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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 12:37 pm #38298

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Not sure we can call it a "run" so far this year so I went with "crawl" and even that could be to generous. Went out last evening to see if anything was moving and its still a desert out there.  Nothing on the surface in our around the ditch that we are used to seeing when the run is on and nothing on the graph from #4 to the mouth and a little further. From 12' - 45' not a mark and surface temps where 56 -59 everywhere.  A fisherman on the pier (the only one) did say he caught a 10lbs king which seems a little light for a 4 year old with amount of bait the last couple of years but certainly possible. Here all the explanations I can come up even some that don't make a lot sense:
  1. Run hasn't happened yet
  2. Run happened and I missed it
  3. Run happened somewhere else
  4. Run isn't going to happen because they are going to be 5 years olds be huge next year!
 Grasping at straws here but makes you wonder since the Steelhead run was all but nonexistent this year too at Portage
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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 2:11 pm #38299

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Thanks for the post.  I am hoping 1.  And going to give a try this weekend.
Only reports I have seen are some catching them in the creeks, but not sure how reliable those are.

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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 3:33 pm #38300

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lol to the name of this thread Geoff. Not a lol to the run this year.

My theory: fish stagged out front, water was to warm so the only way to catch them was to get lucky and basically snag them ( which I heard a couple stories) with a jplug. The fish then moved into the river at night and have moved way up the rivers already/ died.

Probably a few left out there coming in still though as well. I also feel like the steelies did the same thing this summer. We had a good year offshore for steelhead, I feel like they were "stagging" offshore in the cooler water and running into the river at night and some of them back out even.
-Lady M- Sea Ray 290 Amberjack
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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 3:41 pm #38301

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Thanks Geoff 
Sea Ray 290 Amberjack
Kelliann 4
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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 5:01 pm #38302

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Last Thursday I marked fish out front of the ditch, but nothing was biting. I went out this past Monday after the cold water showed up over the weekend and there were no marks out front. On my way back to the launch, I saw a couple jump out of the water by Portage Marina. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped at the Portage Marina fishing pier and caught a 15lb King on a flicker shad. The fish were surfacing quite a bit. I tried this morning and nothing. It does seem like more of a crawl than a run. I have seen guys catching them at the fish bowl off of 94, so maybe it’s past. I don’t know, just sharing my experience to try and help.

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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 7:08 pm #38303

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Thanks for the report 
Sea Ray 290 Amberjack
Kelliann 4
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Salmon Crawl Sep 28, 2023 9:38 pm #38304

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I hit East Chicago this morning 6am with Ddude. We trolled around the mouth and about 1/4 mle out. Graph showed fish in this area but no takers. Circled around same area for about 2 1/2 hrs. Did not see any in the marina porpoising or on graph at all. Pulled and went to breakfast.
I agree with the explanations 1 thru 4, lol
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Salmon Crawl Sep 29, 2023 5:30 am #38305

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In regards to the 10lb fish. I fished in Michigan for 3 weeks in sept (Ludington area). Caught numerous mature females in the 10-12lb range. Definitely size is down this year, but they appear healthy. More competition for that food out there this year with increased stockings. Also caught plenty of upper teens to low 20lb fish also.
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Salmon Crawl Sep 29, 2023 6:07 am #38306

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I see alot of chrome still showing up in catches to the north end of the lake. But maybe there is something we might be missing. 3 years go we were in the midst of covid. we in a normal year get our king eggs from Michigan. But during covid Michigan didn't get all the kings for egg collection that they normally would of.

Indiana during that period ended up with a little bit from everyone. Ben drove to Wisconsin to pick up some eggs to bring back to Mixsawbah. Illinois supplied some fish and Michigan supplied some fish. Our hit number for that year was 225,000 split along 3 ports. Not sure of exact numbers but I think it was close to 60,000 for MC and EC and the rest went in a Portage, so we did not make our yearly number.
We as Indiana fishermen look at many issues we deal with like predation.. Something we haven't discussed much is underwater predation. It is easy to see when the birds are on the attack but what about under the surface? How do you even track something like that? We need to look back at years when we at all 3 ports had almost 0 return. Bait lake wide was down considerably. Is the spring bait coverage and the time it shows up a issue? No returns when we didn't have bait and springs when bait shows up late is predation then similar to when bait was down during the periods of 2015-2018? Is there away to track when the major portion of bait show up in the spring, compared to the time when spring stocking takes place? Is this spring an example of this, and the same going on? There might be more to consider then we have in the past.
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Last edit: by Lickety-Split.

Salmon Crawl Sep 29, 2023 6:31 am #38307

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This past spring we stocked all 3 ports within a 12-18 hour window. EC first was stocked at night by the EC stocking team and the next morning both MC and Portage were stocked. Bodine sent down a truck to help so both MC and Portage got taken care of early. Some where in the next couple of days the stocked Kings migrated out into the lake. When they did they spread along the lake front in shallow water. The bait at the time was very large. No small bait. Coho size was down, and they moved into shallow water and started to feed on the king smolts. Easier to eat something like a 3 3/4 inch bait then something nearly 8 inches when the Coho were so small. It happened and surely this isn't the only time it has happened.. Bait we all understand how important it is. Maybe we are learning how important the right type of bait is, and how important it is to be available. When it isn't??????
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Last edit: by Lickety-Split.
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