What's your approach to putting salmon in boat between the hours of 8am and 7pm? Outside of prime hours I've always found myself guessing as to how to approach my setup and target salmon. Going deep and running shallow bright baits for steelhead is always an option and fairly straight forward but not always what a guy wants to do. I've always assumed that once the sun reaches a certain height salmon go deeper in the water column, however, I've always wondered whether they move to a deeper DOW or just dive deeper in the general area of where they already are. What's your experience? I typically will run deeper riggers with SWRs but don't often have much success on them. Ironically, my dipsies the most conspicuous of setups are my rigs that end up getting the most hits, although still infrequent. Mostly what I'm wondering about is not necessarily about gear or setups but how to go about locating fish and targeting them.
Non-Peak hour tactics
That is the perfect time to head in and drink beer. Best advice you could possibly get.
Seriously, for me if I have to wait an hour or more for one bite it becomes a waste of fuel in my mind. I just make sure I'm out there during peak and maximize the potential output. Maybe I just get bored easily.
Even when I go out deeper the fish just shut down basically. By 9 am it is generally over. Good luck!
I have a fishing buddy I go out with a few times a year.During that time frame he likes to head out deep.Starting maybe 240fow on a NE troll up to 320fow or more.Varying depths of bates,but we have caught fish all thru the water column at times.Just my 2 cents,good luck stay safe.
Here are some non-peak tactics that I use. Say i started the morning working 50-60 fow and then the bite just dies for me. You have two options...Either wait for the fish to start biting again in that area or move deeper. I always move deeper, that's just what I do. What is deeper? I move out to 90fow and start from there. I have 4 downriggers on my boat I run my back riggers as close to the bottom as I can without bouncing the balls. These will have maybe 20' leads after the ball with flasher fly combos. I drop my side riggers about 6-10 feet above the back riggers and extend my leads with clean spoons out 50-100 feet. I run 2 dipseys on each side of my boat, one is a mono slide diver and the other is a wire slide diver. The wire diver goes deep and the mono diver stays where I had it for steelhead and Coho's up higher in the water column. This is the time of day that my Copper and leadcore rods take over. If your not running them START!!! I run 3 or 4 coppers on one side of the boat and 3-4 leadcores on the other side. My 300' and 150' copper rods have been my best rod on the boat all summer long but I cannot run 300'coppers in 60fow or less. This is why I move deeper because my copper and leadcore rods shine when the early bite dies. Trust me this does not guarantee your going to keep hammering on the fish, we just pick one off here and there and it adds up after a 6 hour trip.
I hope some of this info can you guys out, I'm sure most seasoned guys already know this but some of the newer guys to the sport may not.
Semper Fi Charters
I run my deepest lead core 10 and 7 color. During non peak times. But not sure if that really is why you get some action as dipsey's and riggers all take fish at times. Changing spoons to a more natural color scheme seems to help rather than some of the glows. Silver backed and metallic colors. Brad cut plugs with garlic tuna oil can help. Since they are bonus fish at least in the middle of day. If something gets hit more of whatever it is I'm running gets put out, immediately.
Lots of reasons why you get non peak time hits... hard to put together why.
I have limited experience with fishing on Michigan out of a boat. But almost all my fishing has been done on none peak hours When I fished with an older guy out of Milwaukee we got 3-8 per trip never arriving at the launch before 7am and leaving around noon He ran spoons on riggers 10-20ft up in 60-80ft. I've been out 2 times in my own boat and haven't got my rigger set up yet so have run dipsys and high lines but both days fished from 6-12 all of our bites came around 1030 and they hit every spoon setup dipsy straight back, on 2 setting, and high line we went 1-3 and 3 for 5 not killing them but well enough. We just grinded where the bait was and where we were marking the fish.