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Fishing Newbie on Lake Michigan

Old 11-26-2018, 06:03 PM
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Default Fishing Newbie on Lake Michigan

Hi All,
I just bought a used Edgewater for boating on Lake Michigan from Michigan City, and I'd like to get started on fishing for Coho and Lake Trout. Based on another thread, I've ordered 2 Tekota 800 line counter reels, but am unsure about which rods to buy. I only have the budget for 2, so which rods would be the most versatile for the widest variety of fish?
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:18 PM
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We fish a ton on Lake Michigan, trolling for Salmon and Lake Trout. Our go-to rod is an inexpensive (just $30) Okuma rod, #CP-DR-862M (that model is 8'6" long). Those are good for running copper or lead core with trolling boards to pull the line away from the boat; we also have used them as our downrigger rods in the past, but now we will use something with a little more flex.

It's pretty hard to go wrong with the Okuma downrigger rods, especially for just 30 bucks. It's a good starter setup.

Good luck! We fish out of Holland and make it down your way a couple of times a year.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:20 AM
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Hey, thanks! I'll check them out, as the Shimano Talara rods are waaay more money.
TR
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:45 PM
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Good recommendation by PPLEPEU. We stick with simple, simple, simple too. Little money for Ugly Stiks. Always prefer one-piece construction personally. Tekota is great! But to save a few bucks, Daiwa is my go-to reel.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:55 AM
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Here's a pic of our gear, sleeping 'till spring.

Of the 34 setups in the picture, I think half are the inexpensive Okuma rods I mentioned in my post above.

As far as reels, we use the Tekotas for downrigger and dipsy setups - nothing else stands up to the abuse and keeps performing.

For relatively short leadcore or copper setups (shorter than 5 color or 125 copper), we used to deploy Okuma Magda MA-45-DX reels, but we're switching to Okuma Coldwaters, mostly because they have a good feel, and a great crank handle. For longer leadcore or copper setups, we use the Okuma CV-55L larger capacity reel.

We send every reel to Tuna's Reel Troubles in Ludington to have the drags upgraded. Night and day difference -- that re-work lets you buy inexpensive reels and have them perform like expensive counterparts. I can't recommend any Okuma reel with factory drag washers. We have Andrew go through our Shimano reels as well, though.




Last edited by PPLEPEU; 11-30-2018 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:39 PM
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That is quite the setup. Thanks for all the info!
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PPLEPEU View Post
Here's a pic of our gear, sleeping 'till spring.

Of the 34 setups in the picture, I think half are the inexpensive Okuma rods I mentioned in my post above.

As far as reels, we use the Tekotas for downrigger and dipsy setups - nothing else stands up to the abuse and keeps performing.

For relatively short leadcore or copper setups (shorter than 5 color or 125 copper), we used to deploy Okuma Magda MA-45-DX reels, but we're switching to Okuma Coldwaters, mostly because they have a good feel, and a great crank handle. For longer leadcore or copper setups, we use the Okuma CV-55L larger capacity reel.

We send every reel to Tuna's Reel Troubles in Ludington to have the drags upgraded. Night and day difference -- that re-work lets you buy inexpensive reels and have them perform like expensive counterparts. I can't recommend any Okuma reel with factory drag washers. We have Andrew go through our Shimano reels as well, though.



That looks like an explosion resistant automated valve with 150 PSI flanges next to cooler, you must have a wicked wash down pump!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by From the Helm View Post
That looks like an explosion resistant automated valve with 150 PSI flanges next to cooler, you must have a wicked wash down pump!
Good eye. I wish my washdown pump had that kind of flow rate!

We have a handful of air-controlled valves and other stuff left over from an alternative energy project my wife's company did a few years ago. It was a huge multi-tank anaerobic digester system that converted millions of gallons of liquid manure to gas for diesels that spun generators.

We're slowly selling all of the leftover inventory on FleaBay.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PPLEPEU View Post
Good eye. I wish my washdown pump had that kind of flow rate!

We have a handful of air-controlled valves and other stuff left over from an alternative energy project my wife's company did a few years ago. It was a huge multi-tank anaerobic digester system that converted millions of gallons of liquid manure to gas for diesels that spun generators.

We're slowly selling all of the leftover inventory on FleaBay.
Cool application of chemical engineering. I was in a building that had a gas fed generator (huge) that ran from the solid waste facility adjacent to it, great use of waste methane.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by From the Helm View Post
Cool application of chemical engineering. I was in a building that had a gas fed generator (huge) that ran from the solid waste facility adjacent to it, great use of waste methane.
One of their projects used the methane to spin generators during the daytime when electric rates peaked. At night, the methane routing was switched to a series of gas cleaners -- after adding perfume, it was fed into the natural gas pipeline. If I remember correctly, their design was the first implementation of a dual system in the US.

Last edited by PPLEPEU; 02-13-2019 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Corrected spelling error
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:59 AM
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Ok, reviving this thread a bit. Over the last couple months I’ve acquired some new and used stuff, including 2 Penn Senators, 2 Tekota line counting reels, and a couple Penn 975 baitcasters. So my next question is what kind of line to spool them with, for which applications. Sorry for all the newbie questions, but I’d like to have the tackle ready to go when I put the boat in the water and find someone to show me the ropes.
Cheers,
Tom
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:03 AM
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I prefer braid, but there will be a lot of considerations. Example: the clips I most prefer on my downriggers struggle to hold braid at the tension I like, so I most often run 20lb mono on my downriggers and use braid where I'm running dipseys. Then there's copper or lead-core. I hate both, mostly because of the miles of "line" let out and the B.S. that ensues when trolling in crowded conditions . . . as when there's another boat on Lake Michigan other than you.

The other nice thing about braid is diameter. You can stuff a LOT of 30lb braid on any of those reels.

Also: terminal tackle. If it ain't Sampo, it should stay at the dock.
Lastly: get yourself a good light. I know lots of guys prefer old camera flashes; I usually just go with high intensity halogen lamps to get my spoons and squid to fluores.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:35 AM
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We use high-vis braid as the backing material for most of our reels as it is strong and you can fit a lot on a reel, helping to avoid getting spooled by a big fish. The high-vis is nice for your copper and leadcore lines -- the backing shows up nicely between the board and the boat.

For your long lines, for example, you would have the following types of lines spooled on each rig:
- High-vis braid backing - length is whatever is needed to fill the reel
- 40-lb test monofilament - length of about 2-3 feet -- this will be used at the clip point for planer boards that take the lines away from the boat.
- Copper or Leadcore line - length is up to you; for your initial sets I would have 150 & 300 copper setups, and a 5-color leadcore
- 20 or 30 lb leader - typically fluorocarbon, but some use regular monofilament
- A high-quality ball-bearing swivel

At least in the beginning, I'd have a local tackle shop that specializes in salmon rigs spool up your copper and leadcore rigs. They know the drill well.

I would also suggest a pair of Dipsy rods. Your choice as to wire or braid -- we run four dipsy rods, 2 wire and 2 braid. We like the bigger dipsy divers that take the line a little farther from the boat compared to the smaller diameter dipsy's.

Since you are relatively close to my home port, you should think about joining me on a trip to jumpstart your education. Salmon fishing has a long learning curve.

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Old 02-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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I live in Grand Rapids, MI and was wondering if anyone has any experience jigging for salmon or lakers out of West Michigan? I know in Grand Traverse Bay and Milwaukee Harbor it is catching on but I haven't heard anything concerning the rest of Lake Michigan.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PPLEPEU View Post
We use high-vis braid as the backing material for most of our reels as it is strong and you can fit a lot on a reel, helping to avoid getting spooled by a big fish. The high-vis is nice for your copper and leadcore lines -- the backing shows up nicely between the board and the boat.

For your long lines, for example, you would have the following types of lines spooled on each rig:
- High-vis braid backing - length is whatever is needed to fill the reel
- 40-lb test monofilament - length of about 2-3 feet -- this will be used at the clip point for planer boards that take the lines away from the boat.
- Copper or Leadcore line - length is up to you; for your initial sets I would have 150 & 300 copper setups, and a 5-color leadcore
- 20 or 30 lb leader - typically fluorocarbon, but some use regular monofilament
- A high-quality ball-bearing swivel

At least in the beginning, I'd have a local tackle shop that specializes in salmon rigs spool up your copper and leadcore rigs. They know the drill well.

I would also suggest a pair of Dipsy rods. Your choice as to wire or braid -- we run four dipsy rods, 2 wire and 2 braid. We like the bigger dipsy divers that take the line a little farther from the boat compared to the smaller diameter dipsy's.

Since you are relatively close to my home port, you should think about joining me on a trip to jumpstart your education. Salmon fishing has a long learning curve.
Thanks much for the great info, and the invite! I’ll check in to a local shop, and also get back to you about joining you for a day.
Cheers,
Tom
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PPLEPEU View Post
Salmon fishing has a long learning curve.
Glad to know that, as we were skunked last year despite going out at 3:30 am three times and trying everything that the locals were telling us.

Had one salmon on the line but he shook the lure. Saw plenty of Alwife schools and salmon on the fishfinder, but no luck.
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