Wisconsin Charter Fishing News:
Milwaukee and Racine Charter Fishing Reports and Events
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March 23, 2017
Silver King Charters is a week from putting the boat in and staring to fish. We cannot wait to start fishing because the early spring has lead to some outstanding catches on the lake already. The Brown trout fishing has been off the hook good. April is a great month to target Brown trout, along with Lake trout and some Coho salmon action. We have been ice free now for several weeks and this spring is ahead of schedule. I am sure it will snow a couple times on the boat in April but it is spring and the worst is behind us. April but even more so May and the early part of June hold some of the best catch rates of the season. This is due to how Lake Michigan has been stocked over recent years. Below is the lake wide stockings for 2016.
Brown Trout: 1.51 million This number is at the 10 year average but expected to fall some in 2017
Chinook Salmon 1.67 million This number is slightly down from last year and is the lowest since 1972
Coho Salmon 2.49 million This is about average and the goal is 2.5 million
Lake Trout Fingerlings 0.00 million This was a purposed cut that may end up being put in this spring or .50
Lake Trout Yearlings 3.02 million Standard number for the last 12 years
Rainbow Trout 1.97 million This is up some from recent years
Total Stocked 10.63 million This is the lowest overall total in 25 years.
So what does it all mean. Well they are still stocking fish and we will still be out there so you can catch them. The overall numbers are down because of the Chinook salmon cuts. In 1995 they put 6.5 million Kings in the lake now only 1.67 million and for 2017 it will be 1.3 million. There is some degree of natural reproduction going on for Chinook and this helps the number but right now it is in 4th place for stocking numbers. The Lake trout is the number one stocked fish for the 12th year running. But the key number is the Coho salmon. This stock rate has stayed steady for decades now and if you are looking for the best time to catch these salmon it is May and June. Brown stockings continue to remain the same for now and April is the best month to target them.
The Chinook have been reduced because they are the top predator and easy to produce. If they just stocked Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan they could only put 5.26 million in the lake because that would equal the bait consumption of the 10.63 million fish they stocked in 2016. We always look at total stocking lake wide because Chinook, Coho and Rainbow travel all throughout the lake searching for food, so where these fish are stocked only matters when they come home to spawn. The lake biologist use this equation for how many of each species equals on Chinook on food consumption.
Coho Salmon 3.2
Rainbow Trout 2.4
Lake Trout 2.3
Brown Trout 2.2
The reason for all the caution on stocking is the bait population has fell off considerable but with proper management Lake Michigan fishing should be great for many more years. The increased Lake trout stocking has hurt bait population but hopefully cuts will come soon that will really help to stabilize the predator/prey ratio.
I have more about stocking numbers in my March of 2016 report and will throughout the season bring up more on the topic but what you want to know is what will the action be like when fishing with us this season. Again, this April should be one of the best we have had in years as long as mother nature doesn't go crazy. This should be a great month on Brown trout. We will be in Racine for most of May and June targeting Coho salmon. This is the number one stocked salmon in Lake Michigan and May and June are the best times to catch them. We have never gone wrong in Racine. It always delivers great catches on Coho salmon and the best catch rates of the season. We will be back in late June and will be Milwaukee charter fishing for the rest of the season.
Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on April Brown trout fishing and then come back for some great salmon fishing in May and June. With the warm weather and lots of small bait there will be many of the 2.49 million Coho salmon they stock in 2016 ready to be caught.
March 15, 2017
The Milwaukee charter fishing season for Silver King Charters. We will be in on March 31st this year and will fish on April 1st. Milwaukee is ice free and hopefully the snow is all gone. Should be gone this weekend. The Brown trout bite has been solid already this March and we look to have some good catches this April.
April charter fishing is average temps in the mid 40's early on but the fish don't care. They can be very active around the warmer harbor waters and Oak Creek power plant. The size of the Brown trout vary from 2 to 15 pounds and they are a great fight in the spring. We also can have some great Lake trout fishing at this time too, with some up to 15 pounds. I am not a cold weather fan but we would not be fishing in April if we were not catching. Most of our fishing will be done in 10 to 20 feet of water and leadcore is our top set ups. We use 1, 2 and 3 colors and mostly stinger spoons in cooper or gold colors.
I just need my fishing & trolling license and my brother and I will be set for another season. There are 5 weekends in April this year and we would like to be catching fish on all five weekends. If mother nature is good it should be a great start to the season.
March 5, 2017
Wisconsin charter fishing for the 2017 season is going to have more opportunities to catch fish. The Wisconsin DNR has opened the limit for Lake trout to 5 fish per person instead for the previous 2 fish per person limit. The season for Lake trout is now open year around. They did not open the Mid Lake reef or the Refuge for Lake trout fishing though. This would have been nice since we are one of the two port in Wisconsin who could get out to fish it. The Lake trout is the number one stocked fish in Lake Michigan over the last 13 years and for sure there are two many in Lake Michigan for the current forage, so this is a good move. The thanks has to go to the Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association, who worked to help all of us continue to enjoy a great fishery. Early they where instrumental in keep the Chinook plants from being cut. Hopefully they can get the Federal government to reduce Lake trout plants.
What this means to you when fishing with us. There are days when one species will be dominant in the catch. On the days this is Lake trout instead of catching 2 fish and then you are down unless something else turns on you can now catch 5 Lake trout. This gives you more chances or fighting and catching fish on a trip. I don't know anyone who wont like that. Lake trout are the best smoked fish you can have and they are highly recommended to be served this way.
Milwaukee charter fishing offers excellent Lake trout fishing because so many Lake trout are stocked on the Mid Lake reef and we are so close to it. There is lots of great structure out of Milwaukee that will hold Lake trout during the season. We will not always be targeting them but when they are biting you will be catching more fish!
The boat is ready to go in March 31st and we start fishing April 1st. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on early spring Brown trout action, with Lake trout and some Coho salmon too. With the mild winter April looks to have some great action.
February 24, 2017
As Silver King Charters prepares for the Milwaukee charter fishing season we just had a week of 60 degree temperatures that we could have been chartering in. This winter has been a warm one. The ice is gone on the southern end of Lake Michigan and little is left anywhere with small chance of returning. My firstmate has been fishing and catching Coho salmon already. Two days ago he and some friends landed 25 of them in Racine. These fish look good for this time of year and we are excited to start fishing them.
Winter still has some supervises for us and the water temps when my firstmate was fishing was only 34 degrees and this was by the green can in Racine. The fish had some shrimp, red worms and grubs in them. The bait that usually swims to shore in spring is not here yet. There are reports though up and down the lake of Coho salmon at all the warm water discharges. The real action has yet to come but good signs for spring.
Lake wide stocking number totals for 2016 are just about to be released and the Lake trout decision should be known soon. We hope that the limit for Lake trout goes to 5 fish, since it is the number one stocked fish in Lake Michigan.
We start fishing the first Saturday in April and have opening available. We hope to have a great start this year and that the water is a little warmer than normal for April. We should have good Brown trout action but some Coho salmon would be a great bonus. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to start fishing in April.
February 13, 2017
We are in full swing with boat prep before our put in date of March 31st. You never know if you can get in this early and there has been years we were forced to wait a couple of weeks due to ice. This will not be one of those years. With the lake at less than 10% covered with ice and that is up north and in tight by harbors we know we will be fishing April fools day. This is the second mild winter in a row after two extremely harsh ones and this can only help the fishery. New hatches of bait and stocked fish from last year should fair well this winter. Last spring there was a good amount of bait on the western shores of the lake.
We will be ready to fish for April and are excited by the warm winter but we know that snow still flies in April along with some real cold days. That said this warm winter and early ice out will make for a great April when the weather is too wicked. Brown trout, Lake trout and Coho salmon will be in the mix. April is a great time for Brown trout and we will be starting out of Milwaukee. In and around the Milwaukee harbor is some of the best Brown trout fishing on Lake Michigan. We also have the Oak Creek power plant that holds a lot of fish. We are putting a lot of work into the boat and equipment this offseason to deliver on these fish as soon as we hit the water. Give us a call at 414-460-1467 to get in on some April fishing.
January 24, 2017
What a great stretch of weather we have had the last couple of weeks. Temperatures in the 40's and rain. My kind of winter. The reason I like these winters is that there is always better survival on Lake Michigan when winters are mild. As I type this the lake is at 10% ice coverage and at its peak it was at 20%. This is almost exactly what it was last year at this time. Winter will still have some cold periods but not enough to get the lake even close to freezing over. In 2013-2014 winter the lake was 91% ice covered and 2014-2015 it was 75% ice covered. This was not good for young fish to survive.
After last years mild winter we had a good survival of alewives and it was much needed. This year we hope for the same. But these mild winters also help stocked fish survive along with good natural reproduction. This means more fish will make it through their first year in the lake. Last season we had a great Coho fishery because of all the young bait and good survival of the fish that were stocked. Coho are stocked a year in advance of when we start catching them, so mild winters have an immediate effect on Coho salmon.
Last spring there was some outstanding fishing, with Brown trout early and Coho salmon right through June. Minus some tough weather in April, which we hope to avoid this year, the fishing was great. We are going to be fishing April 1st this year to capitalize this action. The weather may be cold but there will be some good fishing to be had. Last April we took many Brown trout in the 10 to 15 pound range and a lot of this action is close to shore. We hope to get on the Coho bite early too. Two year ago we took limits of Coho salmon in early April. We hope mother nature cooperates but we already have won with this mild winter through the coldest part of winter. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book your April trip.
January 18, 2017
Lake trout! This has been the number one stocked fish out of the 5 species we fish for since 2006. That was the first year they took over for Chinook as the top stocked fish. That year was when Chinook salmon stocking was decreased and Lake trout stocking was increased. Since that time Lake trout have been the top stocked fish over Coho, Rainbow and Brown trout. In 2017 some changes will be made to stocking and catching Lake trout in Lake Michigan and Wisconsin.
The one thing that sounds for sure is that Lake trout fingerlings will not be stocked starting in 2017. This accounts for about 450,000 of the average 3.5 million stocked each year. Starting in 2018 further reductions on Lake trout will occur for the yearlings. These numbers are not firm yet. The reason is forage or bait. The Lake trout population takes a toll on the dwindling bait in Lake Michigan.
Things that are still being worked out for the start of the 2017 season is how many, where and when Lake trout can be caught. In 2015 we had our highest catch of Lake trout in one season. There were not many salmon around and we leaned on them hard. That was the first time we caught more Lake trout than Chinook. In 2016 I know a lot of you got on the boat expecting much the same but salmon were around and our trout count went way down. Nice to have that mix of species and this is what the Wisconsin DNR is starting to do for us. But in 2015 when it was trout heaven we could only keep two Lake trout per person and if other fish were not cooperating the action was over quick at times.
For 2017 the bag limit looks to be going to at least three per person and there has been talk of even five, which is the limit for other species. That means for five people we are at least talking 15 instead of 10 fish if the trout are biting good. More fish and more action! The overall limit of fish will still be five per person but more of the catch can be Lake trout. I hope they go to five. Again, we want a mix heavier on salmon and so do you but this is a good option when times are tough.
The area we can fish for trout looks to be opening too. In between Milwaukee and Port Washington is the mid lake reef or refuge or the forbidden zone if you wanted to catch Lake trout. This is one of the areas that the Federal government has concentrated its stocking efforts. This is an area that is considered good for Lake trout natural reproduction. This area looks to be open for Lake trout by April. If so it will provide a great opportunity to catch Lake trout. It also is a good area for other species but fishing there has always netted good Lake trout catches. When times are tough we now have a good spot to run too.
We should be able to fish Lake trout anywhere and from April 1st through October 31st, which is our season. More opportunities for you to catch more fish. We are very lucky to be in the area we charter out of Racine and Milwaukee. We have always had good trout fishing due to where the Lake trout were stocked but to be able to now fish the refuge and to keep more of them per trip will just make a good thing better. The change is an emergency action being taken by the Wisconsin DNR to help maintain bait fish and give fishermen more opportunities to catch the number one stocked fish in Lake Michigan.
We start fishing April 1st and this can be a great time to catch Lake trout as they come to shore to feed on spawning bait. This is also a great time to catch Brown trout. We always seemed to take a few early Coho salmon at this time but because of anther warm winter and very low ice levels on the lake we might see better action early on Coho. April is a great time to fish when the weather cooperates, so call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on April and May action.
January 12, 2017
Well I had a client book a trip today and last season she caught a Pink salmon. I remember Colin saying we just won the lottery and that was the first time he had every seen one up close. We were one short of catching six species that trip and I don't know what we would have called that. Maybe the ultimate grand slam. Turns out two weeks later we landed another one and then a week later caught another. We always tell our customers that it is unusually to catch anything other than Chinook, Coho, Lakers, Rainbow and Browns. But last season there were quite a few Pink salmon caught in Wisconsin ports. I heard of many caught further north.
In the 1950's Pink salmon were accidentally stocked in a Lake Superior tributary. they have spread throughout the Great Lakes over the years. These fish only average 3 pounds at maturity and spawn every other year in great numbers. Their life expectancy is 2 years. This is not a fish we target because they are few and only have a shot a catching one every other year. That being said it shows that natural reproduction occurs in the Great Lakes because few have been stocked over the years in the Great Lakes and almost none in years. The Pink salmon don't depend on alewives either. Nice story but it is kind of like winning the lottery in catching one.
This story does tie into Chinook salmon, which we are depending more on natural reproduction for. We have seen in strong years like 2012 natural reproduction was definitely a contributor for some percentage. Also stocking survival was higher due to good amounts of bait. But the Pink salmon story does show movement of salmon from lake to lake, especially Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. For now there is no reason to believe that Chinook fishing cannot continue to be productive on Lake Michigan but stocking must be a part of this.
One thing that did come out of the 2017 stocking report was the cut of German Brown trout. The Wisconsin DNR is stopping the planting of this strain. We hope that enough people get involved to bring this fish back. They were a good target in the spring, fall and when things get tough during summer. We should still have success on these fish over the next couple of years though. The Seeforrellen Brown trout will still be stocked. This is a Brown trout that can grow much bigger. We landed on 32 pounder two years ago. So Brown trout will still be in the mix.
Silver King Charters starts up April first and I can say right now we will not catch a Pink salmon in April we will be catching a lot of Brown trout. This is one of the best times of the season to target Brown trout, so call 414-460-1467 to get in on early season Milwaukee charter fishing action.
January 4, 2017
Happy New Year to all our past customers and friends. This is when our 2017 season begins. With boat, equipment and yes crew maintenance we have a lot to do before we put in March 31st. Yes you can call us and book on April 1st and catch the first fish of the season. Last season we took a limit on our first trip.
Last year we put a new motor in the port side. We are going to wait another season for the starboard side. We already replaced the all the coverings for the boat with new glass and cushions this November. We have many new items for the season to make your trip safe, fun and lots of fish.
Weill for 2017 they have reduce the stocking of Chinook salmon lake wide from 1.8 million to 1.35 million. The good news is that Wisconsin did not cut Chinook stocking and we will still have the same return on Chinook in the fall thanks to the group at Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association, who fought to keep Wisconsin stocking the same. The Coho stocking remained the same and has averaged a little under 2.5 million a year for 25 years. That is why we say if you want to have your best chance at catching salmon May and June are the months. This is the best time to catch Coho salmon.
Chinook catch rates will depend on many factors such as survival of stocked fish, natural reproduction that varies from year to year and how the lake sets up with currents and water temps. There will be strong weeks during summer for Chinook fishing but not consistent throughout. We are lucky to have good Lake trout fishing off Milwaukee and some rule changes for this season are going to really help out. I will talk about this next time. Stay warm and we will be working hard for the start of 2017.
December 17, 2016
One of my customers called me today to book a trip and told me that Facebook has ruined my reports that I give throughout the season. I know my clients like the fishing reports to see what is going on before their trips or when the hot times are to come. I must admit that two years ago a was a Facebook virgin and it is addictive but I will get back to giving more updated and frequent reports. Well we are out of the water as of November 2nd and it was a very good season. With reduced stocking and less bait Lake Michigan has become less predictable. That being said it is still an outstanding fishery it is that we have to fish smarter to deliver.
In 2015 our top specie caught was Lake trout and this was the first year that ever happened. Coho and Chinook came in 2nd and 3rd. With the Lake trout being the number one stocked fish in the lake it will be a top target when salmon schools are not in the area. There have been some stocking changes lake wide for 2017 and also some new regulations. I will save this for my next report. In 2016 the catch breakdown was 37.5% Coho salmon, 25.7% Chinook salmon, 15.8% Lake trout, 15.8% Rainbow trout and 5.1% Brown trout. It was great to see the salmon catch making up 63.2% of the catch and we will take that any year.
The Chinook stocking has been reduced and that is why we say book in May and June to catch your salmon because that is the best time for Coho salmon. The Coho have never been reduced and spring is an easy time to catch them. That being said the western shore of Lake Michigan got the loin share of the salmon this year. Bait and lake current conditions helped this and created some great fishing. We laid off the Lake trout because there were salmon around for much of the year but this will not always the case.
For the season we averaged 13.2 fish per trip. Considering the day in and day out conditions and reduced stockings we were very pleased with this. Our goal is to keep this average at 10 fish or better based on current stocking totals.
April was a tough month. I want to point out if mother nature gives us half way decent weather April is very good fishing. It was a real bad weather month this year. I will remember 2016 as the year of a super mild weather and all an all one of the best weather years I have experienced but April just turned out to be the worst. March was better. We only were able to get out a handful or times and averaged only 6 fish a trip. April is a great month and don't get discouraged to book a trip here. We are owed a good April in 2017.
May was solid but the first 10 days were much of the same as April. In 2016 we were taking some nice limits in early May but each year is different. May ended up with a 12.91 per trip average and Racine didn't deliver as well as past seasons. It still was solid. Mostly Coho salmon throughout the month and they were good size. We expect a very good size on Coho salmon for 2017.
June ended up being our best month. We averaged 18.68 fish a trip. This was some great fishing and we were taking some nice Chinook along with Coho salmon. There was a great hatch of bait in 2015 and this turned the salmon fishing on for 2016. We hope the bait hatch and survival of that bait is solid in 2016.
July again was solid and on Chinook and for the first couple of weeks a good Coho bite as well. We averaged 14.77 fish per trip and took many 20 plus pound Chinook. Our biggest came during Salmon-A-Rama when we scored a 27 pound King. Great catch by a young lady and she was in first place for 24 hours. I think she had the 4 biggest fish of the event. We will be in salmon-a-rama again this year so call now because there are few spots left.
August slowed a little but we ended up with 12.53 fish per trip average. We spent 2 weeks off shore fishing Steelhead and a bulk of our Rainbow catch came in this month. The great thing about Steelhead is they love to bite in the afternoon so the fishing doesn't slow down. Steelhead stocking is going up for next year but I will write more on this next time.
September use to be one of my favorite month but lately it has become somewhat unpredictable due to salmon returns. We still catch some big retuning Chinooks but it is not what it use to be. We took a hit in this month and only averaged 6.7 fish a month. Count the shaker Brown trout this goes way up but we don't count them. Again we caught some real nice fish but didn't get the numbers.
October had some strong winds and hurt us on our catch. Again don't be afraid to book in October but if it is not right we are not going. We averaged 6.8 fish this month per trip and we usually are around 11 or 12 fish during this month. Several trips were cut short due to weather and several more out right cancelled. There is good fishing in the month it just is unpredictable weather.
Very solid year and we will be happy with a repeat. No skunks and our worst trip was 2 fish. For tournaments there are less to fish now a days but we came in 6th place in the SU Open Wisconsin, 3 biggest Chinook in Salmon-A-Rama, 2nd place in the Super Slam of Salmon-A-Rama "21lb average for 10 fish" and in Brew City well we fished for one hour before giving up. Nothing to do with fishing just my brother and I working some stuff out. We will do very good next year for sure.
But the main reason this was a great season is because on all the great customers we had throughout the season. That is why I do this. I have so mush fun watching people getting a rush out of catching salmon and trout on Lake Michigan. That is why my brother and I fish as hard as we do. We always want one more until the last lure is out of the water. There were rumors of us getting out but really what else would we do. So for now we will keep on fishing and if that day comes that we will not give 100% from beginning to end we will get out.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year and thanks so much for making fishing fun. I will write a report on the stocking and regulations early next year and go through some of our hot set ups. I know it will all change next year.
October 19, 2016
Silver King Charters is two weeks out from pulling the boat but we are still catching fish. We have been fishing 120 to 280 feet of water this October, with decent results. The catches have been between 7 to 13 fish. Chinook, Lake trout and Rainbows have been the species. The bite is from 50 to 150 feet down. We pulled a couple of nice Chinook, including a 16.5 lb King today.
The best baits are white flashers and little boy blue Howie flies on the deep rigger set at 110 and 150 feet down. This set up is taking the Lake trout and Chinook salmon. Our Rainbows are coming off the up high riggers down 50 feet and leadcore set ups in 8 and 10 colors. The happy meal Moonshine and gold hud Stinger are best. We have also taken some Lake trout on a wire dipsy, with the line counter at 300. We are using a magnum Walker diver dialed in a #2 and spin and glows. The action has been steady and the water is starting to cool off. Inside of 100 feet the surface temp is 50 degrees but when you get out to 120 feet and deeper it warms to 58 degrees.
We will be Milwaukee charter fishing through Monday October 31st and then put the boat away until April. Still time to call Silver King Charters and catch a salmon or trout before the 2016 season is over.
October 4, 2016
We have made it to the last month of Milwaukee charter fishing. The last two weekends have been brutal and we had to cancel some trips. But this is what can happen this time of year. We did get out Sunday and Monday. The fishing was solid with a limit one day and 10 fish on Monday afternoon. The great thing was the fish were nice size 2 and 3 year old Chinooks. We had 3 to 12 pound fish and all looked healthy. We were fishing in 150 20 220 feet of water and the fish came down 90 to 150 feet. The water was 62 on the surface and it broke about 80 down and was 59 degrees.
We ran boards, both copper and leadcore, wire dipsies and riggers but only the riggers produced. The one set at 150 and the other set at 120 caught everything. White coyote with a little boy blue Howie fly did the trick. Solid action and hopefully these fish stick around.
October can be challenging with the weather but when we get out it usually is good action. We are hoping someone books are last trip of the year. This will be Monday morning on October 31st and that is Halloween, so you know it has to be good. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on the last month of 2016 salmon and trout fishing.
September 26, 2016
We have had one of our best harbor King bites in the last several years. Good water temperatures and fish actually returning makes a difference. It is all a timing thing when Chinook return to spawn and this year it all worked out. It was not like years gone by when you could load the cooler but we took Kings in the harbor on every trip. This was a struggle at best over the last couple of seasons. Our best was 13 Kings and we did this four times. We took five over 20lbs and the best was 24lbs. Many were in the upper teens. Outstanding fights with these fish. We also boated Brown trout, with some Coho and Rainbow.
We ran the same spread each time. Two leadcores a side, with one being a 2 color and one a 3 color. Our best spoon was the gold Stinger hud in the stingray size. We also ran the silver hud and orange NBK. On the dipsies we had one mono and one wire. The wire dipsy had a white flasher and Howie bull frog fly. This was a good producer for big Kings. The mono we used the gold hud. We ran 3 riggers and the deep one we used a j-plug on. Silver plugs with lime green color to them were best. These took some nice Chinooks. We were pleasantly surprise at the action this fall because since the Chinook cuts it has been very unpredictable. We did see a lot of 2 year old male Kings early in September around 6 to 10 pounds but by mid September they were all teenagers.
Silver King charters will be Milwaukee charter fishing until the end of October. We have seen some decent catches during this month and as long as the weather cooperates we will catch fish. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on the last month of the season.
September 6, 2016
Milwaukee charter fishing was all over the place last week. We started the week in the north gap targeting staging Chinook salmon and Brown trout. The water was a perfect temperature and there was lots of young of the year alewives around. We were taking 9 to 15 fish a trip and most of these fish were Chinook. We landed a 20 pound King and a couple more in the upper teens. The top bait was the gold stingray Stinger spoon followed close be the orange UV NBK. With strong northeast winds this was shut down by Wednesday afternoon. We headed out in the lake Saturday and fished in 100 to 130 feet of water for Labor Day. The fish were 65 feet or deeper after the water warmed up. The catch was strong on Lake trout, with some Rainbows, Chinooks and Coho. We boated our second Pink salmon in as many weeks.
We ran spin and glows on the back riggers for the Lake trout. Once we found them it was great action and we took several in the upper teens. Spoons were good on coppers set at 200 - 400 feet of copper. The silver hud, blue dolphin and green NBK all worked. We ran white flashers and boy blue Howie flies on the side riggers and wire dipsies. Solid trips that were one limit, double digits and one that we only had 5 fish. But great trips and lots of fun.
Silver King Charters has two more months to go before the season is complete. This has been a great year and we want to finish strong. We still should have one more shot at the Kings before they spawn. The Rainbow fishing out deep has been exceptional and we hope to have a few more rounds out there. The in close bite should set up this October and we will target Brown trout, Lake trout and young Kings. There should be some Coho action too because the Coho stocked this year have already getting close to 2 lbs. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get a trip in before or after the football game.
August 23, 2016
Well 2016 is making everyone look like rock stars after the tough 2105 season. With the reduced stocking on Kings in 2012 the fishing at times can be challenging but the fish set up just right for Milwaukee this year and it has been a great season. We had a great run of offshore fishing on Steelhead. We were fishing from 220 to 300 feet of water in the top 50 feet of water. Speed was key and you had to be trolling fast. Yellow and chartreuse Stinger spoons were best. Our favorite was the Mongoose UV. After the blow on Thursday and Friday of last week we started fishing in 90 feet of water and took limits of Lake trout. There were Kings and Coho's in mix too. The water cooled down in close after some west winds and we were fishing in 30 to 40 feet of water the last couple of trips. We were able to land back to back grand slams and even caught our first Pink salmon ever. Check out our facebook for pictures.
The offshore fishing is still good but we have not been back for several days due to strong winds but the in close bite has been just as good with staging King salmon in the mix. We are running 2 to 8 color leadcores in close, with stingray Stinger NBK UV green, gold and silver Hud spoons being our best. We are also running white Hot Spot flashers with little boy blue flies and on one rigger and the dipsies. These are taking some of our bigger Kings in close.
Again with fewer Kings around it is how each port sets up and the western shore of Lake Michigan set up great. Milwaukee has been solid all season and we have averaged 16 fish a trip for the year. September and October can be some great fishing. Big Kings early in September and then a mixed bag for until we pull the boat at the end of October. Great time to target Rainbow, Brown and Lake trout. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on the last of 2016 and follow us on Facebook.
August 11, 2016
I have yet to write a full report this summer. See how far I get. After the tough 2015 season we are having one of the better years fishing in a while. Of course 2012 was ridiculously good but this year has been solid throughout. We are a third through August and the worst 5 hour trip we have had is 3 fish. Many limits and a 15 fish average per trip has led to a lot of happy customers. The great thing is that is has been well over 75% salmon. So many factors led to this year but the bottom line is to get out here now before this great season ends. We have had a great Chinook bite over the last several weeks but during this last week the Steelhead bite has been outstanding. We boated one today that was just under 17 lbs. We are also starting to catch Coho salmon stocked this year that are closing in on 2lbs. The Coho size next spring is going to be big. These young fish were stocked when there was a lot of small bait around and they fed well.
We are still all white flasher and boy blue flies on the riggers and dipsies. We were using J-Plugs on the coppers last week but now have switched to spoons for the steelhead. We are using leadcore from 4 to 10 colors. Stingray Stinger spoons, Silver Hud, Blue Dolphin Modified and Green NBK are all working. The water is warm but the Steelhead are coming in the warm water. Last week the thermocline was a far down as 100 feet in places but it has come up some. The good action on Steelhead starts in 140 all the way out to 250 feet. There is still good King action north of town and good Laker action south of town in about 100 to 120 feet.
Brew City Salmon tournament was August 6th and we had 115 boats entered. I run this event and apologize for some of the mix ups in weighing in and DQ's but after several days we got it right. We had over 60 cash prizes in the tournament and next year my goal is 70 cash prizes and 125 boats. We will have this tournament running very smooth next year! Congrads to Al Johnson of Rainmaker for the win and 137 pounds of fish. One of the best on the lake and great job. We ended up having our worst trip of the year and weighed only 3 fish. Too much fighting each other and not fighting fish. I can only say it will be a long time before I let that go and I can only hope we never have what happened that day ever happen again. The results are posted on www.GLSFCLUB.COM.
We have been fishing every day since with double digit catches. The rest of August looks to be good fishing and we want to finish strong before the Kings swim home. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to hook up and possible catch a 20 plus pound Chinook salmon.
August 2, 2016
This has just been a great season for salmon fishing. First the great Coho fishing this spring that took right into great Chinook fishing. The way it use to be and should be. Our catch has been 79% salmon, where last season it was mostly Lake trout and Brown trout. The mature Chinooks have been easily 15 lbs and we have boated 30 fish at or above 20 pounds. Just this last week we took two Coho salmon that were 10 lbs each. There was a strong north blow at the end of last week and this has warmed the water. The surface is in the high 60's and the break is down at least 50 feet. This is what we wanted and the fishing is really good. August should continue to deliver great salmon fishing as fish get ready to spawn and feed hard.
Before the blow we were fishing anywhere from 15 feet to 80 feet of water and lots of spoons off of 1 color to 7 color leadcores. After the blow it is all flasher flies on riggers, wire dipsies and half of our copper set ups. We are fishing in 80 to 120 feet and targeting 50 feet down to the bottom. We run one side of spoons but the flies are doing most of the work. We like the 150 to 300 coopers but all are catching fish. We have used chrome, green and white flashers with success. Bull Frog, Super Frog and Boy Blue are all working from Howie. It is great fishing out of Milwaukee right now and there are some really nice Chinooks going to be caught this month. Are catches have averaged 15 fish all season and we see this continue for the next couple of weeks.
July 21, 2016
The weather is hot the water is ice cold and the Kings are biting. We have been fishing in 15 to 40 feet of water over the past week. Water temperature is at best 50 on the surface and as cold as 46 degrees down 15 feet. Willy and I use to love this water in summer when we fished the shore. The Chinooks are right on the shoreline feeding on bait. Our catches have been 8 to 24 fish a trip and most of them are Chinook. We boated two over 23lbs this week. Some Rainbows, Lakers and Coho are in the mix.
We are running 1, 2 and 3 colors, 2 dipsies and 2 riggers. All have stingray Stinger spoons on them. We still like the blue dolphin. That's it and the fish are fighting hard. There is no quit because there is no warm water to wear them down quick. This has been a great King year and it should continue through mid August before they start to swim home. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to start catching King salmon.
Joly 14, 2016
Milwaukee charter fishing has been HOT! We have been back from Racine since June 24th and have averaged 17 fish a trip and most are salmon. Split between Coho and Chinook. Never saw the Chinook bite coming but most of the Chinook in the lake are on the west side making it very good out of Milwaukee. We have had catches from 7 fish to 30 fish but high teens to low twenties is common. Don't know how long it will last but we usually say July 4th through late August is the best time for Kings.
Our hot two baits are white flashers with Howie Bull frog or Super Frog on Wire dipsies or riggers. The other one is the Stinger Blue Dolphin on leadcore or copper, either stinger or stingray. The regular, UV or modified all are working. Those two baits are the hot ones and taking most of the fish. Water temps have been going back and forth causing us to almost daily reset the spread for fish 20 feet to 100 feet of water. Lots of bait is keeping the fish around though. There is 20 pound Kings being taking and we caught a 27lb fish Monday.
Now is the time to go so call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467. Best salmon fishing in several years!
June 29, 2016
We are back Milwaukee Charter fishing as of Friday. Racine charter fishing was solid this May and June but although there are a lot of Coho around they spread out this year and did not concentrate in the southern end of the lake. But the volume of Coho made up for it. We did have limit catches but not quick ones. We have a couple of 5 fish days and several 30 fish days but our average was 16 fish a trip in Racine this season. The hot port this spring was Port Washington and who would have figured that. There were Port boats in Racine to start the spring. But the Coho explosion happened. The stoking of 2.76 million last year, great hatch of alewives last year and a very mild winter led to great survival and healthy fish. We are now catching 6 and 7 pound Coho. We had a 10 pound Coho 2 days ago. We should continue to catch Coho throughout the season due to the amount around but it will probably be offshore.
Since moving back to Milwaukee we have taken 4 straight limit catches of 20, 30, 15 and 25 fish. The majority of this catch has been Coho salmon. We are now catching more Chinook salmon though. We have landed 18 Kings in these four trips and this is better than all the time in Racine. Very promising. Many in the 15 to 20 pound class. There fish are the most healthy I have seen since 2013. We have been running an orange dodger with a beefed up Coho fly on our boards and our dipsies. But we are sending these deeper in the water column. Our dipsies are set at 100 and 60 feet on the line counters and we are using 5 through 10 color leads. These are the best producers and they are also taking Kings. Our riggers are all white flashers, with Howie Bull frog and Super Frog flies.
We have been fishing in 60 to 90 feet of water and there was a lot of warm water around. Mid 60's on the surface and 60 all the way down to 50 feet. But the fish didn't care because of all the bait around. The fishing is just really good right now and should remain solid. If you want to catch salmon it is happening now and we have some spots open this weekend. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 and start catching salmon.
June 15, 2016
We have been busy fishing and I have not even completed one report for my customers in a couple tries. We are Racine charter fishing through June 24th and will be back in Milwaukee on June 26th. We have next week open and the fishing has been decent. We were blown away on Sunday and had to cancel but last week and the start of this week has seen good catches of Coho salmon. We had several limits and 20 plus fish catches. We had some catches in the 6 to 10 totals on Saturday. But we are still doing good on the Coho's.
The surface water is now 60 degrees and stays this down 20 feet. A good thermocline is starting to set and we have not had this for 2 seasons. We are still catching fish on the surface but if the water cooks a little more our orange set ups will be gone. We are still running orange dodgers and peanut flies on all boards and dipsies, plus one rigger. We do run two leadcores at 7 and 9 colore and Blue Dolphine Stinger is our best spoon. The other three riggers are little boy blue on white flashers down 25, 55 and 75 feet. We have been fishing north of Reef Point Harbor in about 75 to 90 feet. Lots of fish from the surface to the bottom. We have taken some Chinook salmon of late on these riggers. All fish are well feed and lots of bait around.
Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 for next week to finish off our southern season on the Coho's. Follows us on Facebook to see pictures.
June 6, 2016
I stopped half way through my last report and forgot to get back to it so here is the next one. We fished our first tournament of the year and finished 6th place in the SU Open Racine. We managed 77 lbs but 53 of those were in Lake trout and we failed to get good size on silver fish. Congrads to Jim of Jawzon for 1s place. Fishing has been good out of Racine over the last week. We have had some 8 and 9 fish trips but we have had more trips in the upper teens and 20's. The catch is mostly Coho salmon right now and we have boated three that were over 6lbs. The fish are coming in 40 to 65 feet and our best action is in the top 20 feet. The fish are real healthy this year.
We still have orange dodgers and peanut flies on our two outside boards, four dipsies and two outside riggers. All are set in the top 10 feet and account for 90 percent of the catch. We run two leadcores and one rigger with spoons, along with a white flasher and boy blue fly on a rigger. All get hit. The schools are not condensed and as plentiful but there is enough to pick away at and catch good numbers. We have strong west winds over the past two days and this is cooling the water down but the Coho fishing should continue to remain solid through June.
If your looking to catch salmon this is the best time to get good numbers. We averaged 15 salmon a trip over the last 7 days and it looks like this should continue over the next couple of weeks. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to start catching salmon.
June 2, 2016
Silver King Charters is in its last month of Racine charter fishing. The all but slam dunk great bite in the southern end of the lake has been good but with Coho salmon moving up north this year in good numbers it is not as crazy good as other seasons. We averaged 14 fish a trip in May and the majority of these fish were Coho salmon. Not one spot has set up and remained hot for long so we are always moving to find fish. On Sunday we boated 5 fish in the morning and 20 fish in the evening. Yesterday afternoon we took 5 fish and then a limit of 20 this morning. Good fishing though and we are taking salmon for the majority of the catch. The Coho are about 4 lb average and this is up a least a pound from last season.
For most of May it was orange dodgers on the surface with mono lines and keel weights. Orange dodger on all dipsies and Orange dodger on at least one rigger. We have been running white flashers with little boy blue
May 25, 2016
The great 2016 Wisconsin Coho massacre is on! I have always believed that the Coho fishing may be good north but it is always better south of Wind Point. Not this season. The Coho are everywhere up and down the western shores of Lake Michigan. In 2015 they stocked 2.76 million Coho and the mild winter, with small bait lead to high survival. It does not matter what port you fish out of in Wisconsin or Illinois we will catch them. We are still in Racine and the fishing is good but the fish are spread out and we have had several trips that we did not hit double digits since we started down here. But we are getting limits too but not as quick as in the past. This is still the best time of the year to catch salmon in numbers.
We have fishing the Racine harbor mouth several times but this has been feast or famine. The better fishing for us has been in 120 to 250 feet of water. Over the last couple weeks we have been catching fish from the surface to 150 feet down but over the last three days the best fishing was in the top 20 feet of water and using orange dodgers and peanut flies. Mono boards and dipsies have taken over. The surface temp is now about 50 degrees helping the bite near the surface. The catch is close to 90% Coho salmon and they are the best eating fishing salmon or trout in Lake Michigan.
This is a great year for Coho salmon on Lake Michigan and the fish are good size. We will be in Racine for at least another ten days but we might head back to Milwaukee earlier this season because the bite is equal to Racine. We have openings this Memorial Day, so call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on the blitz of a great year class of Coho salmon.
May 16, 2016
Well we are Racine charter fishing now and the Coho salmon are lined up from Chicago to Sturgeon Bay. Good for all. Lots of small alewives in the fish we are cleaning and the Coho salmon are close to a 4 lb average if not better. With the 2.76 million Coho stocked for this year and the high survival rate over the winter along with the perfect size bait this appears to be as good as 2011 for Coho salmon. Time will tell. The bulk of the fish are still offshore in Racine and because of strong northwest winds we fished close to shore. On Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning there were snow flakes, with the mornings stating at 39 and 37 degrees. I sure hope that is over. We went 12 for 13, 9 for 12, 5 for 10 and 10 for 13. All Brown trout and Coho.
We didn't get out to the hot bite in 200 plus feet due to high winds but it was decent fishing. The bite transitioned from spoons to orange dodger and peanut flies as more Coho's showed up. Our boards with orange on just below the surface took most of our Coho and the gold hud stinger on riggers down 12 to 15 feet took some Browns. We fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Not mush to report but this week things should be much better weather wise and catch rate should go up. Lots of fish around right now. Should be a great rest of May and June. The water is still cold with 50 degrees right next to shore and 41 degrees out deep. This is the best time of year to catch good numbers of salmon.
May 12, 2016
Silver King Charters is now Racine charter fishing. We fished yesterday in 170 to 200 feet of water and went 15 for 16 "limit" on Coho salmon. The fish were hitting from the surface down 120 feet. Took fish on riggers, with the deep one set at 120 "Boy Blue/White Flasher", next at 90 feet, 50 feet and 35 feet all with stingray blue dolphins, Orange dodger peanut flies on the rest near the surface. The riggers all got hit twice. The boards and dipsies took the rest. All the fish had real small alewives in them. Great sign. Also these Coho salmon weighed 3 to 5 pounds. Check the face book picture.
We have had a tough spring with the weather. More north wind then anything else. Hopefully we start seeing some better days but these north winds seem to have set up a good line of fish from Milwaukee back to Chicago. Just need them to set up a little better for some of the best salmon fishing of the season. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book a May or June trip to catch Coho salmon.
May 9, 2016
Well I lied, we did our last Milwaukee charter fishing trip Sunday morning because of more Northeast winds. I really appreciate my groups switching there plans and coming to Milwaukee. We were set to head to Racine on Friday but the strong winds on Saturday kept us from going. We fished the harbor and caught Brown trout and some Coho salmon. It was tough due to the water clarity. We went 6 for 6 "accidently threw one back!", 9 for 11 and 10 for 19. The one thing that was good to see was one year old alewives. I found several in all the fish we cleaned. There was also some 5 to 6 year old alewives that we snagged and actually would pull the boards just a little. But this is the first time in a couple of years I have seen one year only alewives. Hope there are a lot of them out there.
Our hot set ups were 1 color leadcores with copper stinger spoons. We also did good with the UV Stinger blue dolphin on mono dipsies and riggers. All our baits were set in the top 15 feet of water. The weter temperature was between 46 to 50 degrees. All of our action came right in front of the river mouth of the harbor. There was good bait and it was just a little warmer there.
We took he boat to Racine Sunday afternoon and will hopefully be catching Coho salmon this upcoming week. We have had many days or northeast winds and this has slowed the Coho action but it is coming and we just need a little cooperation from mother nature. The good news is the Coho's are good size this year and there has been a really good stocking for this season. So call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book a May or early June charter and lets start catching these salmon and stop talking about them.
May 2, 2016
We did our last Milwaukee charter fishing trip this weekend and will not be back in Milwaukee until June 26th. Just about all Brown trout in April. The good news is that the fish were decent size. Most of the Brown's we landed were in the 5 to 12 pound class. No monsters but no dinks either. Every time we had to fish it was not good weather. We saw snow early and even last weekend it was 39 degrees when we started. I hope that is in the past. We also had a northeaster for the last week and this has made fishing challenging.
Throughout April our top bait was the stingray gold hud from Stinger. Same as last fall. Our best set ups were the 1, 2 and 3 color micro leadcore board rods. It wasn't even close. We are heading to Racine to begin the southern offensive. We will be there for all of May and most of June. The target is Coho salmon and this is the best time of the entire season to catch good numbers of Coho salmon. They are starting to show up and this year had a very good stocking class of 2.76 million Coho. We hope to catch our first limit very soon.
We go to Racine at this time of the year because we have a better chance of limits. It may be good further north but it is always better down south. Call us at 414-460-1467 and get in on some great salmon action!
April 25, 2016
Milwaukee charter fishing remains solid. We have been out several times and have had decent success on Brown trout, with a few Rainbow trout coming out of the river from spawning. The fish are decent size ranging 4 to 12 pounds. We have fished mostly the harbor area. The water is now 53 degrees in spots and when we were outside the harbor down by the green can we saw 47 degrees. This time last year that spot read 39 degrees. We found a lot of 5 year old alewives in the trout and our bigger size spoons were working the best.
We ran 1, 2 and 3 color leads, mono dipsies set at 22 on the line counters and riggers from 9 to 25 feet down. All had stingray size Stingers on them, with the gold hud being the best. We are looking forward to Coho fishing down south now. Silver King Charters will either be going Friday or the following Monday, depending on weather, to Racine. The Coho bite has started and spring is hands down the best time to catch salmon during the season. Call us at 414-460-1467 for a May or early June trip. There were 2.76 million Coho salmon stocked for this season!
April 19, 2016
We fish we caught on Sunday. All Brown trout and all good size between 6 to 12 pounds. Have a video on Facebook of first fish. All fish came on spoons run 10 to 18 feet down by the river mouth of the Milwaukee harbor. The fish had gobies in them but there were big schools of bait around the inside of the Main gap all the way to the river mouth. There was about 250 Cormorants feeding on top of the bait coming up with fish each time they dove. Said to see considering the forage problem we face,
The water temperature in the slips is 50 degrees at the surface and is between 44 to 48 degrees in the harbor. Down 15 feet it was still in the low 40's. Things are going to warm up fast this season and real good Coho fish should be happening by months end in Racine. The smelt are still around. I went up to Big Bay park, which is just north of Milwaukee and pulled 20 smelt in two pulls. That was enough for me but over the last 10 years it would have taking me a month of pulling a net to get as many.
The fish all hit Stinger stingray size spoons and color was not so important as the depth and staying around the river mouth. The good news is there are some Coho salmon off Racine now and we will be heading there next Friday. We are going to fish Brown trout one more week first. It has been a solid bite with a lot of nice size fish. Wee still have a couple spots open this weekend, so call Silver King Charters to get in on some good Brown trout action.
April 13, 2016
The first two Saturdays in April were snow and real cold. I think the snow is done! This weekend it will be in the 60's and sunny. Going to be great fishing. We will be targeting Brown trout this weekend out of Milwaukee. The fishing has improved and there are some real nice trout being caught. The better news is that Coho salmon are being taken in good numbers down south and they are bigger than average this year. This may be our last Brown trout weekend so take advantage.
The hope was that all the talk of good hatches of bait would lead to bigger Coho salmon and it has. This should be one of the better Coho seasons both in numbers and size. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on some great Brown trout action this weekend and then slam so Coho salmon in May and June. We cannot wait to dirty up the boat.
April 9, 2016
As I write this post I am supposed to be fishing but we got to the boat and it was 21 degrees with a 20 mph north wind. I told the folks it just wasn't worth it. The coldest start I ever had was 29 degrees and I was not going through that again. I am a Cabo San Lucas kind of guy and I don't know how much longer I can do this weather. That being said we put in April 1st with no problems and it proceeded to snow and blow since. I am contemplating taking it out of the water if it will bring back warm weather. The new engine runs sweet and Centerpointe Yacht services did a great job with a lot of hurdles. We spent a week breaking it in, with anticipation of fishing today but we can wait for better weather than this.
The Brown trout fishing was outstanding in March and ok last week. We just need to get back to a more normal spring weather pattern and fishing will take off again. Boards with spoons and stick baits in shallow and the Browns are there, with Lake trout and occasional Coho. Lots of bait around when we were running all over the place last week. Even the smelt have returned in some what decent numbers this spring, so there is hope.
We will be Milwaukee charter fishing through at least next weekend but we will be eventually heading to Racine for Coho salmon. May and June are the best month of the whole year to catch salmon in good numbers! Silver King Charters will be back in Milwaukee the week of June 27th for the rest of the season. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on April Brown trout fishing. The weather cannot be any worse than today and there will be some great days of fishing this month.
March 23, 2016
The 2015 lake wide stocking numbers for Lake Michigan have been released, so I am going to post them with past years numbers and go through some information that people frequently ask on trips. These numbers are the combined stocking efforts of Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and the Federal Government, which stocks Lake trout. All numbers are rounded to the nearest ten thousands so 1.45 would be one million four hundred and fifty thousand. The Lake trout totals include a small percentage of fingerlings. All fish are stocked as yearlings, with the exception of a small percentage of Lake trout and all Chinook. The Chinook need to be stocked before smolting, so they can imprint on the location they were stocked and find their way back when they spawn. There is a higher survival rate for fish that are stocked as yearlings.
Salmon at most live for four years before spawning and dying. Coho salmon it is three years and because they are stocked as yearlings they spawn after only two years in Lake Michigan, meaning the 2015 stocking is what we catch this year. So all of the salmon stocked from 2012 back have spawned and died already. The Coho salmon stocking lake wide was 2.76 million for 2016 and the average for the past 20 years was 2.49 million. Coho salmon been stocked in consistent numbers in Lake Michigan over the past 20 years and the spring bite for the southern half of Lake Michigan is still as good as it has been. The Chinook stocking has been reduced but Chinook salmon are naturally reproducing in the northern rivers on the lake and years that natural reproduction is strong the Chinook fishing is better. There is a good chance that 2015 was a good year for natural reproduction.
Over the past 21 years the average stocking per year lake wide for Coho salmon is 2.46 million and if 2015 there was 2.76 million stocked. That is why we tell our customers that May and June is the best salmon fishing during the season because this is the best time to catch Coho salmon. This is why Silver King Charters moves from Milwaukee, so we are located in a great spot out of Racine to catch Coho during May and June. They are simply the number one stocked salmon right now, so May and June is our best catch rate of salmon for the season. We move back to Milwaukee in July to capitalize on great Lake trout fishing and steady Chinook fishing.
Lake trout our the number one stocked fish in Lake Michigan since 2006 or the last 10 years period. These fish spawn on reefs in Lake Michigan and not in rivers like Brown trout or Rainbow trout, so they have a better chance of survival after spawning. All salmon and trout are salmonid but the difference is that salmon spawn after they die and trout do not. Lake trout do not have the tough experience of running up rivers to spawn and this gives them greater chances to live longer. There is also a limit of 2 or 3 of them a day depending on the state. The Federal goverment stocks Lake trout and the rest of the five species are stocked by the states.
There are Lake trout in Lake Michigan over 20 years old, so some of the Lake trout from 1995 on this list could still be swimming around. Lake trout are also naturally reproducing on the reefs in Lake Michigan. Right now the only other fish of the five species that naturally reproduce in good numbers is the Chinook salmon but this is not as consistent as Lake trout reproduction. With the Lake trout being the number one fish stocked, natural reproducing, a lower bag limit, high survival rate and the longest living of the five species there is no doubt they are the top prey fish in Lake Michigan. They are the only natural fish to Lake Michigan of the five species.
Now the final two species the Rainbow trout and Brown trout. The stockings on these two fish have been steady over the last 21 years averaging 1.59 million on Brown trout and 1.81 million on Rainbow trout per year. Brown trout like structure close to shore and usually are found in 80 feet or less. Milwaukee to Racine offers some of the best Brown trout fishing because of all the great structure. Rainbows are much like Coho and Chinook salmon. They are a schooling fish that can travel great distances in the lake, so when things set up right for our area the fishing is fantastic for Steelhead. These fish are commonly found off shore in 250 feet plus of water. Chinook salmon can travel the length of the lake in 3 days. Coho salmon not as quick but can go anywhere in Lake Michigan in several days searching for food.
So what does all of this mean to you planning a Lake Michigan charter fishing trip. Lake Michigan is still an outstanding fishery but it has changed some from the 1990's and early 2000's. Chinook salmon fishing will have some real good years when natural reproduction is strong but other fish will be targeted more than in the past. Lake trout fishing is outstanding on Lake Michigan. Coho salmon fishing is still very strong but May and June are the best times to target Coho. Brown trout fishing, which was a fish targeted early or late in the season, is now a fish we will target all throughout the season to fill the box up. Steelhead action is still as good as it has been but again these fish need to set up off the port you are fishing. Silver King Charters will target all five species depending on the day to make sure you go home with a good catch and a fun experience.
March 13, 2016
Well we are less than 20 days from launch. The old motor is out and we only have one engine right now, so we are not going anywhere as of now but the new engine should be installed by the end of the week. We are ready to go with everything else and cannot not wait to boat the first fish. Lake Michigan is definitely warmer than the last couple season at this time. Lets face it two tears ago over 80 percent of the lake was still iced over at this time and it was not much better in 2015.
This winter the worst Lake Michigan was covered with ice was 20 percent and this was short lived. The surface temperature is 36 to 39 degrees close to shore out of Milwaukee. The last couple of seasons the temperature was just 38 degrees when we motored to Racine by the third week of April.
What does it all mean. Good early spring fishing. Everything should start up earlier. The boats fishing right now are doing well on Brown trout and catching a few Lake trout. The Lake trout season opens on April 1st and that is when we start. You need to find the right overall depth and sweet spot in the water column and the action is good. Boards with spoons and stick baits are the ticket. I have broke down and purchased the mighty flicker shads. Lets face it spoons are good but I was sick of hearing that the hot bit was on body baits and the Flicker shad was usually the one.
Silver King Charters is looking to capitalize on what looks to be one of the best April's in sometime. We will start Milwaukee charter fishing first but at some point we will be heading to Racine, when we here the Coho salmon bite is going. Call us at 414-460-1467 to be the first to boat a fish with us in 2016 this April.
March 4, 2016
We are fast approaching the beginning of the 2016 season. The southern half of Lake Michigan is ice free. There is little ice left in the Milwaukee harbor and with temperatures above 40 degrees all of next week it should wipe out the ice. Surface temps are already much better than last year and the Brown trout fishing on the lake is already very good. We start April 1st and look to have some of the best April fishing we have seen since 2012.
There has been a lot of small perch and shad in the harbors and we are hoping that this translates into a good hatch of alewives. Water temperatures should be above normal and hopefully lead to earlier Coho salmon action. We thing that the Coho will be good size early this year. There is little doubt that a good thermocline will set up this summer and make our fishing better. Call us to start catching fish in April at 414-460-1467.
February 11, 2016
Well we heard form the fishery expert that this El Nino, which is the biggest in recorded history, will be responsible for great things over the next 4 years. After each of the previous big El Nino's we have seen better fishing because it helps the food that all the little guys feed on multiple and survive. This causes an explosion in bait fish and also natural reproducing salmon. It is all set up to be some good fishing. We know that it will never be as great as the years before the mussels but we have had some great fishing like in 2011 - 2013 and this was set up by a great year class of bait.
We are really looking toward April and May. We know weather can sometimes be challenging but when it is decent the fishing is really really good. We have been getting the boat ready for the season and we are now putting new line on all the reels. With the mild winter the fishing should start out real good. There are small boats already taking advantage of the water. Lake Michigan only froze over 20 percent this year and it does not look like it will eclipse that. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to get in on early action. April is Brown trout and Lake trout. May is Coho salmon and some of the best catch rates of the year.
February 3, 2016
As I write this we have just missed another big snow storm and have received only rain. We have had one snow storm in November and one in January and that is it. We have had two cold blast and I think the coolest it has been is 7 degrees. Both cold spells lasted only 3 days each. Mild winter and that is just what Lake Michigan needed. The last two winters the lake has frozen over 90% and 75 percent. This year its peak have been 20% and right now it is 13%. We know there was a good hatch last year of bait fish. The mild winter will help them survive. I found out more good news yesterday at the Great Lakes Milwaukee Chapter board meeting, which I am Vice President of. There was a huge hatch of algae late last summer and it lasted through December. This was the good algae that feed littler bait fish and it covered half the lake. I don't know all the details but the source is a credible biologist who will be speaking at the New Berlin Ale House at 7:00PM February 9th.
What does it all mean. We have a great chance at an good size increase of bait fish this season. We will know how good this spring when we start catching Coho salmon. They love the small bait and if they are full of them the next 3 seasons could be very good on Lake Michigan. Silver King Charters starts fishing on April 1st out of Milwaukee but we will be in Racine as soon as the Coho bite goes. With this mild winter it may be April 1st. We have not had a solid hatch since 2010 and that led to one of the best King fishing years in memory. Because of reduced stocking it will not be that good but with natural reproducing fish surviving it will be solid. There is good reason to be optimistic.
My favorite time of the season is spring because for the most part April through mid June has the highest catch rates. May through mid June also has the best salmon catches of the season and Silver King Charters will be right were the fish are. Call us now at 414-460-1467 to get in on the spring action.
January 10, 2016
Well I cannot believe it is 2016 already. Silver King Charters is in full swing preparing for the upcoming season. We will put in on April 1st and be Milwaukee charter fishing on April 2nd. But it is time to reflect on the 2015 season. Every season has it highlights and 2015 we pulled a record number of Lake trout. The Coho salmon bite was solid in the spring but off from the last couple of seasons. Looks to be strong though for 2016. The Chinook salmon bite was week and ended up being one of our poor season in many years. Stocking is down and there was a poor natural reproduction for that year. In addition the water was very cold. We had solid Brown trout action and this carried us in April and October. The Rainbow bite was ok but size was down in 2015.
With all that said Silver King Charters managed 10.08 fish a trip. Very good considering when some of those trips took place. We did have one skunk but this was in the harbor on a very poor day. We took many Lake trout limits this summer and boated over 200 Lake trout over 13 pounds. The big fish of the season was a 32.5 pound Brown Trout and this came just two days before Salmon-A-Rama. Yeah, a $20000 fish just 48 hours early.
Lets start with April. We started Milwaukee charter fishing April 3rd and it was solid. Brown trout, Lake trout, Rainbow trout and Coho salmon were in the catch. We fished shallow south of Milwaukee or just inside the harbor. Stick baits and small spoons worked best. We never got deeper than 30 feet in April. Although the fishing was good it was great down south as the Coho salmon bite started to take off. We always start in Milwaukee but as soon as the Coho go we go to Racine. Usually this is at the start of May but it could be earlier. This season we took off to Racine in between trips. Once we got there it was a limit catch. I cannot stress this enough, if you want to catch good numbers of salmon the best time is May and June. The last third of April was outstanding Coho salmon fishing, with limit catches.
May started with a thud! Racine charter fishing is known for some outstanding Coho fishing but some bad weather system and unusually cold weather hampered the fishing. The Coho schools blew as far south as Chicago leaving us with Brown trout and a few Chinook salmon. It was tough fishing for the first half of May. But as the weather became more consistent the fishing improved and by the end of May we were near or at limits on Coho salmon. We also had a great offshore bite and caught a great mixed bag of Chinook, Lake trout, Rainbow trout and of course Coho salmon. Our warm winter this year should make the 2016 May solid throughout. When the bite was on we averaged just under 20 fish a trip, which is normal for May. Again we were charter fishing Racine at this time and it is just 40 minutes south of Milwaukee or 50 minutes north of Chicago.
June started real good as it usually does. We fished from the harbor mouth to 280 feet of water. South of Kenosha t o north of Wind Point. When you found the fish it was double digit or limit catches. The first half of June still had a strong Coho bite. By mid June we were taking limits of Lake trout in our catches and this lasted right through our last day charter fishing Racine. The Coho salmon bite became less consistent and we relied on multiple species to good numbers. On June 6th we fished the SU Open Wisconsin finishing 9th. We struggled that day and only landed 9 fish. On June 20th we fished the Kenosha Coho Classic. We caught our fish and a lot of Lake trout but not good size. I think we finished 12th. Tough start to tournament fishing but it laid the ground work for some special days later in the season. We were dialed in for the last tournament in June the Morris but a bad carbarator knocked us out.
We started July back in our home port Milwaukee charter fishing and began a blitz on Lake trout. Silver King Charters took limits 80 percent of our trips in July of Lake trout. Their were many in the upper teens. We also took a mix of Chinook, Rainbow and Brown trout. It was solid action and with a base of Lake trout most trips saw double digit catches. We were fishing mostly north of Milwaukee and from the shore to about 100 feet of water. Two days before Salmon-A-Rama we boated our biggest fish of the year and it was a 32.5 pound Brown trout. If this wasn't the biggest fish caught on Lake Michigan in 2015 it was for sure top five! Would have for sure won Salmon-A-Rama.
Salmon-A-Rama took place between July 9th through the 19th and once again we purchased a $500 ticket to make all of our clients eligible. Once again we booked the entire week full. We again for the 4th year in a row put our customers on the board and won them money. We came just 30 minutes from winning the $20000 grand prize for biggest fish and this was a 23.5 pound Lake trout. It was a heartbreaker. We took 3 places in the Lake trout division and won the Super Slam by 20 pounds. Silver King Charters has won 18 prizes in the last four years in Salmon-A-Rama, so call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on the fun July event. This will fill up.
August was another good month of Lake trout fishing but we also had our best stretch of Chinook salmon fishing during this time. There was about 10 days in the middle of the month that we took 4 to 12 Kings a trip. This along with Lake trout and Rainbow trout put our catches at 12 to 25 fish a trip. Great fishing! The rest of the month we spent Lake trout fishing then going in close for Brown trout. Again we fished in 100 feet or less. Cold water this season kept the fishing close to shore for the most part. Milwaukee charter fishing this summer was definitely a mixed bag of species, with a heavy dose of Lake trout.
September use to be a great month for spawning King salmon but with the reduction on Chinooks we have suffered during this month. Silver King Charters decided to change tactics this September and get away from the heavy effort on 4 year old Kings and target other species and non spawning Kings. This started out great but a week into the assault we were hit with 2 weeks of bad winds. This was much like the first couple weeks of May. Every season we are dealt some nasty stretches of bad winds and weather. You never know when it will come during the season but when it does our best efforts will be effected. This forced us to fish in areas that were not as productive at times. It was not until the last week of September that we started to get back into a normal pattern. The bite at that time was mostly Brown trout, Lake trout and a few returning Coho salmon.
October was more favorable and the weather was great for the time of season. We did not have a good Chinook bite like years past during October but the Brown trout and toward the end Lake trout action was decent. We fished mostly in 10 to 35 feet of water, with only a couple of trips in the 100 foot mark. Over the years October is usually a solid month to fish weather pending.
So every year is different and this year it broke down with Lake trout being the our number one catch followed by Coho salmon and then Chinook, Rainbow and Brown trout. All of the last tree very close to one another. For years Chinook was number one by a long shot but with the way Lake Michigan is stocked now the only way Chinook will be number one is if we get a great hatch and strong natural reproduction. The last time we had this was in 2010. We had a great hatch of bait and very good survival of all things little that year. This led to some great fishing through the 2013 season, including one of the all time best King years in 2012.
What does 2016 have in store for us. Well even the expert are poor at predicting year to year but this is what I know. We had a good hatch and probably the best since 2010. Not as good but decent. We had a record warm December and this should lead to a mild winter. The last two winters wiped out a lot of new hatches. We need a wet spring for nutrients in the lake and this should lead to more bait, better survival of stocked fish and natural reproduction of Chinooks. Only time will tell how much better but over the next couple of seasons it should improve.
The immediate effect will be in the Coho salmon bite in spring. If there was truly a good hatch of bait and this is always tough to tell and it survived we will see larger Coho salmon. Coho love small bait and more will survive if it is around. I already stated that May and June is the best time of the year to catch salmon on Lake Michigan because the stocking is still relatively the same as it use to be for them. So this real good time of year could be outstanding in 2016. I cannot wait to lay a spread of orange dodgers and peanut flies into a Coho school.
We slide back to Milwaukee for the rest of the season. July and August is still the best time to target Chinook salmon. We had two weeks in July and two weeks in August where I can say that the King fishing was decent. During those weeks we caught Kings on just about every trip and some of those trips were in the 8 to 12 fish range on Kings. Going forward if we do see a good hatch of alewives from 2015 we will probably see an increase in natural reproducing Kings and this will start to show up in 2017. But as I right this we are having a warm winter and this means a thermocline. This will help the bite in the summer of 2016.
Silver King Charters is looking forward to the 2016 season and we work every weekend during the off season to make sure your trip will be fun and safe, with a good catch of fish. We are putting in a brand new fuel injected 350 crusader, new cushions and of course new line one every reel. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on some great April and May fishing. Silver King Charters starts fishing April 1st and there will be no ice to deal with this year.
November 3, 2015
Silver King Charters fished on Saturday and then pulled the boat that afternoon. It was a long season that stretched back to the beginning of April. We started the season with a Brown trout and finished the season with a Brown trout. Typical for the time of the season. I have lots to say about the season and will right a review of 2015 very soon.
We are looking to install a new port engine for 2016. We pride ourselves on reliability and staying on to of maintenance is key. New cushions for the back seats will also be installed. Otherwise everything gets looked at and all new line on every reel. The work begins this weekend and just like fishing we are at it every weekend, so when it comes to your trip in 2016 we are ready.
Silver King Charters is taking reservations for 2016 now and for both Milwaukee charter fishing and Racine charter fishing. Remember the best time to catch fish in the double digits and limit catches is from April 1st through June. The best time to catch salmon is May 1st through the 3rd week of June. Call us at 414-460-1467 to get in on the 2016 season.
October 26, 2015
Silver King Charters is on its last week of fishing. Every time we tried to fish last week it was crazy windy. We only fished once and caught several Browns and Lakers. The water was really mixed up temperature wise with surface temps ranging from 55 to 49 degrees. The break was at 50 feet down and temps were 49 degrees at this point when we were in 100 feet of water. In 30 feet the temperature was all over the map. One thing I saw was lots of bait on the graph. The most I have seen all year. Huge bait pods. What they were is unclear. But some of the Browns we caught in close had 6 or 7 small alewives in them. When I say small they were 2 inches or under. I will post picks of them on Facebook.
The Browns came on 2 and 3 colors with Hud Specials and the Lake Trout on spin and glows at the bottom. Same stuff no time to change things up now. We will fish this weekend and we are out until April 1st of 2016. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 now to book a date. Weekends and Salmon-A-Rama week go fast!
October 19, 2015
Milwaukee charter fishing for 2015 is nearing the end. We will fish this weekend and next Saturday. Then we pull the boat. We are seeing a mix of Brown trout and Lake trout. The fish are coming in 20 to 30 feet of water. We are hoping to fish out deeper this weekend. The bite is still much like last week but the water temperature has dropped a few degrees down to 56 to 57 degrees. A little cooler and the bite should become stronger.
Again all action on spoons and mostly on the 1, 2 and 3 color leadcores off boards. The stinger and stingray size Hud Special in gold and silver caught just about everything. I think if the water cools and we slide out to deeper water we can get into more Lake trout and some 2 and 3 year old Kings this weekend.
Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to catch the last fish of 2015. We are booking for 2016 and don't forget that the best salmon bite is May and early June!