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I got up friggin' early, about 3:30 am, and met up with Fat, Chief and Jerry for a bit of casting and trolling on the lake. It was still dark by the time we got the boat in; we were first on the grounds that day.
Although they'd all tell you "I" caught this beautiful Lake Michigan Brown Trout, I have to say it's a team effort. Basically someone driving, someone setting up rigs, and someone checking rigs. I just got to be the lucky one to pull in the planner and notice it was rather "heavy".
Another shot later in the morning, probably about 8:30 am. Since I landed the first fish, I spent the remainder of the day driving (which is fun in itself!).
Another shot of the brown we landed; again estimated about 7 lbs. Jerry got some beautiful fillets from this fish; gorgeous pink flesh.
Later, after trolling until about 10:30, I kept going and hit the Root River. This shot is downstream from the drop in at Quarry Park.
The bridge immediately downstream from Quarry Park on the Root. I managed to sight one rather beat up Coho in this section of river.
The infamous "shelf" at Quarry Park.

12-28-02 - Day number 2 of a 3-Day Weekend of Fishing!

Rivers Fished: Lake Michigan and the Root & Pike Rivers
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 12-28-02
Weather: hazy
Air Temp: 20-40's
Water Temp: cold
Water Level: low
Water Color: Pike = Clear, Root = Stained
Fish Species: Browns, Cohos & Steelhead
Pattern Fished: various
Pattern Color: various
Fishing Quality: poor (except great on the lake)

12-28-02 - Man I had to sleep fast Friday night, because I was up at 3:30 am Saturday morning to meet up with Fat and his son Chief for some Lake Michigan trolling. Jerry, a fellow TSS member joined up with us. We had to wait for the police to open the gate to our drop in site; got the boat ready and chatted a bit about fishing and such. We got the boat in probably close to 5:30 - 6:00 am, and got to our site near a warm water discharge about 6:20 or so. We did some early casting near the shore, and watched the water temps approaching 50F in some places.

Fat brought out all the new toys Santa left; some awesome trolling rods with line counters, planners, we had a total of 6 rods working the waters. Chief was a real trooper; he spent much of the am curled up sleeping and braving the cold. As we trolled we were soon joined by a couple of guys fishing the shore, a couple more who parked by the discharge, and by 8:00 am there were probably 6 boats trolling in addition to us.

Throughout the morning I got a lesson in setting planners, downriggers etc...while Jerry did a bit of driving. One of the planners looked messed up so I started bringing it in. I thought I had rigged it wrong because the board was running perpendicular to the line and was a bear to real in. As we got it close I realized that there was nothing wrong with the planer; there was a fish on the line. Man, that thing put up a nice fight. Fat netted it and we had ourselves a great looking brown. Fat & Jerry say I caught this fish, but man, it's a team effort, so this one was "OUR" catch guys!

We continued trolling until about 10:00 or so; I took the driver's seat as I had landed the fish, so it was time for someone else to rig & reel. While not skunked, #2 proved too elusive for us Saturday morning. We had a great time, completely froze to the core. Got back, got Chief in the truck to warm up and just like the fish, once he was warm he was full of life and energy; man that kid rocks!

I decided I still had plenty of day to fish, so I headed to the Root. I started at Lincoln Park and fished the WHOLE THING; sighted one small fish (a brown?) in the fish sanctuary, and another really beat up coho a bit downstream. After such a disappointing showing downstream, I moved upriver to Quarry Park and fished down past the 1st bridge. On my way back up I managed to ferret out another Male Coho, not quite as beat up, and fished him till I spooked him. I had had enough at this point.

So about 1:30 or so I moved to the Pike. I again concentrated on the area around 13th and A. Never "disappointed" with the Pike, I found a Coho under the foot bridge about 13th. I fished her for a while until I spooked her. During this time, another fish came up through the riffles and started redding under the bridge. From what I saw, I'm guessing STEELHEAD! The fish was flashing all sorts of silver, which was unusual, and looked a bit more "elongate" than the coho's I've been seeing. I tried this fish as well, but she spooked fairly quickly. I opted to turn around and go downstream to come back later after they settled down.

I came across another beat up male coho hiding under the ice while I walked below A. He was instantly spooked, and beat up enough that his hole head was engulfed in columnaris. Not a fish that is ever going to bite, I turned around to hit the pair of females upstream. When I arrived, to my shock, they were both NOWHERE to be found, thus I ended my day on the Pike at about 3:30 pm.


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