Sunday, September 26, 2010

Milwaukee Area Salmon Fishing Report : Kayak Fishing : 9/26/2010

After a busy week I've finally found time to get a bit of writing in for you all here.  Internet is finally up and running here at adventure headquarters and I expect I'll be doing a bit more posting here.

Last weekend I was able to get out in Milwaukee and land 6 king salmon from my kayak.  A mighty thunderstorm in the morning and heavy overcast skies made for excellent conditions in the harbor.  An influx of fresh runoff coming from the discharge, combined with north winds pushing a good flow into the harbor made for a complex mud-line and mighty currents that whirled in some spots, and just flowed quickly in others.

Whenever I find a good mud-line in/around the harbor I always concentrate on fishing both sides of it heavily as I know bait fish and salmon like to move in and out of the wall of debris in the water.  Last weekend I found the line on the inside of McKinley pier, and began trolling patterns pulling crank baits.  My first fish came on a medium sized bleeding pearl Rapala Tail Dancer.  It came when I was letting line out on my other rod.  I hooked in, held on with one hand and quickly reeled in my second line with the other.  Once I had things together I began gaining line foot by foot, but the fish took several huge runs and started pulling the kayak to the south.  I was in the open harbor just on the south side of Veteran's Park and the fish had miles of open water to move in.  I started with about 50 feet of line out and must have had over 100 out when it took its first jump.  It was silver as they get and I thought it might be a huge brown despite the King like runs it was doing.

These were the first 2 kings of the day, the left, a 16 pound male, very silver. The right, a 15 pound female full of roe.  Still quite silver as well.

After a few more minutes of towing I finally tired it enough to get it boat side, got it on a stringer, and sat back in my seat for a minute, drifting slowly, with my adrenaline pumping.  For the whole time I had the fish on I thought, I can't believe I'm into my first King, this is what I've been waiting for, I hope I don't loose this beautiful thing.

I reset my lines and just 10 minutes later I hooked into a wild fighting, high jumping steelhead that threw the hook after 4 or 5 jumps.

From there on out the action was hot and heavy.  I switched to 2 white crank baits, and for the rest of the day I couldn't keep fish off of the full sized, deep running, wonder-bread reef runner. The pattern that worked the best was getting to full speed (around 2.5 miles an hour), holding that speed for a few minutes, then simply stop paddling except small dips to maintain a vector.  All my hits but one came as my lures (both slow, very wide wobbling lures that hold up at slow speeds) slowed to a crawl and probably started floating up in the water column.

This is another 15 pound female, this puts in scale how huge these fish are compared to the vessel I'm in.  Lots of fun.

I ended the day 6/9 fish landed, with about 8 more hits that shook the rod violently for a second but released before I could get the rod out of it's holder.

The lowlight of the day came when I was lifting a 15 pound female King Salmon out of the water, she slipped and buried a single hook of one of the trebles in my left index finger.  She was attached to me via the hook and thrashing away in the water.  Fortunately I was able to yank it loose (bending the hook about 10 degrees as it pulled from my own flesh).  Ouch.  Needles to say I made a trip to the cleaning station to fillet what I had and to clean out my wound.  I made friends with a fellow fisherman who was landing his boat and politely asked if he might spare a band-aid from a first aid kit in his boat (one of which I now have in my kayak for just such an accident.

In the morning after the rains I stopped by the discharge in the harbor and quickly hooked this beautiful walleye on a thunderstick.  It gave a good hit and I thought I had a Salmon for just a second.  But then, as walleyes usually do, she dragged in like a log and didn't give me much of a fight. Nice to catch such a healthy, fat walleye from Lake Michigan though! She was released right away, despite calls from some other fishermen near by to let them keep it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these photos! This gives me hope! I've logged so many hours on the shores down here in Chicago...I think may have to go up by you to Racine or Kenosha for a morning....or just a kayak so I can get OUT there. Great have my jealousy!