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Pretty good week on Lake Michigan(picture heavy)

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So I drove the 9 hours to Sheboygan, WI, to meet up with several different guys over the week of the 4th, on Saturday, the 2nd.  I arrived about noon, at the Sheboygan Super 8, and met my first fisherman, Chad Hendrixson, who is the brother-in law of a girl I went to school with way back in the day.  We got checked in, bought some supplies, got the boat ready, and set off fishing by about 2:30 p.m.  The reports we had both read were that the fish were between 70'-130' fow.  I decided to motor out to 50' and set up the gear, and troll into the productive water with our rods set and ready.  We took a south turn out of the harbor and made SE line out to 50 feet.  I switched over to the kicker motor, showed Chad how to adjust the speed, and got to setting out lines.  We decided to start out with 2 divers and FF rigs, 2 down riggers with meat rigs, and 2 spoons up high off the inline boards.  That was our setup, and we started to see some high fish right off the bat, when we got into about 55 fow.  I had started with the outside rods, and was working my way in.  I think I had both boards and one diver rig out, when the starboard planer fired, and we cranked in our first fish of the trip, about a 5 pound steelhead.  We boxed him, got the board back out, and the port planer fired, just as I was setting the starboard planer back out.  Another steelhead of about the same size.  We boxed him too, and I had just set the second diver rod out, and was telling Chad, that, we would be holding out now for some kings, when the diver rod I had just set took off screaming, with a Mountain Dew/Chrome spin doctor, and an Atomik mirage fly.  I handed the rod to Chad and watched as he fought it.  He had told me that his biggest King to this date was an 18 pounder, and I was hoping this fish could beat that.  When I scooped the net under her, and flopped her on the deck, I got my answer.  I could tell she was over 20 pounds as soon as I saw her on the deck, but tried to keep my calm composure.  I told Chad, "She's a real good one!!"  I could see Chad shaking with excitement, and his face was all lit up with a huge grin.  When I hung her from the scale, she dropped it to just over 22 pounds by a couple of ounces.  New PB for Chad, and that was cool.  Then we banged a smaller king, and a greasy lake trout, and called er a night, with 5 fish. On the way in to the harbor, we noticed a bunch of good marks in the 65' area of water, and decided to check that out the next morning.  My brother-law was just showing up after we cleaned the fish, and we would fish 3 guys the next morning.  3:00 a.m. rolled around fast, and the 3 of us met in the parking lot, and were motoring out to the 65' zone, where we had seen all the fish the night before.  My brother-in law drove the boat, while Chad and set the rods out.  This time we fished two meat rigs on riggers, 2 spoons on riggers, 2 divers with FF combos, 2 spoons up high on the boards, and one 200 copper with a spoon down the chute.  This morning I was able to get all the rigs in, except the 2 meat rigs, and the copper when the starboard diver, with the glow frog spin doctor, and mirage fly fired hard.  My brother-in law, Brent soon brought in a 15 pound king to my net.  I was just get everything sorted, and was getting ready to deploy the 200 copper, when the port corner rigger fired, with the carbon 14 spoon.  The boys both told me to just take that fish, since I was the closest one to it.  I tried handing the rod off to one of them, but they both insisted that I reel it in, so I did.  A nice 16 pound chromer king, to add to the first one.  Then we popped a really nice coho on the other spoon rigger, and a steelhead on the starboard board, plus a pesky lake trout, on the other board.  In a span of a couple of hours we had 7 nice fish, and started talking smart, and must have pissed off the fish gods, because then we went 0 for 7 on really nice hits, and ended up the day with 7 fish.  We threw back 5 skippy kings, but never boated another keeper the rest of the day.  Chad packed up a bunch of nice fillets in his cooler that night, and was set to leave for home the next morning.  Brent and I had a short planning session that night in the hotel room, and then crashed.  3:00 a.m. brought my alarm clock on my phone singing "good morning" to us from what sounded like a small choir of Asian ladies.  We shook off the 3 hours of sleep, re-iced the coolers, and headed for the lake.  Brent and I made a bee line for the 55' line again, and stared dropping lines before it was first light.  I didn't have a hit at all until I dropped the carbon 14 on the starboard corner rigger to 45'.  Then I could not get the other rigger in the drink, because that one kept firing on jumbo cohos between 7 and 9 pounds.  Pretty soon we had 4 of those in the box.  Then I missed a really good male coho, that looked all of 10 pounds, with a pronounced kype, trying to net it one handed.   The morning slowed way down, and we didn't get much except some little steelheads and skippy kings until dusk, when the big steelhead and cohos turned on again, and we finished off with a 12 pound steely, a 10 pound steely, a 10 pound king, and 2 more of those jumbo cohos!  We had a pretty nice box at the fish cleaning station that night.  Brent left the next morning at around 5:00 a.m., with his 10 fish limit, and I went back to bed, for some much needed rest!  I woke up about 9:00, did some shopping, and some tackle repairs, and was back on the water around 2:30 p.m.  I decided to try the inshore bite with light tackle and broke out the boards and the lighter rods.  I caught  a nice limit of cohos, steelheads and kings, and was off the lake fairly early.  Next day was stormy in the morning, so I slept in and waited it out,  Then I did more baot and tackle repairs, did some more shopping, and fished inside with light gear in the afternoon again.  The results were very similar but I popped a huge, 14 pound 9 ounce brown, right out of the harbor in the afternoon, and I think I caught a nice king of about 12 pounds, too.  That was Wednesday night, and I had my 10 fish possession limit, but my friend Josef met me that night to fish with me the next morning.  His buddy, Arun, was going to meet us as well.  We caught 8 nice nice fish, including a 12 pound brown, and a 10 pound king, and the rest were cohos and steelhead.  We did miss a couple of fish that night, and those guys went home with a total of 8 fish.  That was Thursday night, and they left, and my friend Dan met me that night to fish Friday and Saturday.  A huge thunderstorm moved in on Thursday, moving the good water out, and and we struggled to get Dano his 5 fish each day, but we pulled it off.  He went home on Sunday with his 10 fish possession limit as well!  The end 

















Edited by John Kelley
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