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Any one else fish the great lakes in a dinghy!!?

1/23/20 @ 4:11 PM
User since 12/19/16

With the weather being indecisive I decided to look back at some fishing memories from the summer. I scrolled threw a few pictures and videos and determined my favorite catch was a 13lb steelhead caught on a solo trip.  As the title of this thread suggests, I am an avid dinghy fisherman.  This may sound crazy, but done correctly it's no different than any other small craft going out on a calm day. 

 I believe it was late July, and I was just looking for a good calm evening to get out after work to fish until sunset.  After finding a temp break in 70 ft off of Reef Point, I dropped my lines in the water and trolled for a while with little luck.  As the sunset, I bumped my speed up from 2.7 to 3.5 because I have always heard that you should increase speeds right before the sunsets.  Well, it didn't take long from my rigger to pop, and for that sweet audible scream of the drag to enter my ears.  Within seconds a huge steelhead breached the surface showing a grand array of aerobatics.  

The fight was a blast, and landing the fish in my small craft almost lead to a swift escape due to the spoon popping out of her mouth (check out the video) 

Its always such a rush landing big fish in my dinghy, and this steelhead was no exception to the awesome chaos that comes with the experience.  Its always a risk to launch any boat on the lake because things can get real nasty, real fast!  Luckily with many years of experience on the lake, which include sailing across Lake Michigan four times, I feel I have learned to respect the fury of Lake Michigan and understand when to stay home.  

I often get funny looks at the launch when I'm setting my 12.5 ft craft up to head out on the big water.  Or, people ask me if I have a life jacket for my huge balls.  But, I love the challenge and thrill of being in such a craft.  At times I contemplate getting a bigger boat, yet, I always feel inclined to stay the course.  What do you guys think about using small crafts in such big water?  Is it crazy? Or are you one of the few who also partake in navigating the lake in a dinghy?  

2/2/20 @ 4:35 PM
User since 4/10/15

Tbarry, I started out fishing the lake in the early 70's in a 12 foot with a 9.9. I ran dipsies and flat lines mainly along shore and always did well on browns and cohos when they came through. Just watch the weather. With today's electronics and the power of the phones to get current radar and weather, you should be good to go. Just be sure you have a good compass or GPS to get you back when a heavy fog blows in. That has little warning and can be a major danger if you head out deep. I have upgraded a few times and now fish out of a 16.5' that is good when conditions are right. 

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