The How To’s of A Hydraulic Boat Steering Cable

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I have been an amateur boat mechanic for many years now. Being a boat mechanic is not the most glorious job in the world. One job that I frequently do on a regular basis is repairing boat steering cables. This is not an easy job, but not a difficult one either. Once your do it, it becomes easier the next time you do it. It is like riding a bicycle once you have the knowledge. I want to share with you the knowledge of how to do this based on my experience and hopefully this can save you some time and money when purchasing and installing your repair kit for your hydraulic boat steering cable.

How To Measure Boat Steering Cable

How to measure boat steering cable can be a challenge for someone doing this for the first time. Step 1 is to identify if you have a rack or rotary boat steering cable. A Rotary cable has a spiral wrapped and black core wire that usually sticks out at the helm end of the steering cable. On the other hand, a Rack and pinion boat steering cable has a somewhat longish, metallic housing and also features a flat gear, also known as a rack gear, inside (usually located somewhere under the boat’s dash). Once you have identified if it is rotary or rack steering, then it is simply a matter of measuring the boat steering cable.

If your cable is a rotary steering cable, measure the plastic cable jacket in inches, add 18”, and round up to the next foot. If your cable is a rack steering cable, measure the plastic cable jacket in inches, add 30”, and round up to the next foot. Then you must order that length of cable as per your measurement. That’s basically all there is to measure boat steering cable.

measure boat steering cable

How To Remove Boat Steering Cable

I could go through a step by step instruction describing to you how to remove boat steering cable, however most boat steering cable kits come with a repair & installation guide. The general rule here is to be careful. Follow the instructions carefully, either via watching a YouTube video, or following your repair booklet. The trick is to carefully remove boat steering cable and remembering what you did while removing it. If you are getting a little older like I am, I have do things slowly and deliberately to keep them fresh in my mind.

If necessary, take notes as you remove boat steering cable, so in a few years when you need to do this again, you won’t have to remember how to do it.

How To Replace Boat Steering Cable

The rule here, once again, is to follow the instructions carefully, and make sure all connections are done per the manufacturer’s specifications. You can also follow the great guide that I found over at BCSalmonFishingCharter.com. Do not over-tighten connections when you replace boat steering cable, and reinstall in exactly the reverse way that you took the cable out. Also, it is important to test everything once installed to check functionality is perfectly operational before taking your boat out onto the water and discovering that the repair kit you completed is not to your liking. If you test first, then you should be able to correct any issues beforehand.

Finally, I highly recommend that you develop a habit of checking the steering and your boat steering cable at least once a year as part of your regular maintenance. This will ensure that you intercept any potential future issues before they occur and will save you time and cost of having to replace boat steering cable again in the future. It will also keep your boat in tip-top condition as well.

Best Musky Rods For Fishing in Michigan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I have been fishing the waters of Lake Michigan for many years and it is one of my favorite things to do. Many spots in Michigan are good for musky fishing. Some of my favorites are: Lake St. Clair, Budd Lake, Mullet Lake and many others. Large muskies are fairly common in these lakes, but choosing the best musky rods is of utmost importance. Like choosing the correct oil to put in your car, you must have the correct fishing rod for your experience.

3 Things Are Important When Choosing the Best Muskie Rod

1. Strength of the fishing rod
2. Quality of the fishing rod
3. Performance of the muskie rod

Several years ago, I discovered St. Croix musky rods while visiting the NP Outdoor Expo. St. Croix are the only musky rods that I have encountered that deliver on all 3 of the above, and for me they are the best muskie rods on the market when fishing for musky in Michigan or anywhere else. They are made of quality graphite and fit the bill perfectly.

Musky Rods: Other Factors To Consider

1. Engineering
2. Craftsmanship

The St. Croix musky rod has been engineered from a design perspective to deliver results. As far as feel and craftsmanship, I have not encountered any musky rod that is even close the St. Croix rods.

Another item that is important to me is that the St. Croix company is based in Wisconsin, so these people understand Musky fishing and are located in the Midwest. Being a native Midwesterner, I enjoy my annual pilgrimage trips in search of musky. So whether you choose to fish in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or any other location, please consider this fishing rod. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Last year, on my annual trip to Budd Lake, I was lucky to catch several large Musky using my St. Croix musky rods, and to me fishing is about enjoyment. If you enjoy the outdoors, and love fishing as much as I do, you will not be disappointed with these rods.

best musky rods for michigan or wisconsin

My biggest issue is finding more time to be able to go musky fishing. I spend too much time working, and would love to spend more time in the clean air and clear lakes in search of the majestic muskies. My goal upon retirement (hopefully sooner rather than later) is to go musky fishing many times a year, and work less.

My Final Thoughts About St. Croix Musky Rods

Muskie fishing is one of the great joys of the outdoors in the Great Lakes region and I highly recommend the St. Croix musky rods to enhance your experience and catch more fish. We all know that luck has a certain element in fishing, but using the correct fishing rod for the job, only will enhance your chances of landing many fish.

So go and enjoy the outdoors and experience the majesty and thrill of catching fish in some of the cleanest, clearest water the world has to offer. And more importantly, go have fun and enjoy your time with a clear mind away from the trouble of everyday life.

Multiple Musky Rods Catch More Muskies

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Where we fish on Lake Michigan, two rods per each angler are allowed. We like to fish with Fenwick HMGs, Abu Garcia Conolon Premiers, and St. Croix Legends, which are perhaps the best musky rods for sale today. Each of these musky rods feature medium-heavy power and medium-fast action. For night time musky fishing, we place strips of white, reflective 3M automotive tape about 25 inches below the musky rod tip in order to help us see how the rod tips are performing after dark.

Best Musky Rods For Any Season

The only true way for any fisherman to know for sure which musky rods work best in a given season is to get out there and fish. One needs to really experiment with different brands and lengths of muskie rods. I personally prefer to use a longer musky rod, since I find that it gives me better lure control. That being said, I do sometimes like to switch things up.

best musky rods

When the water is cool, like in spring or fall, I use longer musky rods, with a medium-heavy action. This allows me to cast larger lures further, and gives me better control of the heavier bait.

When the water temperatures warm up into the 60 degree range, I may switch to a slightly shorter musky rod. This is because in the summer, I may use smaller, lighter lures, and having a lighter and shorter rod allows for better control over these types of lures. Jerk baits and crank baits can be more easily controlled with a shorter, medium action muskie rod.

Musky Rods Placement Is Important

When I am out in the boat alone, I fish with one musky rod out on both sides of the boat, with each of the musky rods perpendicular to the fishing boat and parallel to the surface of the lake. With multiple musky rods set, I have to clear the muskie rods from the side of the boat if a muskie bites. Then, if necessary, I will clear the other side of the boat for a bigger fish.

multiple musky rods

Using a six musky rod set is essentially the same as using the four muskie rod set, with the main difference being that the other 2 musky rods are set in rod holders towards the bow of the boat. I will typically run these fishing lines by spreading them out with some in-line boards. I additionally use the 3M reflective tape on inside and top of the boards for night muskie fishing. I picked up this tip from my good buddy Sam over at MarinFish.org.

When I have several fishermen with me in the boat, I will run my musky rods on the left (port) side of the boat, since I am driving. It’s best when I put one of my longer musky rods (6.5′ to 8′) up towards the front of the boat, as far forward as possible. I try to have this musky rod parallel to the lake and perpendicular to the boat. My second muskie rod is about 5.5-6.5′ long and is placed should be in a fishing rod holder about 12 inches or more behind the front musky rod. This rod is angled with it’s tip up a bit about 20-30 degrees. By placing the rods in this configuration, I get about a 4-foot fishing line spread, which helps to reduce my chances for line tangles.

 

Choosing the Best Ice Hut For Lake Michigan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Ice fishing on Lake Michigan can be a great fun activity, but many novice anglers have very little knowledge about the gears and equipment needed for ice fishing. Even for professional anglers, ice fishing brings various challenges when it comes to choosing the right gear. For example, how do you choose the best ice hut for Lake Michigan?

best ice hut

An ice hut or ice shanty is one of the most important pieces of gear of any ice fishing trip. It refers to a portable temporary enclosure on a frozen lake for providing protection to the anglers during ice fishing. Using a quality ice shack makes it easier for you to stay comfortable and warm during ice fishing sessions.

For non-anglers, the idea of having an ice fishing house could sound strange or even crazy. However, for those who are avid winter fishing fans, it seems a good idea to have an ice house built. These fishing huts are usually equipped with few basic features such as a heating system to provide extra comfort.

Ideally, you would never want your ice fishing hut or ice house to be the heaviest and the most expensive piece of fishing gear. There are several important factors you need to consider while buying the best ice hut. These include types, portability, capacity, fabric, price and so on.

Which Type of Ice Hut is Best?

There are mainly three types of ice huts available in the market: Hub-style, Flip-style and Cabin-style. When analyzed individually, you’ll see that each has specific pros and cons. knowing these differences would help you select the ice shanty that best suits your fishing style.

Hub-Style Ice Hut: The Hub-Style ice house has many advantages. It is one of the most popular styles out on the lake. Hub-Style ice huts offer the maximum fishing space in a very cheap price. Its internal portable framework makes it easy to setup. However, during windy condition, setting up a hub-style shack can be a great challenge because of its lightweight fabric.

Flip-Style Ice Huts: If you are mobile angler, and enjoy fishing in different spots, the Flip-Style ice hut is what you need. Easily portable, they are typically designed to set up and pull down quickly. The main disadvantage of these ice shelters is they are usually more expensive than the other designs.

Cabin-Style Ice Hut: This type of ice fishing shelter is equipped with a built in floor. The added built in floor gives you a definite advantage protecting you from the cold and delivers more comfortable ice fishing experience. These ice houses are very lightweight and take longer to set up than hub or flip style shelters.

Best Ice Huts Other Factors To Consider

Materials: Most portable ice huts are made from 300 or 600-denier Polyester that is wind and water resistant. The 300-denier models are lightweight and made from thin material that can be carried in a backpack, whereas the 600-denier models are made of thick material and a bit heavier.

Weight: If you are a mobile angler, weight can be a major factor to watch. The lighter your fishing hut, the more easily you can move it around.

Seating: Since you’ll be fishing most of the time sitting in your hut, it is important to have comfortable seats. Flip-Style ice shacks often come with one or two seats with backrests.

Size: Size of your shelter will determine how many people can be accommodated into it. It might be possible that you and your friends can be easily adjusted into a three-person shelter. The extra space can be utilized for storing other equipment.

These days the wide range of ice huts offers the fishermen more options and features than ever before. This can make your job of choosing the right shelter more difficult. However, considering the above mentioned points will help you to choose the best ice fishing hut that suits your fishing style.

You could also always build your own DIY ice hut!

Trolling For Muskies In Lake Michigan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Perhaps the most important aspect of trolling for muskies in Lake Michigan is finding the best electric trolling motor for sale online. Next up is proper boat control, which is to say keeping your musky lures at the proper depth and in the right place, and running the boat at the correct speed to ensure that you cover lots of lake surface efficiently. Spending ample time out on the lake practicing controlling your fishing boat is really the best way to learn how to properly maneuver your boat to get your desired results.

best electric trolling motor for sale
The most effective way to remain on proper depth settings is to utilize two sonar fish finder units simultaneously, with one transducer mounted on the bottom of trolling motor at the front of the boat, and the other at the stern. This method enables you to read the depth on the front fish finder 14 to 21 feet and a few seconds before your musky lures get to that spot. This time allows you to make critical adjustments to your lures to keep them functioning properly along bottom edges.

Best Electric Trolling Motor For Sale Online

For my money, the best electric trolling motor for sale that I found was the Minn Kota Endura C2 30. This electric trolling motor starts at only $99, which makes it’s value hard to beat. It has 5 forward speeds combined with 3 reverse speeds which have proven to provide great boat control while trolling. This electric trolling motor boasts of having an “indestructible composite shaft” and is backed by a lifetime warranty. If you have a little higher budget than I did however, you may want to get a trolling motor with a few more features. One place that I found helpful with lots of electric trolling motor reviews was BoomerangSportFishing.com.

While it is true that the majority of the muskies that I catch while trolling are swimming along some sort of edge, like the edge of a rock bar, or a weed edge. However, I also catch hungry muskie out in the middle of what seems like nowhere, but odds are good that a school of smaller baitfish and/or some type of structure is close by. By maintaining the ideal course that keeps your muskie lures working right along the edges that you find, you are sure to catch muskies consistently while trolling. Having the best electric trolling motor for sale makes this task far more simple.

Trolling Locations

During the summer months I typically focus on tiger muskies roaming in the open water along the shores of Jean Klock Park, where there are schools of small baitfish. When fall rolls around, however, I focus on areas that have a little more current, which I have found usually attracts baitfish. Causeways and bridges also tend to attract fish. Having a good electric trolling motor makes it easy to troll both downstream or upstream from any position, while you look for the best areas which hold the most baitfish.

Trolling Water Temperature

Lastly, as fall approaches and water temperatures start to drop near 45F, I have more success trolling for muskies at nighttime near baitfish-rich areas, and trolling at a speed of about 1 mph. Granted, trolling for muskies on Lake Michigan at night should only be left to anglers with many years of experience.

Check out this neat video I came across of two guys explaining some of the basics of trolling for muskies.

HID Headlights Vs OPT7 LED Boat Lights

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

HID Headlights Vs LED Boat LightsThis past summer, we have been doing a lot more research and fishing in Lake Michigan at night. While we don’t recommend night fishing on Lake Michigan for beginner anglers, experienced muskie fishermen with a properly equipped boat should be OK.  By properly equipped, one of the things that we are referring to is your boat’s lighting. We have recently been comparing HID headlights vs. OPT7 LED boat lights for use on our boat. At this point, we tend to be leaning more towards some of the LED boat lights for sale.

Our good friend Willie over at Red-Corvettes.com recently upgraded his Corvette with some OPT7 LED headlights, and he highly recommended the OPT7 brand.

LED Boat Lights

A fair amount of interest in LED boat lights has been generated within nearly every aspect of the sport boating community, from casual fishing boat skipper to the commercial fishing fleet captains. There are a lot of solid reasons for this, although possibly the most important of those reasons is the efficiency of LED boat lights. While any homeowner willing to try new energy efficient lighting solutions which will likely save them some money, boaters like us have an even greater need for energy efficient lighting, such as LED boat lights.

Out on a boat, unlike your office or home, electrical power is not as readily available. As most of you know, the electrical power on board of a boat needs to be generated by burning gas and supplied by battery banks. Sure, some electricity can be harnessed by alternative means such as wind and solar, these alternatives are not yet to the point of being capable of fully meeting a boat’s entire electrical demands.

Battery technology has come a long way in recent years, but they too need to be closely watched when operating electrical devices out on the lake. Most boats have multiple items running off of their spare batteries, such as radios, fish finders, and trolling motors. With all of these things draining power from the batters, there is very little juice left for marine lighting.

Improvements in OPT7 LED Boat Lights

LED boat lights offer significant efficiency improvements thanks to their ability to emit a good deal of light while using very little power. Traditional incandescent light bulbs can at most produce about 18 lumens of light per wattage, good quality OPT7 LED boat lights can generate in excess of 65-85 lumens per wattage, and some LED boat lights now even exceed 95 and 110 lumens per wattage. Clearly, this is a significant improvement over traditional incandescent boat lights, and this allows boaters to generate more light while using only a tiny fraction of the power.

It used to be that a modest 30 foot boat might have had 8 halogen deck lights burning up 800 watts to produce 6200 lumens. Today, three LED boat lights using only 245 watts can generate over 16,000 lumens! It’s pretty clear why LED boat lights have become so popular with boaters.

LED boat lights have made significant advancements in the past five years. When LED boat lights first came onto the market, people complained about the color of the light that LEDs produce and their overall lack of brightness. Today, however, LED boat lights easily beat the quality of light which is produced by fluorescent lights, and definitely out shine incandescent bulbs by every measure. A key characteristics of today’s OPT7 LED boat lights is that they produce well focused, high intensity light.

Some of the more interesting LED boat lights are being produced by HydroGlow.

HID Headlights For Boats

If looking at pure light power, few sources are able to rival HID headlights for boats. High Intensity Discharge, or HID, bulbs use a set of contacts which are in a glass, gas filled tube to generate an arc which ignites a chemical reaction with the gas and then produces a plasma reaction. Once started, this reaction is easily maintained with low voltage electrical current and emits an intense flood of light. A combination of specially designed housing and reflectors, HID headlights are great for use in a large variety of applications where an efficient and intense source of light is required. Available in nearly most all configurations imaginable, HID headlights are used in industrial, automotive, agricultural, and marine applications on an ever increasing basis.

Perhaps the top benefit of HID headlights for boats is their energy efficient nature. HID headlights emit a good deal more lumens per wattage than their traditional incandescent cousins, thus enabling them to generate more light with much less power. While they do require a high initial amp drawing at startup, as soon as the arc has been started, HID headlights for boats require very little power to maintain them. This is a huge benefit in applications that have limited power, such as with smaller boats. Rather than needing an entire series of halogen spotlights connected together and using a heavy amperage load simply to make adequate light, one set of HID headlights can be mounted and will generate that same light with far less power consumption and a better quality of light to boot.

HID Headlights Vs LED Boat Lights: Our Conclusion

Our conclusion is that when it come to HID headlights vs LED boat lights, the LED’s are the winner in most applications.  LED boat lights are smaller and more efficient than HID headlights. And, the cost of OPT7 LED boat lights has really come down in recent years. There are also a large variety of led boat lights for both interior and exterior applications. There are even underwater LED boat lights available. How cool is that?

DIY Portable Fish Finder

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

As a follow up post to our recent article about how portable sonar fish finders are being used on Lake Michigan, we thought it would be nice to share with you how to make your own DIY portable fish finder. To do this, you must begin with the best portable fish finder for sale online.

portable fish finderRecently, several of our readers have asked us to show them how we turned our Lowrance DS-12 Gen3 fishfinder into a portable fish finder. It’s rather simple, actually. Through the years we get a few ideas from our readers, and ultimately we devised this solution. However, we have seen quite a few other, very unique versions used by other anglers.

The way that our portable fish finder is set-up, the LCD display can be
utilized in the bag or it can be removed and attached onto the gunnel of a canoe or small boat. The depth finder transducer is affixed onto a little shelf bracket, with a spring loaded clamp bolted on it so that it too can be easily and quickly released or attached. We picked up this idea from a fisherman named “Hoss” who used to deliver salmon trolling seminars some years back. The idea worked so well, that we have been using the same old bracket for 15 years now! Now only is it cheap, it also takes only a second or two to attach onto the stern of your boat.

Do It Yourself Portable Fish Finder

To start, the transducer needs to be bolted on to the 25″ shelf track, and then the 8″ Spring clamp needs to be bolted onto the opposing side of the shelf track. These items can both be bought from any local hardware store. It is important that you use stainless steel bolts and nuts to connect them. Additionally, you will need an electric drill, and a few cable ties.

When it comes to the fish finder bracket, you should use a Rite-Lok “Grunnel Clamp” on to which you then will be mounting a small piece of Starboard or wood. We simply went with a small piece of a bamboo cutting board that we bought for only $5. To this piece of bamboo we mounted the portable fish finder bracket. Depending on which type of bag that you buy, you will need to make adjustments to the mounting position and the size of the wood in order to get everything to fit properly. After you have that situated, you can begin to bolt everything together. Do yourself a favor and be sure to fit the whole thing in your bag first.

For the portable fish finder bag, we like to use soft lunch box coolers. We found a couple at the Walmart, but we really prefer the “Gusty” brand of lunch cooler that you can find at Lowes or on Amazon. It’s super strong and costs only about $18. The bag is padded to help protect your portable fish finder, and it also features pockets for your fishing tackle.

Once you have your bag selected, you need to install a 12 volt sealed battery inside of the bag. 12 volt batteries come in a variety of sizes, but a battery between 6 amps and 13 amps should suffice. We used to use a 6 amp battery with our older black & white depth finder. However, now for our newer color portable fish finder, we had to use something more a bit more powerful, so we now use a 12 amp battery. A battery this size should easily last you all day while fishing, but you could also dim the LCD display as a way to conserve power. Perhaps because our Lowrance has GPS and Sidescan technology, it probably consume a lot more power than our old B&W portable fish finder, in conjuction with the backlit display. Suitable batteries can be found online for around $20. You want to be certain to also buy a decent charger.

You may be able to see that we made our transducer able to disconnected. In order to do this, we purchased a transducer extension cable from Lowrance and simply spliced it in. This should be simply if you are comfortable with soldering and splicing small wires. This is optional, however, as you don’t have to make the transducer detachable. Instead, you would simply hardwire the depth finder transducer to the back of your portable fish finder. Either way will work and is totally up to you.

We have included a video below which helps to better illustrate how this setup works. We wrote this post not necessarily as an instructional guide, but more so to simply give you some an idea of what is possible if you wanted to make your own portable fishfinder. If you would instead like to pick up a true portable fish finder for sale, check out LakeForkProFishingGuide.com for more information on portable fish finders.

Using Portable Sonar Fish Finder In Lake Michigan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

There are many great things to do in Jean Klock Park and the nearby water front. From volleyball and biking to building sand castles and playing golf. My favorite activity, by far, is fishing out in the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan that line the shore of the park. If you think about it, though, we don’t really know what lies under the surface of Lake Michigan. With the help of a team of scientists using portable sonar fish finders, we are starting to find out.

cheap portable sonar fish finder for sale

Boat On The Bottom Of Lake Michigan

Most of the Lake Michigan floor has remained unexplored. However, with new portable sonar fish finder technology, a research project is underway to find out what is under the water just beyond the beaches of Jean Klock Park.

Since spring of 2015, a team of research scientists has been cruising Lake Michigan along the Jean Klock Park shore, as well as to the north and south to create a complete map of the lake bed.

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to briefly speak to Robert Klapper, the Chief Scientist for the project. According to Mr. Klapper,  “A traditional nautical chart has a few depth soundings on it, you know, just simple discrete locations. However, our underwater map is continuous. What that means is that we are able see the peaks and valleys, the ledges, and the ridges of the lake bottom. This is all important info for us as researchers to draw the linkages between the lake floor’s habitat and the various types of living organisms which inhabit it.” Mr. Klapper was referring to the portable sonar fish finder that the researchers are using.

Once a week, the boat ‘Tilly Mae’ zigzags across the water, utilizing a portable sonar fish finder to scan the lake floor. The boat emits sonar pings in a wide fan, creating a picture on an LCD screen from data of the lake floor. This is not your average cheap fish finder. This portable fish finder uses side sonar imaging, much like the one in the following video.

After several weeks of back and forth cruising, the sonar fish finder provides traditional chart info, such as depth, in amazing detail. Again, this is not your uncle’s regular old cheap portable fish finder.

The portable fish finders sonar data reveals much more than just depth. Thanks to the advanced sonar echo of their portable fish finder, the scientists can decipher if the bottom is soft, sandy, hard, has seagrass or any other objects on the lake floor. To be sure, I would love to have one of these the next time that I go tiger muskie fishing out on Lake Michigan.

The sonar fish finder technology that they are using is somewhat similar to commercial fish finders, except these fish finders use scientific grade echo sounders.

The portable depth sounder transmits a ping, or pulse of sound. The ping is then transmitted up and down through the lake’s water column and the ping reflects off of everything that is in the lake’s water column which is of a different density than any of the other surrounding media.

Each day and night as the boat cruises back and forth to shore, the sonar fish finder ‘sees’ the fish and plots this important info onto the maps.

By joining the sonar fish finder data with their own direct observations, the research team is able to create detailed maps of the lake bed habitat.

best portable fish finder reviews

 

In addition to the physical habitat, what else are the researchers studying? Robert Klapper explained, “Why are salmon, muskie, and other fish going to a particular location? Can we see certain behaviors common among the fish that are going on? Maybe only certain species of fish are going to that location. So, this is a very focused scientific application. Additionally, we conduct other science and experiments, which we can then apply toward a fishing and wildlife management community.”

Mr. Klapper went on to say, “Clearly, underwater habitats are extremely important, but we would like to better know how the fish are utilizing those underwater habitats. Then we will better understand how we can more effectively manage those natural habitats for the area wildlife.”

All of researchers scientific data that is collected along Jean Klock Park shores will help fish biologists to better understand the fish in the area, in particular salmon and musky, and will provide insight into lake and water changes elsewhere in the state.

Tiger Muskie Fishing In Lake Michigan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

tiger musky fishing luresLocated along the shores of Lake Michigan, Jean Klock Park is one of Michigan’s great treasures. Growing up in the area, I can remember dad taking me out in the boat in Lake Michigan along the shores of the beach of Jean Klock Park. Out on the lake, we would fish primarily for salmon, which is what most fishermen of Lake Michigan aim to catch. But, did you know, that Lake Michigan is also home to some rare musky and even rarer tiger muskies? Although, muskies are rarely caught on Lake Michigan, as very few anglers actually set out to go tiger muskie fishing in Lake Michigan. Grab one of your favorite muskie rods and get ready as we explain more about tiger musky fishing in Lake Michigan.

According to the Michigan DNR, Michigan is home to two types of muskie – the Northern musky and the Great Lakes muskie. In 2011, the state shifted it’s focus more towards raising Great Lakes muskie. Tiger muskies, which are a hybrid between muskellunge and northern pike, used to also be stocked in Michigan. However, tiger muskies are no longer being raised in Michigan fish hatcheries. While more abundant in in-land lakes with more northern pike, naturally-produced tiger muskie are very rarely caught on Lake Michigan.

tiger muskie

The reason that muskies in Lake Michigan are so rare, and almost always caught by “accident”, is because the lake lacks something that most smaller lakes offer. Structure. You see, Lake Michigan is essentially a giant sand box under all of that water. In order to thrive in larger numbers, musky require weed beds, rock piles, and steep edges. The flat bottom and lack of structure make Lake Michigan less ideal for tiger muskie than smaller lakes.

The Great Lakes muskie of Michigan are by far most common in the Detroit River and the very popular Lake St. Clair. Lake St. Clair features world-class tiger muskie fisheries, and offers an extensive fleet of musky charter boats that aim to catch muskellunge by trolling for muskies. Additionally, the number of smaller, private boat anglers that jig or cast for musky also continues to grow. The Lake St. Clair musky season opens the first Saturday in June and closes on December 15th. The later tiger muskie season is because the water system is fed by much colder, Lake Michigan water.

Interest in fishing in Michigan is likely to increase thanks to the focus on Great Lakes muskie and the number of lakes that have been stocked with them. This is great news for the state’s economy. The shift to muskies is anticipated to lure anglers in from other states, like Wisconsin and Indiana. Although, it will take several years before the muskies are more common in the catch. Using Lake St. Clair’s musky fishery as a guide of what to expect, muskie fishing in Lake Michigan is something worth waiting for.

Check out this video of awesome tiger muskie fishing in Michigan. If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, or make you want to help to preserve Michigan’s natural wonders like Jean Klock Park, then we don’t know what will.

Back in February of 2014, Howard Meyerson wrote a great article describing the musky stocking efforts of the state. The author doe s a nice job of explaining the details of the state’s muskie stocking program. We encourage you to give it a read. You can also learn more about tiger muskies at TigerMuskie.net.