Sorry for the late report. Fished from 7am to 1pm, I have to drive 2 hrs to get there, but I think I am short changing myself by not getting out at first light. From now on I'm going up and night before and staying overnight. Anyway, we went straight out to 110' to a spot where we have done well before. Marked a lot of fish in the 20-70' range but did not get any action. Moved out deeper to 150' and the 400 copper went off with a moonshine agent orange spoon went off with a laker. Trolled back into the 110' ft range and at some point picked up a small king around 8lb but we never noticed it until we brought in the 300 copper (forget what spoon we had on at that time). After that continued marking a lot of fish, but nothing was interested in our setup. Surface temps in low 60's , 50 degrees down at 60' and around 42 degrees down around 80'. Trolled 2.3-2.6 at the ball most of the day. Between the flies ,cottonwood and slow bite we headed in around 1pm. Headed to Canada next week for some walleye and hope to get back out in couple weeks. Also question, I always throw back the lake trout, I just havent found a good way to cook them. Tried grilling, and smoking and I just don't care for how oily they are. Any suggestions or just keep sending back to live another day? Good luck everyone, happy fishing!
Ms. Mojo - 2020 Lund 2075 Tyee black and grey.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dirty, Pikesmith, edac, Ltrain, Afuel, Horseshoe, TDawg2831
I think smaller lake trout are excellent. I fillet, skin them, and take off any brown fat/red "mudline" on the back side of the fillet. Then grill or bake in the oven
As for release - once surface water temps are over 60 degrees their delayed release mortality goes way up. Like 50% or higher. I will release them at the back of the boat in cool water but once summer hits they get kept.
For larger ones I smoke and give away, or I have used them for garden fertilizer before. Absolutely incredible for tomatoes.
Ben is right about releasing trout in the summer, it's a death sentence. However, there's device you can get to send the trout back into the depths and give them a good chance of surviving. It's called a Seaqualizer. It looks like a miniature boca grip. Attach it to the fish's mouth, and the other end to a downrigger weight. Push the down button and it will send fish down to 50 feet and pop open releasing the fish. No "release at depth" studies that I know of for trout in Great Lakes, but plenty of work on reef fish in saltwater. Many places require descending devices like the Seaqualizer be used.
Three other suggestions for the fish. One, if you are into home canning, can them and use them in place of tuna in many recipes. Two, ever chunked them, batter them up and deep fry them? Not bad... A deep fried dog turd with a dipping sauce wouldn't be half bad, you know. Here's my favorite. My mechanic loves them and trades oil changes, tire mounts and other issues for laker fillets.
Speaking of lake trout coming from deep water, I have a couple older friends that used to fish lake Michigan several times a week and did very well! As a matter of fact they caught a 40 pound lake trout that set the new Michigan state record and the last I knew it was hanging in Tackle Heaven. Not sure if it still holds the record or not.
They never kept lake trout unless there other crewmembers was going to pickle them. They did something that I've not seen or heard anyone else do. They would throw the trout on its stomach. It would hit the water and swim away. It was like doing a belly flop. Doing this decompressed the air bladder! Years ago they caught a big lake trout and put it back in the water and it just floated belly up. They tried to revive it but no luck so out of desperation they picked it up and slammed its belly on the water and it swam away without any problems. I've read this elsewhere regarding other fish. I've even seen where they use a needle and pop the air bladder which allows it to shrink back into place and let's the fish swim away.
The South End provides useful resources and discussion forums for those that fish The South End of Lake Michigan for Salmon, Steelhead, Perch, and Bass as well as elsewhere in the Region and Chicago area.