Salmon size

Discussion in 'Big Lake Cold Water Fishing Reports' started by ausable_steelhead, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. ausable_steelhead

    ausable_steelhead

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    What's the deal with everyone’s reaction to size this year? They seem the exact same size as last season, yet this year, people are freaking out like it’s never been like this before?

    The last 3 years or so has saw nicer, but fewer fish. This is likely the future of the salmon fishery. Way less numbers, but much larger fish. Is this something everyone wants or would you like smaller, more numerous salmon?

    Even Lake Huron is, and has been, giving up good numbers and size . The fish are loaded with smelt there.
     
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  2. The Goat Roper

    The Goat Roper

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    Smaller and numerous, giving kids a better chance to score fish and also having tablefare. Won't complain if we latch onto a piggy though.
     
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  3. dinoday

    dinoday

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    I'd rather have the larger fish.
    I only fish the piers and rivers,so generally, whatever fish are coming to spawn are available to me to fish for.
    There's nothing like hooking a big king that's hell bent on destroying my tackle :D
     
  4. SJC

    SJC

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    I'm pretty happy where we're at. The other morning we had 7 kings with 4 over 20, along with an atlantic and a laker. Been real solid fishing for us since the boat hit the water with nice healthy fish that have been full of bait. Our kings have not been as big as the ones they're getting in lake michigan, but still some real nice ones.
    However, from what I've seen and heard from guys I know who fish lake michigan, I think it would probably be safe to bump up king numbers some without affecting size, especially in the southern ports that don't get many wild fish.
     
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  5. SWMbruiser

    SWMbruiser

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    I like the size but think I would like to see a little better numbers. It's really feast or famine out there. With a lot of famine. And by feast a lot of 1-3 fish. Never thought I would fish 2 nights end of July and early August and not land a fish. Sad

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  6. Ralph Smith

    Ralph Smith Premium Member

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    I hear you.. we just fished ludville Fri/Sat, one skipper. Fished with a guy who knows it, and been doing good there for 40 years.... with that said, if they're not longer stocking many or any, they should go back to the 3 salmon per person, 5 total salmon/trout imo. Never bothered with Sunday. Was a little windy, but when on a Saturday evening, early August you see lights on maybe 2 boats up towards the point, and no boat traffic, something isn't right.

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  7. SWMbruiser

    SWMbruiser

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    I was in Ludington Friday night as well. There were quite a few boats at the point with us. Now I am not real experienced there nor am I able to run a huge spread, so I can't compare to how it used to be. I do know how to put fish in the boat. But with all those boats I only saw 2 fish caught. And when the witching hour came most guys were picking up and heading out. Those of us that stayed, I didn't see any action. I was dumb founded. For guys like me who travel 2+ hours to fish salmon, it's going to get tough making that drive to maybe, but likely not catch a 20+ lber. Most boats I talked to at the launch had 0. It's funny you look back at the Facebook page of places like captain Chuck's or even reading the DNR fish report for the past month and they keep saying big fish are starting to show up like it's gonna get awesome, but it isn't getting awesome. In my opinion this is the new norm. Spring fishing when they are all concentrated at the south end of the lake is going to be the best fishing. Fall when they are scattered over the entire lake will be hit or miss with a lot of miss. But I am no biologist and no expert. And I was wrong once before.....but just once

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  8. jmaddog8807

    jmaddog8807

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    Saw quite a few kings, some weighing in at the mid 20's, at the Manistee cleaning station on Saturday.
     
  9. JDS1242

    JDS1242

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    Just my opinion, but i think the number of 30+ lb fish is clearly higher this year compared with last. last year obviously a 40+ lb fish was caught and some upper 30's so it tends to skew peoples thinking. I Fish out of Frankfort a lot and just about every boat in my Marina has gotten one or more 30+ lb fish. Only one fish caught in the Marina last year went over 30. I do think overall number of fish is down just slightly from last year however.
     
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  10. Slimits

    Slimits

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    Average size is up this year imo. We decked a 33 lber friday night
     
  11. Fishndude

    Fishndude

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    It seems the majority of Kings that return to rivers are naturally spawned fish. And every Spring, the majority of Kings are in the southern end of lake Michigan, then they migrate north. As their migration occurs, the southern ports go dead after the majority of Kings have passed on their way north. Then they run a select couple/few rivers in real good numbers, while a lot of rivers get small runs.

    This has been going on for at least the last 3-4 years, and it amazes me when the posts come on here every July asking, "Where's the Kings/," out of St Joe, Grand Haven, and even as far north as Ludington. The plain fact is that an awful lot of MI kings came from, and return to the Big Manistee, and Betsie Rivers. Certainly not all Kings return to those rivers, but that is where the majority of returning Kings end up in MI tribs of Lake Michigan.

    I remember the greatest day of the Salmon experiment in the Great Lakes, and I remember (hopefully) the worst days. We are in a far better place today than we were 5-10 years ago. Anyone who thinks Heaven is catching 5 Kings/day that are under 10#, probably hasn't landed many 25# Kings. Cuz it's just a lot more fun to pull on a couple big ole Kangs than it is to play with lots of little puny versions. We've got Pinks for that.
     
  12. SJC

    SJC

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    This is pretty accurate from what I've seen and heard from guys I know that fish there. I think you can expect the quality to remain good and the numbers to continue to go down. Everyone has finally figured out that it is a primarily wild population and where most of those fish are going home to. I think it's time to bump plants up some and put them in south of FML to take some pressure off the wild stocks.
     
  13. JDS1242

    JDS1242

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    I do not think numbers will keep going down necessarily. Caught more jack salmon this year than years past by a significant amount. Also marking lots of bait each time out, More this year than Ive seen in the past 10 + years. I realize this is a small sample area, so I could certainly be wrong.
     
  14. jmaddog8807

    jmaddog8807

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    Slimits, are you with the guys running that Stretchin limits boat?
     
  15. xbenx92713

    xbenx92713

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    In the last three years I’ve seen more bait. More fish. healthier larger and more diverse age class this year. I can’t say there are more monsters this year but I can say the avg weight is up and I’m personally seeing a rise in numbers. We fished ludington last Monday morn n boated 13 kings avg about 15-17lbs. We fished manistee Saturday afternoon n boated 12 with 17-19lb avg. hooked into 25 in lud and 30 in manistee. The bigger ones are around and boy are they fat n spunky. Seeing color changes on some already also.
     

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