Lake Michigan Salmon – Milwaukee 6/14

Water Body

Made the first trip of the year yesterday. Put new riggers on the boat so opted for a mid-day start so I wasn’t messing with something new in the dark. Lake was pretty flat so left the north gap and headed NE up off Whitefish Bay and started setting lines in 120 FOW looking for some bigger fish. Got 8 rods set when a 5 color hooked up in 135 with a rainbow. Shortly after that fish was in the boat, wire dipsey out 130 fired with a nice 18.75 pound king. Made a loop around with nothing so continued our NE troll. Hit 150 fow and rigger down 35 fired. Was a nice king that came unbuttoned about 20 feet behind the boat.

Next to fire was a wire dipsey out 100. I had it out 130 and tightened down the drag to bring it in to around 90, and as I was passing 100 it got smoked. I was lucky to get the drag backed off in time as to not lose the fish and it turned out to be the biggest king of the day. It ran to 260 loc before we slowed it down. Scaled at just a touch over 20#.

Continued NE and the 5 color hooked up with a nice rainbow on an orange dodger and purple aqua fly. It was only about 1:30 so had high expectations of a good day bite but that was not to be. Washed baits out deep for a while and then started a SE troll back towards the marina about 5:00. Picked up a nice 3 year old king on a wire rod 66loc in 95 fow.

Nothing more until the sun hit the horizon at which point we popped 4 fish in 20 minutes. Wire rod 60loc in 70fow with a king, followed by a 3 color king, then a rigger 33 down laker, and finished with a 4 color king.

Pretty good first day going 9 for 10.

Orange dodger with purple aqua coho fly 2/2

wire dipsey with green flasher / dbl aqua fly 3/3

wire dipsey with white flasher / LBB fly 1/1

Rigger SWR with green flounder pounder 0/1

Rigger green flasher / dbl aqua fly 1/1

3 color magnum crab face 1/1

4 color magnum silver crush 1/1


  1. Great way to get the cobwebs out and break in the new gear. There’s something special about the pre-dawn start on the Big Pond, and seeing the sun come up, but going thru the learning curve in daylight is a very good move.
    was trying to get out for my first of the year too, but gonna have to wait till hopefully next week now.

  2. Those last 20 minutes were an absolute riot! We were dog tired, in the dark, in 2-3 foot seas… and every five minutes another rig popped off. It was a challenge just to keep the net clear of fish.

    The whole trip was a blast from top to bottom. I scored a PB out of John’s boat (I think that’s the fifth time that’s happened). My wife said after dinner last night: “that was the best damn salmon I’ve ever had”. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Great catch and report John! Bite was a little tough for most guys I talked to this weekend. ((myself included (6/8 friday night, mostly greasers)) You did an awesome job of picking the best weather window of the weekend and found some excellent fish for you first trip of the year. Lets hope it’s the first of many for you this year!

    Was probably pretty interesting having a 20 crush a dipsy while youve got your hand on the reel and drag cranked down!

  4. Milwaukee Fishing Lake Michigan Salmon Report 7/22/2014
    By Milwaukee Wisconsin fishing charter Captain Jim Hirt

    Mixed Bag Salmon and Trout in Milwaukee!
    Catch the buzz from the cleaning station and get full detailed fishing info. Robert, Christian and Ethan Woolums worked together to boat a great cooler of fish. Most of the fish were caught on a Badger Tackle Reaper Magnum spoons. To get my fish reports and how to videos first go to By subscribing you will keep ahead of the other anglers. When I post you will get it fast by e-mail!
    How Coho
    Coho are in the 70 to 150 feet of water 55 down with green flashers and Howie flies in green colors. Wire divers have been best with 100 feet of line out.
    How Chinook
    Chinook are coming on Reaper Magnum Big Joe Silver spoons run long behind the downrigger ball or on SWR rigs 40 feet to the bottom. Vulcan Magnum spoons in blue/green or silver/ green on the long lead cores are also taking Chinooks. The only place you will find Reaper and Vulcan spoons is on their web site at
    How Lake Trout
    Beat the bottom with long lead spoons and SWR rigs. Best action has been 85 feet and out to 150 feet
    Water temperatures near shore warmed to 65 degrees on the surface. Coho fishing was good in 70 to 150 feet of water. Start your trip in 70 for Coho and go to 125-160 feet of water for Chins and Lake Trout. Fish the entire water column for the best action. Anglers are finding Chinook action 10 miles north of Milwaukee in Whitefish Bay. Our best speed was 2.0 to 2.2 mph measured at the ball with the Depth Raider.
    Have a great fishing season. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at Copyright© 2014, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Comment