Joe's boat Cooler By The Lake Welcome to my fishing web site. This is my twentieth year of logging my Lake Superior Fishing adventures.  I synopsize most trips, generally describing my adventures, successes and other details out on the Big Pond.  My boat is appropriately named "Cooler By The Lake". I am just a plain fisherman who loves to fish Lake Superior, mostly for Lake Trout. I do not run a charter. I try to update my reports after each trip. I think of it as a log but some might say it's a BLOG, mox nix. Thank you for following us on our Lake Superior fishing journeys. Please if you have any questions or suggestions on my reports or narratives. Compliments are also welcomed. Don't forget to visit my Joe's Woodshed.

"Cooler By The Lake"

Marquette, Michigan

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2015 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 will attempt to determine 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 will continue to be collected on recaptured Lakers through this year. Then I'll be anxious to see the final study.  Click here to see more information and interim results on the Lake Trout Hooking-Mortality study.

Click here to see last year's log - 2014   or click here to visit prior year fishing reports

Fishing Synopsis for 2015

For a couple of years I've mentioned to my friend Rick Weesen that my Merc 4-cyl, 130hp engine was a great workhorse, but for a 22' boat it was marginally powered. It would be nice to have a bigger engine to get me around and get in faster should bad weather come up. So he found a 6-cyl, 223hp Merc and Gen II Alpha 1 I/O and this spring we (mostly he) swapped engines and I/Os. Taking a couple of days, It was a fairly straight-forward swap but we did need to fabricate front engine mounts. Glitches were minor and most resolved in a few weeks. The boat really moves now, more quietly and smoothly than the old engine. Surprisingly, there was not much of an increase in fuel consumption. I'm happy as a clam as it's like having a new boat. I can't find a big enough prop having tried the biggest Merc 21" and it's still a little over recommended RPMs at wide open throttle. However, I can live with that.

Our start on 14 April 2015 was about average starting date. And the cold air and cold water was about average too.  Some years we were out in March, but not this year. We had some wild swings where we'd struggle to catch a couple and then limit out on the next trip.  But our catch of 401 Lakers was up from 383 last year, which we didn't think was all that good. My fish per hour rate dropped considerably, partly because I fished alone several times. I don't recall so much wind as this year. We had several stretches over 10 days where we couldn't get out. I put the boat up on the 18th of October as the forecast was for several more days of wind and rain. But overall, it was a fun summer taking out several guests I hadn't taken out before or for a long time.

I have posted my statistics below for you to peruse. Have a great winter. Joe

Fishing  Synopsis 201520112012201320142015
Trolling Hours Lake Trout only279271222155186
Trips Lake Trout only7377645364
Trolling Hours non-Lake Trout00000
Trips non-Lake Trout00000
Travel hours to and from fishing grounds5262483645
Skunk Trips Lakers only00001
Lake Trout kept362429236362373
Lake Trout tagged and released34431433200
Lake Trout released without tagging3469132128
Coho15111
Chinook12201
Steelhead00001
Total fish caught740819584384404
Fish per hour (total fish / Lake Trout Hours)2.663.012.632.472.15
Lakers caught with tags10425
Missed Fish1721731247568
Single Line Doubles (2 fish on one line)334836911
Average depth of water - feet175194175UnkUnk
Average length of trolling - hours3.83.53.52.92.9
Average fish caught per trip10.110.68.97.26.3

 

11 Oct 15    A stretch of windy weather. Last night the wind was howling and still huffing and puffing after sunrise, despite a forecast of SW winds at 5-10 mph. So Jim and I postponed our launch and slowly the winds did back down so out we went at 10:30a to relatively calm seas. We set lines at 140' and it was about half an hour before our first action,  a double but we lost one. Then another stretch where nothing happened and there were few marks. Suddenly a triple and we lost one of those. In the mean time, winds picked up steadily from the SE, not the forecasted SW, between 10 and 14 mph, with 1-2' waves. Oh well! We slugged it out putting our 7th and final Laker in the box, in a little shy of 3 hours. We were happy. Gale warnings are posted the next couple of days, along with some rain. Usually October is more calm and we're still hopeful to get a few nice days, maybe even a stretch of them before we hang it up.

5 Oct 15    After another long stretch of windy days, Jim Price and I enjoyed the calm seas today as we set lines in 140'. It wasn't long before the 1st Laker hit and from there it was fairly steady action. Once Jim's rigger bell was ringing and the rod bouncing. Turned out he had two nice Lakers on one line and we got them both in. We plied waters from  130' to 190'. Most Lakers were suspended about 15-20' from the bottom. We put our 10th Laker in the box after 2 1/2 hours and had a smooth ride home. Good day on the water!

23 Sep 15    Finally, after 10 days of huffing and puffing winds, the forecast was good. My guest, Jerry Albright, has fished with me a few times over the years and I headed out in beautifully, calm seas, with a lightly overcast sky. We set the Johnson out first in 175' , but working up a bank to 145' and were setting the port rigger when the Johnson rod hit producing a nice 4# Laker. Of course the  net wasn't ready  and a few other things but we're not to complain. The action continued as we had a triple and marked a ton of fish. Ironic, in that I fished this exact area a month ago and would mark only a couple and maybe catch a couple. Where do they go and why do the come here? I'd be wealthy if I knew that but I'm not interested in being wealthy, just want too figure out the pattern. The bottom line is we caught 11 Lakers in 1.5 hours, averaging 4.1#. Statistics are a hobby but having a great day on the water is the best and we had a blast. We had a bird visitor that sat on a seat and Jerry could actually touch. It would fly around and come back, once landing on my downrigger. Wouldn't you know I got a fish on that rigger and the bird flew off towards land. Neat!

13 Sep 15    Veterans Appreciation Day  Today, as I did last year, I volunteered to take veterans on a fishing trip. As it turned out, two of the four were unable to go due to medical issues. That left Frank Kinnunen and me leaving before sunrise with a NWS wind forecast of 5-10mph. Well, I could hire out as a NWS interpreter and would have said that means 12-17 mph. It didn't start that way but it didn't take long. We ran quite a distance and put the  Johnson out first at 140'. I turned around then could feel the rod going over. Nothing was ready, fish box, net, etc., but we moved fast and Frank reeled in a nice 5# Laker. Actions stayed fairly steady but it was hard to hold course and depth with some 2-3' waves. Once a rigger rod bent over and down went the line. Couldn't stop it and I should have loosened the drag even more. After several minutes, pop went the line and the split ring is all that came back - it opened up. But not to despair, Frank reeled in a 13# Laker that was an absolute beautiful red fin lean Laker. Boiling it down, we ended with 9 Lakers and 3 misses in about 3.5 hours. Then it was off to the Veterans Appreciation boat parade. I post the picture of Frank and his big Laker and not the parade. The pig roast afterwards was wonderful and Frank was most appreciative of the recognition. But then, I'm a vet too so I'm glad to do this.

Frank Kinnunen with 13# Lake Trout Click on picture to enlarge, use back key to return here.

8 Sep    Winds were forecasted to be light but looking at the radar, there was a lot of green headed our way. Kidding myself and my guest Jim Price, I said we'll have time to catch some Lakers before the rain hits. Sometimes the radar shows rain but it doesn't hit the ground. So off we went and set lines in 175' of water. Five minutes later the skies open with a downpour. Turning on the radar it looked like a rain cell that would pass through shortly and about 10 minutes later, it did. That was the pattern for the 2 1/2 hours we hung in there. We were bothered by Lakers only 5 times so we could stay under the canvas most of the time when it rained. Finally, we had a little equipment malfunction and decided to bunch it as it was then raining again pretty hard and the forecast threw in words like possible thunderstorms. Never saw another boat the whole time. Wonder why! There's got to be other fishermen goofy as me.

5 Sep 15    Today was a rather historic day as I was the first boat to launch today in our new Presque Isle Launch. It opened late yesterday (unannounced) and two boats launched last evening. Guest Jim Price and I found it relatively easy to launch. It's a beautiful facility! So out we went in calm winds but subtle rollers that made me use a little more trim tab than usual. We ran a bit to one of our favorite spots, starting near a waypoint I named years ago after Jim, who has fished there many times. Lines went down in 175' and it wasn't long before a rigger bell rang, producing a nice Laker. Action was steady, as we plied waters between 145' and 180'.We turned 180 after we had 6 Lakers in the box and picked up our last Lakers in a little over 2 hours.  We had a lot of friendly bantering as we both have pretty much different fishing techniques. With the last fish in the box it was a perfect time to head in as slowly increasing wind around 10mph from the SE was starting to kick the waves up, but with a little trim tab, the ride back was great.

4 Sep    My guest today was Marv Ranta, on a beautiful, light wind day. Launching was a piece cake and we rolled out to gentle rollers to a completely different spot, just for a change. Out went the Johnson rod first and before we could get the net or fish cooler ready, the Johnson rood bent over, well a little. Marv reel a good 2# eater in. We plied 150' to 185'' and slowly picked up 9 Lakers, all modestly sized. Trolling towards home we were looking for the 10th Laker (to fill our limit) and that's usually the toughest. So we missed our third Laker we could see behind the boat but that's fishing. A half hour passed and finally one rigger hit, then the Johnson, and the port rigger - a triple when we needed only one more. So we had to release two, but that just fine. Water and wind could not have been better so we wrapped it up with 12 Lakers in 2.7 hours. Another great day on the water.

3 Sep    My guest today was Frank Kinnunen. The forecast was for light from the NE with patchy fog, but there is no worse direction. The wind was 8-10 mph from the NE with 1-2' seas. So, we couldn't comfortably run where we wanted. I put the trim tabs down and out we went near a favorite, closer run, with no sign of fog. We set lines at 145' and it didn't take long before the Johnson rod came to life and produced a nice Laker. We worked directly into the 1-2' seas surprisingly well and plied depths out and back from 140' ot 190'. We ended caatching 8 Lakers, releasing 2 dinks but having a couple over 4#, all in about 2 and a half hours. We quit  when my rigger went off and the fish just kept on booking. Finally, it tangled into the johnson rod and it was dog's breakfast after that, and time to head in. Good time.

2 Sep 15    Finally talked my brother Ed into going out. He hadn't fished with me for a few years. Well, the fog could not have been heavier. We waited for a boat tied up at the launch where the owner, after launching, then had to fill out and pay his launch fee, then his passenger, after holding the boat in place, had to visit the restroom. So ten minutes later we heading out with the radar spinning. It's difficult navigating in the fog, radar or not, so went cautiously made our way to the end of the breakwater where there was less congestion. After a fairly long run, we set lines with the Johnson rod out first. It wasn't 3 minutes before Ed saw the Johnson is bouncing and we got that Laker to the boat. Of course the net or fish cooler weren't read so there was some scrambling. Sometimes the fog lifted where we could see a 1,000 feet but then it would roll in heavy again. Before long, another Laker. We then had 4 misses,, not in a row but nice fish. It started  to sprinkle rain but I said the forecast was for a chance of rain after 2pm so I expect it to be light. Well, this was 11am. and the rains got harder and harder  and I suddenly heard the rumble of thunder .I said we're pulling gear and going in with 4 fish (I had the only license). Then the port rigger hit and there were two fish on that, the Johnson rod bent, and starboard rigger bounced. Well, we needed one fish and caught a qraudiple, releasing 3 of the Lakers. Who-da-thunk eh! The fog lifted enough for decent visibility on the trip back and with calm seas we made good time. Just got the boat on the trailer and the lightening snapped and we were glad to be one terra firma but the rain came down hard.

31 Aug    Marv Ranta joined me again as we headed out in calm seas and a hazy sky. We set lines at 150' and it wasn't long before our first Laker hit. Action was fairly steady working depths from 150' to 200'. Nearly everything was caught on stackers, running from 10'  to 50' from the bottom. Marv had just reeled in a nice Laker when the Johnsrod bent way down. Marv experienced the burning arms as he reeled in a 14# Laker. Not long afterwards, there was a single line double on the port rigger.As I disconnected the stacker line, the line slipped from my hand and the Laker swam away with my lure and stacker line. However, we did get the Laker on main line. So we ended with 10 good-sized Lakers, 3 being 5#, in just over 3 hours. The breeze slowly picked up from the SE to aroud 8-10 mph but seas were only around 1' as we headed home. Click on pictures to enlarge. Great day!

Marv Ranta with 14# Lake Trout

27 Aug 15    My guest today was Marv Ranta, who last fished with me in 2008. With finally a break in the weather, seas were relatively calm and winds light as we ran a good distance to one of my favorite spots. We started in 175' and ranged from 140' to 200' and action was good in that whole range. It didn't take long for the first Laker and action was pretty steady the whole time. It seemed the Lakers were much more aggressive today than usual. At about 1 hour and 45 minutes, Marv had a single line double and the Johnson rod was bouncing too - a triple. That put 9 Lakers in the box and shortly afterwards, wouldn't you know we got a double and so had to release a nice 4# Laker, but it was good shape. A great day, producing 11 Lakers in just over 2 hours.

25 Aug    Still blowing and windy the past 10 days. Please check back on the 27th, 1st day that looks decent...now. Just got word the launch docks are in.

15 Aug    My guest today was Jim Price, who has fished where we went today so many times in his own boat. I named one of my waypoints after him. He got a kick out of that. Whereas he took his GPS along, I could watch him lining up shore-line points like the old-timers, but he's not nearly as old as I am. Fun! As a long time fisherman, his style was completely different than mine, but we went through the drill and soon we were clicking. First fish on, well, might have been  on for a while, was a nice 3# Laker at 159'.We ranged in depths from 150' to 190, but I could tell he leaned towards the 150'ish depths, so we did. But we varied depths and ended with 10 nice Lakers in 2.5 hours. Some at 190' and some 150', doesn't matter as it was a great day with calm waters and albeit, a little warm at times, just fun.

14 Aug    Another beautiful, calm day.There was an eagle sitting on the breakwater when I went b, probably no more than 200' from me and it didn't fly. It was there two trips ago too in the same spot. I sent lines at 180' and ranged down to 230'. On the out leg I got 4 modest-sized Lakers (slightly bigger than dinks) and turned to go back, hooping to pick up the 5th en route home. Well, 40 minutes later, through the same areas I caught fish going the other way - nothing. Finally, with the port rigger acting goofy as I call it, I pulled it up to find a decent, but obviously docile Laker on. I was happy to have my limit in under 2 hours but also to head in as the sun was cooking me from the top and the bottom. Still, fun!

13 Aug    You just can't always trust a forecast of rain and thunderstorms, so I didn't Seas were beautifully calm as I set lines and an the usual hour, or nearly so, passed without a hit or miss. Finally a lonesome Laker hit and the latent fears of a skunk went away. Slowly, at depths over 200' I picked up a couple more and with 4 in the box, turned launch-ward. I only need one more and surely I can do that. So after 45 minutes, my rigger went off but that was a miss. Then within minutes, the Johnson rod bounced and whilst I was reeling that fish in, the port rigger came to life. WTF I though! I only wanted one more (not to sound ungrateful) but now a triple. So I ended releasing the two off my rigger. Fun, fun, fun! I didn't mind wrapping it up shy of three hours as it was getting hot.

Venting My Spleen: I came into the lower harbor dock to find someone backing his personal watercraft trailer into the area I was going to dock at. Fine, except  I have no place to go while he did that. He couldn't back it straight and after getting the trailer into the water, got out to see it wasn't the right distance and got into this vehicle two more times. Ah, but where was the personal water craft? So he then walked to a far slip and several minutes later came around the marina with his vessel.. Then after powering it on his trailer, he spent no less the several additional minutes cranking and tying it down. This all took no less than 15 minutes. In fairness, during the closing of the upper harbor launch I've had nothing but good experiences launches at the lower harbor. But this was as inconsiderate as you can get. The best part of it was he could have used the north lunch as he didn't need a dock. I'm glad there are not many like that.

10 Aug    Not the best of days! Forecast was 5-10mph from the north. Flat as glass when I left and set lines. Then the gentle breeze slowly turned into an north wind and before long, seas had built to 1-2' and fog rolled in, but fog didn't concern me. Finally, a Laker off a rigger and shortly after I turned , noticed one ringer was acting what I call goofy. Well, turned out was my second Laker on. It was very difficult to steer in the waves and wind gusting to 15mph so I decided to bunch it after an hour and 45 minutes. Bumpy ride home. But not a skunk trip anyway.

8 Aug 15    Same place and depths as last time and again beautiful conditions. Nothing happened for the first 50 minutes then the action picked up, first with a dink. Finally, a 6.5# Laker rattled the rigger and that was fun. The port rigger caught another small Laker and the Johnson rod came to life but I missed that one. I set the port rigger at 47 clicks so when I go back down with the Johnson rod, they won't tangle. Well, I sent the Johnson out and I looked over to see the port rigger jumping. Seems I had forgot to send it deep and instead produced a 4.5# Laker that gave a heck of a fight. Ironically, I recently chased those marks that look like fish between 70' and 40', knowing in my heart they're usually clouds of spiney water fleas which are now showing up in numbers. I had pretty much given up on fishing those depths and fortunately, forgot to send the rigger deep. Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while.

6 Aug    Back to the same place as yesterday and a beautiful day again. I worked the 150-180' depths and picked up 5 Lakers in 1 hour and 45 minutes. However, I was disappointed how small they are running, the biggest being 3#. Yeah, I know I shouldn't be whining as it still was most enjoyable.

5 Aug 15    My guest today was myself, and a late morning start too, circa 10am from the lower harbor, now that the upper is closed.  But what a beautiful morning with light winds and some left-over rollers. I set lines at 170' and it was 45 minutes before the rigger bell rang, albeit a light ring. A small (I call a dink) Laker reluctantly (on my part) went into the cooler. The rollers were deceivingly from different directions and at times, I kind of danced to the rock and roll of the boat. OK, back to fishing. I slowly caught 3 other dinks and finally 4.5# Laker to give me some respectability. Fishermen tend to complain no matter how many they do or don't catch but I did manage catching 7 Lakers and releasing two of them. Still, the Lake was beautiful when I wrapped it up after two hours on beautiful seas and thinking, Gee, the fish were a bonus.

27 July    My guest today was Jason Carstens. We headed out under sunshine and in calm waters in 220', deeper than I planned but it varies widely. We set lines and action was slow. We finally picked up a Laker after 45 minutes and decided to troll to a different area. En route, we picked up another. And action picked up somewhat. Jason finally got a taste of cranking on the Johnson rod. I'll put his picture (click to enlarge) below reeling in a Laker on the Johnson rod. Seas remained great and we decided to quit after 3 hours. Well, bringing up gear were two Lakers on one rigger. Good way to end with 8 Lakers. Oh, we caught a green tag but the number is nearly unreadable. Fun day!

Jason Carstens Reeling in a Laker on the Johnson rod

26 July    The notice is up that the Presque Isle launch will be closed tomorrow so Frank and I decided to head nort (sic). Beautiful, calm water, no wind, and full sunshine - it was hot! We managed a few Lakers and we ran a planner board as action was slow. About two hours into the mission the planner board release fired off and I felt there was a dead weight on. OMG, I couldn't make any progress and we decided to bring in the Johnson rod and both riggers so we could minimize chances for tangling. I slowed the motor to a crawl and still that fish wouldn't budge. Short version is we finally got it to the boat, a 15#, 35 1/2" Laker that we took pictures of and released. This was a 25-minute fight. So we reset gear and two minutes later I looked out at the planner board and said (blue words were spoken) we had a false release. But it wasn't. We had a 7#+ Laker on and that was a ton of fun. So we ended shy of 4 hours with 7 Lakers and a release. Some of the smaller Lakers we probably should have released but then again,... Fun day but it got a little hot and we were glad to get off the Lake.

25 July    In the morning I walked about a mile to one of my favorite blueberry patches. Well, that was a bust as I didn't find many and it was hot. Late morning I headed out on the Big Pond with the excuse of checking out some changes I made in fishing gear. The wind was from the north at 10 mph and waves 1-2' and an occasional 3' coming along and some white caps too. So I headed north and fished it with the waves, the motor almost at idle. Picked up 2 Lakers and called it quits after an hour and 15 minutes. In the interim, the wind and waves had gotten better but I had other things to do and the gear changes checked out just fine.

23 July    Fellow boat "Summertime" and I headed out quite a way to a place that used to produce lots of fish. Seas were great and the winds near calm. I set lines in 150' and at 139', hit my first Laker. After about an hour, a 5.4# Splake hit and that was fun. Action was slow between fish but finally another Laker then an 8.4# Laker that crossed over into the opposite downrigger. Talk about ugly trying to get that fish to the net. It was sheer luck that it didn't get off. After 4 hours I decided to wrap it up so up came one rigger, put the net away, and squared away some other gear. I then was raising the port rigger and at 50 clicks, a beautiful Steelhead hit and quickly came to the surface. That's the first for the year. Of course, the net was stored but it all worked out. Great day!

18 July    It was too nice not to head out. I set two lines at 180' and the port rigger at my superstitious 137 clicks so I don't need to mess with it. Well, after just ten minutes the port rigger went off and I got the fish about 2/3 of the way in and it was bye bye. An hour later I missed one on the Johnson rod. A half hour passed and there was a small Laker that I intentionally shook off the line. That was all the action and finally after 2+ hours, I thought if I don't quit now, I might end up catching one fish to clean so I pulled gear and went home with my empty fish cooler. But it wasn't a skunk trip anyway. Talking to several other fishermen there was a lot of whining about how slow it was, but fishermen often whine regardless.

Finally posted the bird pictures from the 26 May trip.

17 July    It rained during the nighttime but it moved out early morning and the winds were light so out I went to fairly calm seas. I set all three lines, the one rigger I left at my magic 137 clicks. Some 55 minutes passed without a hit or mark so there I was looking at my GPS to see how far to some of my favorite spots. Suddenly, a double which both went into the box. About 20 minutes later the suspended rigger went wild for about 15 seconds, then dead. Rats! I turned and finally hit another double, then not too much later a small dink Laker which I lifted by the line hoping it was fall back into the Lake but instead fell into the cooler. So it was 5 Lakers in a little over 2 hours, a good feeling. Seas remained great and the sun peeked out briefly, then disappeared again. Seems you'll never wear out a pair of sunglasses around here. I almost lost a lure when I threw it over the side into the water whilst I was hanging on to what I thought was the leader. It wasn't and I grabbed the connected leader just as it was going over the side of the boat. Dumb!

15 July    Today John Wells and I wanted to try the 70'ish depths so off we went in 2' rollers which were manageable for traveling. We set lines and before we had the net out and dipped, we had our first Laker on. We decided to circle that area and picked up two more Lakers, all three withing the first half hour. The next two hours produced nothing so we headed to deeper waters where we picked up 3 Lakers and missed two right behind the boat where the hooks came out and flying over our heads. Conditions were great so the 5 hours we spent on the water were most enjoyable. Oh, it was interesting to note the surface water temperature was 57.6 and we moved 2 miles where it was 49.8. Go figure! Air temperature was 51 for a while.

12 July    It was another beautiful morning as Gary Gibbs and I set lines in 70' of water. Yes, that's not a typo as we wanted to try some shallow fishing for something different. In about half an hour, a rigger went off and produced a nice 4# Laker that had lots of spunk. An hour passed and the rigger again went off and produced a 6# Laker. Although it was slow going, the fish were bigger and full of fight. We fished there for a while longer then moved to deeper water where we picked up 5 more Lakers, but it took quite a while. The winds which were initially light slowly increased to 10+ mph from the SE but were not a problem. We did catch a Laker that I had tagged and released in 2012 in that same location. That was neat! Fun day on the Big Pond.

Whilst organizing stuff on my boat that evening, I discovered a package of 4 emergency flares tucked back under a storage area with an expiration date of 1984. I have lots of flares as they have expiration dates and we're required to get new ones every three years. It's suggested we keep the expired ones too, which I obviously do. So I thought I'd test these 30-year old flares to see if they still work. All four worked just fine. Now you don't suppose the flare manufacturers lobbied the Government to have these flares expire every 3 years so we all have to buy new ones, do you?

11 July    With chores to do, I missed the early bite and didn't get out until mid afternoon. However, it was a beautiful day and it started fairly calm but slowly increased to a still manageable 10mph from the SSE. I didn't have any action the first hour then finally a Laker showed up on the Johnson rod. Then another hour passed with no action so I mumbled to myself I wish I had one more as I don't like to clean just one fish. Suddenly the rigger came to life but when I brought it up, my lure was gone. Huh? Good, tough line too and maybe the knot gave out, but it's my usual and I've never had it fail. So I thought why not wrap it up after a little over 2 hours. I stated putting things away when the Johnson rod came to like. My arm was burning, cranking in that fish with all that line out but it was a nice 4# Laker and the second fish I was looking for.

9 July    Conditions were great with calm seas and almost no wind as Frank and I didn't go far to set lines. We worked from 150' to 240' and managed only 2 Lakers in 2 hours so we decided to pull lines and head to another place a few miles away. That proved even slower and we ended catching two more Lakers for a total of 4 in just shy of 5 hours. However, the water remained near calm except for a brief time when I was forced to put a sweater on, Talking to several other boaters, their results were similar. Seems most of us are struggling and wondering where the fish are.

8 July    It was a cool start this morning with friends Frank Lorsbach and John Wells. But winds were light and seas nearly calm as we set lines in 170'. Action was slow but we broke the ice with a Laker after half an hour. Then a miss on the Johnson rod, another Laker and then another miss with my line breaking. Sounds like a big fish did it but honestly, the line was badly worn and I broke it pulling on the release. I'll change line when I get home. We plied depths to 260' and up to 140' and didn't find a pattern or patch where they were. We ended with 8 Lakers in 4 hours but talking with other fishermen, we did about average. However, it was a fun day with lots of joking and BSing.

4 July    God Bless this Country and Happy Birthday USA. Following the rededication ceremony at the Veterans Memorial, neighbor Reggie and I headed out early afternoon to calm seas and a light haze We set lines at 180' but then sought some deeper water. After about an hour, we had two Lakers in the box and had one nearly to the boat. The action then screeched to a halt. How is that possible but it's happened many times before! Once we got as deep as 267'. Yikes! After an hour and 15 minutes, decided to quit and just before quitting, we got our third Laker.  

2 July    Today was a later start because of chores. Gary Gibbs and I set lines at 10a in 170' and then the slowness set in. An hour and a half passed without a hit. Finally a Laker latched onto the Johnson rod so at least we wouldn't be skunked. Another hour passed before another Laker made its presence known. Then another hour and a half passed as we varied depths from 150' to 240' without being bothered by a hit. I mentioned with two fish in the box we should draw straws who gets both Lakers and I don't like to clean just one. I jokingly mentioned we should get two more to make it worth our while when we caught a single line double, just before quitting. Ring went the rigger bell and it was a single line double and we got them both and decided to quit. Conditions were wonderful with near-calm seas and winds Good day out there!

29 June    Got my early morning errands done and with the excuse of testing my downrigger that I straightened after bending in on the tribal ghost net, I set the Johnson rod out first at 10:45am in 190'. Before I could get to my other riggers or the net, a Laker was on the Johnson rod. Scramble, scramble but I got it in the box. Conditions were great and I thought wow, they're really hitting today. Well, I should know better as I managed only two more in the next two hours, then headed in, but that was fine. The rigger worked perfectly.

28 June    What a beautiful, calm morning. No winter coats and in fact, no coats at all. Frank and I set lines in 170' and worked depths from 140' to 250' and the action was slow. We didn't see a pattern for location or depths so we just wandered around. We were able to pick up 9 Lakers, the biggest 5# but several around the 2# range too, all in just under 4 hours. This was in one of our favorite locations. We marked very few and wondering where they are. However, it was a great time on the Big Pond.

27 June    A mixed emotion day. Frank and I left port on a beautiful day. Set lines and action was slow. Caught one Laker and not long after caught a ghost Tribal net. No question as to what it was as we tried to birng it up from 152' to 103' but we couldn't get it any further. Bent my downrigger and kept kicking the thermal overload so we didn't get to see the net. Finally I connected the rigger line to the boat an put the aux motor in full power. Didn't work but we dragged it a couple hundred yards.. We couldn't break it loose. Did the same with the Merc and that broked it away, along with lures, weight, and release. So we decided to troll to a nearby route we've had few troubles with. I rerigged as we had the Johnson and one rigger out. Gradually we picked up a Laker here and there and ended with 7, the last being a surprise as we wrapped things up.There is some good news in here in that it was an absolutely wonderful day, weatherwise., and fising too. Caught a Laker with a green fish tat for $10, but I looked it up and it wasn't one we tagged, still $10. 

The location of the ghost net when we first hit it was 4634.717/8720.881 and we dragged it a short distance and it broke off somewhere before 4634.714/8720.988.

26 June    What a beautiful morning with calm seas as friend Greg Gustafson and I headed out. We set lines at 170' and worked our way as deep as 240'. Action was fairly steady and we had 4 Lakers in the box when my rigger switch failed with the weight down 235'. I screwed on a crank handle and got some exercise cranking. We then hung bottom with the other rigger as not watching my GPS close enough, ran across a 60' hump loaded with rocks. My fault as it was clearly marked on my GPS. We backed around and got all the gear back. Caught two more Lakers fishing with just the Johnson rod and one rigger. Then the other rigger hung bottom and we got that off and attached was a nice Laker that swam away when we saw it. So we decided it was time to wrap it up.

24 June    With a great forecast for a light northly wind, as we got to the launch the fog rolled in and several boats were leaving, saying the north wind was snapping to much. Well, Frank and I decided to head out with the radar spinning and found it very fishable, albeit foggy, which doesn't bother us. We set the Johnson rod out frst as usual and it wasn't two minutes later it was bouncing with a Laker. Action was better than it's been lately as we plied waters from 150' to 240' and we managed 10 Lakers in exactly 3 hours. Seas were near calm and the fog finally lifted in the last hour. Fun time!

21 June    Mo Fog! Yup, another foggy day, but not as bad as the others as neighbor Reggie Gebo and I headed out in calm seas. We didn't go all that far before setting lines in 180' of water. Then an hour passed with nary a hit or mark. The conversation was to move but invariable when you mention moving, you'll catch a fish. It worked! We plied waters from 175' to 240', and slowly caught 5 more Lakers, a couple at the 240'ish depths. The fog slowly lifted but the nort (sic) wind started up and it was perfect time to quit, a little over 3 hours so we were happy.

19 June    Today was a struggle to get 5 Lakers. Seas and winds behaved but the Lakers just didn't cooperate (fisherman speak for bite or hit). Frank and I roamed from 140' to 255' but didn't run into any patches of interested Lake Trout. Took nearly 5 hours but the 5 we caught were all nice leans and I don't mean to be ungrateful. We're just a little surprised as we were in one of our favorite areas. Just when you think you have things figured out... BTW, wore my winter coat and hoddie again.

17 June     What a beautiful, calm morning as we ran about 15 miles alongside motorboat "Summertime" to areas we haven't fished in a long time. Action started slowly and stayed that way as we trolled the 150-180' area, marking very few. But as we picked up a Laker here and there, they were all nice sized, the largest over 5#. As we passed the 3-hour mark with 8 Lakers in the box, we hit a double. Bringing both fish right behind the boat, both got off and swam away. Mumble, mumble! So we dropped our lines down again and it wasn't two minutes later another double, and we were able to net both of them What are the odds!

14 June    Yup, fog again. My plan today was to explore and area an acquaintance has fish for many years that's close but I never fish. So I laid out a zigzag GPS route pattern and put out only one line to the bottom. Depths ranged from 165' where I started to some places 239', the deepest. Marked only a couple but caught none after 1.5 hours so I decided to move to an ole route. I pulled lines and with radar still spinning, moved about 2 miles. I set lines, this time all three and some the Johnson rod produced a nice Laker at 162'. I spent another 1.5 hours in my ole familiar area and was ready to wrap it up by grabbing the Johnson rod. Well, there suddenly was resistance and I reeled in my 2nd and final Laker. I had no regrets spending time searching around as although it was foggy the entire time, it was flat as a pancake. I've always said a pair of sunglasses would last many years around here.

13 June    Finally a fog-free day as Frank and I set lines in our usually-productive spot. However, it didn't produce anything in the first hour and a half so we decided to troll to another spot we hadn't fished in a long time. Finally, a Laker showed up, and gradually three more. By this time, we decided to head home so we put the net away and I completed my log when the fifth Laker hit. Then we were toying with staying a little longer as conditions were so nice, but didn't. A great day on the water but not an overly productive one. Guess I shouldn't complain about 5 Lakers, especially after my last trip.

12 June 2015    The forecast again was patching fog clearing by 9a, calm winds, and on the cool side. As I had a sweater and winter coat on, the reality was heavy fog, air temperature of 39 (seriously), and surface water 41.9 as I set lines. Even though it doesn't sound all that hot (no pun intended), it was pretty decent except the first hit was after an hour and of all things, on the suspended line that I don't pay much attention to. It was a nice 5# Laker. Finally, another hit after another hour, that one to escape. As I approached the 3 hour mark, I started to wrap things up, including putting the net away. Just as I reached for the Johnson rod to put it away, it got hammered and bent over. Fifteen seconds later, that went dead. So productivity wasn't the best but overall, I enjoyed the time out, albeit foggy until I got to the launch around noon. I plied 145' to 220' but I'm thinking the Lakers aren't here or they're not hungry. But no surprise to either. There's always tomorrow.

11 Jun    Another nice, calm day as Gary and I set lines in 160 FOW (feet of water). It wasn't 10 minutes later a nice 4# Laker responded, and it had a green tag, but it wasn't one of mine. Another 10 minutes and another nice Laker went into the box. Then, the foolish talk began that we had great action ahead of us. Wrong! We struggled to catch 3 more as we approached 4 hours. We plied waters from 140' to 229', changed our hats, and are back to operating with a graph. Reports from fellow fishermen were similar. But still, it was a good day on Big Pond.

9 June    Conditions were great with calm seas and winds as Gary Gibbs and I set lines in around 185'. I say around as I'm fishing without a graph lately whilst it's in for repairs. Today started as a mirror of yesterday as we came up on 59 minutes before our first hit, and it was a miss at that. Slowly we did end with 4 Lakers in shy of 3 hours, not our shiny best but a most enjoyable time on the water. And there was no fog today!

8 June    A few projected delayed my launch until 11am. Another foggy day but calm seas and winds, so it's kind of a compromise. It's been a radar season so far and today it was thick. The NWS said patchy fog. Well, this was one heck of a patch as I didn't see land until I returned to the dock. I glanced at the thermometers as I set lines and the air was 46, water 41. Later, whilst whining about the slow action, I glanced at my watch to see I was washing lures for 59 minutes without any action. My whining paid off as I boxed my first Laker. I'm still fishing without a graph so I am guessing I was in 180'. Action picked up a little and I was able to manage 3 more Lakers, all in just under 3 hours, the last 5 minutes before I planned to quit. It got comfortable enough to where I took my winter coat off, only to put it on again later. Still, a great time on the water.

6 June    Last trip wasn't overly productive so I thought it time to change hats. I was also wearing my winter coat as Frank and I left the launch in near-calm water. My graph had pooped the bed so we were fishing without a graph, but we know the area pretty good so that wasn't a major problem. Action the first hour was very slow but slowly picked up. Coming up on 3 1/2 hours we had 8 Lakers in the box and the 9th I managed to knock off the hook with the net. I used to get upset when that happened, now it's just a sheepish grin. The water remained quite decent but the light breeze was from the NE, not the south predicted and was 41 most of the time. Surface water was still only 39.

1 June 2015    With a cold but calm forecast, I opted for an early start. It was 35 at 6am when I left the house. There was ice on launch dock but other than that, all went well as I set lines in 180' FOW. The last line in was the port rigger which I set at 137 clicks and leave it there when I fish alone. It was minutes before that rigger bell rang with a nice Laker and about half way up, the Johnson rod had one on. I foolishly thought this is going to be fun but about 30' out, the rigger fish got off and the Johnson rod fish lasted only about 30 seconds. Bummer! Twenty minutes later, another Laker lost on the Johnson rod, but this time it stayed on longer. Well, a couple of hours passed without a hit or a miss and finally as I was coming up on 3 1/2 hours, I caught two Lakers, and that's what I went home with. However, it remained calm and sunny and even warmed up a little. However, my winter jacket stayed on the whole time.

28 May    Today I wore my winter coat as Gary and I left in heavy fog, radar once again spinning. We set lines at 165' and worked depths up to 195' but the action was slow. An hour passed before our first Laker and then action slowly picked up. Finally, with 9 Lakers in the box and coming up on 4 hours, we had mixed emotions of going for one more for the limit or heading home. Well, my rigger bell rang and what should appear but a single line double, two Lakers on one line. Wouldn't you know as we had to release one of them. We even hoisted one by the line hoping it would fall back into the Lake but that didn't work. The other reason for hoisting one by the line was to prevent it getting tangled in the net and decreasing its chance of survival. So we got our limit and the fog was still heavy but starting to lift for our return trip. There was no wind but 2', sometimes 3' rollers didn't bother us but made walking in the boat a little wobbly. I kept my coat on the entire time as the air temperature was 39 for a while, surface water was 37.

26 May    It looked to be a great day, the temperature 55 when I left without a coat. What was I thinking!  My guest, Gary Gibbs, an ole friend who has fished with a number of times over the years, joined me as we pulled out of the launch in heavy fog, but calm seas. With the radar spinning en route, land was not in sight, and so it was when we set lines in 165' of water. Nothing happened for the next hour and we were exactly where we were two days ago when we did so well. An hour passed and finally a Laker in the box off the Johnson. Then considerable more time passed and I admit to whining about how slow it was and finally another Laker at 190'. And  so it went but when we wrapped it up after 4 hours, we had 7 Lakers so the whining did pay off. We even resorted to putting WE-40 on the lures. Lest you think we weren't enjoying our fishing, dispel that notion. However, besides the occasional Laker, we had two bird visitors (Click to enlarge) that sat in various places on the boat. The bird on the left is a male Wilson's Warbler and the one on the right is a male American Redstart.  Fog all the way back, but calm seas and a good fishing trip. BTW, my rigger didn't produce today, pretty unusual. Gary used a lure I gave to him many years ago, and he gave back to me a few years ago and today it produced most of the Lakers. Fun! Another BTW is that it was cold out there, 41 air and 37 water so forgetting my coat made me dig into my boat closet (plastic box)  for a coat.

Finch Oriole

24 May    Joyous fishing day on the Memorial Day weekend and a great forecast to boot! My grandson Cooper Smith (13) joined Frank and me on a perfectly calm morning. My new (relatively) power plant pushed us along at 30mph. towards fishingland, with high hopes. We weren't disappointed as the action started in short order. We worked waters from 160' to 190' and it seemed 180' was the ticket. Cooper was kept busy reeling as we put our 15th Laker in the box in slightly under 3 hours. I was talked into running a Dipsiy Diver the whole time, which of course produced nothing. However when quitting, the line broke trying to release it and we thought it and the lure went to their happy resting place on the bottom of the Lake. But wait, as I pulled up my rigger, it was somehow caught in the rigger line and we got everything back. Now that's what I call mixed emotions. Great day on the Big Pond!

22 May    The forecast was great, albeit 32 when I left the house but with only a light breeze. En route there were 2' rollers but that didn't slow me down much. I stopped to talk to another boat about halfway to my destination. He pointed to the DNR nets nearby. When I finally arrived at my spot, I started to set out the Johnson rod when I looked ahead and saw another DNR net flag. I wasn't sure which end it was so asI believe these nets are 3,000' long so you can't see the other flag. I circled it a couple of times to see if it showed on my graph so I could get an idea of where the other end was. That killed about 45 minutes but I was able to figure it out. The first hour produced no fish nor marks. Finally, a hit on a stacker line and I can only say it was about 3' from the net when we parted company. Action was slow but eventually I was able to pick up 5 Lakers, 4 of which were off the bottom by 20-40', where I run my "leave it alone" rigger. Pretty unusual! I also missed 4 other Lakers that were on for seconds. The sun was out but my hands were cold and I had my winter coat on the whole time. Well, I looked at the thermometer and it said 37, same temperature as the water. Good thing the sun was out and there was almost no wind.

20 May    What a difference a day makes. Yesterday it was snowing and winds howling. Today it was sunny and calm, albeit 32 when I left the house. I decided to fish one of my old haunts, some 20 miles from where I've been going, just for a change. Well, I set lines at 145' and voila, nothing happened for an hour and forty-five minutes. Not even a mark. Of course I was saying to myself "what were you thinking?" I started playing with the electronics and cogitating some truisms. One of which is if you stare at a fish finder long enough, you will see fish marks. The other is if you stare into the fog long enough, eventually you will see something. Well, finally a Laker on the Johnson at 180+ woke me up. I then made the 180 turn on my route, deciding to stray from the sterile track going out. Finally, I did see a mark at about the 150' and not on the bottom. A few minutes later, the rigger I had suspended hit, then a double, the other rigger going off. With no further hits for the next half hour, I thought it a good time to check the oil in my engine. Got the doghouse pulled out when the Johnson rod bent over. Murphy's Law! Finally, I caught my fifth Laker just a touch over the 3-hour mark. BTW, the 150' suspended fish I caught was in 230' of water. Seas remained calm and the ride home was wonderful.

16 May    Talk about fog! It was in heavy as Frank and I set out in calm seas. Running in fog with the radar spinning, watching the radar, watching the GPS for steering, and most importantly, looking to the front window, is an effort of concentration. However, it's a touch easier when it is calm as it was. We set lines at 164' and in 20 minutes, the first hit and into the box it went. Continuing on we caught a dink (small Laker) that I insisted on keeping as it was slow fishing by our standards. We ranged in depths from 160ish to 195' and things picked up as we moved down the route. The fog hung in heavy, and I set the radar to scan for other boats every 5 minutes and sound a warning, but we didn't worry about that. Boiling it down, we caught 10 Lakers, mostly between 145' and 190' in a little over two hours. The run back was still in heavy fog but we made it fine. BTW, the surface water was 35.8 and this is true, the air was 38.5 for a short time. I'm glad it wasn't windy. Great day!

14 May    The forecast of 10mph from the south seemed conservative as I showed gusts to 14 mph at the launch. However, I commented to Frank the cold water dampened the wind and waves somewhat and that proved true. It was a little lumpy heading out but after a mile or two, it calmed off. We set lines at 165' and the action was pretty steady. The first Laker we missed, the first of 5 misses, but after that we had a triple (got 2 of 3) and near the end another triple and got 1 of 3). Most of the Lakers were, for reasons we all speculate upon, caught going one way, save 2. The winds slowly picked up to 10+mph and with 1' seas, made it a bit bouncy. The surface water was 35.5 and the air 41 when we started. All in all, it was a good day with the largest of 10 Lakers 8#, most in the 2-3# ranges, and one or two I won't talk about. Great day!

13 May    Yup, it's been a week of crappy weather. Midnight winds were still at 20 mph from the north but all indications were for the high to settle over us and the Lake to calm down. Well, it did settle quite a bit but there were still 2' rollers and a north wind at 8 mph when I launched. However, fishable it was so down went the gear and before it could get the port rigger out, the Johnson rod produced a nice 3# Laker. Premature expectations set in and it was over an hour before the next Laker went into the box. Depths ranged from 164' for the first Laker to 184' for the second. But in the interim, I went as deep as 220' with little results. In between depths I did miss two bell ringers that didn't stick. But overall, it was really enjoyable in the sunny skies and the winds slowly died off to under 5 mph. At least I got out, albeit the only boat out of the launch

6 May    The forecast was too good to pass up so into the water I went at 7a. Then it hit me I forgot my Nexus GPS but still had my Lowrance GPS. Well, that wouldn't lock on so with a brain flash, I got out my cell phone which I loaded with my chart and waypoints and off I went. Didn't have a way to keep it vertical so I diddled around with some tape that didn't work either. However, it was working perfectly and even easier to read than the other two GPS. Anyway, it was 35 and I passed through some skim ice about a block long, then ran out of it on beautiful, calm seas.

I arrived at my starting spot, wearing my same lucky hat, to set the Johnson rod out first, then my rigger, then the other rigger at 137 clicks, in 165' of water. It wasn't 10 minutes before my rigger connected with a nice Laker off its stacker line. Not long afterwards, another hit on the rigger. Then the port rigger bell rang. I thought, great, a double but then the Johnson rod bent over with a Laker. The race was on thinking I had a triple, and being alone, it would be a challenge. I first netted Lakers from both riggers. Starting on the Johnson rod, I could feel a heavy drag and my arm burned cranking it in. Lo and behold, there were two Lakers on the Johnson rod and by some miracle, I got them both in. It was my lucky day in several way, including a couple of the Lakers were barely hooked in the lip and literally fell off into the net. However, having a quad (four on at once) whilst alone was a new one for me and let alone getting a limit in 40 minutes. Only thing left was to put all the lines and rods away and head home. Funny, I didn't feel the cool air but my hands burned washing them in 34 water, but I got over it quickly. BTW, I have marked almost no fish the past couple of trips. Wonder why, but I'd rather catch them than see them.

5 May    Had an early morning meeting so I left port around 10a on a beautiful, calm, and cool morning. It was a fairly slow start but finally my rigger side produced a nice Laker from 180'. Then after an hour, another Laker and another after 45 minutes. It didn't matter much action was slow as seas were near calm and the sun was out - just great to be on the water. Finally took my coat off but followed my instincts to put it within one arm's length. Good self advice as I put it on again shortly thereafter when a slight but cold easterly breeze kicked for a short time. Finally, my rigger again rang and produced two Lakers on one line, first single-line double of the year and that filled my quota after 2.5 hours. BTW, the chunk of ice I always put on the fish in the cooler has now lasted 4 trips, which speaks to the cool water and weather.

2 May    Another cool but calm day so wearing one less layer of clothing and the same hat I did yesterday (other fishermen will understand that), headed back to the same spot as yesterday. It was 55 at my house but 41 on the Big Pond, surface water 35. Somehow, it didn't feel as cold as yesterday and it warmed up as soon as the action started. Running the same area and rod-setups as yesterday, the action was pretty steady, including a double. Most of the 7 Lakers caught were around the 170-180' area and the suspended line again produced a nice 4# Laker. Both small Lakers were poorly hooked and I just held them up without a net and plop, they swam away. One of the kept Lakers had a Tribal tag which I reported to them and may get me $5. It was 24" long and they want to know that. Sure would be neat to catch one that I tagged a few years back. Pretty unlikely!

1 May    It was time for a change in locations to see if I could find some Lakers. It was an early and cold start at 32 but seas were near calm with very little wind. A perfect day for running my sweet V6 engine a while. An occasional 5 mph breeze made it a 2-hoodie day for a while.  Down went the Johnson rod, them my rigger. It wasn't 10 minutes before the Johnson rod hit a small Laker. It was with mixed emotion that I released it but the right thing to do. Just as I was getting the Johnson down again, my rigger then hit one and it went into the box. Finally, with both of the gear in, I set up the port rigger to 136 clicks, a superstitious and arbitrary number that seems to produce on occasion. Besides, fishing alone it was off the bottom where I could leave it alone. Well, it produced an 11# Laker and another Laker of the typical 2-3# range. I notice there was blood all over the place - the cooler, my hands, back deck. I thought that Laker sure made a mess but turned out it got a tooth into my finger making just a tiny hole and that opened the flood or should I say blood gates. So it was my blood. The take-away as buzz words go is I caught 9 Lakers, releasing 4, mostly between 160' and 190', except for the two suspended Lakers. All this in 2 1/2 hours so needless to say, I was pleased I hadn't lost my touch, at least not today.

28 Apr    Quite a stretch of crummy, cold, and windy days but finally, a beautiful, calm, albeit initially cold, day. So John Wells and I left port at 8:30a in flat waters, the new engine pushing us smoothly along, around 10 mph faster than my ole 4cy engine. I decided to make a run and see that all was working fine as we just went through the Alpha One, Gen II I/O with seals and other things. I also had a new graph along side my other one as a test. We started in 150' and varied somewhat and finally after an hour and a half, John's rigger really started jumping. Well, that lasted about 30 seconds and that was it. Our guess, a Chinook but who knows. Then more quietness working to 195' at times. We marked only 3 fish to this point. We then decided to head shallower to around 70' where we trolled 7 lures without a bump for an hour and a half but nary a hit. This trip might be considered a skunk, the first since 2010. Then again it might be a shakedown cruise and not be a skunk, the equivalent of a mulligan in golf. I haven't decided yet.

17 Apr    I've had better days at sea. Rick and I launched to excellent conditions, albeit an 8 mph north wind but good seas. Trying the 130-150' depths, produced one 3# Laker after one hour, but no marks. Then the graph lit up and before I could react, my downrigger caught in a ghost net and try as we could, I lost all my gear in it. More than likely it was a Tribal net that was set in the spring and the ice picked it up and carried it out and dropped it. It certainly wasn't marked. So we wrapped up that excursion and went home. Looks like the next several days won't have very good conditions for fishing on the Big Pond.

15 April    Today I was joined by my friend and fishing partner, Frank Lorsbach. It was a crisp start, the air 31 but sunny. As we pulled out of the marina, the shine on the water told us there was plenty of skim ice. We dealt with that in patches all the way to our fishing spot. It makes a lot of noise but doesn't hurt anything. Still, we were watching for loose ice "nuggets" as we call them that can do serious damage. It was terribly slow and we marked one fish the entire time. Finally, we caught a Chinook salmon around 123 clicks on the rigger and a Laker off the Johnson rod in 190'. I'm also claiming to have missed two. The wind was cold and the waves a little lumpy but the sun was out and we were back on the water. Just shy of 3.5 hours we wrapped it up.

14 April    Magically, most of the ice in the area has blown out to sea, at least for a while. This was an exciting day as my mechanical genius was as anxious as me to try my replacement Vortex V-6 engine and Alpha One, Gen 2 outdrive. Quite a job to pull the good ole 4-cy 130 hp Merc engine and whole I/O assembly, then install a 6-cy engine with 223 hp and later generation I/O. Generally it went fairly well but we had to fabricate front motor mounts and of course, there were any number of other, little things to do. Included in the package came power steering which turned out to be a bonus. In testing the boat and engine, we found the WOT to be 4,800 rpm, redline with a 19" prop so I'm looking for a 21" prop. Not to bore you with details other than to say we are both extremely happy campers with its performance. The 130 hp Merc was a wonderful plant but really small for a 22' boat. If you have questions or wish me to expound on the transfer, please let me know.

So the shakedown went surprisingly well, except I forgot the net. Of course, we caught 3 nice Lakers, the biggest 5.5 lbs but we had to hoist all three up and into the box. Risky but it worked. Conditions were quite good with clear skies and fairly light winds. The first Laker came at 168', second at 231', and last at 165'. We wrapped it up a little after 2 hours.

17 Mar 15    St. Patrick's Day but no major storm, or even a minor one. Just a cooling stretch for the next week or so. The Big Pond was showing signs of the ice breaking up but there's a long way to go. However, being optimistic, being in the water in April is a possibility.

27 Dec 14    I see you've discovered I'm setting up my log for 2015. Happpy New Year. Hope for an early Spring. Please come back later - probably in April.

 

 

 

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