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Spring Kings

1718 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  UBDSLO1
It's been a long winter. You know what I mean. In three weeks I'll be on the water. I'll kick the season off targeting coho nearshore out of Portage, Michigan City, New Buffalo, or St. Joseph. It's always a blast and usually a quick limit. But I'm really looking forward to chasing spring kings since I didn't catch a single one after June 3 on the south end of the lake and didn't have the opportunity to travel north last fall. Now I'm really itching.

I usually do great on spring coho and okay on spring kings. I always catch one or two kings in May, but hear about other boats landing five or six. I know stocking of king salmon was cut in 2013, which is why the fall fishing out of St. Joe is abysmal. But there are usually good numbers of kings chasing bait on the south end of the lake in the early season. So I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong.

In late April and early May I start targeting spring kings with spoons using three to seven colors of lead core and a downrigger. I usually have a wire dipsy with a flasher and fly out. I have used everything from Moonshine glow spoons to Michigan Stinger Stingray and Magnum spoons to Dream Weaver Super Slims in various colors. In late May when the thermocline forms and the salmon are found in deeper water, I add 200 and 300 copper lines with spoons.

This year, I'm planning on adding 50 and 100 copper lines for the early season. I wonder if I should integrate more flashers and flies in May? I think I'm kind of all over the place with my spoon collection. I have too many spoons and am not sure which ones to use. Do you start out with smaller spoons or do you use magnum sizes? Do you focus on using blues and greens like you would later in the season? Maybe I should use more orange and chartreuse. Should I use more flashers and flies on copper and lead core and downrigger lines?

Do you have a preferred method or technique for chasing spring kings? I'm looking for any tips or recommendations.
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Once you hook a fish make sure you work that waypoint over pretty good. Really good setup in April down in St Joe is a thin fin on a 5 color
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That's one thing I need to be better at. I don't always mark the waypoint and go back to it. I plan on making it a point to do that.

I usually put Thin Fins on mono flat lines or two or three color lead core lines while targeting coho in April. I never really considered using Thin Fins a bit deeper for kings. I'll try it.
Once you hook a fish make sure you work that waypoint over pretty good. Really good setup in April down in St Joe is a thin fin on a 5 color
I have a lot of MI Stinger spoons in the Stingray size, which I use for spring kings. I also have Dreamweaver Super Slims, but not sure if that's a good choice, in terms of size, for targeting kings. What do you guys think?

What about standard Dreamweaver spoons? Do you guys use those for spring kings?
For me, I like to start spring kings with mag size spoons, as they are more the size of spawning ales. As the water gets warmer and the kings move off shore, I'll start using more the standard size. Keep in mind though, the fish will tell you what they want, so have several different sizes out and go from there.
I have a lot of MI Stinger spoons in the Stingray size, which I use for spring kings. I also have Dreamweaver Super Slims, but not sure if that's a good choice, in terms of size, for targeting kings. What do you guys think?

What about standard Dreamweaver spoons? Do you guys use those for spring kings?
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