also numerous and there are some great opportunities to get into a tussle with a nice bronzeback. Work the steel to rock wall transitions with goby imitating plastics dragged slowly on the bottom or white/clear grub baits. Work them parallel to the walls as these fish will hold tight to the walls because they are warming the water at a much quicker rate. As the water warms up switch over to a Spro McStick 95 or 110 and work them with a quick jerking and long pause action. You will be rewarded with some great action.
Don't waste time. Get out and have some fun. Please use caution when on the big water and use your head. Make sure all your safety equipment is in good working order and that you do not try to take on waves that are too big for your craft. The south end can get rough this time of year so pick your days and be safe!