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Report for June 8, 2019
We are through May and a week into June. Unfortunately the Coho bite has been less than stellar. We have caught Coho salmon but the catch rate on them is down 70%. The problem is a very cold start to the season. We are still wearing winter jackets on the lake. The water has been slow to warm and has caused the movement of Coho salmon to be slow. The big schools are still way south. We still believe there will be some good Coho fishing to be had in June but the window will be shorter. We went to Racine for a weekend to better our catch rate and although it improved it was not much. Maybe 5 to 10 bites more a trip. The good news is the Rainbow trout bite has been very good. There is a good amount of them from 90 to 250 feet of water from Port Washington back to the state line. The Chinook bite has not been great but when you hook into one the fight is incredible. There have been multiple 25 pound Chinook caught. The size will be great on the Chinook this year. The other good thing is there is a lot of Alewive around and today at the dock we saw thousands in the harbor getting ready to spawn. The fish that are out there are healthy.
So we are running a spread to target both Coho and Rainbow. Many of our fish are coming off high boards, using orange Luhr Jensen or Gold Star B&B dodgers followed by green peanut flies. This is accounting for 50% of our fish. The inside boards are 3 to 8 color Leadcores. Are favorite spoon is the Stinger Stingray Gold Hud. We also like the Gold Yellow Tux by Stinger. The riggers are spoons on the outside riggers at 20 to 25 feet down and the inside riggers are white flashers with Howie Green Krinke being the top producer followed by the Bull Frog. We run three dipsies with orange Coho set ups and one wire diver with the same thing on the riggers. All the dipsies seemed to collect 2 to 4 fish a trip. We are fishing in 150 to 250 feet of water for best catches. We are trolling a little fast too. The water is cold and we are in 49 to 42 degrees for the most part. It seems right now the colder the better. The Rainbow trout account for at least half the fish, then Coho, with some Lake trout and Chinook. We have had some in close action but it rarely last.
There are still plenty of Coho salmon to be caught and we still should have a couple of knock out weeks on them but not like a normal season. The fishing has still been good and the best Coho bite is still to come along with monster King salmon. Give Silver King Charters a call at 414-460-1467. The fish are big this year and fighting real good. We are back in Milwaukee and probably will not go back to Racine unless the bite really picks up. We caught a Pink salmon last Monday. We have been catching more of these each year. This fish was accidentally stocking in Lake Superior many years ago and has naturally survived over the last 40 years. I have attached a picture.
Report for May 23, 2019
Well it is the middle of May and this is Coho salmon time. The highest catch rate of the year. The problem is the water is still very cold. As of Tuesday we saw 41.5 degrees on the surface in 100 feet or 4 miles off shore. The middle of the lake it is the high 30's still. Late spring to say the least but warm air and sunny days warms up the surface fast and will move fish. Today we saw 46 degree surface water in the same spot we were Wednesday. The bait is all around so the fish just have to find the our bait and they will stick around. There have been some descent catches of Coho down south but just random catches for us in Milwaukee and Racine was not much better for Coho. We expect the Coho action to pick up real soon. Our Brown trout action has fallen off and we are fishing Lake trout while waiting on the Coho bite. The Lake trout bite has been very good. We caught a 20 pound fish today. We have also caught a few Chinook and Coho while fishing Lake trout. Several limits and we are glad that Wisconsin raised the bag limit to 5 Lake trout per person. I have attached a picture of a Lake trout we caught this morning, with what was in its belly. many alewives. This is true for all the Lake trout we catch. They are vacuum cleaners when it come to alewives. They never stop eating.
We have fished outside the Milwaukee harbor, with the main and south gaps being best. We have taken a mix of Coho and Brown trout here but the bite is average with 5 to 10 fish catches. This area will soon be a hot spot. We have moved offshore for a better bite on Lake trout. The action is best straight out from the harbor in 100 feet of water near the bottom. Spin and glows have been king and spin and glows with yellow in them are best. We like silver prism or smoke dodgers with them. We have caught a few Coho salmon on orange dodger and Next Generation peanut flies off boards on the surface but very few. We may try deeper this weekend for a Coho bite. The action on Lake trout has been steady. We took a few Chinook salmon on a white flasher with a Howie Bull Frog fly.
Memorial Day weekend's have been known for some great fishing and hopefully on one of our trips we take a limit of Coho salmon. The next several weeks though should begin to see some great salmon catches, so call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book a trip for the best time of the year for catch rate and salmon. Until then we will be catching something and probably Lake trout. Attached are some resent catches.
Report for May 9, 2019
May Lake Michigan charter fishing and we are on the edge of our favorite time of the year. COHO SALMON TIME! The catch is still consists mostly of Brown trout but we are now starting to take some Coho salmon. We have been in, around and down the shore of the Milwaukee harbor. Some have ventured off shore of Milwaukee but with no success. The water as of Wednesday has reached 50 degrees on the surface by the river mouth and 46 degrees outside the gaps. Down 10 feet it is in the mid to low forties. Offshore the surface is at or just above 40 degrees and down 50 feet it is the high thirties. All is about to change soon as the water is warming fast now. The alewives started to show up mid last week in the harbor and on Wednesday we snagged about 25 alewives while trolling. Each day the schools have been getting thicker. The first Coho salmon we have taken outside the harbor occurred last weekend. Probably had 12 bites and landed 5 Coho over the last 4 days. The trips have been between 5 to 10 fish and this is a little lower than we like but mother nature has been tough this spring. Better times are almost here.
The spread has remained unchanged, with the exception of a few Coho set ups on inside dipsies and outside boards. Orange small dodgers and green peanut flies. We like the Opti Dodgers because of the orange color they use. All of the Coho stuff is right at the surface and is now taking some bites ever trip. Not to the point to go with more orange yet because the Brown trout bite is still better. We are still running 1 - 4 color leadcores, mono dipsies and riggers from 10 to 30 feet down. All spoons and we are heavy on Gold Hud or UV Blue Dolphin Stinger spoons in the stingray size. There are a lot of big alewives around but we have snagged all year classes, which is great to see. We are not sure if we will go to do some Racine charter fishing yet this year. That will be decided by May 18th. Depends on how the Coho action sets up off Milwaukee. The last several seasons there was no reason to go south but every year is different. Right now most of the Coho action is from fish that wintered around the area. The big schools have not set up yet off Milwaukee or Racine. This should start any day now that the bait is showing up. I hope to have a report next time with lots or orange dodgers and Coho salmon.
We have trips open for Mother's Day. Don't understand why mothers wouldn't want to fish that day. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book a trip during the most productive time of the season. Mid May through June is our highest catch rate and the best time for salmon. A couple of pictures from the last seven days. A few Coho in the mix.
Report for April 25, 2019
We are at the tail end of April and Milwaukee charter fishing has been all about Brown trout. We boat the most Brown trout of the season in April and this action slowly gives way to the Coho salmon bite until it goes completely away by mid May. But we are still catching the Brown trout now. Most of our action has been the eastern part of the Milwaukee harbor. We have taken some fish in the river up to the turning basin. We had a big northeast blow Friday and Saturday that chalked up the water, making the bite challenging but we produced on all trips. The Milwaukee harbor makes trips possible on big winds and action can still be very good. The water is has warmed to 45 degrees in spots. The fish still have gobbies in them but the alewives schools will his the shores very soon. There has been some smelt action at Jones Island this year. Some have pulled pulled as much as 500 smelt in a night. Very good to what it has been over the last 20 years.
The spread is all spoons still and we have been trolling fast for a good bite. We are now getting fish on our one color leadcores. Spoons with orange were the hot ones over the last week. Water clarity was poor and orange seemed to help. We used the orange taped Gold Hud Stinger in the Stingray size. We also liked the orange NBK in both sizes. The hot spoon for the one color leadcores was the Dreamweaver Magic Man. That was on fire. Again all our stuff was set in the top 25 feet of water, with 1, 2 and 3 color leadcores, mono dipsies and 3 riggers. All Brown trout from 2 to 14 pounds. We expect another week of this fishing but with reports of Coho salmon starting to appear we are ready to bolt at a seconds notice.
Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on the last of the Brown trout action and the first part of the Coho salmon bite. It looks to be another great year for the number one stocked salmon on Lake Michigan. The highest catch rate of the season starts very very soon. This is the time of the season we produce the most limits of salmon from early May through late June! Below are some pictures from the last several days.
Report for April 19, 2019
The weather has been all over the place but what do you expect for April in Wisconsin. The harbor bite has been good for what conditions we have fished. Our worst outing was 2 fish with several double digit catches. The bite has been all Brown trout. We have ventured outside the harbor along the shore but our best action has been from the north gap to the river mouth. Water temperature on the surface is between 40 to 43 degrees. When you get into the river it reaches 47 degrees. Our best action has been just north or south of the river mouth. All the fish have been full of Gobies. What has prevented the bite from being better is water clarity. Several big storms but mostly strong winds has caused the water to be just a little too murky for a stronger bite. We need just a little clear water and the water temperature a little warmer and the action will really take off. The fish are from 3 to 14 pounds and all have had bait in them, which is different from the last couple of Aprils.
Our mono dipsy diver rods set at 25 on the line counter has been the most steady producer, with Stinger Gold Hud the Stingray size spoon. This set up has boated fish every time. The next best has been our 2 deep riggers. These are set a couple feet from the bottom and have the same lure as the dispy, with the exception of an orange tape on the Hud. The boards have been ok and usually are the top producers this time of year. The one color leads have been almost useless but as the water warms a little they will probably be top producers. The two and three color leadcores have been alright. The green Natural Born Killer Stinger or the UV Blue Dolphin have been best on the boards.
We should have a couple more weeks of good Brown trout action before transitioning into Coho salmon and the best catch rate of the season. We should start seeing more Lake trout in the mix too during the next several weeks. The Coho being caught down south look healthy and it should be another great spring on Coho salmon. We have openings next weekend, so call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on early spring action. Attached is a few pictures from the last couple trips.
Report for April 7, 2019
Milwaukee charter fishing season for 2019 has begun. We put in on April 1st and have started to catch fish. We have fished the Milwaukee harbor and have been all over the area. The surface temperature is 41 degrees in the warmest areas and there is still large chunks of ice on the break wall. Our best location so far has been along the break wall from the Main gap to the north gap. All the fish we boated have been Brown trout, with the exception of one Lake trout. This is the first Lake trout we have ever caught in the harbor area. The fish have been full of Goby, which is a small invasive fish found at the bottom of the water column. The fish have ranged from 2 to 14 pounds so far. The action has been good but with bait starting to show up and the water temperatures warming it should only get better.
We have run all spoons on all set ups. Our favorite ones have been the Stinger Gold Hud in both large and small sizes and the Stinger Glow Watermelon in the Stinger size. The best rods are the to deep riggers near the bottom, mono dipsies set at 30 feet on the line counter and the 4 color leadcores. The fish are down near the bottom and because that is where the Goby is located. We did not have a hit on the one color leadcores, which can be very good this time of year. We look to continue fishing the harbor for the next couple weeks.
April is the best time for Brown trout and this April looks to be a lot better than last years weather, when it snowed 4 times and we had multiple days below freezing. Should be a lot of fish caught this month. We still have weekends open. I attached some pictures from this weekend and if you go to Silver King Charters Facebook you will see some video from the weekend. Still have not figured out how to put video on the website. I also included the stocking numbers from 2018. The over all number is down to 9.44 million fish. This is the lowest total in 25 years. Some of the reduction comes from no longer stocking fingerling Lake trout, which is a good thing. Coho salmon are still stocked around their 25 year average, which makes May and June such a great time to fish. Chinook salmon stocking went up 19% which is great. My personal opinion is that Chinook should be stocked at 2 million a year. This would give a decent catch rate, without damaging the precious bait population. Chinook are the only fish that is not stocked as yearlings. Lake trout have been reduced and are still the top stocked fish in Lake Michigan. We will not miss the reduction. Rainbow trout are at their 25 year average. Brown trout have taken a hit over the last 2 years and are down 41% from their 25 year average. The verdict is still out on the Brown trout but Milwaukee still have great Brown trout fishing. The total number is down but the matrix of fish stocked is good and the fished stocked are raised healthier than ever before to give them a better survival rate.
Call Silver King Charter at 414-460-1467 to get fishing on Lake Michigan. The fish are biting! We actually did catch a baby Coho this weekend. I have a pic of that too.
Report for March 24, 2019
We are hopefully in the water on Friday Milwaukee charter fishing. The ice is still in the marina but it is melting very fast. My fisrtmates have already been out in aluminum boats and the Brown trout bite has been real good. The first several weeks of April can be very good fishing for Brown trout. Our typical spread is 3 boards a side, using 1, 2 and 3 color leadcores. Spoons on all rods. These usually do the bulk of the catching. We run two mono dipsies and spoons are also on these. Always good for several hits. We run 3 downriggers and they are hit and miss. Spoons are everything. We are usually fishing in 10 to 35 feet of water and fish can be skittish to downriggers in that shallow of water. They usually are good for a few fish. The Milwaukee harbor, river mouth and shoreline can all have good action in April. We hope to be catching next weekend.
We talked about Chinook salmon last report. July through the 3rd week of August in the best time for them. By the middle of August the mature Chinook salmon are heading to the ports they were stocked, so they can spawn. The last week of August through the first 3 weeks of September is what we call combat fishing. The Chinooks stocked out of Milwaukee return home after 3 or 4 years in the lake. The salmon are staging at this point of the year and getting ready to run up rivers to spawn. These are all big fish and when you hook up that go complete crazy. We are in and around the harbor mouths where they return. The water is shallow and there is not a lot of room for them to go, so when they run it can get out of control fast. Great fights! Several years back this was my favorite time of the year because the return was great. Now with reduced stocking of Chinook this can be hit or miss during this period but when the window is right the action is solid. A good trip during this period is 10 to 12 Chinook but we usually average 4 to 5 Kings. Still worth the fight and pulling a 15 to 25 pound Chinook on a trip is very fun. If the harbor action is not set up we will head out deep for Lake trout and Steelhead.
I really don't want to think about September right now because the next couple of months are going to be some great action on Lake Michigan. We are looking forward to netting our first fish of the season. I think I can remember every first fish caught since I have been chartering and it is always a special moment. It will be interesting to see what the lake has in store for us. Hopefully lees big winds. I have attached my last pictures of ice in the marina and a picture of our first trip last year. I have also included a couple of September Kings. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to start catching Lake Michigan salmon and trout.
Report for March 17, 2019
We are a couple weeks away from Milwaukee charter fishing season 2019. The hard winter has us eager to fish. We look forward to some good early Brown trout action this April. Probably some Lake trout and Coho salmon too but April is the best time of the season for Brown trout. We have talked about the great action in April for Brown trout and the best catch rate for the year for Coho salmon during mid May through late June. I will go over Early July through the 3rd week of August. Traditionally this was Chinook salmon time and the best time to catch them. It is still the best time to target Chinook but unlike the Coho salmon Chinook stocking has taken a hit. At one time Lake Michigan was stocked with 6.5 million Chinook annually. Incredible amount of salmon were in the lake because they live for four years. But due to declines in bait fish caused by mussels in the lake stocking had to be reduced. It is now down to 1.2 million annually but there is some percentage of natural reproduction that helps this number. All is not lost. The fish are healthy, better size and a great fight. It is worth a Lake Michigan charter fishing trip to experience this kind of action.
So what to expect on a summer fishing trip these days. We target all species not just Chinook salmon. This time of year can be outstanding for Lake trout and Rainbow trout. We still get some Coho salmon and an occasional Brown trout. But we all want to land a King salmon and we always have stuff set for them. When there are good numbers around we switch out everything to catch them. But other times we are lucky to boat a couple on a trip. This is when the other species come in to play. During July through the 3 week of August we average 4 Chinook a trip but these fish add a lot of excitement to the trip. When there are good schools of Chinook in the area double digit catches are common. The size of a mature Chinook will vary from year to year but over the last 3 seasons a 15 pound Chinook salmon is common. We have boated many in the 20 pound class and some are pushing 30 pounds. These are very special fish. Mature Chinook are know for their long runs, peeling off 300 feet is nothing for a King salmon. They don't give up easy. Throw several Chinook in the cooler, with Lake trout, some Rainbows and Coho you have had a great time. Chinook salmon are a special fish that years back we were quite spoiled with but now it is really something to have one strike and blow away from the boat at fast speeds. If Chinook is your desire than July and early August is the time to book your trip. We do catch them throughout the season but no other time beats the middle of summer for the King bite.
Like I mentioned earlier we should be in the water by April 1st and looking to capitalize on some good Brown trout fishing. Somewhere in the month we will boat some Coho salmon but it is hit and miss on these during April. Lake trout will also come into play as bait starts showing up along the shoreline. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book your fishing trip in 2019. Soon we will be posting actual reports of fishing trips. I have attached what I hope to be the last ice fishing pictures of the year. Our firstmate Colin caught these Brown trout just last week. I also put a picture of the current state of the Milwaukee marina. The ice will go fast now. There are a few Chinook pictures too from last summer.
Report for February 20, 2019
We are less than 6 weeks away from catching fish and we still have a lot to do but we will be ready. I predict the first fish boated will be a Brown trout. Love that early action in April on Brown trout. Silver King Charters will be Milwaukee charter fishing the entire month of April to take advantage of the large harbor, river and structure along the shoreline. Call us to book an April trip. The Great Lakes is 66% covered with some form of ice right now as opposed to 2018 at this time it was 42% and 2017 it was 8%. What does this mean well lets hope for a warm March. Our first mate Colin had been ice fishing the big lake and catching some nice trout. I have attached a picture to this report of a big Brown trout caught a week ago. Hope to boat one of those this April. Lake Michigan is 50% iced over and this is the highest total in the last 3 years.
Well we talked about April and for some limit action the first 3 weeks can be one of the best time periods of the season and the best time to target Brown trout. But the best catch rate is Mid May to the third week of June. Hands down we catch the most fish then. Why? Coho salmon. This is the number one stocked salmon in the lake and only Lake trout are stocked at a higher amount. Coho salmon is this the fish we catch the most of over the last 3 season and it is because their stocking numbers have not been reduced. This also leads to our highest amounts of limits during the season. It is still fishing and there are tough days during this time but we have averaged 18 fish a trip over the last several years and 80% of the catch is Coho salmon. Coho salmon are stocked at approximately 2.5 million fish a year lake wide. The are raised in a hatchery for almost 16 months before being release in ports throughout Lake Michigan. They summer out in the lake and by the following spring they are at a size to be caught. Early in the spring they are 2 pounds but Coho put weight on fast. By the end of June we are catching Coho up to 6 pounds. Come the fall these fish spawn and die after 3 years of life. What makes this a fun fish to target is when you get on a school it can be fast action and many shots of fighting fish. Coho salmon school up and will eat until bait is coming out of their mouths. We will run orange dodgers and green peanut flies for most of this part of the season and we run this set up on just about every rod we set. The trick is finding them and once you do it is fish on.
Mid May through late June is Coho time and the best catch rate of the year. Give Silver King Charters a call at 414-460-1467 to get hooked up on a fun salmon charter fishing trip. Attached is a few sunrise pictures by the lake during this chilly winter, with a full moon rise during the super moon that just happened.
Report for January 13, 2019
This is my first report of 2019 and we are less than 3 months from catching our first fish Lake Michigan charter fishing. We hope to put in and fish the last week of March. In 2018 it snowed 4 times in April and that was probably as much as we got all last winter. This winter has been virtually no snow and mild temperatures. Our slip was actually open just a couple of days ago. In fact the entire marina was ice free. Winter will put the bite on us before it is all said but hopefully this will lead to an early spring. Last year we had our first trip schedule on the last day of March and it was cancelled due to high winds. My hope this year is to run a trip in March and November.
We averaged 15.46 fish a trip last season and we were very pleased with that. Stocking numbers are down but we have adapted by targeting all five species to put more fish in the boat. Long gone are the days we would go after Chinook for 3 months of the year. The good news is when you do tie into a Chinook the size is up and they give a great fight. The breakdown percentage wise on numbers is: 15% of the trips caught 1 - 5 fish. We did not get skunked in 2018 but did have two 1 fish trips. 24% of the trips caught 6 -10 fish, 26% of the trips caught 11-15 fish, 15% of the trips caught 16 -20 fish and 20% of the trips caught 21 - 30 fish. It is fishing and from day to day anything can happen but when are the best chances at good catches. May 15th - June 20th is the highest catch rate. The first 3 weeks of April, if mother nature cooperates, can be very good action and July 4th through the 3rd week of August is your best chance at Chinook. Again any day can be the hot bite but those 3 periods delivered some great action over the years.
I will go over April in this report. The primary fish of April is Brown trout. This is the best time to target Brown trout for the entire season. The fish average 2 to 12 pounds but we have boated some monsters, including a 33 pound Brown trout. We are usually fishing the harbor or the shoreline in depths of 10 to 40 feet of water. We use a spread or spoons for the most part. Cooper and gold spoons are usually are hot baits. We run 3 boards a side and these are 1, 2 and 3 color leadcores. We put out 2 mono dipsy rods and usually just 3 downriggers to target the bottom. The harbor will have the warmest water by the river mouth early in the month and can hold a lot of fish. Water clarity is our biggest problem during April With a lot of rain it can make the water too muddy but for the most part there is always a place to catch fish. We sometimes will head to the Oak Creek power plant, where fish and bait hold around the warm water discharges. The run time is about a half hour to get there but it usually pays off when it sets up. Again fishing is fishing and it can be tough on any given day but April is a month that we do catch limits when it sets up and it is the only time of year we can do that on Brown trout. As the month progresses we start to catch good size Lake trout along the shoreline. We see 10 to 15 pound Lake trout during this period. We have had Aprils in Milwaukee and Racine where the Coho salmon bite starts early and when this happens it can get crazy good. But for the most part it isn't until mid May when the Coho bite gets consistent.
April can be very productive but when you book a trip you must remember that this month is closer to the end of winter that the start of summer. Dress warm! But when it sets up this period is as good as any throughout the season. We do give an extra hour of fishing for free on any trip Monday through Thursday during the month and with less fishing pressure I love to fish on those days. We fish out of Milwaukee during April as we do for most of the season. Milwaukee gives us a vast harbor to fish in if the weather is not the greatest but it also gives us warmer water for better action during the period. Give Silver King Charters a call at 414-460-1467 to experience early season Brown trout action charter fishing Milwaukee. I decided to put some sunrise and sunset pictures from last season on this post.