“Less is More” is often the case when fishing shallow or deep on Lake Michigan. Last night I was out on the lake, and reminded of this fact. The last few years we’ve been spoiled by cold water close to shore that has allowed us to not deal with the deep pattern. When fishing deep there is little room for error, unless you enjoy tangles….
When fishing below 100ft use no more than two riggers on a boat with a beam of less than 10ft. Use no less than 12# Pancake weights to help spread you riggers apart and reduce blowback, and try to keep at least 15ft of vertical sepreation between lures. Other tips to help reduce downrigger cable blowback are use 30# superline on you rigger rods with a 50ft section of 30# mono as a leader. The mono is needed for shock absorbency since the superline has no stretch. With the narrower diameter of the superline you can achieve far less cable blowback. Try using 200# test PowerPro instead of wire on your riggers, the reduced diameter of the PowerPro will cut down on blowback and eliminate cable noise, which allows a stealthier presentation. I have yet to have the PowerPro snap in over 4 seasons worth of use on the riggers.
In addition to the two riggers I run two wire dipsys that can easily achieve over 100ft of depth when set on a 1.5-2 setting. If you really want to get deep try a mag dipsy with a power ring and you can touch bottom in 150ft of water using wire. Other than the 4 rod main spread I’ll occasionally run a copper rig off each side off the boards, generally 250-400ft depending on the depth I’m targeting. Be warned when using copper make sure you pull in the dipsy off the side the copper is being set too. There really is no shortcut to this, if you don’t…….than enjoy the tangle as I was reminded last night!!!
On to the fishing report for Milwaukee. Last night I made it out for a few hours and decided to try my luck in 100-130fow. We ended up a miserable 1 for 3, water was 68 on the surface and 50 degrees down 100feet. We ran the above spread with 4 flasher and flies on the inside lines, and a J-Plug and a mag spoon off the copper. All 3 fish hit the flasher and flies, first fish was a King that came loose at the boat off a rigger down 100ft in 110fow. The 2nd fish was a Laker we caught off a white Opti Dodger with a LBB Poseidon Fly 225feet back off a wire dipsy set 1.5, this also took the 3rd fish that wrapped into the copper ending the night. All and all really slow, should have probably stuck to the gaps, as at least 2-4 fish is the norm at the moment and they are all nice 3.5-4 year olds. Good Luck out there.