Do I Stay, or Do I go?
My Jumbled Mindset of Finding Fish
Then, Staying on Fish ...with a Bit of Luck!
By John King 12/1/16
8/10/16 Can Do Crew
I believe in giving credit, where credit is do. Any successful fishing trip is all about the team aboard. It's dumb thinking to heap all the praise on ANY captain for what's in the box. Results are communal affair with all hands on deck willing to pull their share of the work load. Stuffed boxes of fish are not solo effort. On sport fishing boats, it's your crew. Charter boats often, the unsung hero is the good deckhand/first mate that's the sparkplug of any successful charter.
The father-son duo of Todd & Dylan B have fished with me for the about last 10 years, or so. We have a strong bond. Knowing what to expect from each other. Dylan's young, quick reflexes to the rod and he spots 90% of the hits with his eagle eyes. His dad, Todd has his own boat and commands total knowledge of how to run all programs. Todd's big deal? ...he's highly adaptable.
The story of the newbie on my boat, Dimitrios G. begins with him showing up at my shop with his boat to pickup tackle a couple of days prior. We covered some of the basics in a friendly meet and greet conversation. He left saying he wanted to fish with me. Well, at my late stage of the game, took this as a huge compliment that stuck in my mind. Well, a couple of phone calls and a day later arranged for him to meet us at the launch ramp. Dimitrios has fished all over for Salmon. Including the Pacific Ocean on the west coast. So, I found his conversation fascinating. His years in law enforcement before he retired offered up an intriguing chat.
Here's the Setup
Every big water fisherman faces the perplexing
cold hard facts of what area to troll. Make the correct decision and
rewards will be many. Get it wrong and results will not be as
desired. Wrong decisions leads to looking for excuses to soothe a
There are no earth shattering revelations that can turn you into an instant hero back at the dock. Good catches comes from good decisions for the circumstances and a fine-tuned presentation. The magic elixir for failure is success. And let's face it, we're all going to fail at times when it comes to the immense wide open expanse of the Great Lakes. Over the years going back to i2k, I've laid the groundwork for proven results in my: Encyclopedia of Trix and Tips section of this website.
Temp break, in more technical terms: the thermocline was down around 60' out in 400'. You can figure the "said to be" preferred temp range for Kings is 54° to 50°. In many years going back to 1968, let's expand this number to the high 50s to 38°. 60' zone is perfect for 300' sections of 45# test copper rods at 2 mph.
The morning of 8/10/16 began with my usual fare of filling and shipping orders in the morning. Forecast was looking like it was going to cooperate in for an afternoon fishing trip.
Port & Date: Manistee, MI 8/10/16
Webstore Tackle Used
On the afternoon of August 10, 12016 the sea conditions were a short 3' chop with whitewater from the SW. For Manistee, MI this is a miserable direction of wind for my boat, a hard cut deep-vee 22' Sea Ray. Wind from the SW makes lumpy seas that hinder the usual N-S trolling direction with the waves quartering the port stern. N-S troll path is favored at my home port, because that's the way the structure runs. This a known reel-fact: structure is a natural barrier, or a fence that concentrates fish.
After seeing the seas, the only alternative was to run out to deep water and set up in 400' plus about 4-5 miles S of port. Then, troll the waves at our fanny on an intersecting NE angle back towards the drop off. In Manistee, the dropoff is known as the, "shelf." All ports have their names for certain areas, or structure. In Frankfort, MI they named their drop-offs the bank, 6 mile bank and Herring Lake Hole. Ludington, MI's "bath-house to the point" is branded well. Onekama has the barrel and at Arcadia it's the steeple hole. Leland calls some their structure the 1st and 2nd bank. At Grindstone City/Port Austin on Lk. Huron, they call a little piece of structure the "end of the world." This is where 5-6 miles due N, the bottom goes from a 100/105' to 120'.
YouTube Video Part 1
You might need to click on the gear/settings icon in the YouTube function bar to display higher definition depending on your internet connection speed.
Do not copy, print-out or reproduce material of any kind from this site
without expressed written permission from