The Salmon season is grinding to a close in South-Eastern Wisconsin and though there are still a few Kings left to be caught, many of them are circling the drain and will not be around for long.
Today I got out with a friend Matt who, until today, has never caught a Salmon. The day started with a blanket of much needed rain. Matt and I both got off to a bad start with 2 missed fish each, 1 break off and 3 missed hook sets due to distraction. As the dawn bite faded it took with it our hopes of a fast and furious day of catching. The morning went on and things slowed to a near stop as all fishermen had ceased catching Salmon at the location we were fishing, I hiked around the harbor on a scouting mission and found a huge school of playful Kings that I hoped would produce a fish. We relocated and got set up. It wasn't 5 minutes before Matt hooked his first Salmon ever. It took his float down, made a run out in front of us, then made a line for the lake, it wasn't until a load of drag screaming and about 200 feet of line later until the fish stopped running. It took Matt 15-20 minutes to coax the beautiful female King Salmon to shore where I promptly netted it and got it ready for a photo shoot with Matt. Just as we were releasing it I remembered our proximity to the harbor scale so we made the 15 second jog and weighed her. Just a hair over 17 pounds! A trophy of a first King.
Matt was then off to an appointment, he had in the city. I nabbed some lunch, scouted Oak Creek, which was looking dismal, and returned to the harbor. I found the discharge flowing quite nicely from the rain that was coming down and immediately hooked a nice King, from there on out things were slow again, with a hook up here and there.
First Steelhead of the year, this thing jumped so many times, I think it may have actually spent more time in the air than during the water during the fight!
One of the real highlights of the day was meeting a fellow named Woody and his son Trevor. They had come to visit Milwaukee from Madison for the day and were hoping to do some fishing elsewhere but had been thwarted by some circumstances that didn't allow them to get out. Trevor, a 3rd grader who really wanted to fish, had his rod in the car. His dad got it, I rigged him up from my own gear, got a good chunk of Skein on his hook, and had him in the water in no time! It wasn't too long before my own float went down. I set the hook and nabbed Trevor's rod and traded it for my own! The little guy fought this 12-13 pound king for 20 minutes before he was finally able to get it to the wall for me to net it. He was exhausted from the fight and absolutely beaming with joy, the fish was almost as big as he was! Incredible. All in all a good end for me to the fall King Salmon run. 28 Kings this fall makes it my best fall ever! I really learned harbor fishing better this fall as the Milwaukee River, Oak Creek, and the Root River were all but unfishable during the peak of the season.
Trevor and his father, great team work men!