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 feet..blue 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
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You may remember our last trip out January
10th, 2004, on the big pond in Capt. Mike Richow 20' Lund- Screaming
Minnow Charters (email@example.com).
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
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(?)...so Capt. Rich opened up the throttles and we burned
some GAS! I admit it was a rough, bumpy, wet ride...lots of fun!
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.
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
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? :)
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!
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.
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 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?