"Cooler By The Lake"
2022 Lake Superior Fishing Log
Click here to see last year's log - 2021 or click here choose prior year fishing reports
Fishing Synopsis for 2022
I kept thinking this was a slow year and admittedly, did a little whining at times. But now that I compiled my data, I thought hey, pretty good year - best fish per hour rate in 4 years so I stopped whining. I find time on the water is almost always most enjoyable, especially with the great guests I've had. Fishing, well that's a great excuse to be on the water. Hopefully, we can view Covid days in our rear view mirror. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, good winter, and a healthy and prosperous New Year. I want to thank all you who follow my website. Hopefully, we'll be back again next year. Below are my statistics for the past six seasons.
Oct 22 I really hadn't planned to go a second day but conditions were just too good to resist. Picked up Norm Dilll, and hooked up the boat. Things at the launch went awry as after launchng, I realized I hadn't put the drain plug in . Fortunately, we were still at the launch. That's the good news. Getting it back on the trailer to put the plug in was a true goat rope, but we got 'er done. Moving out to sea, Norm and I set lines at 130' and varied depths from there. An hour and 45 minutes passed and we marked 2 fish and caught none. So we turned and headed back when the action slowly picked up and we caught 3 Lakers and missed what we think was a single line double on the Johnson rod. That rod was bent over most of the way in when Norm said I think it just got off. Reeling the rest of the way showed a small Laker right behind the boat so we know there must have been a much bigger one on the other lure. We finally decided to quit after a little over 3 hours when Norm pulled up his rigger to find a Laker his rigger. We agreed his story was that it hit on the way up. So we ended with 4 Lakers traveling the identical route of yesterday. BTW, very few marks. Where did the go? Still, it was enjoyable with the air temperature around 70º and periodic sunshine.
3 Oct 22 Conditions couldn't have been better as Gary McDonnell and I set out, lines going down at 125' Nothing happened as we plied those depths and slowly worked deeper. Seems we picked up one in the next hour. Gary commented that he saw the boat nearby net a second or third Laker so we did a little mumbling. Then a minute later, we had a triple on, the Johnson rod really bent over. Two went in the box but the one on the Johnson rod went the other way, right near the boat. Action then picked up and before long we had 9 in the box and we were making noises to quit soon. You guessed it, a double so we had to release one, but that's OK. Fun time in under 3 hours trolling.
30 Sep 22 Yup, your eyes are not lying to you. Finally the winds were decent enough to go fishing, but as Paul Harvey used to say, and now for the rest of the story. Woke this AM to a sout (sic) wind forecast of 5-10 mph. However, looking out my window I could see the trees bent over in strong winds. That spelled noo-go to me. Later in the morning the NWS changed their forecast to 5mph, which I think (foolish me) is better than 5-10. So I rounded up Norman Dill and out we went late morning in calm seas. Setting lines at 125' we ranged around, slowly working deeper as we were neither marking nor catching fish. Slowly with wind picked up and before long, winds were 10-12 mph and waves 1', sometimes 2'. Still somewhat fishable but not as pleasant. So with 3 Lakers in the box, I had just minutes before suggesting we quit, mentioned how many times we'd caught a Laker after signing out of my log. Well, it happened when we were just reaching to store the gear when we caught a double, Norm's was 7#. The season is winding down so we were glad to finally get out. I always wondered whether it was best to wrap up the season with a full box or only one or two so we didn't think we were missing much. 😎
13 Sep 22 Finally a decent day as Jim and I headed out with light winds and one foot rollers, so the trim tabs went down a bit. Jim wanted to try the 125'ish depths to start out so we fished that for 45 minutes without any action. We then worked deeper and slowly picked up a Laker here and there, in the 150' - 180' range. Conditions were fantastic with gentle rollers and near calm winds. We turned to head near where we started but action had really slowed down. Then, Jim got a single line double and we then had 8 in the box, hoping to limit out. But we got one more finishing up with 9 Lakers in under 4 hours. We weren't home long when the winds picked up, the weather anemometer at Granite Island showed winds were pushing 18kts. Lucky break for us.
6 Sep 22 Another nice day so Jim Price and I set out for his favorite spot and where we fished yesterday. Short version we caught 5 Lakers (one just before quitting). Water and wind behaved until the last half hour when the SE wind kicked to 9 mph and there was occasional capping. Still, not a problem to fish and the ride home was fairly smooth.
5 Sep 22 Well, the high winds finally stopped after blowing for 9 days. Seas were settled as Grandson Cooper and I left port for a nice ride, albeit some gentle rolls which the trim tabs leveled out. We set lines at 145' and moved up and down the water column to as deep as 190'. Cooper wondered why I didn't run a highline off a paddle so I did. I told him I never caught anything and it did nothing but wash lures. Slowly we picked up a Laker here and there. With 5 in the box I slowly turned to reverse our route. Well, the Johnson was bending over with a nice Laker when attached was the light line and it in my mind there's no doubt it caused the loss of the fish and lure. So, instead of gaining a fish, the surface line lost one so it'll be a long time before that goes out again. Approaching 3 hours trolling, I suggested that we bunch it shortly with 8 Lakers in the box. Cooper then said he had a hit and had two on (SLD). Well, before I could get the Johnson rod in, it produced a third Laker (we call a triple) which we had to release. How ironic, but fun. Wind and seas couldn't have been better and gave us a nice ride to port.
26 Aug 22 Seems I'm always leading off with the forecast, which today was good, i.e., 5 mph winds, becoming calm. Ron and I turned the corner at the end of the breakwater to be greeted by 2-foot rollers and a modest breeze. I hesitated to think of a rough ride to our favorite spot but with full tabs down, damned the torpedoes and went anyways. Ron predicted we'd limit at 10 Lakers in 3 hours and 15 minutes. It calmed for a short time but the rollers didn't know that. Then it picked up to a steady 8-12 mph from the SE, but still fishable. Steadily we picked up 10 Lakers, all modest-sized compared to the last trip. It slowly became difficult trolling into the wind and with 9 in the box, naturally a double hit. Ron's was the biggest of the day and was a few feet behind the boat when a gust of wind pushed us sideways and the Laker went under the boat, never to be seen again. Oh well, still a great day, wrapping it up in 2 hours and 30 minutes and beating Ron's prediction.
23 Aug 22 Sea and wind conditions were even better than expected as Grandson Cooper Smith and his friend Steven Zunker from MN joined me on calm seas and winds. We set lines at 165' and within 20 minutes, boxed two Lakers. Then it took quite before we boxed 3 more, having turned and trolled to where we started. With 5 Lakers in the box I suggested we quit so I pulled my rigger up. Then Cooper informed us he had a Laker that had just hit so we netted that one. I gave him some raspberries asking how long he thought it was on the line. He stuck by his story that it just hit. Then reaching for the Johnson rod, it bent over and Steven found quite a load to pull in. Turned out there were two Lakers on the Johnson rod(SLD), one 7# and one 3#. I call them 11th hour fish as they happen at quitting time. Super day with a smooth ride to port with 8 Lakers, two misses, all in a little over 3 hours. Here're pictures. Click to expand, back to return here.
17 Aug 22 Shockingly, still another beautiful, calm day as Ron and I headed out. I was disappointed in the small sized Lakers the past few trips, albeit they're excellent for eating but not as much fun to catch. So we headed to a completely different place, but one very familiar. We set lines at 145' and worked to 180', resulting in no runs, hits, marks, or errors in 1 hour and 40 minutes. I started to question my judgment on changing locations when the first Laker went in the box, a nice 4#. Then another also showing considerable marks on the graph. In short, we had 9 Lakers in the box, the smallest bigger then the biggest yesterday. We decided to wrap it up when my rigger bell rang. Surprise, but a single line double and we only needed one. I did a terrible job netting as the fish was thrashing around and got caught in the outside of the net. Still I was able to lift it over the box where it dropped off. Reaching in, I tossed it overboard. Sloppy netting but lucky. The last Laker came in fine. It's only fair to say we missed 3 nice Lakers right out of reach of the net, but that's fishing. Super day!
16 Aug 22 Another beautiful, calm day as Gary McDonnell and Bryan Tuttle joined me en route to start at 165', working towards 180' for most time. Well, we started with a miss right behind the boat but redeemed ourselves by catching the next 3. We circled the area that produced a few more, then decided to fish towards port. That slowly paid off, missing a few but boxing 6 more, all small Lakers. A little after 4 hours we pulled lines and surprise, Bryan had our 10th Laker on. What a fantastic time on the Big Pond. Here's Bryan manning the Johnson Rod with a Laker on. Click to enlarge, back to return here.
14 Aug 22 I just knew today's weather and seas would be better than yesterday's. So Cooper and I headed out with light winds and very small rollers, just enough to use a little tabs. We set lines at 145' and stayed at that depth for 45 minutes with nothing so we worked deeper to 190'ish. We picked up 3 small Lakers and reversed course. I suggested to Cooper that is was too slow for me and we should troll towards town and maybe pick up a couple en route. Well, slowly we saw some action and after a hour and a half, we had 9 in the box. Having arrived at a waypoint where I used to start fishing, we pulled lines and Cooper said I think I have a friend hanging on and sure enough, our 10th Laker. Backing up to when we started homeward bound, the 7 mph breeze came out of the NE, but wasn't a problem like it usually is. New saying for today only is when the wind is from the east, fish bite the best.
13 Aug 22 Granted, it was a heavy mist, light rain early, but the forecast showed a 20% chance of rain and 5 mph winds from the south, normally a decent forecast. Well, with Cooper and his friend Max we set out in the mist. As we turned the corner of the light house, we were in 1-2' waves and winds at 9 mph so we set out for fishing gounds where we could fish with the wind and waves. We set up and before long, we hade a double. Mine was really ringing the downrigger bell. But, then it went dead so we ended with 1 for 2. We then picked up 3 more Lakers and knowing we couldn't fish against the then 11-13 mph winds and 2' seas with occasional whitecaps, we powered in to make another run, this time producing zero runs, hits or errors.. The mist/rain never stopped nor did the winds slow down. Insult to injury was the fog was starting to roll in when we quit. Here's Max wrestling with a Laker on the Johnson rod under less than pleasant conditions. Click to enlarge, back button to return here.
12 Aug 22 This trip started out well. Guest Bill LaValley and I headed out in relatively calm seas and light SW winds. We set lines at 160' and pretty much stuck to that. With several Lakers in the box, we turned back and then the "Great Goat Rope" began as the Johnson tangled with my rigger. We spent well over an hour trying to recover gear and untangle the mess. I lost a weight and some other gear but finally got back into action. With 6 modest-sized Lakers in the box, Bill said he had to get back so we pulled lines and whirl went the starter on the big Merc engine. So we ended powering to the launch on aux motor power. Friend Rick said bring it by and we'll see what the problem as he had a replacement starter if needed. Turned out the bolts came out of the starter and it was just hanging there. Whodathunk! He fixed that by having an unusual bolt on hand. So I'm now back in businesst. Quite a day!
9 Aug 22 Once again, delayed by wind, wind, wind but finally, a break. Norm Dill and I headed out to a light chop and set lines at 160'. Well, at least the Johnson was out but not the net nor either rigger when the Johnson hit. I proved a steady catching run as we picked up 10 Lakers in under 3 hours, all between 160' and 180'. The wind and chop behaved and it was beautiful out there. At the launch, we were greeted by the DNR survey man who spotted one of my Lakers had a clipped adipose fin, an indication of a wire tag inserted in the head by the DNR. He removed the head with the tag and will turn it in. He said he sees very few of these clipped fins. I'll try to find out what the wire tag tells the DNR.
30 Jul 22 Cooper and I set out in somewhat lumpy waters but when we arrived at our destination, the breeze and seas settled right down. The first hit (and miss) occurred within half an hour, the another hour passed as we plied waters from 125' - 190' and finally boxed a nice Lake on the Johnson rod. Then more nothingness. We pointed the boat homeward and after 2hr/45min, we pulled lines. Surprise, one hanging on to Cooper's rigger that neither of us saw hit. So if anyone asks, it hit on the way up. 😁 Otherwise it was a beautiful time on the water and easy ride home.
23 Jul 22 Finally another calm, beautiful day as Grandson Cooper and I headed to an area that usually produces a decent number of Lakers, albeit, usually fairly small. Today was a bust catching Lakers, ending with 4 (should have been 5) in just under 4 hours. They just weren't on the bite today though conditions were excellent so no excuses there.
18 Jul 22 With a slight chop but a good forecast, Gary and I headed out with hopes of some bigger Lakers. We set lines at 125' but worked to 160'. We initially marked several fish and finally put one in the box. The next one took a while and yours truly managed to knock it off with the net. I know better than to extend the net out where you have little control. Slow burner, slow learner! Anyway, slow day but still produced 5 nice, but not all that big, Lakers in 4 hours. Conditions remained excellent and the NE wind came up just when we were quitting.
16 Jul 22 Grandson Cooper Smith and I launched to super conditions, deciding to run a ways in hopes of some bigger fish. We spend half an hour looking for a fellow fisherman's boat but finally we set lines at 140'. In about 45 minutes, Cooper hit a nice Laker and as it came up behind the boat, he said it was a big Laker. I told him they all look big in the water. When I finally got a look and netted the fish, it was 9 1/2# and I had to admit it was indeed a big fish. Not long after that a 6 1/2# Laker went into the box. Well, we kept on truckin' and never got another hit until we quit in 3.5 hours. Go figure but what a great day!
9 Jul 22 Ron and I headed out in perfectly calm winds and seas and set lines at 140' were we then worked various depts. Action was very slow. The forecast for a NE breeze around mid afternoon was early. At 11a,, the NE breezekicked to 9 mph with 1' seas and occasional white caps, but still very fishable. We ended with 4 nice Laker in just under 4 hours but still, a beautiful day, I was quickly shedding clothing when we got started and putting them back on when the NE breeze started.
7 Jul 22 Gary and I set lines at 180' in calm seas. Action was slow but finally with picked up a Laker. Then the beginning of all the fish we missed today - 6. But we did end with 7 in the box in just under 4 hours. That's longer than I usually troll but i pushed it being so nice. Oh, Gary did have a single-line double. Still not sure why we lost so many, but that's fishing!
3 Jul 22 In calm water and wind, Ron and I set lines at 180'. Well, the line on my rod broke when I was testing it but I didn't lose any gear. I switched rods and deal with the broken line later, which should be replaced anyway. Finally, we had 6 lures in the zone and marking quite a few fish. Before long, a small Laker hit and small was the operative word for the rest of the time. Eventually, after nearly 4 hours, we had 10 small Lakers in the box. Sure they're excellent eating but I wouldn't mind an occasional 4-5# Laker. Most of the time it was calm and almost getting hot until the last half hour when the wind picked up from the NE and the temperature dropped quickly. Both the air and water were 57º but it was still easy fishing with the 1' waves and 8 mph wind. Great Time!
29 Jun 22 Guest Norm Dill (87) and I set lines in 140' FOW but didn't do squat in these depths so we moved to deeper water. There we eventually picked up 6 small Lakers which took just under 4 hours. Conditions were near calm most of the time but the wind picked up to 5-7 mph from the NE just before quitting and even with those relatively light winds and that direction, it got lumpy with 1-2' waves on our return trip. Still, it was enjoyable being on the water a day between all the windy days.
24 Jun 22 Another decent forecast that turned out even better than predicted. In calm winds and seas, Jim and I set lines at 160' and it wasn't 10 minutes before the first Laker was in the box. Then slowness set in and eventually we picked up another 3 Lakers in 3 hours. We did have a rod-bender on the Johnson for about 15 seconds and that was one biggie that hopefully will be there next time. Beautiful day on the Big Pond.
23 Jun 22 Yup, 12 days of wind and finally a decent wind forecast of 5-10 mph from south. So Ron and I tried something different, setting lines at 40' and running to 60'. Well, the winds averaged 18 mph near the shore and it was hard to handle the boat. In 2 hours of that, nada, so we headed a couple miles out where it was deeper and nearly calm. I've experience that a number of times where the cold water dampens the winds. Condensing it down, in a little over 2 hours in deep water we managed 5 small lakers, one of which we released. Got to find some bigger Lakers!
11 Jun 22 I woke early and checked the weather. Winds were from the south at 15k, gusting to 18k, not very promising. But the forecast indicated winds would be south at 5 mph. Periodic checking showed the winds dying down so Cooper and I headed out a little earlier than usual to calm seas Yup, calm seas! At 160' out went the Johnson rod and before either Cooper or I could set lines or get the net ready, the Johnson produced a nice Laker. Then nothingness for a couple hours until on the final leg the starboard rigger produced a 4# Laker. Just then the wind picked up and the temperature dropped to 51º so we decided to bunch it, especially the rain clouds approaching. Good timing, lucky timing, as the light rain started when we got home Oh, Cooper said he had a nice one on his rigger and I commented they always look bigger in the water. Getting it to the surface proved that true and before we could net it, away it swam. Backing up to when we launched there was a boat tied up to the dock where I launch. The boat owner walked up to me and asked if I could use the other dock because he had to do some work on his boat. I politely explained it would be very difficult for me to launch on the other dock, these were not maintenance docks, and asked if he could move his boat to the outside of the pier. No problem as he did that, I thanked him, and we launched.
8 Jun 22 Conditions were nearly identical as the last trip, including possible rain by 2pm. Guest Norm Dill and I headed out in calm seas and set lines at 150'. Nothingness for two and a half hours, hardly a mark. Finally we went through the area that produced well last trip and more nothing. Finally, Norm hit a single line double with two small Lakers. We continued on and near the end of our bunching it after3 hours and 45 minutes, one more Laker in the box. Conditions were great but the fishing wasn't what we were hoping for. Next time!
5 Jun 22 With NWS promises for calm seas but the treat of rain and thundershowers by 2pm, I headed out with guests Grandson Cooper Smith and his friend Max Stevens,. Under unusually calm seas. We set lines at 150' hoping to sneak up on the Lakers at one of my favorite locations but that didn't work so we plodded on towards another favorite spot, a few miles away. Nothing the first 1 1/2 hours, then slowly, one here and one there. We had 6 in the box when I asked, because is was so calm, if they wanted to bunch it or go 4 hours, whichever came first. They decided to go the 4 hours when in 15 minutes, my rigger went off, the Johnson rod Max was on had one, and Cooper's rigger was bouncing. Here's the kicker: I had a single line double, Max had one on, and Cooper had 3 Lakers on his single line. That's 6 Lakers on at once, all fairly small and one too small so we released it. With all the lines up we thought it a good time to head home. Good decision as it started to rain 10 minutes after getting home. Fun time and a boat record of 6 fish on at once. Here's Max and Cooper: Click to enlarge, back to return here.
23 May 22 Gary and I headed in a different direction,today, with cool but calm conditions. We set lines at 150' and worked to over 200' For an hour and a half no runs, hits, errors, or marks. Then like magic, a double. We slowly picked up two more so with 4 in the box. Since I seldom troll longer than 3 hours so at that point I suggested we troll a little longer, seeing as it was so calm. Without hesitation, Gary thought it was a good idea and before long we got a triple, with a single line double on Gary's rigger and a 9# Laker on the Johnson. We then turned to head towards the launch and picked up one more. Great day with 8 Lakers in a little over 4 hours.
19 May 22 Today was not a good day. The forecast was for partly cloudy and winds light at 5 mph out of the north. With guest Jim Price, we arrived at the launch where there was heavy fog. We launched, thinking it would burn off. Wrong thinking so we headed out with the radar spinning. The fog never lifted and the sun never shown and the winds picked up to 10 mph from the north and the waves increased to 1-2'. But we finally got to our destination and set lines at 120' and worked our way to 180'. It was really cold with that wind. The water was 38.8º and air was 39.2º. We marked a couple of fish but had no takers. Then, the port rigger rigger weight parted company and disappeared with some other gear. I suggested heading home rather than re-rigging and got no objection from Jim so we did. I'm tempted to make a new rule that if I'm forced off because of weather before catching a Laker, it shouldn't be considered a skunk. But I won'! t If it was less than an hour, I might. 😉 The fog never lifted and the return trip was by radar.
14 May 22 My guest today was Ron Mattson. It was a questionable weather day as the forecast called for 5 mph and calming winds. However, at the top of the forecast was a special warning of winds gusting to 25 mph. Huh? I called the NWS for clarification and was assured the Big Pond would be docile (my description). So out we went, this time in a different direction from last but a little further. I saw a fishing friend who limits almost every time so we fished in that area. Looking at my GPS I had been there many times before. We set lines at 170 feet, in calm waters and winds and before long, but our first Laker in the box, albeit a small one. That was followed by 5 more and missed a wild one. Things went smoothly except on the 5th Laker the Johnson rod line tangled in the rigger line. It's what I call a goatus ropus (Latin for Goat Rope) but after struggling to untangle, the Laker was still on. Bottom line is we caught 6 Lakers in a little over 3 hours. The water remained beautifully calm the entire time.
7May22 Well, finally on the water with guest Gary McDonnell. It was a shakedown trip to see that everything was working ok. But it was a cold day at 45º with a 10 mph NE breeze. Water temperature was 37º. Short of it is we marked two fish and caught nothing. Good new is everything was working fine, except for the lures. 😁 We'll take it more serious next time.I got the boat ready to go about a week earlier. Thougt I best turn on the electronics and looking at my marine radio, noticed it was on channel 8L. Well there is no channel 8L unless your radio is upside down. Right side up it correctly was 78 Dah!
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