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What were your 5 best fishing trips of the year? I know they're all great, but what 5 did you have great action, or something memorable or special happen? For me they're these:

1. March 16, I hadn't caught a steelhead in awhile, I was in a long skunk streak, well that ended at 6:30 in the morning below the WP on the Au Sable, when on my 5 th drift my bag gets popped by an 8.25lb hen, I had missed two fish right before her, but finally connected. I also landed one more smaller one later that day when we returned to the hole right before dark. She really made my trip.

2. Memorial day, Au Sable river, I was 5-8 on spring steelhead that morning, everything seemed to be going right for me, it was a great morning.

3.September 26th/27th, North pier, mouth of the Au Sable, I landed 8 chinooks and a lake trout. On the 26th, there was an awesome, day long skein bite, both piers were just rockin'! The next morning, we pounded them on the north pier, maulers, J-13's, big spinners, spoons(kinda), pretty much anything. I remember I had two fish on at once, I threw out my skein rod, and continued casting, hooked a big dark hen on a jointed mauler, as I'm fighting her, I hear a yell, look over and one of the guys' got my bucking skein rod, I land the big hen, lay her down, run over and finish off a silver, 10lb hen on the skein rod! That was an awesome morning, I lost a couple as well, but must've hooked 9-10 fish, we were just banging the [email protected] out of them!

4. November 30, lake-run brown fishing with JeremyL. We started out before light, no hits in the pool we were fishing, so I drop down a bit, lose a fish in the riffles, then let my glo-bug go down through the riffles, on into the adjacent hole, and get a solid thump, set, and an enormous colored male comes thrashing to the surface! I ended up hooking 5 browns that day, landing two, it was a very great trip, I'd fished with JL quite a few trips before, and they're always fun.

5. Earlier this month, I was fishing the Au Sable above the banks', and got to a hole late, there were already two guys fishing it. Well they hadn't caught anything, after drifting waxies all morning. So after a few drifts, and some lost waxies, I think "time for something different, they've seen waxies all morning", so I put on a bag of steelhead candy(brown spawn), and hit two fish in three drifts, that was awesome.

Honorable mention: Going 5-6 on chinooks Sept. 3 on the north pier, in three hours casting, that was great.

I have a few more, but these are the ones that stick.

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My 5 best trip of 2003

1. On August 3rd out of Manistee my wife and I caught two fish in a short trip. One of the fish was 21# which was my biggest of the year. My wife trying to net the fish on the dipsey with a long lead was very difficult.

2. On Saturday of Memorial weekend at Grand Haven the waves were 5'+ and the fishing was hot. Due to the high waves we only used two downriggers and fished about 3 hours and went 11 for 14.

3. In late June out of Grand Haven we caught a sea gull (released unharmed) in the net on the way out to deeper water. We had one fish in the boat with the second on and my buddy was trying to net the fish(9# brown) and he dropped the net in the drink. I was able to grab the lure and get the brown in the boat. The next fish was not so easy to get in the boat, it was a 20# king on lead core. We ended the day four for 5 and boated three of the fish without a net.

4. After getting the boat in the middle of April I made five trips before I boated a fish. My wife and I were out of Holland and we got a 9# steel in 10' of water in front of the beach. I was a very happy guy that day, the pressure was off.

5. The last five trips of the year were very fun out of Holland and Port Sheldon. We ended the season 26 for 31 in the last five trips which was mostly browns and steel. I met some members from the site and we were able to share ideas and talk lots of fishing. To me they were all bonus days in December.

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Fishinfox, you may want to fill your net handle with expandable foam so that it floats next time it gets dropped. There must be thousands of nets on the bottom of the great lakes because everyone seems to have a story about a lost net :)

Personally, I spent many great days fishing in 2003, but Labor Day weekend stands out above the rest, at the MS.com tourney in Manistee. That was intense. Everyone caught boatloads of fish.

Here's some of our members at the weigh-in:

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1,104 Posts
Too many good trips to mention, but heres a stab at it.

1. One trip in june fishing was kindof slow, so i changed lures, and put a metallic bluetail streak down 40 feet. Soon as i turned my back the rod was dancing, and we landed a decent king. I reset the rod, as soon as i turned my back, and the rod started dancing once again, lost that fish. put it down again and rigger again instantly popped. So i drive into the box for every blue and silver spoon i could find. Needless to say all the rods started popping, we boxed and lost a lot of fish in no time. Finished limited out.

2. The night previous to this particular trips we pulled a 3 man limit out fishing a temp break that had a bunch of bugs on the surface. The next morning i went out by myself to the same spot, and missed one quick fish, but the fish had moved. FINally i found the bugs north of the previous night, and the fish were theere too. Rods started popping left and right again, i lost a screamer in the bunch. I kept the first fish i landed, then tossed two more back hoping for larger fish. I took a short break to take a leak, and when i did a rod popped...nothing like grabbing a rod with your pants around your ankles. I finally decided to start boxing fish, and while i was landing my limit fish, the other remaining rod in the water popped too, but i let it go, and eventually lost that fish too. Ended up 6 for 10 in a couple hours. Biggest highlight was it was one of my first trips by myself, after being the first mate for many years, it was good to know i could be successful as a captain.

3. The month of august was terrible for kings in my home port. On night in the end of august we went out for a short evening trip, expecting the worst. After a little while of nothing i started day dreaming, all of the sudden a 14 pound brown hits a slider and jumps 6 feet out of the air and almost landed in the boat with me. I remember yelling "holy S*#$", at which point my mother who was also on board almost disowned me. As i was getting the brown to the boat, the starboard rigger started dancing., we landed both fish. SO here we are with 2 fish in the box, a slimy deck, 2 rods and a net laying across the stern, and i hear the dipsey rod start screaming. Dad landed that fish, a 16 pound king. so three rods laying there, and a 4th rod goes off, and i land a 10 pound brown. Ended up with 3 kings and 2 really nice browns. This trip almost caused me to be disowned, and also led to some great fishin for the rest of august into september.

4.a few days after the "holy [email protected]#$" trip we fished a area very close to the other trip. started popping a few kings as expected, picked up a brown, and a laker. All the sudden things got quiet, so i changed lures, and felt some weight on the rod, ended up being a 8 pound walleye that didnt release the rigger. BOated him, and popped another king in the process. things got quiet again, so on a hunch i popped another rigger, and again pulled in an 8 pound walleye that didnt release the rigger., SO i checked the other rods, and popped yet another 8 pound walleye that was hanging on for the ride. Ended up with 9 fish, and a few fish lost, 4 kings, 1 brown, one laker, 3 really nice walleye, all in the same spot, all on mag spoons.

5. In mid september, fishing the same spot as the previous two posts, went out by myself. FOr some reason i thought id be smart andrun a dipsey by myself with 2 riggers. soon as i set one rigger, i went to set the dipsey out, as i set the dipsey my rigger went off. I grabbed the rod and a fiesty 12 pound king started ripping out line, and headed straight for the dispey. Needless to say it got tangled beyond believe, i couldnt reel it in, so i had to handline the rigger rod, and the dispey all at once, but eventually boated the fish. one fish in the box and a tangle from hell. So i put a free rod on the rigger so i wouldnt waste anytime, i got that rod down and attended to the tangle, wouldnt you know it that rod went off, and i boated a laker. FInally i knew i had to get while the getting was good, so i cut off all the tangles, tied the lures to fresh rods soon after another rod pops, and to my surprise it was a 7 pound walleye, i was shocked one actually popped the rigger. i ended up losing couple more kings, and boating anoither king. Then a thunderstorm kicked my off, 2 kings, a laker, and a walleye, and a few misses in 45 minutes of fishing time.

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Top 5 fishing trips? Hmm. Well they were are great and wonderful and very memoriable. But the two that will stick in my mind for awhile are when I took my 8yr old trout fishing on the BM and PM.

BM, fish'd the south side from the coffer down to the corner. My son was using a spawn bag with bobber. After a few cast, I notice that I can't see his bobber. I tell him to set the hook so he does, and a nice steelie come's outa the water. After a long battle with the fish, he get's it to shore and up on the bank a little way's, only to have the hook pull out, and fish swim's off :( He was a little upset, but ready to go again. But no more takers for the rest of the day.

PM. Took him a to place where he could cast from the bank without getting hung up in tree's behind him. After what seem'd like hr's, and a couple hundred cast's, He say's "Dad I got one." "yeah right." I look over at him, and his pole is doubled over. I run over to him, and help him out with a little coaching. After a few minute battle, he bring's in a beautiful brown of about 18." I reached down, grabbed the line and had the fish about half way outa the water, and the hook pull'd free :( We both agreed that both fish would be counted as being caught.

One trip for myself will stick in my mind for awhile. I was fishing with mondrella (from the site), and we were floating a section that I have never fish'd before on the PM. We got seperated a little bit, when I hook into a Steelie. I was using a 5' UL rod with 4lb test and a crawler. Trout fishing. I yelled for Steve a couple times to get some help. Well after going through a log jam, washing the rod and reel :rolleyes: (believe it or not) and a couple of long run's I landed it. Not a monster, but sure felt like it on such lite tackle.

I'm sure there are a couple more that I could throw in their, but these three will stick in my mind for awhile. Especially the two with my son.

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4,113 Posts
#1 Memorial Day steelies on the Joe. Stood out in the freezing cold rain hooking as many as I ever have not on a boat. Can't remember the numbers but it was good fishin!

#2 May Kings with Sixshooter. Took the boat out for her maiden voyage out of Port Sheldon and met Sixshooter for the first time. First fish of the year was a very spirited 22 lb king. We proceeded to take our limit with the help of Trouttracker directing us to a hungry school of 5-7 lbers he had limited on.

#3 Summer kings out of Whitehall with Butch. After recieving hot reports from Sixshooter about Whitehall, Butch and I hit this water for my first time. This was during the East wind that blew and water changed from 70 to 52 degrees 100 yards from the pierheads. One of the coolest things I've ever seen was the absolute wall of fog that marked the temp break. First time my boat has had multiple doubles and my first triple. We limilted in 3 hours with I believe 2 fish released and a few others farmed. Great day on the water and another new friend.

#4 Summer kings out of GH. First time on my buddy Ed Moore's 26 foot Whaler. Invited Steinfishski to join us and share some wisdom for us greenhorns. I think we went 5 for 8 or 10 on this trip but the friendship and laughs were memorable. Also my first time on a boat with all the bells and whistles. Top notch gear and a top notch captain.

#5 Same as Severus. Manistee tourney. Fishing was UNBELIEVABLE and the group of people was great. Could fill this page with stories from that weekend but you'll just have to attend next year and experience them yourself.

I actually feel bad having to leave out some of the other trips I did with members this year. I just picked from the ones that had the most numbers of fish which obviously doesn't always equate to the amount of fun had. I will say that this has been BY FAR my most memorable fishing season ever and I credit that to the friends I've made on this board.

Next Year I'll have to post my 1st place finishes at the Gold Coast Tourney and the Manistee tourney

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Well picking five won't be hard for me this year is the least I have fished since 1970.
1. Pre fishing Mem. day tournament dad hooked and landed a 20+ lb. king mom had to drive boat and give fishing advice while I cleared rods and took picture. Didn't due didley in tournament.

2. through 5 were the 4 days leading up to Labor Day we limmited out every day. Three day was just mom dad and me so we could just come in with 15 fish a day. I called a buddy and his brother to come up and help us over Labor Day. We didn't get a lot of big fish but the two days they fished with us we box 25 fish each day. Got checked by the D.N.R. he didn't have a clue couldn't tell small kings from big coho but decided we weren't over on the 3 fish a kind rule.

I think the biggest fish we caught over those 4 days was 22 lb. but with dad being 88 years old, on oxgen, and having a lot of doubles, triples and one four bagger we flat wore him out.

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This is a tough one. 57 fishing trips to date with all of them memorable.
Sunday May 1st. Fishing at Lk. Erie in our clubs annual Lk/Erie tourney. Sat was a blow day, and the water was not as good looking as we thought it should be, but the weather was outstanding and the fish were biting.We fished from 6 am till 12:30, and went through 10 dozen crawlers between the 3 of us. we had our first 18 fish buy 8:30, but we culled and tryed to keep some of the mid sized ones in a cooler with an areator, but we didn't pay enuff attention, and soon we had to keep some floaters, that shoulda been released. by the end of the day we were letting 3 lbers go to upgrade. Had a blast in came in 4th, 5 lbs. behind the winners.

Thurs. June 26th took a newby to Erie for some of the constant action that we had all summer. Went norrth to stony pt. and started drifting looking for a good school. Left the dock at 5:30 and by 9 we were back at the dock with our 18 all 2-4 lbs. Never had to motor back north, just one continuous drift.

Sat. Aug.30th Manistee M-S. outing/tourney. Super day, great bunch of guys and a whole weekend filled with big salmon, cold beer, great campfire disscussions, cold beer, making new friends and plenty of cold beer! I got to fish with steely-head aboard the Pete & Repeat, as a guest of Capt. Don P We caught huge fish both days, and had so much fun with lots of great members.
On tourney day we ended up 18 for 24 and kept 12 fish.

Sat Nov 8th Kalamazoo river, fishing an annual tourney I always fish with my 14 yr old son and a good friend. We set up in the first hole and began fishing at 7, after going 7 for 10 on steelies there, we moved about 50 yrds and got 2 more steelies and lost one. Smallest was 5 lbs and the largest was 11. Had the boat back on the trailer by 10:30 am. finished very well in the tourney, and my son was 2nd out of 29 guys.

There were some great spring fishing opps this yr in St Joe, but none were anymore outstanding than any other , so I'll just leave it at that, but the 4 MS outing that I did attend/participate in in 2003 were by far the best times of the year. Thanks to all who attended, and spent time talking to me, and letting me feed beers to.:D

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10,220 Posts
The MS outings were:

April 12-13 at St Joe river. steely fishing

Lk.Erie outing June 14-15. eye fishing

St Joe /Benton Harbor outing July 19. trolling Lk.Mich

Manistee tournament/outing Aug29-31 Trolling Lk.Mich.

I hope to get 4 in this year!:cool:

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As others have said, lots of great trips this year. To make it easier, I'll limit my list to big lake fishing since that seems to be the focus in this forum.

Early June trip out on Lake Mich with my 8 year old daughter. We fished for a couple hours and caught a steady procession of chinooks in different sizes.

August trip on Lake Mich with Sixshooter. I had never met him, he was looking for a crew on this site and I signed up. Great action for chinooks of all sizes and a great time.

Two days later, I repeated the adventure with tgafish(also mentioned by him above). Again, we made a fishing date over this site, went to the same place, I just went along for the ride with a great captain, and we caught a bunch.

Michigan-Sportman Manistee Tourney. As discussed above, great bunch of folks, a great time and ridiculously good salmon fishing.

August trip on Lake Mich with Catfishhoge. Fishing was steady but kinda slow. The trip is memorable to me because the first good fish we hooked was on an old spinning reel which immediately gave up the ghost, so he had to turn the spool by hand. He battled and brought in a nice king all the way without complaining once about my bad equipment.

Honorable mentions for some trips with my Dad and son when we had good fishing, and taking 2 fly-fishing "purists" on seperate trips. Both trips the fishing was fast and furious, and both guys later acknowledged that they had planned to not have a good time, since we weren't flyfishing, but both were quick to admit they had a riot.


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Memorable days numbers-wise were:
-85 perch one day in March.
-Catching 20+ trout out of one hole.
-23 lakers in one day with Higherpowered and a friend.
-15 walleyes, 3 perch, ~30 silver bass and ~ 5 sheepheads on 1fife's boat during the Erie (Sterling) Outing.
-All of the days I got skunked (there were many!).

Memorable days experience-wise were:
-A few days ago when I caught my first northern pike. I had been jigging for six hours with only a nibble before that.
-My first walleye ever this April (when fishing for steelies). I didn't end up catching any steelies and this one had to go back as the season was closed.
-Seeing my friend catch his first river salmon this fall.
-Two Lake Run Browns I caught on my Birthday (my first and second)
-Seeing a guy fight a huge Sturgeon last week while ice fishing in the U.P. It was too large and he had to cut the line.

There are just too many to list so I'll cut it short. You said 5 right?

It's been a great year... I fished more than ever and I met many great members from the site who I had the pleasure of fishing with. Thanks to all of you that have helped add to my experiences...

Good luck to everyone in 2004.


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1.our weeks vacation in Ludington Auugest 10 thur the 17th,we hit the salmon good both numbers and size,our biggest king was takan on Augest 14th by my 10 yr. son unassitted topped scales at just over 26lb.We also had great gill fishing on Hamlin lk.

2.Lake Erie walleye fishing in JUNE,made 9 trips to Erie in June and tore up the walleye.Fathersday we took our full 5 man ticket of walleye and still had time to swim and tube.

3. Labourday weekend salmon fishing out of Oscoda,we had a hard time keeping the lines down,I've had many triple headers thur the years,but this is the only time I can remember having 4 fish on at the same time.

4.October 6th and 7th 170 perch in two days on Erie

5.March 30th my maiden voyage on the big Lk. for 2003,we fished out of Oscoda(only port I could open water)we caught a nice mix of trout and salmon.the the thing I remember most about this trip is all the ice on the bow of the boat the windshield and my beard all were glazed with ice at end of the day.
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