4/20/23 Fishing Report, About our Blog, Dodger/Fly Combo, Coconut Coho Salmon Recipe

Fishing Report 4/20/2023

Coho fishing has been on fire this week. Fish are anywhere between 20-30’ foot of water both in front and South of Waukegan Harbor. Probably to the North as well, but we haven’t fished there. The water temp is heating up along with the bite and spoons are coming into play. The Michigan Stinger UV NBK and UV Killer Dolphin down 10-12’ on the riggers were popping. Dodger/flies set back 35’ behind the planer boards are a staple. Although we haven’t run lead yet, a 2 color lead and spoon should do some damage too. Dipseys with dodger/fly combos set back 15-25’ are taking fish also. There are still lake trout in the shallow water, yet they should be finding their way to deeper water soon. 

About our Blog

This will be a weekly blog written based on your requests and questions we see posted in the Winthrop Harbor - Waukegan Facebook page. We are not here to cause debate, but just to offer 3 generations of experience charter fishing Lake Michigan. Spendthrift Captains have been in business for over 4 decades now. We are also soliciting some input from Capt. Bob who many may remember from seminars at Jalensky’s, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro formerly of Battalion 1 Charters. Between us we have thousands of days on the water and we are sharing what works. Use what you like and disregard what you don’t, but our advice is proven in both the charter and small boat community. Our network is vast.

The Dodger/Fly Combo (Requested by a reader)

Coho are generally topwater feeders meaning the top 0-40’ of the water column. With the water clarity, it’s easy to pull fish into a dodger/fly spread. Here’s how we rig ours for planer board use. 

  1. We tie our mainline to a 5/8 ounce keel sinker. Next a 5’ leader of 20# test mono to quality ball bearing snap swivel. (The snap swivel is not necessary, but allows easy exchange of dodgers.) 
  2. Next add the 00 dodger. We use the Luhr Jensen in red or fire dot. 
  3. Next comes the fly and this is probably the most import tie your going to make. Using 40# test mono or fluorocarbon leader material tie the fly between 16.5” and 18”. We prefer 16.5" and it is achieved by tying the fly on with a simple Palomar knot. Next pull out the line to 17” using a rule, put a bend in the line and tie a double overhand knot. Then cut the knot from the spool of line. The double overhand knot takes up 1/2” of line and you’ll save a lot of line by not pulling off a section of line, cutting it off and tying the knot and trimming the excess.  (This leader will be the same with a stubby dodger/fly on a Rigger / Dipsey or any 6” dodger.)
  4. Don’t tie longer than 18” between the dodger and fly because you will not get the action needed at the fly. Hence, few to no bites!
  5. This leader is the same for 1" and 2" slider flies. Just place the skirt on the line then the bead (2" flies) and tie the hook #4 for 1" and #2 for 2" flies with Poplomar knot. then go back up and tie the overhand knot.

True story - Last weekend two recreational boats were fishing in the same area. One boat limited out rather quickly while the other boat had few fish. The boat with few fish was found to have been running a 30" leader between the dodger and fly. No action on the fly = No bites. Sometines we don't know what we don't know, which is why we are sharing our expertise and networking with others is so important.

Recipe - Coconut Coho Salmon

What’s needed - Fresh Coho Salmon, Milk, Eggs, Panko Coconut Breading, Sweet Chili Sauce, and a pan or deep frier with peanut oil. 

  • Debone, skin off, and cut the coho into 3-4” pieces.
  • Follow the directions on the Panko package to prepare the salmon chunks.
  • Deep fry at 350 for 5 minutes.
  • Dip in Sweet Chili sauce for the perfect combo with the coconut salmon.

You may make your own coconut shrimp like this too!

Next week Rod Selection and ???

Welcome to Spendthrift Charters!

Frequently called the "Best Chicago Fishing Charters" in Chicagoland and proudly serving the Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois areas for over 40 years, Captain Jerry Nied has been chartering the finest of fishing trips. Spendthrift Charters is one of the largest fishing charter fishing vessels available on Lake Michigan today. We currently have three 39-ft Tiara ships to satisfy every fishing need, no matter the size of the group. Captain Jerry is a full time U.S. Coast Guard and licensed captain. Fishing charters are available 7 days a week. Call now for the next available Chicago fishing charter departure time!

Mail: 1091 West Dearborn Ln. Vernon Hills, IL. 60061

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