Fantastic three days of perfect weather, calm seas, fun, laughter, and enjoying what I love to do during the TR Derby. Due to the long days and short sleep, the memory is a bit foggy, but I'll provide what I can in case it helps anyone. If you're looking for a hot tip, you can save yourself time and stop here.
Friday AM we decided to go long and deep. Worked 350 to 450 from north water tower to north of the Two Creeks Plant. Three for nine with a rainbow and coho in the box, released a small bow, and had 6 rainbows shake free as they were laughing at us two feet out of the water. The coho hit a flasher fly down 45 on a rigger, everything else hit boards in the top 20 feet.
After some fine ribs at The Waverly, we set up for the late afternoon / evening trip in 200 between the cities. Put a nice rainbow in the box on a blue spoon 74 down in a rigger. Hooked our only big four-year old of the entire weekend on a wire dipsy flasher fly out 140 feet. Ripped 400 feet of line out, battled it to the back of the boat, just as the net was going in the water she took a hard run under the boat and cut the leader in the prop. Santa berated the crew for that one. No more bites, headed in as the sun was setting to avoid the coast guard shake-down at dark.
Saturday morning we decided to take a boat ride to the south. Set up in 100 just north of Hika Bay. There were a lot of boats working 60 - 100 feet straight out of Manty when we cruised through. There were also 8-10 boats working the area where we set up, which is surprising given the distance from Manty and Sheboygan. Most of the boats were Sheboygan boats working the 60 foot range. We worked a 3 mile stretch hard from 55 to 110 feet of water. Marked a lot of fish, most in the 80-90 foot range, the only nibble we got was a nice rainbow we put in the box. After 4-5 hours we decided to pull lines, take a boat ride, and go find the fish. Given how gorgeous of a day it was, we put the hammer down and went east until we hit 500 feet of water. The surface temperature out there was 60, and upon putting the temp prove down found there was an actual thermocline between 45 and 55 feet down (8 degree temperature change). Was very excited at that, and we set out the spread. Worked that depth and pushed north hoping to find the mother-load, only bagged three smallish lake trout and one rainbow. Made the executive decision to head west and shallower. By ~ 6:30 PM we were in 240, where we got a nice flurry and put two nice rainbows and a three year old king in the box. Pulled the plug just before sunset, setting a personal mark of 13 hours on the water. Covered water from 55 to 500 feet deep, from Hika Bay to Rawley's Point. 9 fish in the box, an amazing day on the water.
Sunday morning we stayed closer to TR, fuel tanks were a little short and the gas pump was out of service at the Seagull. Set up in 60 feet of water off the north water tower. Had probably our best action of the weekend in that water in the first two hours of fishing. Lost a four-year old on a spoon rigger down 55, put a big rainbow in the box on a orange spoon 3-color, put a nice 3 year old in the box on the same spooon rigger, and a rainbow on a spoon 6 color. Pushed north a bit and worked inside and then outside the north side of the nets, not another bump. Pulled the plug at 10:30 AM, pulled up camp, and headed to derby HQ to enjoy the Derby Glow.
I can't recall fishing that hard and catching so little within the past ten years. Really struggled to find kings and/or get them to hit. Concened about what the heck is going on out there. Hopefully just the cold water.
Rough morning at work after living the Seagull Lifestyle to it's fullest for three days; was craving a BL during the 7:30 meeting....
Santa back to 9