LAKE HURON IS NOT JUST ABOUT LAKE TROUT
“It’s true that fishing Northern Lake Huron comes with a host of challenges, but there are fish to be caught for those who are willing to work at finding them.
At Fishing 411 TV some of the assets we value most are the relationships we have developed over the years with Great Lakes charter captains. My youngest son Jake grew up on charter boats, first mating for a host of captains on Lake Michigan and also Lake Erie during his high school years. By the time Jake was 18 he had his own captain’s license and was running both salmon and walleye trips.
For a young man who loves fishing, it’s hard to imagine a better summer job than working amongst some of the most talented anglers in the Great Lakes region.
After two years in technical school, Jake came to work full time at Fishing 411 TV. While Jake no longer works on a charter boat, we have maintained friendships with captains all over the Great Lakes. When the phone rings and I recognize the number of one of those captains, I know I can trust the information that is about to be shared.
Last September the phone buzzed and it was a Northern Michigan area code. I knew instantly it was Captain Ed Rutherford from Alpena. Captain Ed is one of the most celebrated charter captains on the Great Lakes. One of the few actively fishing captains who can say he was running trout charters before salmon were even introduced into the Great Lakes, Ed’s professional fishing career has spanned more than 50 years.
After a few minutes of catching up with family talk and other chit chat, Captain Ed got down to business. Captain Ed blurted out, “I’m on a good mixed bag bite of lake trout and steelhead.” The excitement in his voice told me he was dead serious.
For some time our TV crew has wanted to film an episode in Northern Lake Huron. Weather, scheduling problems and a host of other issues had undermined our efforts, but this time things were going to be different.
“I just checked “Sail Flow” and we are looking at three straight days of light and variable winds,” announced Captain Ed. There are lots of different apps out there that help anglers predict wind conditions, but Sail Flow is the one that Captain Ed has found to be the most accurate in Northern Lake Huron.
Anyone who has fished Northern Lake Huron knows that this region of the Great Lakes is highly vulnerable to sudden and often violent changes in wind directions and wave conditions. About the only thing that’s predictable regarding Northern Lake Huron weather is that it’s a sure bet it is going to be unpredictable.
After picking Ed’s brain for more than an hour on the phone, my next call was to our videographer and field producer Gabe VanWormer to check his availability. The moment I got confirmation that Gabe was good to go, Jake and I started packing the boat in preparation for a few days fishing out of the port of Presque Isle, Michigan. Presque Isle is a little known port located about half way between Alpena and Rogers City. The Michigan DNR maintains a small marina and public access site at Presque Isle.
We arrived in town about supper time and hooked up at a local restaurant so Captain Ed could fill in the blanks. “Your lake trout are going to come on a Spin-n-Glo rigged about 18-24 inches behind a flasher,” announced Ed. “I run a flasher because I can troll faster, cover more water and also add other gear such as spoons into my trolling pattern.”
Captain Ed runs his lake trout gear primarily on three downriggers including two out-downs and one chute rigger. This frees up the rest of his boat to run lead core and copper wire on boards and also diving planers fished primarily with troll-ing spoons.”
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Photo Credit: Original Author