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Saugatuck in May 2000 Season Results

18 charters ran in Saugatuck netted my guests 184 fish.  At this point in time I haven't boated so many Kings over 20 lbs. since the Mid-80's.  The weather was more than a problem with rain and thunderstorms 15 out of 28 days in May.  Also, May 2000 is the 5th wettest on record since 1880 but with the low lake levels we need the water.
   So far this season we've cancelled or shortened 17 out of 55 trips booked! 

5/30/00 Don Carlsen reports fishing at Grand Haven is on a record pace this season with many 10-20 lb. King Salmon and a few Coho to boot making up most of the catch. Salmon are in the 70' to 200' range with most of the action in 120'of water straight out. Riggers down 40-65' & divers back 120'-200'.Fish are being taken on full lead core and few birds with 1oz. mixed in.
Best baits/colors: monkey puke w/glow tape Streaks, SH59 Stingers, Mean green DW's, Black/raspberry Streaks & Pro Kings, Silver Dodger with Horse flies.

Hot Tips: Early in morning start in shallow with your darker colored baits up a little higher. As the sun gets higher in the sky move out to deeper water and drop your baits down with brighter lures and lengthen your leads. Remember- Bright days bright lures, dark day dark lures!

Good fishing and calm seas, Don Carlsen ..........High C's

5/29/00 fishing was tough out of Manistee according to what radio chatter I heard.  Slow fishing best describes it, with only a few Lakers hitting. The east wind on Sunday scattered the Salmon.  This should straighten out with west wind of some sort. 

5/27/00 Dennis Carvello, Bob, "Les Wesman" (we want more not Wes) and Bill showed up from a cancelled date earlier this May.  The weather was not on our side again, with a strong blow from the east and a soaking rain that didn't let up.  The Salmon were scattered from 50' of water to 165' and we boated 5 real nice Kings and 1 Coho  for about 12 hits on a shortened half day trip.  Right at the end Dennis stepped it off with a nasty bad boy 12 lb. King in a 30 knot wind on a east troll.  After  a give and take struggle Dennis won as I slid the net underneath a well earned trophy under the worst conditions imaginable.  But, we did the most important thing you can do on a fishing trip in lousy weather....we had fun!  The laughter from Wes's Don Rickles like sense humor still gives me a grin.

5/26/00 Mike Peel from Best Chance Sporting Goods reports excellent fishing for "Big Kings" in a 100' to 150' water.  The fish are hitting at depths of 20' to 60' down for the most part.  Lead drops with a 1 lb. lead ball are being fished on 60' to 200' leads.  Best Spoons have been Silver Streaks off the Dipsy in Green and Blue Dolphin.  Best area has been straight out or to the north.  Brace yourself for Kings past the 20 lb. mark, incredible for this time of year!  

5/23/00 thru 5/25/00  I let the fish have some quality time to themselves without me harassing them!  That way they'll be well rested and hungry when I attack them again.

5/22/00 The "Big Ben Nietubisz Gang" showed up for a much needed day off from the Ford Wayne Stamping Plant.  The "Gang" members are "You Can Call Me Al", Ben and Larry Lisicki, are the leading wizards  of the Tool and Die Department.  Also, they were accompanied by Florida refugee Bret Travis is a Back Country Specialist for Snook and Red Fish.  This group had an awesome time on big, mean and wild Spring King Salmon.  The body count on the fish was 9 large Salmon to 22 lbs. and one little shaker.   The key here is that these fisherman never encountered Salmon before and were amazed at the brute strength of Spring Salmon, they now know why they're called Kings.  For being first timers the skill of these anglers was put to an incredible test and they passed it with flying colors.  Overall great time for everyone today! 

5/22/00 Carl Chase, Greg Wickham, Doug Clark and Javier Calderon were on a mission to catch some Salmon.   Well we had a great day by boating 4 Lakers, 1 Steelhead, 1 Coho and 5 decent Kings to 20 lbs.  Doug and his group are great outdoor enthusiasts who both hunt and fish.  We found the fish scattered from 80' to 225' with no one spot being better.  So, we spent our time wisely on a constant search and had about 20 hits total.  I'd fished with Doug and Carl last winter on the river for Steelhead and they're good company.  Incidentally the fisherman today did an excellent job on the rods by boating a 90% average.....pretty good!

5/21/00pm Reynold Gonzales, John and Marion Dominski were on their way  down the channel to Salmon country by 2:30pm.  I was not looking forward to this trip after the poor fishing I had on the morning trip.  A deep water west troll to 220' of water produced some decent Salmon and Lakers but I still couldn't find the "Big Kings".   On the east troll right at the end of these fisherman's charter I found a huge mound of bait fish and 3 rods went off on Kings to 20 lbs. as luck would have it.  We boated 10 including a throw back.

5/21/00am Greg Pietrzac trip was a hard one for me because we only boated 4 fish and missing about 6 hits.  The fish I was working had slid 4 miles north on  to meGreg and his group deserved a lot better fishing than I showed them so I won't elaborate much on this Charter.   

5/20/00pm Randy and Rob Conat, Steve Pope along with Matt and Joe LaMay were in on for a afternoon Salmon Charter on Lake Michigan.  10 minutes into the trip with got into a double header with "Little Joe" (10 years old) and his dad Matt doing the honors.  This was  only a 5 hr. trip because the guys wanted to get back to the Flint area before it was to late. The fishing was not red hot although we managed to boat 9 decent fish over a wide area of water with no concentrations to be found.            

5/20/00 Renee, Chris and Rick Prichard were on the water at 6:30am in search of Spring Salmon in Saugatuck.  Quick Rick was returning with Kings Charter after a successful February outing when he took the Steelhead Tournament from Jeff Dixon who incidentally was a no show on this trip.  I guess he didn't want to get beat again.  "Quickman Rick" has a ultra fast reaction time and he don't let many get away, believe me.  We boated 14 fish with many decent Kings making their way into the net.  The Pritchard's are just plain nice people to be around and they're a pleasure to fish with.  

5/18/00 Dick and Elaine Kowalski, Kay Graney, Claudia and Vic DeGrazia made it off the dock for a storm shortened charter on Lake Michigan.  The catching was super with Kay doing the honors on Big King Salmon to 18 or 20 lbs. (both Kay and Elaine are from our mother country England) along with Claudia are 3 awesome fishin' ladies.  Vic and Dick are dedicated Walleye experts on Lake Erie and know how to fish like Pro's.  Only one problem here is that every time I see this fine group the weather always takes a turn for the worse for me and we got chased off the lake 2 years in a row after a blow cancellation in 1998.  We landed 14 fish this morning including a shaker that was tossed back  and could have caught more if a storm hadn't chased us off.           

5/17/00 Larry Pompili and his Dad fished with Capt. Lee Bienz because I had a prior commitment.  Capt. Lee did a fine job by LIMITING OUT his anglers with a nice mixed bag catch of Salmon and Lakers.  While I can't elaborate much on Larry's trip I do know that this was the first time he limited out on Lake Michigan thanks to the skill of Capt. Lee.

5/16/00 Much too windy with at least 6 footers out of the south and a rainy morning to contend with, I'm glad I didn't have a trip booked.

5/15/00 "Limit Out" Ed Evans had rescheduled a trip from an earlier blow date.  Well, Ed deserved a lot better than was available to us.  The fish that we had been working were SHUT OFF with a super bad case of LOCKJAW!  While we a had a decent amount of hits to fish just wouldn't hook up at all.  They'd tug on the bait 2 or 3 times and let go, 5 fish boated counting a shaker.  Lack luster describes the action we experienced.  I'm not going too expand any further on this lousy trip although Ed's company was the high point.  

5/15/00 Ellen and Jeff Green were on their way down the Kalamazoo River by 7:00am for a decent fishing trip after booking a charter last September on a windy, nasty day and only one 22 lb. King in Manistee Lake.  Todays event was much better with a body count of 10 including a shaker that was tossed back.  Jeff wasn't at all prepared for the strength and fight of the mighty King Salmon.  On the last hit of the trip Jeff got into a 19 to 20 pounder that wanted to slug it out like Muhammad Ali.  After a 20 minute struggle Jeff's patience finally wore the fish down as Capt. Lee Bienz expertly netted it.  Ellen did a fine job in landing several good sized fish also.  This was a great couple to fish with.

5/14/00 Mothers Day afternoon Bob Pyciak and Gordon Arnold met Capt. Lee Bienz and myself at Best Chance in Saugatuck.  Gordon who is soon to be 40 years old got Mothers Day afternoon off from his understanding wife.  Well folks these anglers had a fishing trip!  The fish were on the bite definitely, with lots of strikes and fast action.  We boated 12 fish in a short order. Bob and Gordon caught 6 good sized Lake Trout, 3 Kings, 1 Steelhead and 2 Coho I believe.  We quit fishing about 7:00pm after starting at 3pm.  Good trip with 2 fine fisherman who have figured out charter fishing is a whole lot cheaper and less grief that owning, maintaining, and paying for dockage.  They had fished out of Onekama for a number of years out of their own rig. 

5/13/00 I've cancelled the 2 trips I had booked for this Saturday.  The weather just hasn't settled down enough yet.  The predication on sea conditions is wind 15 to 25 knots out of the northwest and that means Lake Michigan running at 4' to 6' waves.  While my boat can easily handle it, the question is; why beat yourself up when there's better days coming?  Besides it's still early enough in the season to get these folks on a quality fishing trip! 

5/12/00 Debbie Wolf at Best Chance Sporting Goods in Saugatuck reports the Capt. Kevin Shippa who pilots the "Blue Chip" boated 14 fish on yesterdays charter (mostly Kings).  He fished just slightly south of Saugatuck in 180' to 220' of water.  His best lures were the Blue Maui, Blue and Yellow Dolphin and Fruit Cocktail Stingers.  The recent batch of Thunderstorms and High Wind has put a damper on a lot of fishing trips. 

5/11/00 Todays report comes to you straight from "Irish Mike" Boyd of Coldwater Charters who fishes out of Benton Harbor on Lake Michigan.  Locally famous "Irish Mike" says; "We got one heck of a bad storm down here, horizontal rain, zero visibility, tornados, and the north winds should pile the fish up on the shore of southern Lake Michigan again.  Also, I've been using a Coyote Dodger with a spoon 4' back from the Dodger on the center rigger with a 10' lead.  This set-up seems like it draws the fish in and makes the lulls a little shorter when action slows."

5/10/00 Ed Evans Trip was cancelled in the am because of a strong sea running at 6' out of the northwest.

5/9/00 I called up Steve Shultz and cancelled his pm trip.  The cold front that is passing thru right now along with the thunder storms is nothing to mess with.  As an update on the Manistee fishing it has slowed drastically over last week end according to Capt. Lee Bienz.  41 degree water is too cold for Salmon to be active in and feed aggressively.  While fishing has slowed some what for me in Saugatuck we're doing great compared to the northern ports.  I'm guessing on the recent cold front will improve the Saugatuck Salmon Action a bunch!

5/8/00 Today I fished with Rod, Rod Jr., Mark and last but not least, Sally Vernier First up was Sally, and she got into it with a dandy 10 lb. King that didn't want to give up.  Next was Rod Sr. turn when a smoking mad 17 lb. King ran just a ton of line off the reel, and after about 15 to 20 minutes and a tug of war, I slid the net underneath it.  Both Mark and Rod junior landed respectable fish but nothing topped Rod Sr. fish.  We ended the 6 hr. Charter with 4 Kings, 2 Lake Trout and a small Coho (7 fish). The hot spell has made fishing tough, scattered fish with no concentrations or hot spots to be found.  All in all it was a great day on Lake Michigan with a splendid family to share it with.  I hate to spill the beans on  Rod Senior, but he likes the bragging rights over his sons until I see him again on August 18th, 2000. 

5/7/00 Dennis Carver and Auriel Csoho met me at my boat at 6:30am for their Fishing trip.  Auriel had booked the trip in quest of Steelhead but the offshore fishery has yet to materialize.  Instead we fished the waters from 75' to 195' deep and we boated 10 fish, counting the 2 Lakers Auriel shook off.  Dennis said "I just gave up on Salmon fishing because I never catch my limit" , well folks today ate his words.  Also, if you have to limit out to enjoy yourself, go to a Trout Pond because this is a fair chase fishery and limiting out shouldn't be necessary for a great day on the water.  Auriel was another case, he just is a plain dedicated dyed in the wool true fisherman, a man to be respected for his love of water and fish.

5/6/00 Bob Perry and his daughter Taylor had quality time together and a great short fishing trip too boot.  On the first hit of the trip 11 year old Taylor learned how hard a 20 lb. King can pull.  This was a fight to the finish and Taylor had more determination than most adults I've met.  This young lady patiently reeled, reeled, and finally brought this nasty monster of a Salmon to the boat.  She showed that fish who the REEL BOSS was.  As a matter of fact: she boated another 4 fish for her limit of 5.  Bob also caught a 3 lb. Coho while Taylor was in the process of whipping her King.  After about 2 hrs. fishing (we landed 6), Bob decide to call the trip short as this being an introduction to Taylor's future fishing career.

5/5/00 Harry Deiner with his son Jeff and his son-in-law Andy tackled Lake Michigan for some Spring Kings out of Saugatuck.  Well they weren't disappointed either in the 5 BIG KINGS landed, with the largest going about 22 lbs.   The Tunas were close to shore, down about 15' to 40' hitting Mini-Streaks and Pro Kings.  We landed 10 fish in the 6 hr. trip after missing several hits in 80' to 150' of water.  I believe Harry landed the 22 pounder after a 20 some minute battle.  This was a heavy box for only 10 fish!  Jeff was super alert and a definite asset to have on the boat.  

5/4/00 Today's report comes to you from the new owners of Best Chance Sporting Goods, Debbie and Ryan Wolf.  Debbie says " The fishing in Saugatuck continues to be SUPERB!  All the Charters are coming back with catches in the strong double figures.  Fish are being taken from 80' to 240' of water, 15' to 50' down seems to be the magic depth.  Best lures include Gold Watermelons, Silver-Green-Edged Stingers or Mini-Streaks, and a 00 Red Dodger with a small Dark Green G-Fly.  Kings, Coho, Steelhead, and Lakers are hitting."   You can count Debbie for a honest report.

5/3/00 This report comes to you courtesy of Mike Peel and Best Chance in Saugatuck.  Capt. Mike reports excellent numbers of Salmon being taken in 90' to 220' of water.  All the Charter boats are coming back with 15 to 21 fish per Charter!  Coho to 4 lbs. are hitting a variety of spoons, with Silver Plate and Green being best.  Kings to 21 lbs. are being taken in the same water depth but they're scattered with no concentrations.  A few Steelhead are striking surface lines off the in line planers (Birds) Lake trout continue to be thicker than bugs on a bumper.  Here's a inside tip from Mike;  "00 Luhr Jensen Red Dodger with a small Green Fly is the recipe for limits of Coho".   

5/2/00 Manistee; Brown Trout fishing on the shoreline is just about over.  A few Kings, Lake Trout and Steelhead are being caught in 40' to 60' of water.  Details are real sketchy on what color of spoon to use but there a some fish available to those wanting to fish Manistee.

5/1/00 I cancelled the Carl Chase Charter due to a strong south blow and rain.



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