Monday, November 9, 2009

Another tough day on the Big Lake

Lake Michigan - November 9, 2009

US Army Corp of Engineers working on the lake

I hit Lake Michigan again on Monday the 9th. This time I took Al Bernicky with me. Al has been out there many times before, and caught countless Lake Trout, and other big fish out there. He is one of the best fishermen I know and knows several different ways to catch fish out there.

We had everything with us that has caught Lake Trout before out there including tubes, crank baits, spinners, dipseys, dodgers, spin-n-glows, and more... Nothing worked.

Al catches a Goby on the Dipsey-Dodger-Spin-n-Glow rig

We thought it was strange that no one else was out looking for Lake Trout. There was a north wind forecast, but the lake was calm with a southwest wind. We wondered if the wind forecast kept everyone away, or maybe the Lake Trout were done early. We saw a couple boats come out to do some perch fishing but all we saw them catch were small ones.

First Goby of the day

We decided we'd harass the Gobies. Gobies are very aggressive and will hit just about anything they think they can swallow. They are an invasive species and it is illegal to have live ones in your possession. We caught them on twister tails and 1/2 oz to 3/4 oz jig heads. Every time we'd get the jig near the bottom, we'd feel the fish attack. We lost count of how many caught.

Me with another Round Goby

I even caught a small perch. The big ones should start showing up soon.

A Yellow Perch

The wind turned around and began to blow out of the north. We started to see a few more Lake Trout on the surface so we quit messing around with the little fish and went back to trying to catch what we went out there for in the first place.

Round Goby

Despite the wind blowing straight out of the north, the lake remained fairly calm. I've been out there in years past when the wind has turned around and before I knew it, I'd be surrounded by 10 foot swells while I carefully made my way back to the mouth of Burns Ditch.

The North Wind beginning to add a slight chop to the water

Once we finished our last pass along the reef, we decided to call it a day. The highlight of the day was when Al spotted a giant King Salmon by the boat ramps. Too bad it had been dead for quite a while.


  1. Looks like it was a fun day at least. I was fishing the St. Lawrence this past summer in New York and was told that any goby caught was supposed to be immediately killed. Is that the case for you in Illinois?

  2. You're not required to kill them, but you are not allowed to keep them unless they're dead. The one good thing about them is that the Smallmouth, Walleye, Lake Trout, and other game fish grow pretty big eating them. I've even seen a couple Largemouth out there.