A Quick Trip for Big Brown Trout

     Everybody I have talked to lately is carrying on about how great the salmon run on Lake Michigan has been this year.  Now I am not much of a salmon guy, not that the fish aren't fun to catch they just don't get me fired up.  Brown trout on the other hand I love to catch and if the salmon are coming in then the browns are never far behind.   I have a very basic fishing mentality when it comes to shore fishing the Great Lakes.  Why waste time trying to chase them in open water during the summer, when they come right to shore in the fall.  With that in mind a buddy and I packed up our gear and headed north to Port Washington, WI.
     The fishing was noticeably slow as we headed down the harbor wall.  Lots of people were setup and waiting for their chance to hook into a salmon.  I rigged up my rod with the 3 way rig I outlined in a earlier post and poured myself a cup of coffee.  These are the kinds of mornings Wisconsin is famous for cool breezes, changing leaves, and big fish.  We watched multiple 30 pound kings get netted and hoisted up over the wall.  As we laughed and congratulated the guys and gals that landed these monsters I couldn't help but think of the giant browns that must be just below our feet.  Then suddenly a big trout broke the surface and we watched as it chased a school of bait fish.  That trout ate fish after fish from the school.  I have never witnessed this before and couldn't believe how fast a fish that size could maneuver.  I spend a lot of time chasing muskies and none of them have ever moved like that.  It got my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.  While pointing out the brown trout chase to the other guys on the wall, I watched as my rod tip slowly started to load up.
     I heaved back on the rod and set the hook with authority, I always tell my clients that hook sets are free.  If you feel anything and I mean anything out of the ordinary PULL.  The fish took off immediately and I yelled out to the other guys on the wall that I was hooked up.  It peeled off drag and fought to get itself to the current break.  These bigger browns aren't stupid, they know from experience that if they can get in the current they can snap the 6 pound test line.  I feathered the spool with my hand and made constant directional  changes with the rod.  I have found that if you constantly change the direction your pulling on the fish they get confused and usually make mistakes.  This intern shortens the fight and gets more fish to the net.  After a few futile dives the fish gave in and my buddy Richard dropped down the net and we brought up the prize.
     The fishing in Wisconsin is phenomenal year round.  If you haven't tried fishing for brown trout and salmon on the Great Lakes you should definitely add it to your bucket list.  Beautiful scenery, big fish, and great stories.  Give me a call, I'd be happy to take you out.
     Tight Lines.

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