Trolling Spread - Spring Coho

Unfortunately, mother nature's wrath has continued this spring.  I'm guessing no one in the their right mind has made it out fishing in almost a week.  NNE winds at 20-30mph with gusts pushing 50mph has kept the fleet shore bound.   How this will impact the fishing remains to be seen.  I'm sure the near shore water looks like chocolate milk from the wave action.  We're going to make it out of Milwaukee on Friday night and give her a whirl.   I'm not expecting fast fishing as I'm sure it will be a challenge to locate the fish in a limited 4 hour window.  If you are out give us (Poseidon) a shout on channel 68. Any boats lucky enough to make it out today or tomorrow are essentially fishing blind. No one has the hot word on where the fish are. That means you'll have to hunt and peck away at them until a pattern (hopefully) develops.  

I'm going to share with you my game plan for Friday.  For starters I'm sure the fish that are around are scattered.  The bulk of the Coho migration was around the WI/IL border last Thursday, and I would bet it remains that way.  Right before the big blow a lot of the Coho's off Milwaukee were sliding off shore into 80+fow.  My guess is the pattern intensified with the strong NE wind.  My starting point tomorrow will be the mud line between the churned up near shore water and the clear off shore water.  Upon finding the mud line I'll work it for a period of time in one direction zigzagging in and out of the dirty water to see if the fish are relating to any particular side.  If not I'll slide deeper and test my luck out there. 

This is just a game plan and most likely will change on the water.  If we pick up more then one fish in a particular spot you can bet we will go back and work that area.  If fish are scattered sometimes you find a pod of fish, and it doesn't pay to leave fish to find fish.

While we may not find large numbers of fish, the spread I'm going to share is tried and true.  This spread will give you a shot at some decent action, it's focused on Coho's but we never troll without a couple of King baits in the mix. This is a nine rod three man spread.  With Coho's as the primary quarry we'll run 5 board lines (3 on the starboard, and 2 port side.) Outside boards will be 2 color leadcores. The starboard middle line, and the port inside line will be 3 color lead cores. The inside starboard line will have a 1oz snap weight on 20# mono let out 4 passes.  All of the board lines will have Orange Size 00 Luhr Jensen Dodgers with peanut flies in tow.  I like to run the peanut's on 12-14" leaders.  Coho's can be really selective about the color peanut they are favoring on any particular day.  For that reason I'll run five different peanuts, and let the Coho's decide what's on the menu.

The starting line up is going to be a Poseidon Black and Blue, Fire Fly, Silver Aqua, Green n Gold and a Northern Lights.  If I get more then one bite on any given peanut you can count on me switching another rod to duplicate that setup immediately.  Always have more then one of each particular color, without you won't be able to dial in on a hot bite. All but one of my inside rods will target Kings.  The lone Coho rig will be a slide diver let out no more then 30loc with a Orange Size 00 Luhr Jensen Dodger and Milwaukee Minnow Peanut.  This rod will pick off suicide Coho's that are attracted to the boat, let this slide diver out until you just lose sight of the flasher.  The other diver rod will be a Wire Dipsy let out 50-60loc rigged with a 8" Chartreuse Protroll Flasher paired with a  TT Special King Fly 24 inches behind.   All that's left are the two riggers.  One will be loaded with a regular size Warrior spoon "Orange Easter Egg."  The deep rigger will have a 8" White Protroll Flasher and UV Glow Little Boy Blue Fly.

This spread is just a starting point and will be dynamic as the night progresses.  It should give you a good chance at catching a number of fish (Coho's) without hurting your chances on Kings.  If there are Coho's around run Orange Dodgers and Peanuts exclusively for them.   There is not a better Coho bait at this time of year, period.  Put away the stickbaits and spoons on your high lines, and run dodgers if you want to fill the box with Coho's.  Keep your speed tacked between 1.8mph and 2.2mph and you should be in for a good trip if the fish are around! 

In my next post I'll share the good the bad and the ugly of how we fair on Friday.



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