Fishing Milwaukee Early Risers To Catch Trophy Brown Trout

In this article we will continue with successful methods of catching trophy fish. I would like to explore location, presentation and lure selection for Brown Trout. This is a virtual untapped resource on Lake Michigan. Most anglers get hung up on salmon fishing and ignore big Bulldog Brown Trout. Once you have an opportunity to hook up with a fish that is almost as big around as he is long you will be back for more. Footballs, as we like to call them, are only about 3% of the catch out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The lack of popularity and pressure puts you in a great position to boat a real wall hanger. This unique specie has two strains the Domestic or German and the Seeforellen. The bigger of the two is the Seeforellen with the state record at 36.5 pounds. I have landed German Browns over 20 pounds. This is definitely a trophy in any angler's book. Where there are similarities in the two species on temperature preference the biggest difference is location. Domestic are more of a near shore fish and Seeforellens are a pelagic specie found suspended in deeper water.

Please allow me to give you an overview of the optimum conditions for predictable success. All the weather factors discussed in the last article pertain to Browns as well. They are always more active at first light and last light of the day. Heavy overcast days afford some of the best opportunities for lunkers

Temperature is as important in producing Browns as it is for any other fish. I work water that is 60 to 63 degrees when it is available. The month of April is known for easy pickings on all size Browns. When the lake has not warmed up to the preferred temp for Browns, look for them at mouths of rivers, harbors, protected bays and power plant discharges that offer water above the lake temp. A temperature gauge is a tool all fishermen cannot be without.

A stealthy approach is necessary for the biggest fish. In definition stealthy is a presentation that avoids being notice. Several that can be used are trolling downriggers with leads to 100 feet or more and leadcore is another good choice. Most of the time you will find working shallow water less than 40 feet is key to domestic brown success. In the clear shallow water a normal presentation will generally not produce.

Mid-summer is the best time to locate Seeforellens in deep water. Find a sharp break in temperature from the colder lake water to 60 to 63 degrees and present your tackle in temperature they prefer. These breaks above colder water are the best place to locate trophy fish.

Presentation will remain the same get away from the boat in water undisturbed. I have one more presentation that you may find easier to work especially in shallow water. Fish the surface down to fifteen feet with planer Boards. Some of your choices are, Yellow Birds, Church, Off Shore and Riviera. I'm a little hesitant to recommend a particular brand because what works for me may not work for you. I will say I find it easier to run a small board on each line rather than a large board with releases on the towline. I do feel it is important to run all the same type to get a presentation that is easy and productive.

The clear surface water leaves you with a visibility factor to consider. I run a 1/4 to 1 ounce bead chain trolling sinker at the end of the 20-25lb mono to avoid line twists and get the depth I want. From the sinker to the lure I use 8ft of a 12lb mono and a small round cross lock snap.

When the fish hits, the board slides down to the trolling sinker. With the sinker in line, the board will not knock the fish off as it would if it ran down to the lure. When setting this presentation, I set my boat speed at 2 mph and let out my lure about 30 to 100 feet and attach the board. This distance will change with the amount of light, type of lure and depth you want to fish. When action is slow, adjust this distance and see what happens. Once the board is attached, carefully lower the board into the water and let out enough line to allow room for more boards, between that board and the boat. Boards should be spaced about 30 feet apart. When a fish hits, the board releases and it will drop back behind the boat. Land your fish and reset this board by letting out enough line to allow the board to fly back into the same spot it came from.

Let's wrap this up with my favorite Brown Trout lures. Spoons are my first choice with crankbaits and minnow type lures a close second. Always consider the size of the baitfish and amount of light in the time period you are fishing. When fishing in bright conditions or with the presence of small baitfish go to regular or small lures. Run the magnum spoons in low light situations. The two most productive Brown Trout spoons for me in recent years are the glow in the dark Vulcan and Reaper both sold by Badgertackle.com The silver/blue Vulcan has also been a regular producer. The shore fishermen are also having good success with this lure.

Good Luck! 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 Copyright 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved

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