Old and New Boats in the Harbor
Salmon bite coming soon?????
Some familiar boats have returned to the harbor along with a few new ones. It was great to see the First Choice back in its usual berth on the south side of the marina. I noticed another local charter boat, the Silver Strike also situated in the marina with rods in the racks ready to start the season. Both Captain Andy of the Silver Strike and Captain Todd of the First Choice are knowledgeable and experienced anglers who know the local waters well. When I first moved to BH to live and started to hone my skills for stalking salmonoids in the waters of Lake Michigan off Door County, Todd was particularly generous with his advice and more importantly specific information. I recall walking up to Todd (a total stranger to him at the time) and bluntly asking, "Well, where should I fish today?" Instead of getting the usual smart-ass reply one often gets from fishermen like "In Da Lake!", Todd shared with me specific water depths, lures and speeds that have been working on their recent outings. At one point, he even gave me the GPS coordinates to a point off Jacksonport Reef, a spot I am now very familiar with. I never forgot Todd's willingness to share with other anglers and I have tried to be equally generous with the little knowledge I have gleaned. If I can help a person have a better day on the water, why not? It's a big lake.
I often have friends ask if they can come up for a day of salmon fishing. I welcome their company but I warn them that with my 17' open boat, the weather window for going out on the big lake is pretty small. I have no desire to have the bright yellow Baileys Harbor Water Rescue boat come out save my butt from the frigid waters of the lake. It very well may be that they travel up here and we end up looking for bass on the bayside because of winds on the lake (Not at all a bad alternative, by the way.) Often I suggest that we get together and book one of the charter boats running out of Baileys Harbor. Unless there is a full gale, chances are good we will get out and get fish. When we do this, I take full advantage to learn as much as I can from the captain and mates on board. They are on the water every day and are well practiced in the techniques of netting fish, setting planer boards and Dipsey Divers and handling fish. I recall spending one trip on the First Choice with Todd's father, Captain Jeff and picking his brain about fishing the waters of Baileys Harbor. I learned a lot of valuable lessons on those trips. Lessons that have put a lot more fish into my boat. Oh, and this is important, NO BANANAS!"
A new boat in the marina this year is the Shoreline Water Taxi. They will be providing scenic tours of, among other locations, the four lighthouses we have in BH, Cana Island Light, The Old Birdcage light and the Upper and Lower Range Lights. This should be pretty cool and I wish them well. I also heard that friend Dave Anderson will be one of the tour guides. He is very knowledgeable of the marine history of the area. I look forward to seeing Dave cruising off Cana Island.
Sadly, one boat that was not returned to the marina is the charter and tour boat, the Harbor Lights. I see it is sitting on a trailer at Lakeshore Adventures waiting for its next trip. Anyone looking for a great boat?
The salmon fishing is showing signs of starting. Fishing buddy Paul and his wife Jan picked up a 17 pound Chinook and a 8.5 pound Laker earlier this week. Paul and I went out in his very familiar black Lund Saturday night. We found surface water temperatures ranging from 44F to 50F. The mid-lake buoy is reporting 42F. We fished from100 to 200 FOW. We marked some hooks and baitfish on the sonar but no cries of "Fish On" were heard. It was a pleasant night on the lake with moderate south winds. I did notice two other boats on the lake fishing along with us. Soon there will be many, many more.
Tight Lines, Bruce
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