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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:40am - Feb 26,17
Posts: 6

Post Posted: 05:39pm - Feb 27,17 
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OK so my first post..I fish a lot of walleye, musky, pike, smallies but never have launched or fished trout / salmon in Lake Michigan . I'm from Chicago southwest suburbs and I would like to try the lake this year. So here's my basic questions on getting started.
-Any specific requirement as far as license goes for fishing in Lake Mi above and beyond a valid Il license?
-Is there size limit and possession limits for Lakers, Browns, Coho etc.?
-where best to launch boat, I have a 21' Lund..I went to Calumet park this weekend to check out the ramps...need some work but looks good...is there somewhere to tie up boat as I park the truck? (Also picked up some great fish and shrimp at Calumet fishery...worth the drive just for this!!!)
-what's the best winds to fish the lake? Direction / speed?
-Best way to start spring fishing the lake, rod type, trolling, casting, baits etc.
Any other info to help me get started would be great.
Thanks for all your help and glad to be a member
Mark

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Joined: 06:23pm - Apr 7,08
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Location: Naperville, IL __ Boston Whaler Conquest w/twin Mercs

Post Posted: 05:58pm - Feb 27,17 
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OK so my first post..I fish a lot of walleye, musky, pike, smallies but never have launched or fished trout / salmon in Lake Michigan . I'm from Chicago southwest suburbs and I would like to try the lake this year. So here's my basic questions on getting started.
-Any specific requirement as far as license goes for fishing in Lake Mi above and beyond a valid Il license?
Yes. You need a lake Michigan salmon and trout stamp. Also lake Michigan has additional requirements for your boat
-Is there size limit and possession limits for Lakers, Browns, Coho etc.?
5 fish per person. No more then 2 of those fish can be lake trout.
-where best to launch boat, I have a 21' Lund..I went to Calumet park this weekend to check out the ramps...need some work but looks good...is there somewhere to tie up boat as I park the truck? (Also picked up some great fish and shrimp at Calumet fishery...worth the drive just for this!!!)
31st is a great harbor. Diversey is also good but there is a bridge so you might not be able to have your rods up when going threw. Waukegan is also a great launch and in the summer will be shorter runs to the fish. Water gets deeper faster the further north you go.
-what's the best winds to fish the lake? Direction / speed?
So the further the winds have to travel across the water the bigger the waves are going to be. North winds are the worst. In the summer when the water temps are warmer it may be 75 degrees near shore in Waukegan. We get a big blow from the west and it blows all the warm surface water across the lake to Michigan and the cold water on the lake bottom comes up on the west side typically bringing the fish in with it. Also west winds are good for us because we not only get the cold water but it wont be as rough.
-Best way to start spring fishing the lake, rod type, trolling, casting, baits etc.
You can cast now but soon will be all trolling. Coho will be the first run. Orange 00 luhr Jensen dodgers and peanut flys. Once they pass fishing starts to get a little harder and more gear is used. This gets pretty indepth and you would be best off going out with someone or on a charter to get a idea of how the gear is run and the different types of gear. Salmon fishing gets pretty complicated fast.
Any other info to help me get started would be great.
Thanks for all your help and glad to be a member
Mark


Hope this helps a little but its probably going to create more questions then answers. Also helps to view back in the forums and take a look at the last few years and what baits were working and when. Lots of different setups for rods like downriggers, dipseys divers, leadcore, microlead, copper, mono, braid.,....

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:40am - Feb 26,17
Posts: 6

Post Posted: 06:37pm - Feb 27,17 
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Thanks, I start with the info you gave me and start my diligence like what do I need as far as boating requirements...Thanks again for the help

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Salmon Unlimited Member
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Joined: 11:59am - Mar 22,12
Posts: 834
Location: Woodridge

Post Posted: 06:51pm - Feb 27,17 
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Lake Michigan Angler is holding a free seminar this Saturday and should answer a lot of these questions in more detail. You can get the details on their Facebook page or call the store for details. They are a one stop shop for all Great Lakes trolling gear.

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Joined: 08:06am - Sep 18,06
Posts: 1805
Location: Montrose

Post Posted: 11:04pm - Feb 27,17 
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Welcome to the site!

The Lake Michigan Angler seminar would definitely be worth attending. You'll learn a bunch and there will be plenty there who will answer your questions in person.

You also need to check out HTR's Chitown Hotspots (http://www.chitown-angler.com/ChitownHotspotslarge1.htm). This great resource provides you with the points of interest commonly referred to in fishing reports on this and other websites (aka, it will help you understand where to fish depending on where you launch from).

As for rod/reel/boat rigging setups, you can find a ton of information on this site about boat rigging, running downrigger/diver/leadcore/copper setups as well as what lures to use. Just do some searching of old posts or ask some specific questions relating to specific setups.

There's a wide price range for the kind of gear you could use. Most on here will recommend not starting at the bottom-of-the-line equipment because once you get addicted to salmon/trout fishing (and you will), you'll want to upgrade your gear. That doesn't mean you can't get it done on the cheap but I would definitely recommend getting quality reels and rod holders as a minimum when you're starting out.

Other things to check out:

Running Bare's blog: http://www.chitown-angler.com/fin-n-feathers/runninbare.php

Dan Keating's Great Lakes Salmon and Trout Fishing: http://www.bluehorizonsportfishing.net/Great-Lakes-Salmon-and-Trout-Fishing.html

Watch some episodes of Salmon Showdown (http://salmonshowdown.com/season-iv/. If anything, this will give you a look at how some guys rig their boats, what some setups look like and what lures they use.

The very best way to learn the basics quickly would be to hire a charter or get out on someone's boat to see how it's done, like HTR already said.


Of course, continue to ask questions on here as well. The members of this site are very helpful and provide great information.

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Joined: 10:35am - Feb 11,03
Posts: 8576
Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 01:06pm - Feb 28,17 
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All great starting points listed so far. I would suggest you go to a Salmon Unlimited meet, or better yet, join. They hold monthly meetings with guest speakers, and it is a great way to meet other people who are passionate about the sport. Also a great way to hitch a ride on someone else's boat to see how they run their spread. Watch the site when everyone starts to get out with the better weather approaching. Many times people will offer that they have an open seat for someone who wants to hop on board.

Tom

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Joined: 06:02pm - Apr 13,08
Posts: 778
Location: kenosha

Post Posted: 03:03pm - Feb 28,17 
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We are having a beginner seminar on March 18th.

March 18, 2017 Fishing School Information, Schedule and Topics:

Open at 8:00am - Fishing School from 9:00am - 12:00 Noon
Free Admission

The Fishing School will cover the basic equipment and techniques used trolling for Salmon and Trout in the Spring. The school is designed for the beginner or novice fisherman interested in learning how to troll for Salmon and Trout.

The topics will include:
Where to locate Fish
Lure Selection
Trolling Techniques:
Flat Lines
Planner Boards
Divers
Downriggers
Basic Trolling Setups

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Joined: 04:19pm - Mar 27,09
Posts: 150

Post Posted: 05:33pm - Feb 28,17 
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You've been given a lot of good advice. Being a southwest suburban resident, I prefer to launch
my boat in Indiana at Portage (Exit 19 on I80 East, SR 249), Whihala boat launch in Whiting, or
when work is complete, Jeorse Park (Pastrick Marina). In addition you may want to attend Capt.
Ralph Steigers seminar this Saturday, March 4th in Hammond. The morning portion, from 10AM-
2PM, will cover salmon and steelhead fishing and the afternoon session will cover smallmouth.
Each session costs $40.00 or if you have a buddy, he does offer a 2 person for $50.00 special.
Good fishing and be safe out there. Also the USCG Auxiliary will come out to your home for a
thorough boat inspection free of charge! If you want any further info, feel free to PM me.

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