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St. Joe 9/13 Sep 14, 2020 11:05 am #28979

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I’ll just cut to the chase. We went 0 for 0. We trolled the harbor (water was rough) and even casted in certain key spots in the lower river. We marked lots of fish in both the harbor and lower river, which were likely coho, but didn’t get any hits. One coho did chase my lure down and turn away at the last moment only a mere couple feet from the surface of the water as I was reeling a line in. That was cool. All in all a wonderful day. A coho or two would have been a cherry on top.
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Last edit: by jpmarko.

St. Joe 9/13 Sep 14, 2020 12:03 pm #28980

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Thanks for the report. Was curious how folks were doing given how many coho are going thru Berrien Springs on the camera there. Sounds like tough sledding with the water temps near 70 in the lake and river.

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St. Joe 9/13 Sep 14, 2020 6:23 pm #28982

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Yeah, the lake temp in the harbor was 69 degrees. The river temp was the same. I spoke to several other anglers who made the same observations we did. There were lots of marks in the harbor and below creek mouths in the lower river, but no willing biters. I can’t emphasize it enough—lots of marks.

I suspect there would have been many willing biters if the water temps were below 60 degrees. But that’s the problem with the south end of the lake in the early fall. Lake and river temps are often too high even when there are fish around. Every two or three years there is a flip in early September and the water in the harbor is in the 50’s while the river temps are still warm. Those are the best conditions for harbor patrol. But conditions down here are rarely optimal this time of year. Add to that that we have less chinook plants and the fishing gets tougher.

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Last edit: by jpmarko.

St. Joe 9/13 Sep 14, 2020 6:35 pm #28983

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There was one more thing I noticed. We had predominantly NNW, N, and NE winds as well as some E winds for the entirety of the last week. Those wind directions would typically flip the water at St. Joe and make the fishing good. But for some reason there wasn’t a flip at the port. I think part of it was that the wind wasn’t blowing hard enough too really move that warm water. The other reason was that there was too much warm water stacked in the south end to begin with.

Soon it’ll cool off. Hopefully there are still some coho around.

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Last edit: by jpmarko.
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