With winds gusting to 30 knots this week it's looking like a good time to make the journey up into Wisconsin looking for a pier with cool water surrounding it. As warm surface water gets forced toward Michigan, cool water wells up to replace it, making the water temperatures plunge. Surface temps last night in Sheboygan were 51 degrees.
I was invited along on this long shot July Salmon fishing excursion by a friend, Mike P., who offered me a ride on the condition I could meet him at his work around 5:00, so he didn't have to make the drive back into Chicago. Mike really loves chasing salmon, as do I, and he had no problem committing to 6 hours of driving for a shot at a good fresh King Salmon or Steelhead.
So I took the Chicago transit system up to meet Mike, where I was joined by another of our friends, Keith, and we were on our way out of Chicago, toward Sheboygan.
We got there just at Sunset, staked out a spot for 3 to cast on what turned out to be a busy night at the pier, and got to work.
Water temperatures were perfect, your spoon came back feeling like it just came out of an ice bath, there were beautiful 3 foot swells coming back out of the lake as a result of so much movement of Lake Michigan's water in an easterly direction, there were alewifes surrounding the piers. There was only one thing missing... Fish.
Even with the lack of tight lines and screaming drag, it was still a lovely night of fishing. The familiar flashes from strobes to light spoons, and then the green streaks as glow spoons were tossed off the Sheboygan Pier into Lake Michigan. I even spotted 2 shooting stars and 5 satellites, something I certainly never see in Chicago.
After our spirits were broken after 5 hours of casting and not even a glimmer of hope, the camera came out and I took some photographs of the gang. Here we are.
Me, Tom Harris, armed with my 7'6" Heavy Casting Rod with a 3/4 oz. Glow K.O. Wobbler.
Mike, with his 8' Medium weight Downrigger Rod, with a 1 oz. Moonshine Glow Spoon.
Finally, Keith, with his backwards hat and 8'6" Shore Casting Rod.
Having never caught a Salmon in July from shore my hopes were not high, I expected to see a couple others hook up and had hoped that one of us would at least hook up and lose a fish, but that's how chasing King Salmon is, you have to put in the miles, the hours, and the casts to connect. I've started early this year and if all goes right, there will be plenty of photographs of King Salmon, Coho Salmon, big Brown Trout, and Lake Michigan Steelhead in the months to come.
Until then, I'll see you out there.