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The past week the fishing has been very sporadic. You`d have a great morning, return an hour later only to find the fish have moved. Or have a so-so morning and a very good afternoon. The winds and current are moving the bait and fish all over the place, North and South of the line. The only constant I see is bait in the teens to low 30`s every time I head in or out of the harbor. The water there is very warm and I don`t think the salmon will stay there for any length of time.
On Thursday morning we fished North of the line in 50`-70` of water. The hot baits were the stinger size spoons in either Carmel or Blue Dolphin,and Kevorkian. A chrome dodger white fly was also good on a `rigger 45` down. The water was 44° 40` down everywhere I trolled. My speed was 2.1 MPH at the ball which once again varied from 1.8-2.5 kts on the GPS. I once again didn`t have a phenomenal early morning bite, but it was steady with pockets of fish where we had a couple of doubles and even a triple. Despite having bananas on board, we still did pretty good.



My afternoon trip was cut short after hearing weather warnings on 80 mph winds which never made it that far North. My Saturday morning trip had weather related issues so we`re working on an alternate date.

On Saturday afternoon I set up just North of the line in 50` and we had a decent King on as I was setting the third line. I told the guys not to think this was the way it was going to be for the length of the trip as I heard the morning wasn`t outstanding.
That was it for a while until I slid out towards deeper water, as we reached 110` the Magnum Smurf down 50` and Hot Lobster took over as they received most of the attention for the remainder of the trip. The #2 wire dipseys with white/ white and white green 180` and 200` back took a few hits as well. I stayed between 120`-150` for the duration and we had a steady poke along with a good percentage of the fish making it to the net. The water was a little warmer up top as it was 50° down 45`. The East/West troll produced the best action.



On Sunday morning we got out a little later then I wanted as I heard the boats out early had a decent bite. We once again went North of the line and despite having some slow spells still managed between 17-19 fish. I accidentally set up my afternoon trip right at the end of my morning trip and didn`t have time for a photo. For this one the dodger flie bite was better than spoons, with the white/ green and smoke Lil` boy blue down 50`-65` taking the most hits. The fish were scattered and I didn`t have any really good depth to cover, I was between 50` and 130`.
On Sunday afternoon I learned of decent catches coming on the South side so we fished Illinois. There was a crowd down around 42°27`N so I set up on some marks in 120` a mile North of them. Our first fish was a King that somewhere along the line had it`s spine bent, despite that it put up a good fight and appeared in all other aspects to be a healthy fish.



I took it East from there out to 145` and turned where we had a double on leads and managed to land both Kings that took a Stinger kevorkian and Green Dolphin. I turned back with no luck and as I was once again Eastbound we saw action. It was once again a easy poke with dry spells and an occasional mark. I changed baits a few times and my best producers were the lead core with the stinger size spoons. We came in with 11 decent fish and 3 shakers that were hooked the way I wish the ones we lost had been, with at least 2 of the 3 trebles firmly embedded. I only had one dodger/flie bite and that was 150` back on a #2 dipsey that brought in the only Laker of the trip.



Despite the water being very murky earlier in the week, the fish were still in the shallow (40`-50`) range. They have even been caught there in the afternoons. The bite is constantly changing between color, size, and dodger/flie or spoon. This has been a different August from the past couple of years and we`re doing more hunting then we have in the past. The kings bellies as still for the most part empty and a fish over 16 pounds hasn`t been very common on my boat.
All in all it`s still the best fishery around and there are still plenty of opportunitys to take advantage of it.

"Wet Nets"
Captain Jim
 
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