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
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
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
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!