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How has everyone's salmon catch rate been this year. We all know this is a lake trout fishery with an occaisonal salmon but last summer was one of the best we (our boat anyways) ever had catching kings. We had frequent and multiple catches of kings on many trips. This year has been a completely different. The number of kings we have caught this year has been very infrequent. I know each year can vary some. How have the rest of you been doing on kings around Duluth? Just wondering if it is similar to us. Maybe we were just luckier than usual last year but we have noticed a big change this year in the number of salmon we have caught, even compared to other years. Also concerns me with MN no longer stocking and what the trend may be in the next few years.

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outdoor ran

Bill, I actually did better last year on the salmon myself. But I think it was because I got out more last year. Its such a nice bonus to throw a salmon in the box.

I was able to talk to the fish biologist Dennis Pratt this spring about the salmon in Lake Superior. I was told by many people that all the salmon in the lake were planted and they couldnt reproduce. Heres what Dennis told me- All the salmon in Lake Superior reproduce and the only one that is stocked here is the king salmon. He said that 75% of the kings we catch are wild.

He also said that Mn plan to stop stocking wont really have much of a affect because most of them fingerlings end up being fish food anyway.

This is just what he told me. I'm sure someone will tell him hes wrong. All I know is I'd rather cath a salmon over a laker anyday smirk.gif

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I noted that a couple of fishing clubs (Thundery Bay, Marquette, others?) are stocking salmon and have at least anecdotally indicated that their catching more salmon than they have in the past. A friend of mine recently fished there and caught several kings over a couple days. Perhaps they just have better rivers for spawning, I don't know.

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I'll confirm that what Dennis Pratt said about salmon is consistent with what the MN DNR Lake Superior Area Fisheries Specialists say regarding salmon reproduction and stocking.

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Jim Hudson

Over on this end of the lake, I would say the catch rate for salmon is still about the same as years past... People catch a few here and there during the summer, but the best bite is still in the early spring and fall, for both coho and kings. But, still the salmon fishing is no where near as good as it use to be, since stocking of fish was cut. There are way more coho's that are caught, that is for sure.

But with the recent stocking of kings by a local organization, things hopefully will get a bit better.

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Just wondering if anyone knows whether the WLSTA has ever had any discussions regarding this topic or possibility of stocking programs similar to some of the other clubs?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Fathom
      Set up deeper on rock reef for the rest of the weekend and only managed one fish (26" eye), missed a couple others. We wanted to stay deeper due to all the traffic on the lake. We did enjoy a good time at Fishing for Ducks, we saw a nice walleye pulled through the ice but it only measured 27.5". Talk about a bummer for that guy!
    • Jarrid Houston
      Roads to the islands always need to be taken very cautious and I would encourage going with someone who knows the area..  I believe they were shutting down the highway H extension due to this recent weather we just got?  Plenty of fish and opportune situtations in the bay.
    • cookie129
      Another crazy busy weekend is in the books. I really enjoy giving out my fishing/what's happening on the lake reports but finding the time has been tough. To say its a grind is a understatement.
       I can tell you again as the season winds down I'm never ready for it to end, as I truly love being out there in my trucks, moving houses, plowing the  hillmen highway, giving advise, helping other fishermen when they do something silly, Driving into a snow bank, dropping there gun down a hole or any other important object like there keys. Every year all the workers seem to get a little grumpy as fighting mother nature, going from sun up to sunset takes a toll physically and mentally. It also seems I ruffle a few feathers every year and its never my intent  so I have to chalk it up as a long season. If I stepped on anyone's toes it sure was not planned or intended as all most every day plan a turns to plan b and c. Mother nature dictates where I go sometimes as well as any plowed roads that can make our job easier. The cookie shuffle worked very well this year as I tell everyone that gets lost in my maze of trails. I'm not a road engineer.
       Man did we get overwhelmed with wheel house's this past weekend, any fish coming from southwest had to go threw a gauntlet of hooks to find my fishermen.
       I had two wheel house's  that I set up at the end of the hillmens highway and was surprised how bad they did. I guess I should of went south not east? The nw road has gotten to much to maintain, there's one lone house out that way that will need a new trail made .
       Its all started Thursday as jonnny boy and I prepped for the weekend with Joe, Zack, Adam and   his crew arriving fro florida. Zacks birthday wish was fishing red lake, they had a blast. They went to westwind where they enjoyed a fish fry, plus they took home a few fish with a couple even getting a ride in florida fish house as we moved a small distance to put it on fresh ice for there last night sunday. Last year when they came we landed on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie mother load? I think  they had dreams for a year of repeating that. Every year is different and again this year was no exception.
       Ben who proposed in old Minnesota to Shawna 8 years ago were in old Minnesota with there two adorable kids. Louie the fishing machine and his little sister Willa plus there friend Nelli.
       They had a blast also with Shawna getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot. They also managed to take home a nice batch of upper red lake walleyes.
       Hunter and his two buddies were in north Dakota. It was slow but they also managed to take home a batch of fish.
       Charlie and Rizzo were in montana , They were very serious about there fishing and went home with there 8.
      Jeromy and his gal were in north Carolina Saturday, sunday . They also managed to get there 8.
       Sunday was a very tough day as we had all 5 houses re rented. I was planning on moving all of them so we battled mother nature the whole time as a ne wind with 2 inches of snow made it impossible to see. At one point I was getting sea sick as I struggled to see, With the sky, horizon and the lake all the same color. wow what a struggle.
       It took us  7 1/2 hours but we got every thing cleaned, moved.
       Mother nature has given us another bout of snow so tomorrow I will let every one know how the houses did the last two days as its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet
    • nickeleye
      Figured I should report back... I fished prime time on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. No action. It didn't help that I forgot to grab the vexilar on the first outing, but it didn't help to have it on the second outing either! ha! Marked a few but couldn't get them to bite. Used a GPS chip to punch some holes over structure, but when I came back with the vexilar, they weren't quite as deep as I hoped. Thanks for the pointers BrianF
    • LucasLongCaster
      Around this time last year this thread was started by @Royal_Dutchman. I got my trip planned for April but by the look of the extended forecast it's not looking to promising, especially compared to where it was at last year on Feb 23rd. 
    • osok
      Been a brutal hard water season for me as well, figured it was a continuation of my fall fishing luck. 
    • Wanderer
      Thanks guys.  I checked out Modis for ice coverage and Navionics to help understand how things are laid out.  Knowing what areas certain fish prefer and those typical depths is a big plus.
    • urbaniceteam
      My wife and I are hoping to get up to Mille Lacs this Saturday and spend the night on the ice.  Does anyone have any last minute availability?  All the resorts I've contacted are booked. Thanks!
    • Borch
      Lots of nice fish!  Central Mn is cranking out some nice panfish.
    • eyeguy 54
      I did till about 2 then just had to go for a bit. LOL 
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