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Sore Arms and a Lot of Salmon

By Dave Duwe - July 1, 2011

When your fishing buddy calls and tells you to drop everything because the fish are snapping, you do what you need to do. That may mean playing hooky from work or telling your wife that your off to buy milk... see ya in 6 hours! Last week I received such a call, from my friend Pat Kalmerton, co-owner of Wolf Pack Adventures. In summer, Pat charters Salmon on Lake Michigan out of Sheboygan, WI. My voicemail was short, "Duwe, it's the best fishing in years, limits almost every day!" I called him back in a matter of hours and scheduled a trip for one of his few open dates. I told the folks at work that I felt the fishing flu coming on. We met in the marina up in Sheboygan, early the next day, my drive of 2+ hours flew by while I was daydreaming about fresh Coho on the grill. Catching them is cool, too.

When I arrived, the weather was perfect, light winds and cool breezes. "A great day to fish Lake Michigan," Pat proclaimed as we pushed away from the dock. Pat asked me if I was ready to get some sore arms and having grown up near Port Washington, I knew exactly what I was in for.

The fish are relatively close to shore this time of year. We cruised out about 3 miles. We set up in 116 ft of water. Most of the constant action came from a depth of 100-150 ft of water. The fish of choice this day for me was 4-6 lb. Cohos, which I believe are the best eating Salmon there is. Don't kid yourself though, Rainbow Trout aren't bad either.

"I told the folks at work that I felt the fishing flu coming on...."
Pat didn't disappoint, we caught Coho Salmon, Chinook (King) Salmon and Rainbow Trout. Chinook Salmon are usually larger than the Coho and Rainbow Trout, they can get huge. This time of year, the fish are biting all day long. The day we were out it seemed that the bigger Chinook Salmon bit later in the morning. The fish were found throughout the water column, from the surface down to about 85 ft. The Salmon and Trout are schooling fish and are always near some kind of food source.

The bait of choice this summer has been a flasher/Poseidon flie combo or a Northport Spoon. Any color will work as long as the color was some shade of green. We used a green 8" stringer flasher and green flie. This combo was deadly. The lake had a recent bug hatch which the Rainbow Trout were feeding on. Because of this, Flies with black beads yielded more trout than others. The flies were tied to 20lb Tuf-Line spooled on heavy trolling rods. Pat likes to use Tuf-Line to reduce the break offs. The Northport Spoons were run near the surface, while the flasher/flie combos were run off down riggers from 55-85 ft down. The trolling speed was best at 2 to 2.5 mph and trolling to the east was more productive than coming back toward the west. I would never have imagined that the direction would matter.

By the end of the day, my arms were sore as predicted. I even got to use one of my favorite lines when Pat asked me if I liked Smoked fish. My response, of course, was no, they are too hard to get lit.

Pat can be contacted at or 920-918-9653, you will have the trip of a lifetime.

Author Dave Duwe
Dave Duwe
Full-time guide Dave Duwe owns and operates Dave Duwe's Guide Service, featuring the lakes of Walworth County, WI. Dave has been guiding for over 20 years and is one of Southeastern Wisconsin's best multi-species anglers. Dave is an accomplished outdoor writer and seminar speaker. He is a member of the Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Association and Walworth County Visitor Bureau. Sponsors include: Lund Boats(Jerry's Sport Service Inc.), Mercury Marine, Arkie Jigs, and Vexilar Marine Electronics, a pro-staff member of Minn-Kota trolling motors,Hummingbird graphs, Cannon downriggers, Lindy, Pure Fishing and All Terrain Tackle. For more information, please check out Dave's website .
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