My business is to provide people the opportunity to sample the exciting and challenging fishing available at the southern end of Lake Michigan. This page is dedicated to showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to do that and to highlight the trips and fun my customers are able to experience.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
SLIPPIN’ AND DIPPIN’
The first fishing trip of the season is always worrisome. Have I forgotten anything? Will everything that worked perfectly when the boat was stored for the winter still work after months of sitting in the cold? Is the plug in the boat? Will the motor start? Friday, March 15, I learned the answers to these and other important questions such as, are the fish biting?
Yes! The fish were biting. We’ll get to that part in a minute. First, let’s concentrate on the “slippin’” part of this blog’s title.
I knew it was cold from the ice and frost on my windshield when I hopped in the Suburban in the pre-dawn darkness. By the time I got to the marina, my heater had everything toasty inside, ice and frost all melted away from the window glass and the sun was showing in the east. In a few minutes the tiedowns were loose, bits of gear loaded and I was on the way to the ramp.
Point number one, I was far from first in line that morning. Several other boats had launched ahead of me. Point number two, it was still below freezing. Point number three, what looked to be wet concrete on the boat ramp was actually frozen glare ice. Point number four, gravity wins almost every time.
Whoa-daddy! Actually, no whoa was involved. Once all the wheels (both trailer and truck) were on the slope, there was no stopping until the rear wheels of the truck hit the unfrozen concrete under the water.
The steel factories that line the shore of the Indiana Harbor pump warm water into the basin to prolong their shipping season. The water in the open lake showed 34.5 degrees where I stopped to set up our troll. Inside the harbor the water temp was perfect for cohos and brown trout, in the upper 40s. And that’s where the fish were found. Two cohos and a brown trout came to net - this is the “dippin’” part of the story - on our first pass along the lighthouse wall. It was a start to a magical opening day, when all the gear on the boat worked, I didn’t forget anything and we had a great time “dipping” the landing net on a regular schedule throughout the morning.