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Report for February 1, 2023
We are charter fishing from April through October and all the months we fish can be good and each month has its strong points. Last month we did reports on April Brown trout and May Coho salmon. This report covers June and we are finally getting warmer weather in Wisconsin. June is a month that will begin to transition into a mix of Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Lake trout and Rainbow trout but it starts out strong on Coho salmon. The Coho are starting to average four to six pounds based on the bait population and what the size was of Coho when we left the lake in October. We are still fishing in the top 20 feet of water for these fish, with some of our baits right at the surface. This bite at the surface can stay strong all month if the water does not warm up too quick. But usually by the third week of June the lake starts to transition as warm water starts to form and that warm water goes deeper into the water column. Eventually a temperature break will occur and there will be a distinct temperature break of several degrees at a certain depth. When this happens the Coho bite will start to break up and we will start to see more Chinook salmon and Lake trout in the catch. But for most of June Coho salmon is the number one caught fish and can be as good or better than May.
We are still running anywhere from twelve to sixteen lines in June and most of these rods will still have the orange dodger and peanut flies on them. The big difference is that the flies are now bigger and usually two inch long sliders. Are favorite and is on every orange dodger set up is the Willy fly. This is when it dominates. We at times like to use red treble hooks with this fly. It can mean the difference in catch rate. Gamakatsu double strength or two "X" round bend hooks are our favorite. We use the size two for the small flies and size one for the lager flies. We are still using mono line with 5/8 ounce keel weights on the outside boards. At the start of the season we set these back ten to 40 feet from the board. As the water warms we drop them further back. Eventually we switch to leadcores from one to eight colors depending on how warm the water gets and where the break is. We will also use copper line from 25 to 150 feet. We will use the orange dodger set up until the Coho salmon break up and go deep.
Our dipsy setups are the same orange and even our dipsies are orange. We use one mono and one power pro setup on each side. These are set at 15 and 30- degrees. We start these only 15 feet out on the line counter and keep dropping them until the water warms and the break gets to 20 plus feet down. At this point we switch to wire dipsy setups. By June we are usually running flashers and flies on the riggers and this is where we start to catch some big Chinook salmon. Somewhere in June we will have some good Chinook fishing. But Coho salmon are still the main target. The great thing about June, besides the weather, is the chance to catch it all. Load up on Coho with a few Chinook salmon, Lake trout and Rainbow trout.
May and June are usually tied for the most limit catches in a month for a year but June usually wins out. Last season was very good for Coho salmon in June, with many days that we fished right in front of the Milwaukee harbor. During June we could be fishing 15 to 40 feet or out in 200 to 300 feet but when we find schools of Coho salmon it is great action. Chinook salmon also travelling in schools and when they set up of Milwaukee it really makes for a fun trip. People who call looking to catch salmon there is no better time than May and June. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to hook up on June Coho salmon. Below are some pictures from the last few years of June Milwaukee charter fishing and Racine charter fishing trips.
Report for January 15, 2023
Our last report talked about April Milwaukee charter fishing. Our best month for Brown trout. May is a month that transitions into Coho salmon. Over the last ten years Coho salmon has been our number one caught species eight of or ten seasons. When Chinook salmon stockings were reduced the Coho salmon continued to be stocked at around 2.5 million lake wide, making Coho more plentiful than every fish then Lake trout. Chinook salmon have been increased over the past couple of years but Coho will still be heavily relied on. We can start seeing Coho salmon in our catch as early as late March and April but the consistent action starts to happen in May. This is also the time of year we are Racine charter fishing at times. It depends on where the Coho salmon schools show up. When we left the lake last year in early November we were already catching Coho salmon that were almost a pound and a half. Each season can be a little different on the size of spring Coho salmon but two to three pounds is typical. But these fish start putting on weight quickly as the season progresses.
Coho salmon are raised in hatcheries for a year and a half. The eggs are harvested in October and held for a year and a half and stocked in May. These fish then grow that summer and fall until the following spring they are ready to catch. This means there is only one stocking years Coho to catch each season. These fish will winter in the middle of the lake, the southern end of Lake Michigan or around power plants were the water is warm and bait is plentiful. In the spring the Coho will come u along either the west or eastern shoreline or swim in from the middle of the lake. Every year we will here a report or experience a Coho bite ourselves and the catch goes from Brown trout and Lake trout into salmon. Coho salmon travel in schools, so when you catch one there is a good chance there are more around.
When we are fishing Coho in May we will run a spread of orange dodgers and peanut flies on just about every set up. The peanut flies vary in color and manufacture but our favorite is the Willy fly, which Captain Willy ties himself. By far our top producer. The orange dodger is an attractor that simulates creel or shrimp from the ocean. These fish came from the Pacific ocean and their brains are still wired that way. This si a great set up to catch Coho and when they are schooled up it makes for a fun day of fishing. Every season is different on when the bite will start. In 2021 we were charter fishing Racine in early April catching limits. Last year it started up in early May and we had 33 straight trips with limit catches of Coho salmon Milwaukee charter fishing.
We expect another good season of Coho fishing. We don't know when they will start biting but we know for sure that May will have a lot of Coho salmon caught. Weekends go fast in May, especially Memorial Day weekend. We look forward to May fishing because when the Coho bite is on there is no easier or quicker fishing that can be had. Silver King Charters fishes seven days a week and if you want to catch salmon sometime in May is when it starts up. Below are some pictures of Coho salmon catches over the past few years. We show a bunch of limit catches. We do not limit on every trip but May is a month that has on of the most limit catches. The last picture shows an orange dodger and Willy fly. That fly was been copied by many but never duplicated.
Report for January 1, 2023
Happy New Year to everyone and Silver King Charters is looking forward to the 2023 Lake Michigan charter fishing season. We have already done a lot of prep work and we still have 3 more months of work before we put in on March 31st. We will be going over each month from last year over the next several weeks and explain what to expect if you are booking a trip during that month. We start early. Right after the ice is out of the marina in Milwaukee. Sometimes we are already running trips in late March. This is our best time of year for Brown trout. No other month comes close. Brown trout stocking has been down for a few years now but last year there was an increase, though modest it will help. We troll in and around the Milwaukee harbor during the first few weeks of April. This mean less run time to get to where we start fishing. These is also three rivers that converge in the Milwaukee harbor that make this area very good for fishing in the spring. We are also fishing along the shore line in 10 to 30 feet of water both north and and south of Milwaukee. We do make runs to the Oak Creek power plant and the Oak Creek creek. Both areas have warmer water and hold fish in early spring. The run time to these areas is a half hour but can be very productive. We keep the cabin closed during this time of year to keep you protected from the elements, so you stay comfortable while fishing. When the winds are strong we can still run most of the trips because the harbor protects us from waves we could not fish in out in the lake.
Usually 70 percent of the Brown trout we catch during a season is in April and for the most part it is the only time we make a point to target Brown trout. We also catch Lake trout, Rainbow trout and some Coho salmon during April, with an occasional Chinook. But Brown trout is the main target, especially through the first 3 weeks of April. We are not fishing in deep water and most the the baits we run are in the top 15 feet of water. We will run one or two baits near the bottom and the deepest water we will find ourselves in is 40 feet. We are usually running all spoons this time of year. Our favorite spoons over the last few years are copper or gold spoons The Stinger Mass Confusion and Gold Hud in the stinger size are always in the mix. It is getting tougher, at least last year to get these spoons, so order ahead. We also like the the UV Blue Dolphin and are going to try and get a gold version of these for this spring. Deadly spoon. The other spoon that has been solid is the UV Green NBK gold spoon. All of these plus a few others will always be in the spread during spring.
We run one, two and three color lead cores on boards and occasionally a four color. If you have been out with us in the summer and had to fight a 300 copper fish you know that sometimes fish on boards is not fun but in the spring there is far less line out and catching a fish on a board rod is a lot of fun. These rods account for over 65 percent of the fish we catch in April. We run downriggers and two mono dipsy rods also and these are set shallow and close to the boat. The weather is why people sometimes do not want to book in April but with the covered cockpit it really is not bad. But the fishing can be really good during the period.
If you want to catch Brown trout on Lake Michigan then April Milwaukee charter fishing is the time to go. Milwaukee is known for a great Brown trout fishery also. Call Silver King Charters at 414-460-1467 to book a trip in April for Brown trout. Monday through Wednesday we offer six hours for the price of five hours during April. Our next report will cover May fishing. Below are some pictures of April Milwaukee charter trips. We are booking trips for the 2023 season now so make sure to call early to get the date you want.