Indiana waters bounce back
Outdoors - Mike McKee
A lot more like it.
A trio of six-pound
salmon in the box barely one-half hour into a
trip is terrific, but that was hardly the best
thing about the fishing earlier this week aboard
Tony Hofstetter's Salmon Hunter.
The really good news is
we were within 400 yards of the Michigan City
A few days prior, the
only decent fishing the local fleet could zero
in on was a swarm of coho 15 to 20 miles from
shore in Illinois waters.
"On Saturday, we
finished up 11 miles from Chicago," Hofstetter
said. "The guys had a great view of the skyline,
but that's an hour run back home."
Besides the boring boat
rides to start and end a trip, the long-distance
salmon school had captains dropping $100 bills
at the gas dock like they were coins in a pop
A brutal, three-day
storm that started April 22 devastated the
fishing along the Indiana shore for better than
a month. Silty, stirred up water stretched from
the shoreline to eight or nine miles out into
cleared enough on Saturday for the salmon to
"I had a double (two
charter trips) and on the way in Jerry (Ross on
Seeker) let me know the kings were hitting. We
fished in there (within one mile of the MC
harbor) in the afternoon and filled the cooler,
including an 18 (pounder) and a 16," Hofstetter
Ross, by the way, has
been on a streak of double-digit chinook
catches, including 14 on Wednesday.
"I think they (chinook)
have been here all along," Ross said. "We caught
11 a few weeks ago when the water started to
clear, but then another storm roiled it again."
"Those fish were there
before the tournaments (late April), we marked
them on the graph, but the water has been just
too dirty to get them to hit."
After several hours of
trolling we ended up with nine salmon, all
between five and seven pounds. Although the big
ones avoided us, most boats were still taking a
chinook or two in the teens per trip at mid
The best areas have
varied over the past week from the rock pile
(one mile west) to the Michigan line (three
miles east). Best water depths have been 45 to
55 feet with most chinook hitting 30 feet down
to the bottom.
A variety of magnum
sized spoons behind full cores (100 yards of
lead-core line) have been the hot ticket for the
charterboats, although we didn't put out any
lead the first couple hours and stuck fish with
Dipsy's and downriggers.
Best spoon patterns
seem to have been dark stuff like Kevorkian,
Benefactor and Green Dolphin early or when its
cloudy and brighter patterns like Lemon Ice,
Woodpecker and Yellowtail when the sun gets on
€ Fishing Report.
A Skamania watch is in
effect for the Michigan City pier. A few of the
silver speedsters have been caught from shore
during the past week, along with a whopping
21-pound brown trout (state record is 25), and
trollers targeting chinook have hooked several
each day this week.
Keep in mind the "big
run" of Skamania has struck before Memorial Day
in the past. Then again, we might still be
waiting for decent numbers a month from now.
Perch fishing continued
to be very spotty early in the week.
Inland, its all good
One lake I was around
last weekend still had some crappie plus bass,
bluegill and redear all spawning at the same
Catching for all those
species has been good in the shallows in the
afternoons and evenings with the best bite
outside the weedlines and lilly pads early in
the day due to the cool nights of the past week.
€ The local wild turkey
population appears to be continuing on an
The LaPorte Co.
harvest, which was 122 in 2003 and increased to
140 in 2004. likely took another leap upwards
Area check stations
were all above or very close to 2004 totals this
spring. Catch-um Bait Shop (Fish Lake)
registered 73 gobblers, Elkins Taxidermy
(Rolling Prairie) 30, Graicies Tackle (LaPorte)
32 and Kingsbury Fish & Wildlife Area 59 (33
from its property).
The 2005 spring season
was April 27-May 15. Only one bearded turkey per
hunter was allowed.
The apparent harvest
increase bodes well for a fall season in LaPorte
Regulations for Oct.
19-23 firearm and Oct. 1-23 archery seasons have
already been established. The only stipulation
is biologists want to evaluate the spring
harvest before deciding which counties can
sustain a fall season.
€ Not a "web gem," but
certainly an incredible catch.
Fishing rarely makes
any of those ESPN Top Ten lists, but there it
was this week - a world record, 124-pound blue
The goliath cat was
pulled out of the Mississippi River at Alton,
Ill., last Saturday.