Autumn: Milwaukee Harbor Creativity

By Lucas Ciezki - September 1, 2014
As the dog days of summer persist and I continue to fish deep for thermocline pike or structure walleye, a look in the near future reminds me of what is to come for angling opportunities in the great city of Milwaukee. As the water temperature cools and the calendar reads later months in the year the trout and salmon will migrate near shore and eventually make their push into major tributaries in the Greater Milwaukee area to undergo their spawning stage. Growing up I became familiar with spoons and crank-baits to chase after these species; however, Vibrations Tackle Echotails have become one of my staples for trout and salmon. The baits vibration and versatility are why the Echotails are extremely effective when fishing them in both the harbor and tributaries.

A very important element of the feeding process is a fish's lateral line, essentially where a fish can sense the presence of baitfish in the vicinity by vibration or water displacement. This aspect of fishing is extremely important when targeting trout and salmon in the fall because they are, in many cases, not actively feeding. Therefore, the vibration and water displacement that the Echotail gives off will not only alert the fish to the lures presence, but trigger them to strike because of its strong action. While locating a school of trout or salmon may be easy during this time, finding the correct bait that offers enough flash and vibration will prove to be the biggest hurdle to successfully land these fish.

In the ever-changing world of fishing, versatility is imperative when talking about the number of fish put in the net. In a given day or hour the fish may desire a different color, speed or presentation of lure in order for them to react.

Color factors vary depending off forage, water clarity and sunshine. The two main factors I examine are water clarity and sunshine when taking a trip to Milwaukee. Water clarity can change overnight with a strong wind or heavy rain turning water visibility very poor. In instances with poor water clarity I tend to change my tails to brighter more vibrant colors, such as orange or chartreuse. If the water clarity is very high I tend to use tails that are more natural such as clear, glow or white. Having a lure that allows me to easily change the color profile of the baits is extremely useful when experimenting with color combinations or changing water clarity. I have found that Kalin's plastics have a nice of colors and sizes to choose from to help pattern fish.

Lure speed and presentation will vary depending on depth or water fishing and placement of fish within the water column. In cases where I am fishing shallower tributaries or when fish are traveling just below the surface a fast retrieve is necessary to keep the lure within the strike zone or free of snags. If the fish are traveling closer to the bottom a more vertical presentation will need to be utilized. The beauty of an Echotail is that it can be burned right below the surface of retrieved in a jigging fashion covering different zones of the water column. While your traditional great lakes lure will typically cover the top 1/3 of the water column, the Echotail is effective in covering all three.

When the prized trout and salmon of Lake Michigan will be nearing the major tributaries for their fall spawn, be prepared to tackle them with a strong arm, big net, persistence manner and variety of lures to increase your number of fish caught this year.

Author Lucas Ciezki
Lucas Ciezki
Lucas Ciezki has turned fishing into his lifestyle over the last 26 years of his life. Born in North Carolina, Lucas grew up fishing trout streams and the East Coast for a variety of fish species. Now Lucas resides in Southeastern Wisconsin and specializes in Great Lakes tributaries for salmon and trout, walleye and deep water pike fishing. Traveling across the state to chase after different species, Lucas has a great understanding of the fishing opportunities Wisconsin has to offer. He has been a part of the fishing industry for the last five years sharing his knowledge and passion for the sport with fellow anglers.

Phone-262-719-5354
E-mail: ciezkl07@uwosh.edu