The last several articles we covered some options for spring presentation with a focus on temperature, planer boards, lines, terminal tackle and lure selection. If you would be interested in this information, click here.
Let's continue with lure selection, colors, boat speed, and lure action for spring. The cold water slows down the metabolism of the fish; this in turn requires you to slow down your presentation. I select lures that are small and work well at slower than normal boat speeds. Your adjustment to these variables is different depending on the preferred temperature of the target species.
Brown trout like the warmest water of the five game fish in Lake Michigan. They are looking for above 60-degree water. When you find 60 plus water, fish them as you would in summer. Below 60 degrees the way you fish should be adjusted. Most Browns will be found in the top 20 feet of water where bright lures should be best. Please read article #4 for break down of color by light.
I slow my boat speed to below 1.5 mph. The small lures become very effective and run well at this speed. Does your boat troll at 1.0 to 4.5 mph? If it doesn't, you will find it difficult to produce all the types of fish in all types of conditions. Most boats have trouble trolling slowly.
When I purchased my new boat, the Blue Max with two 454 engines, trolling slowly was a problem for me. I then added a drift sock to slow down my presentation. Without this tool you will not be successful every trip out. If you adjust the idle down too low on your motor, you will most likely have spark plug fouling or worse.
Slow trolling is the way to go in spring or any time the water temperature is below the temp range of the fish you are after. In spring keep it slow, small and bright to increase your catch.
Note: don't forget to sharpen those hooks.
In the next article I will go into hook types, sharpening techniques and the pros and cons of trebles vs. singles.
Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. With Blue Max Charters He can be reached at 414-828-1094 Or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com