Post By: MathGeek Posted: 9/9/2012 12:59:06 PM Points: 351
Today was our first perfect limit of the year (two trout 16+" and two < 16") for all the anglers in the boat. When we put in at North Shore at 0630, the water temp was 59 deg F, and when we pulled out at around 1000, the water had warmed to 61 deg F. We hit the west side, starting at the big island. There was a clear thermal band of water from 8 ft to 20 ft deep on the sonar, and the bait was spread throughout this thermal band. We were marking plenty of bigger fish just below the thermal band with the bait (20-25 ft deep), but it was no dice until we got to the little island headed west and the first big trout volunteered to come aboard. We were running the lures 18-22' deep and the first group of trout were caught running the lures that deep in 22-27 feet of water.
Once the sun was good and high 0830 or so, the trout moved into the band of bait and we started running the lures higher, 10-15' deep. The last three trout were all big and all right after each other. All trout were on spoons with a splash of pink and orange. We tried trolling some crankbaits and also a different color spoon, but it was no dice. We picked up two bonus pike on the troll as well.
Yes, it seems like every season gets a bit better. Plus I just love September at the Mile. Less weeds this year compared with last. And the weeds were no big deal today. Sure, we needed a lot of weed checks, but we didn't snag any big mats or bunches, just enough of the weed to need removal.
Not too many folks were trolling, lots drifting near the islands, presumably working tube jugs per the Marina fishing report. I'm sure that will work for those skilled at it.
All three of the past summers have been great, due mostly to the stocking the winter before. Those stockers that were 10-12" long and 1/2 - 3/4 of a pound in Feb are now 14-18" long and 1.5 -2.5 lbs. By ice season, they'll all be over 16" long and over 2 lbs, with many pushing 3 and 4 lbs. Since they've been planting around the same number every winter, I don't think the stocking program is the difference between one winter and the next.
Fishing is about location and depth. We've favored the west side the last three seasons, but trolling around and using the sonar to determine location and depth cannot be overestimated. We've only fished once through the ice to see how it works. I can't imagine drilling enough holes to cover the water we cover on the troll.