Picture of Joe's boat Cooler By The Lake

"Cooler By The Lake"

Marquette, MI

1997 Fishing Log

Welcome to my fishing site. I've synopsized only those trips of possible interest to you and those with guests. My boat is appropriately named "Cooler By The Lake. Click here to return to our Home Page or if you have any questions or suggestions on my reports or narratives. Compliments are also welcomed. Free offers to spruce up my web site are encouraged.

Picture of Skunk

Here is the final fishing report for 1997. I pulled my boat early November. Clarence, my fishing partner, and I are wearing black armbands in sorrow. Can you believe we had another "skunkless" year? That is now 337 consecutive trips without getting skunked. Not to say we didn't come close a few times. Thank you for following us. Please if you have any questions or suggestions on my report or narratives. Compliments are also welcomed.

Below is a summary for 1997, followed by select trip highlights with special guests or items of possible interest to readers.


Fishing summary for 1997

Trolling Hours




Fish per Hour


Total fish caught

550 (quite a few released)

Consecutive trips without a skunk

337 (goes back to June 1994)

Number & Average weight of Lake Trout

4.5 lbs.

Average weight of Lake Trout w/thumb on scale (just kidding)

5.2 lbs

Number & Average weight of Steelhead

2 Steelhead averaging 4.9 lbs.

Number & Average weight of Coho

9 Coho averaging 2.5 lbs.

Fish per hour rates 1984 through 1997

.39, .74, .75, .89 1.08, .92, 1.21 1.29, 1.38, 1.21, 1.54, 1.57, 1.63, 1.51


5 Nov 97 Got out one more last time. In the spitting snow we got two Lakers, one 11 pounds and the other 6. That's all Folks!

31 Oct 97 Caught 12 nice Lakers and a 5 pound Steelhead trolling off the upper harbor light in about 50' water. We even had a triple (3 fish on at once). All the Lakers were spawned out. The weather was beautiful with light winds - finally. We're hoping it's not the last trip for the year but if it is, what a way to go out!

29 Oct 97 Another "corn cob day". Set up in 140' water but with 20 mph winds it was too rough so we fished Partridge Island back to upper harbor where we landed three nice lean Lakers in about 40' water. It's kind of the principle of never fish on the side your camp is on, always fish across the lake.

17 Oct 97 Rougher than a cob with winds out of the North at 20 mph despite forecasts for 5 - 10. While trolling right into the 20 mph wind and 3'+ waves, I was heard to exclaim "Aw shoot, there's a fish on!" Landing that 8 pounder was a challenge and we only got two that day.

16 Oct 97 Caught 6 Lakers north of white rocks but it took nearly 6 hours. However, it was a fairly nice day with the wind gradually dying down. Most were near the bottom.

15 Oct 97. It's been windy, windy, windy but we finally got out for a couple of hours. We caught 5 middle sized Lakers in around 140' water. Clarence was a little rusty in netting as he released a nice 8 pounder with the net. Nice guy!

10 Oct 97 Continued slowdown. Marked very few fish on the graph and caught only 3 in 4 hours, all near the bottom in around 135' water. Rollers were around 3' and the wind slowly died from the North. Clarence said his wife must want some fish as she told him to go fishing. I told Clarence I had bad news for him and that wasn't the real reason she told him that. He smiled knowingly!

7 Oct 97 Action slowed down with 5 Lakers (3 were dinks released) in 4 hours and get this - a 4# Chinook caught on a steel line off the bottom. Marked only a couple of fish. That's interesting considering how many we marked and the larger sizes caught just the day before.

6 Oct 97 Hit the Lakers big time with a couple caught weighing over 16 pounds. All the Lakers were rather large and we had lots of fun. Most were near the bottom in around 130' water. Water was beautiful. A sparrow landed for a rest on Clarence's downrigger rod but he said that was fine, as his downrigger wasn't doing much anyway.

5 Oct 97 Ah, ha! we thought, the Lakers would be in great. Instead we struggled in southerly winds at over 20 mph to get two Lakers. Then the sky to the West looked increasingly ominous so we decided to quite early. As I reached for my graphite downrigger rod, 2" sparks jumped to my hand about every 3 seconds - snap, snap, ouch, ouch! The rod was drawing the static out of the air. About 5 minutes later we saw lightning flash in the distance while we were on our way back. That's the second time I've experienced electricity coming down that rod over the years.

3 Oct 97 Caught 9 Lakers in 11/2 hours, most within 20' of the bottom in 120' - 140' of water. One Laker was 15# and two others were 6# and 7# each. Ironic that we had a double on that Clarence netted my hook and the big Laker swam off but his we got in. He claimed the sun was in his eyes. Ya, right.

1 Oct 97 Bounced in 3' waves with a North wind at 12 mph (NWS forecast was light and variable) and caught 6 small Lakers near the bottom north of white rocks in around 130'. Returned most of them.

29 Sep 97 Still waiting for the surf to go down. Gale warnings up again today and tomorrow still doesn't look that good.

26 Sep 97 Following several days doing home chores while the surfing water was rolling, we finally got out and went north of white rocks. It took a while but we caught 7 Lakers, all near the bottom in around 130' - 140' water. One was 13# and another 10#. We didn't keep them all. In addition, we had several nice Lakers nearly up to the net but lost them. It was just one of those days. For quite a while we didn't mark many but then ran into lots of big marks on the bottom, but nothing suspended. Strange!

22 Sep 97 Fished sand hole for over three hours and barely dodged a skunk. Clarence caught the only Laker, a small one so we tossed it back. Winds were initially around 16 mph but slowly decreased. Marks all over the place but unlike us, the fish knew enough to keep their mouths shut.

21 Sep 97 We fished the pinnacle again but didn't do much though marked lots. Caught 6 Lakers in the sand hole, half suspended in 120' water, the rest on bottom.

18 Sep 97 Caught 6 "eaters" near the pinnacle near the upper harbor. Marked lots but don't know what they were. Clocked the wind gusting to 25 mph. Most fish were near bottom.

16 Sep 97 The wind forecast was for 10 - 20 mph. As a result, there were only two other boat trailers in the marina parking lot. . Fortunately, I had previously called the NWS who said their forecast was for windy later in the day. I don't know why their forecasts don't say that. We caught 6 Lakers in 2 hours in the sand hole on a beautiful day with rollers and a light 6 mph wind. Half the Lakers were suspended around 90' in 120' of water. Something unusual was that we caught three Lakers exactly when we were marking them on the graph. Most of the time, we don't even mark fish. We only saw two other boats that day.

14 Sep 97 Caught 6 Lakers (released some) in the sand hole (east of Presque Isle harbor) in around 120' water. About half were suspended. Marked a couple of fish that must have been the size of a Trident submarine. Sure would like to have seen them.

13 Sep 97 Caught 6 Lakers in a little over 2 hours, including a 10# and 11#. We hit a triple (two on one line) right in front of two charter boats. One charter wasn't catching much that morning but we heard he hit several big ones over 10# after we left.

12 Sep 97 Caught 6 Lakers north of white rocks in around 120 feet of water; three were suspended around 20 off bottom. One Laker was 20# and to others were over 10# each.

7 Sep 97 Caught 6 nice Lakers in less than 3 hours, including an 11, 6, and 7 pounder. Three were caught fishing suspended around 60' in 120' water north of white rocks. To top a nice fishing trip off, I got to meet fellow fisherman Patrick Francis who showed me a few neat fishing ideas we'll have to try.

6 Sep 97 Struggled to catch one Laker (41/2 pounds) but it was rough - 4' waves with winds I clocked out of the north at 18 - 20 mph. Funny, all the boats were headed in when we went out. We should have seen the writing on the wall.

30 Aug 97 Marquette Bay Classic. The "Cooler Crew" comprised of John Wells, Boatswain; Jim Bystrom, Coxswain; Mike Reckker, Crewman; and D. Joseph Buys, Captain) had a good, but wet time. Interpret that as meaning we didn't win. We caught 15 fish and released 8 of them. However, we didn't hit into any large ones but optimistically started by releasing 5# Laker, the first fish caught. We cannot say enough about all the great work performed by the volunteers that organized and worked the contest. The weather stunk with rain most of the day and bumpy water. Our congratulations to the winners. I'll try to get some specifics on who won the various categories and post them here. If you'd like that information, drop me a short note that you're interested and I'll try to do that.

29 Aug 97 "Practice" before the fishing contest we picked up 10 Lakers in 3 hours in 130' water. Most, but not all were near the bottom. All were nice 4 - 8 pounders. The first one hooked (apx 6#) is still out there as one of the staff on board removed the hook with the net.

26 Aug 97 Clarence and I filled with 6 Lakers in 1 hour. Most were around 110' - 135' water north of White Rocks. Didn't mark very many suspended. Clarence was pouring his coffee when I told him he had a fish on his 'rigger. He said, "I can't do everything." Chee!

25 Aug 97 With guest Jim Bystrom we caught 6 nice Lakers in around 130' water, north of White Rocks. Marked lots suspended between 60' and 90' but couldn't get any to hit. Catch-A-Finn put the whammy on me when he asked on the marine radio if we had been missing many. I said no, thanked him for the hex, then promptly lost a 6-pounder, 2 feet from the net. However, we got another shortly thereafter in front of him.

24 Aug 97 Super day on the Big Pond. Caught 14 Lakers in less than 3 hours. Perfect weather, perfect water, great fishing. With our limit of several "eaters" in the box, we fished towards the marina and ended up releasing 8 Lakers, including a 7, 8, and 9 pounder. We fished 125' water and caught some suspended at 90' and some on the bottom. We marked a lot (I ran two graphs) suspended but didn't see a consistent pattern. DNR report was 47 fish for 19 boats examined.

23 Aug 97 Guest Ron Rabe (California) and partner Clarence caught 6 nice Lakers. Ron caught a 9 and 11 pounder and handled the rod like a pro. We must have scared him on being cool on Lake Superior, as he must have had 17 layers of clothing on (his entire closet)? Every few minutes a layer would come off. It was a beautiful, calm day. Most Lakers were caught in 140' water.

22 Aug 97 Rock and roll in 6' waves, 20 mph out of the North. We had no business out there but foolishly believed the weather reports. Catch-A-Finn called the NWS from his boat and the NWS upgraded the forecast to include small craft warnings. We caught 3 Lakers (two dinks that we released (I'm not supposed to say tossed back)). It was good to get off the lake and our trailer was the only one in the lot.

19 Aug 97 Beautiful day, caught 8 Lakers (returned several), 5 were suspended around 80 feet so that's a good sign.

18 Aug 97 Jim Bystrom was our guest and we caught 5 Lakers, mostly in 150' or less water. Winds out of the Northeast again.

17 Aug97 Caught 7 Lakers near Little Presque Isle in around 130 feet of water. Winds were northeast at 12 mph. Contrary to popular belief, you can catch fish with an east wind!

16 Aug 97 Called the NWS and checked the forecast - 5 - 10 mph. Got out there and found there to be 6' plus waves and clocked the wind out of the north at 20mph, gusting to 24mph. We fished for a while with no motor as the wind pushed us at trolling speed. Got one Laker and then Clarence's 'rigger broke so we called it a day after one hour of trolling. We were glad to get off the Lake.

14 Aug 97 A rough water day with 3' waves and SW winds to 20 mph. Catch-A-Finn was trolling behind us and mentioned on the marine radio that he was graphing some fish around 50' but they were not hitting. I then cranked up 'rigger to 50'and shortly thereafter caught two Lakers on one rod at one time. It took about 15 minutes to catch them in that rough water. I thanked Capt. Maki. We filled that day.

12 Aug 97 Action on my side of the boat was great but then when Clarence pulled up his line at quitting time, his lure was there but the hook wasn't. How's that for sportsmanship?

11 Aug 97 Caught 10 Lakers and released several of them. Most were caught in 140' of water on spoons. Clarence informed me he doesn't toss them back but rather he "releases" them. He also stated he doesn't grab them by the tail like the pros and teach them to swim again as "that isn't necessary."

7 Aug 97 Guest great nephew Randy Goin (10 years old) caught 5 Lakers, including one 7 1/2 pounds. One of the fish the Captain tossed in the box neatly flopped out and into the lake before the lid was closed. First time that's happened. I asked Randy if he had any words he wanted to be quoted on and he stated "I'm the best - just look at my fish!" I learned a lot about energy levels of 10-year olds. Whew!

6 Aug 97 On a calm day caught 4 Lakers in around 160 feet of water. It was slow so I mentioned to Clarence that I was going to have a cup of coffee. Clarence stated "Better enjoy your coffee before the City Commission makes it illegal."

5 Aug 97 Caught 10 Lakers in rough water east of Marquette in about 150 feet of water. Had 5 in the box and got a triple so we had to toss two nice Lakers back. Wouldn't you know?

4 Aug 97 High winds on the Big Pond presented the perfect opportunity to pick blue berries and we got lots. Clarence said my GPS even finds blue berries.

3 Aug 97 Bumped around in 3' waves/rollers with a strong NE wind. Several boats came in empty or quit because it was so rough. The DNR survey person said he saw only 5 fish caught, two of which were ours. We lost two Lakers behind the boat and a darn seagull got one before it could recover and swim on its own.

2 Aug 97 Partner Clarence and I went north of Presque Isle and caught 6 nice sized Lakers in around 150', but one off the Dipsy.

31 Jul 97 Guest Jeff Wayland from Colorado enjoyed a perfectly beautiful calm day while we caught 5 Lakers, including two at 5# each. Caught two on the Dipsy.

30 Jul 97 Caught 6 Lakers east of Marquette, all pretty small. Depth running from 130 to 150'.

27 Jul 97 Four Lakers in sandhole. Action picking up on Dipsy Diver. Water surface temperature 66 degrees.

26 Jul 97 Back in the grove in the sand hole out of Marquette. Fished with partner Clarence in the fog all day and got 8 Lakers, and tossed several back. Early during the day, an Evening Grosbeak (not an actual picture as I couldn't reach my camera but wanted you to know what they look like) landed on my downrigger rod, all confused from the fog as he couldn't see land, and tired. He then sat on my knee for 10 minutes, then the steering wheel, and finally, sat up in the cabin for 2 hours and rode back to Marquette with us where he then flew off. He looked glad to see land but then, so did we.

24 Jul 97 Friend Tony Pearson (Ironwood) and I just got back from our Grand Marais, Michigan fishing trip. It was a fairly rough trip by water over on Monday but then the weather turned beautiful for the rest of the trip. We fished in front of Grand Marais a couple of times and caught several Coho and Lakers, tossing the latter back. On Tuesday, we took guests John Wells III and Mike Reckker to the SW Bank off of Caribou Island (34 miles from Grand Marais and caught one Coho, and 16 Lakers, returning several Lakers. Mike caught two Lakers on one line while John caught a Laker on the other rod. On Wednesday, we took guest "Pickles" Meldrum from Grand Marais fishing and picked up 3 Lakers and 3 Coho. Pickles was having his 50th wedding anniversary and didn't have much time to fish. Today we stopped at the Big Reef off Munising and Tony caught a 251/2 pound, 42" Laker that was an absolute beauty that's being mounted for his wall. Despite the huge Laker diving under the boat several times and circling the downrigger wire, we finally netted it and could hardly heft it over the stern. All in all, a super trip.

17 Jul 97 Four Lakers in 4.5 hours in around 150 feet of water. Tried suspended and didn't do anything. Marked little.

15 Jul 97 Filled with (6) Lakers in 3 hours. Had 5 in the box and caught a double so we had to toss Clarence's 6 pounder back. Clarence cried but not too long.

14 Jul 97 Guests Len Ruuska and Westley Autio (Minn) caught 4 Lakers, albeit small, on a beautiful calm evening. We quit early as a big nasty-looking front was moving our way from the north.

13 Jul 97 Started around 125' water and got a hit immediately. Fished 125' - 145' and got six nice Lakers in around 2 1/2 hours on a beautiful day. Looks like the Lakers are moving in.

12 Jul 97 Nine lakers plus tossed back 4, mostly in 160' water. One 6 pounder was caught on the surface. Winds from the SE at 12 then calmed nicely.

11 Jul 97 Caught 13 lakers in 3 1/2 hours at around 160 feet. Some were in the 5# category and some around 2-3 pounds. We tossed several of the smaller ones back. Boy, it was nice with the 67 degree air until we hit land. We did get a 4# laker on the surface.

10 Jul 97 Clarence and I caught 8 lakers in 3 hours, tossing two back. Once again we had 5 in the box and needed one more for our limit then got a double so we had to toss one back. One laker was a 9 pounds, 13 ounces with super red meat. Nearly all were caught in roughly 160' water. DNR survey guy said boats coming off the lake before us were averaging 2.3 fish per boat so we didn't do too badly. Weather could not have been better.

9 Jul 97 Great day with 12 Lakers caught (tossed 3 back) in 3 1/2 hours. Most were at 160 feet. Guests Doug LaMora and Jim Bystrom were surprised when we had 8 in the box and got a triple and had to throw two keeper-sized lakers back. Wouldn't you know! Two the lakers were on one line (using a stacker line) and one was on a surface line. It was calm and might nice out there.

7 Jul 97 Our guests were Steve and Mike Lowney, Marquette natives now living near Lansing. We caught two lakers with Mike getting a 4# laker and Steve (the Dad) getting a small laker which we tossed back. It was beautiful water but slow fishing.

6 Jul 97 We caught a 4# laker on surface. Water was 46.9degrees, air 45.5 degrees.

30 Jun 97 After choosing the best of 5 different weather forecasts, Jim B and I decided to fish near port on a foggy day. We fished north of white rocks with the air 51 degrees and water 54. Jim wore his raincoat and sunglasses, and didn't find it funny when I commented on it being a strange combination. Anyway, we caught two nice lakers (8# & 4#) in 5 hours. Still slooooow!

26 - 29 Jun 97 Got 2 lakers in 5 hours at shot point. Did better the next day with 4 lakers in nearly six hours. On the 29th, Clarence and I hit 7 lakers (tossed a dink back) at Little Presque Isle in about 145 - 165' water. Caught one 6 pounder on a surface line we thought was on vacation. It was a great day.

24 Jun 97 Fished 40' water and caught two 5 pounder lakers in 4 hours. Started calm but wind picked up and lightning flashed in the West. We booked.

22 Jun 97 Caught 5 lakers (tossed one back) about two miles north of white rocks in about 150'. "Something Fishy" nearby tangled into wire lines on the bottom and ended up with an unbelieveable mess as both his downriggers got hung up.

21 Jun 97 Super day at Shelter Bay. Caught 9 lakers, a steelhead and a coho. Largest laker was 12 lbs. Water depth mostly 145'. Actually we caught 9 lakers but tossed one back as "someone" miscounted (either the Coxswain or Bowman) and we ended up with 8 lakers.

20 Jun 97 I mentioned to guest Jim B. not to forget his winter coat for fishing, even though it was around 70 degrees at home. He said, "Oh, you mean my all season coat!" Anyway, we spent 4 hours where we caught 7 yesterday and caught one laker today. That sux! Well, we didn't get skunked but it was close. Heard others had slow going too. By the way, it was calm but the air temperature at times was in the upper 40's but mostly around 52-55 degrees.

17-19 Jun 97 Tried in 20' water and got one laker after several hours. Moved to deeper water and finally caught 3 more on the 17th. On Wednesday the 19th, Clarence and I got a late start and caught 6 lakers and a coho in 3 hours, north of white rocks in about 160' of water. It's nice to see your breath on the lake in late June and we haven't put the long johns away yet. Surface water temperature still running around 42 degrees.

14 Jun 97 Caught 8 Lakers ranging up to 8 pounds but couldn't get the last to fill. Most at 160'ish but "Something Fishy" reported he caught his limit around 200' of water north of us (he was near Thoney Point).

Friday the 13th. Took friend Tony Pearson out in pretty rough water. Fortunately, we powered to Little Presque Isle in anticipation of the wind kicking out of the North, which it did. We then fished it in 3' waves to white rocks and picked up 5 Lakers. Not an unlucky day, but cold.

11 Jun 97 Five Lakers north of white rocks in around 140' water. Water surface 40.0 degrees. Sludge line showed 39.9 to 51.6 degree change. Clarence, who left his coat in the car said if I wanted my winter coat back, I can have it when we hit shore."

10 Jun 97 Slow start trolling 3+ hours with 4 fish on and got none of them. Skunky was looming by. However, in the last hour, Guest Arvid Hemmila and partner Clarence picked up 5 nice 3-5 pounders in 150 - 170'. It was another "blue bird" day as flat as glass. I provided smoked and pickled trout for our lunch treat.

9 Jun 97 Picked up 5 lakers in from 140 to 190' water. Started by missing a big laker in 95' of water but got no more hits at that depth. What a beautiful day. DNR inspected our boat when we came in and we passed with colors. There had been an accident at the marina only a few hours earlier when someone poured gas down the carb and it caught fire and badly burned the individual.

8 Jun 97 Super Day! Beautiful water with a cloudless sky on a day we didn't freeze our butts off or get blown around...and we got 9 nice lakers ranging from 3 1/2 to 6 pounds, all leans. Within an hour of starting we got a triple and got all three in the box. Water depths ranged from 145' to 180' but marine radio reports from other boats were that a number of lakers were being caught at depths from 240 to 290' - ouch! Guest Jim brought smoked laker and it just doesn't get much better. Clarence caught 4 today so if you see him, ask him how many he got.

5 Jun 97 As we returned from Shot Point with 2 Lakers, after missing 3 and returning 3 "dinks" Clarence asked if I felt silly returning to the marina wearing sunglasses and a raincoat? I said nothing more than returning with a winter coat on and it's 75 degrees on shore.

4 Jun 97 Tried in 20 feet of water but got zip. Went into 145 feet of water off shot point and caught 5 nice Lakers with guest Jim Bystrom. Watched the temperature graph show surface water fluctuate from 39.7 to 52.6 degrees within two hundred feet. There were several radical temperature lines and we speculated what those surface temperature changes had to do with fish 145 feet down as we doubted it affected the bottom. However, each fish caught was near or in one of these temperature changes.

3 Jun 97 Caught 9 Lakers in approximately 150 feet of water at Shot Point, all on spoons.

2 Jun 97 Cold! Clarence decided heck it was June and he didn't need his winter coat anymore. Ha! He won't do that again. Winds were supposed to be light but turned out of the East at 12 mph. Saw Scamper out for a shakedown cruise. Seaclusion was also out.

1 Jun 97 Got 6 Lakers off Little Presque Isle in 140 feet of water, including an 8 and 6 pounder.

30 May 97 Went out fat, dumb, and happy that winds were forecast to be 5-10 mph and found them at 16 mph out of the north, along with 3' seas. It was miserable and cold too. However, we fished two hours north of white rocks and got a 3#, 6#, and 9# laker.

29 May 97 Today we were honored by the presence of Gary Gibbs as our fishing guest. Gary was greatly relieved not to be associated with a possible skunk when we got the first of our two lakers in the boat. The waters were calm and it was quite nice. "Something Fishy" was marking fish at 50' - 80' but ws catching few. "Catch-A-Finn" had 3 lakers so it's still slow. Gary took his camcorder so hopefully, we'll have some photos in our site.

28 May 97 Ah ha! They were at 180' yesterday so we'll try there I said. Three hours later with nothing at 180', Clarence caught the only "skunk saver" laker after we worked into 128' of water. From listening to the marine radio, others were not doing much better. Excuses ran through our little fishermen pea brains...east wind, high barometer, too calm, water too cold, etc..

27 May 97 Trolled east of Presque Isle to Shot Point. Tossed back two dinks (small lakers) but no other bumps after 5 hours in around 150' water. Finally worked into 180' and got nice 6 lakers in the final hour. Had a beautiful Steelhead dancing on the surface for several minutes. What a sight! Got it within 20' of the boat only to have it roll several times, open the snap and swim. I really wasn't as upset as I thought I'd be as that beautiful fish really earned its freedom. Boo, hoo!

26 May 97 Fished sand hole & got 4 lakers in 4 hours, all within 1st hour. Cold but clear day and nearly calm despite forecast for ENE @ 15.

24 May 97 Fished Little Presque Isle in 120 - 190' of water. Caught 4 lakers and missed at least 6, 2 of which were right at the net. The fog closed us in and it was calm but cold (41 deg) and misty. Jan Jan was in the area all day and got 2 lakers. We finally figured it was a cold Spring when we noted the ice chunk for the cooler was the same piece used the last four trips. Eh, eh as Paul Harvey would say!

22 May 97 Trolled from sand hole to shot point with Catch-A-Finn III (charter boat) close behind. We didn't get a bump for four hours and C-A-F had only one laker in the box. When we decided to quit, I pulled in two lines and walla, we got two lakers at the last minute. It finally calmed off but we didnt' put the winter coats far away.

21 May 97 Bounced around sand hole in NW winds over 15 mph. Ended with 3 lakers, all around 145 feet of water.

13 May 97 Fished sand hole and got 6 lakers from 4# to 5.5# and all lean. Perfect! Depths were from 123' to 148'. Clarence is gloating as he caught all 6 fish and I missed my one at the net. I asked Clarence if he was calling Buck LeVasseur and he just smiled. Oh well Murphy's Law prevailed as there was no one at the dock when we came in, including Ed from the DNR who usually asks Clarence "who caught them?". Yes!

10 May 97 Clarence and I fished the sand hole and caught 4 lakers on 8 hits in 1st hour. Largest was 4 1/2 pounds, smallest we won't mention nor who caught it. We then spent the next 5 hours without a touch. Calmed beautifully but was cold. Surface water temperature was 38.6 deg. No hits on surface line.

6 May 97 - Jim Bystrom, famous whitefish and breakwater fisherman, and I tried the mouth of the Chocolay and got zip. Moved out to the sand hole and got four lakers, all around 145 feet. It calmed nicely and then my downrigger switch broke with my 8# weight bouncing bottom. Then within 5 minutes, the wind kicked to 25 mph and we were in 3 footers, all the gear down and a broken downrigger. It was challenging but we recovered and got off the lake. So much for good weather forecasts.

4 May 97 - Fished mid Little Presque Isle and Granite Rock. Got one 7# laker at the 125 foot depth. Before we weighed the fish I asked Clarence how big the fish was when we put it in the box and he said 4#. I then asked how big would it be if he caught it? He smiled and said 7 or 8#. Another year starts! The water was rough and we fished back to white rocks with not another hit.