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8-1-04 - Just minutes from starting "Slammin Salmon '04" aboard the Fishmeister II.

8-01-04 - Slammin Salmon '04 - They Came, They Saw, They got Seasick!

Waters Fished: Lake Michigan (Trolling out of Racine)
Fish Caught: 2 personally (+ one Trolled King Salmon)
Outing Date: 8-01-04
Weather: Sunny, blue skies, a bit of a breeze
Air Temp: upper 70's?
Water Temp: Lake Michigan surface was in the 60's, thermocline was a 10 foot span to the 40's!
Water Level: normal
Water Color: Visibility several as usual, waves 2-4 feet. Lake Geneva just a little chop...very nice.
Fish Species: King Salmon on the big pond, Bluegills, Rock Bass and Pumpkinseed on Geneva
Pattern Fished: the gamut baby!
Pattern Color: all sorts were out there
Fishing Quality: 5-STAR Charter on the Lake. Geneva? Surprisingly Slow!

MONTHS in the planning...ok several WEEKS in the planning. Basically all the guys I work with and their family, to varying degrees, had expressed some interest in fishing with me at some point. Well, the President of our company (Infotube) has a birthday coming up; somehow we actually kept it a secret from Sholom for over a month that we were all going to go out on the lake and "Slam some Salmon". Heck, David (Sholom's father-in-law) and I even collaborated last-minute to create the "Slammin Salmon '04" T-Shirts for the day!

Our plan paid off...Sholom swears he had no idea until he started coming down the last street to the Azarian Marina. In total for the day it'd be Me (I'm the "Exec. Sr. Multimedia Developer"), Zev ("VP of Sales & Marketing"), Dmitriy (who likes to be called "Sr. Graphic Artist" or something like that), Sholom (Infotube's President and founder), David (Sholom's father-in-law) and Eitan (Sholom's brother-in-law). What can I say, guys I work with every day, and probably spend more time with than anyone else, were finally fishin'. This was going to be AWESOME. By 1:30 we had all assembled, and by 2:00 everyone was set to go.

Capt. Mike Richow gives Eitan and Sholom some tips on fighting fish while Zev looks on.

Capt. Rich Gorske is ready to go...Dmitriy breaks out the import!

We're underway...Capt. Mike and Zev look cautiously optimistic.

I had arranged this trip with someone I consider a good fishin' friend and arguably the BEST WISCONSIN CHARTER CAPT. I KNOW on Lake Michigan - Capt. Rich Gorske of Fishmeister Charters ( You may remember our last trip out January 10th, 2004, on the big pond in Capt. Mike Richow 20' Lund- Screaming Minnow Charters ( I had been expecting Capt. Rich's son Alex to be our first mate...turns out we got a FREE UPGRADE in first-mate; Capt. MIKE would be out on the boat with us again!

OK, it's really a tossup, because now we're out on the lake with not one, but TWO TOPNOTCH Lake Michigan Captains (can both be "the best"? If that's possible then Mike and Rich pull it off with STYLE!). I had told Capt. Rich we should go for a boat limit on this trip (something to shoot for right?) considering the three of us had gotten our last limit in oh, maybe, 1.5 HOURS, and spent the rest of our time givin' the FATboat a lot of grief. If you are EVER looking for a charter, I'm not slammin' all you other guys, but I AM saying that you have my personal vouch that these guys are a CUT ABOVE. I'll also tell you now for those who might think otherwise, we booked at full-rate for this trip too (of course Rich was willing to put in any extra time it might take to get that boat limit); yes it's that worth it. I gush because THESE GUYS DESERVE IT, they have never asked for my "endorsement", just like anyone or anything else you read about here, these guys EARNED it a LONG time back, and the least I can do to repay them for their generosity and sharing their expertise is to tell YOU all about it.

So back to the trip. We gassed up and headed out to sea. Immediately out of the harbor, waves went from minimal chop to 2-4 feet. They "look" bigger! We were going out far, 9 miles(?) Capt. Rich opened up the throttles and we burned some GAS! I admit it was a rough, bumpy, wet ride...lots of fun!

Eitan and Sholom realize this isn't going to be a dry ride.

I gotta say I've never seen two guys happier to be on a boat....

David and Dmitriy enjoy some sun and a roller-coaster boat ride.

"Check out my gas station sunglasses"....Eitan's last minute purchase.

Looks like they're ready to slam some salmon.

We're at the spot and Capt. Mike starts riggin' lines.

Within 10 minutes Capt. Mike got 10 lines in the water. First the 4 downriggers, then the 4 dipsies, then 2 planers with leadcore. No sooner were we all rigged up than one of the dipseys went off.

Of course, Capt. Mike wasn't anywhere close to it and his path was obstructed....MAN DOWN. Zev said, "I don't really want to fish, I'm gonna get some sun and enjoy the ride", then proceeding to lie down in stern...on the carpet...and fish slime. The line was within MY reach, so I pulled it out and handed it to Eitan. FISH OFF.

MAN DOWN AGAIN...Sholom has gone from ecstatic to sicker than I was when I had food poisoning. He's back and forth, trying to avoid vomiting. I'm all about just getting it over with, he'll feel better. Center Stern is the best place to be if your seasick. Meanwhile, the rod that had just gone off went off again! Capt. Mike grabs the rod and hands it to the closest person...Sholom's father-in-law David.

Mike finishes dropping lines and the first one goes off. 0/1

Sholom was directed to the most comfortable spot on the boat.

David fights his first Salmon (EVER).

Yes, David's fightin' a King while Sholom is fighting Nausea.

Capt. Mike says "Sholom you gotta move" and gets ready with the net.

I can't believe I got this shot...moments before the net.

I am personally proud of David and his first King Salmon.

I turn around and the body count has risen again.

Dmitriy is a die-hard it out of his system and was feeling much better...for a little bit.

So as you can see, David got a nice 2 year King....about 5-6 lbs. Probably the biggest fish he's ever landed? I know he thought it was MUCH bigger...the fight surprised him.

The body count was getting pretty bad...even David was a touch woozy. It had hit me for the first 5 minutes and then I got past it. However, at this point Dmitriy has done some chumming for us, Eitan and Zev are enjoying the sky, Sholom is dry heaving in the cabin....all those smiles are gone. Sholom again asked if we could go back...I gave the shout up to Capt. Rich..time to head back. I like Capt. Rich's philosophy - "Fishing is about having fun. If you're not having fun, then you probably shouldn't be fishing". One last thing we needed to do; most of my buddies are Orthodox Jews, so we needed Kosher Fillet Equipment to clean the fish. No worries, we had boiled the knives before coming - first a blessing then a dip in Lake Michigan and they are now Kosher. I'm willing to bet that Capt. Rich has the only Kosher gear on the entire lake. Maybe there's a new niche here?

It does take time to break down all that gear. I must admit, being the only non-sick person in the boat sucked and was really hysterical. Afterall, how often do you get to have all your buddies willingly get sick? :)

No matter how I shoot them, the camera never does justice to fresh chrome salmonids.

Our trip was as fast as it could be, and by the time the boat got underway things got better for the guys. Upon disembarking, I'd have to say everyone was in much better spirits and honestly, I was a bit surprised to find they all had LOVED IT. YES, LOVED IT. Next time though, they've asked to fish a creek :) One last look at the stunning chrome king before we filleted it...the flesh was RED man, RED!

Capt. Rich didn't have to, I didn't even ask him to, but he cut the trip rate for us considering we had probably fished a total of 20 minutes. If I hadn't been in charge of the money from 4 other guys I would've just given him the full rate anyway...yes, it's that good. Heck, Capt. Rich even keeps a few fish in the freezer for days like this, so everyone who wanted to take fish home DID! ALL of the guys truly loved the trip and all were talkin' about it. Of course, I think DAVID was the most hooked...he couldn't stop saying nice things about Capt. Rich and Capt. Mike. I have a feeling some of these guys will be back to try it again (I know I want to...soon?).

One last thing about this leg of my Sunday Journey - I want you to THINK about the time we got our lines in the water and how many bites we had in the time we fished. 2 bites in 20 minutes at 3:00 PM on a bright sunny day. Most of the other guys on the radios who had been out since NOON maybe had a couple fish in the box. I have NO DOUBT in my mind that had "my crew" not all taken seasick we would've made that 30 fish day on the Fishmiester II with Capt. Mike and Capt. Rich. I gotta say personally I had a good time but I KNOW what Rich and Mike had set up for us and I know they were chompin' at the bit too.

And now my brother has just IM'd me "Yo, where's dem reports" (ok so he doesn't really talk like that). You'd think I was done...but I'm not! After chillin' with Capt. Rich, Capt. Mike and the Capt. of the Happy Hooker for a while, I got on the road and got a call from 'ole FATMAN! What was he doing? SETTING LINES? He said he needed help...2 boys and 4 lines was too much for one man to handle on a Sunday Evening.

45 minutes later I was on the Municipal Pier in William's Bay. Rich had the boys out on Lake Geneva for some evening trolling! As I got on board, I learned that so far, they had NO LUCK! NO LUCK? Highly unusual for Lake Geneva - on your worst days you can still get many Rock Bass!

180 Panoramic of William's Bay off the Municipal Pier. Cool if you click above for the enlargement, but YOU DA MAN if you go for the 3D viewer! (448 KB)

The Fatman Fazer has arrived!

FATMAN is at the helm and we're off to the Narrows.

We opted to head over to the narrows...a FAST boat ride was enjoyed by all. The plan was to use two downriggers trailing stickbaits/crankbaits behind them and two slip-weighted Lindy rigs with crawlers off the sides.

Looking back at a gorgeous sunset.

I just LOVE this shot of Duke...lot of pics of people enjoying boats today!

Another nice shot of the future fishing generation.

No problem getting the lines in...I noticed the Lindy rod on my side was acting funny...reeled it up and BAM - a first of a lifetime for MP. MY FIRST DOUBLE! On the Lindy was a small bluegill and a MAMMOTH Pumpkinseed. SWEET! Got rid of the personal skunk as well as getting the FATBOAT unskunked.

The last bit of daylight slipped away as we got our lines wet.

MP's first double ever.

What a FAT FISH! - 8.75" inches in length.

The heathens got restless and the action didn't pick up. 2 passes and that was that...when bringing up the Lindy on my side I found that we had been dragging a 5-6" rock bass...wonder how long that had been going on!

So there you have it...another weekend in the hopper. Wonder what's going to happen next?


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