Just a couple of years ago the answer of what to buy for that time of year in that area would have been a fairly easy answer. 6” red dodger and various colors of peanut flies with 18” leads fishing the top 25fow in less than 60 fow. Every year is different and may still be true this year. However what has changed some is the early season diet for Coho has shifted a bit from alewife to mysis, aka fresh water shrimp. These tiny critters are apparently doing well and increasing in abundance. They are found mostly in deep cold water in the southern part of the lake. I’m no expert on the where part or how far north and how far out they live. As the season progressed the stomach contents in our catch changed from mysis to the expected alewife. I’ve included links to a couple of my early season trips last year.
For us it seemed there were some fish near the surface, not much 10-50’ down then action 60-120’ down. Likely the red dodger/peanut fly on mono with short leads of 25-50’ and in-line weights 3/8-1oz would produce some action. What I enjoyed with this changing bite the last couple of years is the action off riggers, some days taking the majority of bites. I’m a Brad’s guy so as you will read in the links riggers typically with white 8” metal dodgers and various Brad’s cut plugs. Early season has been the best time for Coho on cranks near the surface so I frequently have out various Brad’s Thin Fish on mono boards.
Not sure you have to go to Winthrop in May as typically a decent bite by then north of the state line. I look for recent reports re general location and start there so may launch out of Kenosha or Racine. Last year I followed a number of Face Book pages for charters out of Winthrop and Kenosha and many had terrific catches mostly out in deep water but of course no details in those reports. Friends have launched at Winthrop and headed east until they spot charters and fished that contour successfully staying a respectful distance away.
Running out deep that time of year can be difficult to find a safe day because of wind/waves. Going out blind I might start in 80 fow and take an angle either ne or se so as not to cross any contour too quickly and run a spread much like last year’s and turn on bites. It might be useful for you to go back to fishing reports on GLA or on this site for that time of year to see what others have reported.
Thanx Grey Beard....the reason I chose Winthrop is its near my son in Chicago.. I'm not above going earlier say in april...when do you recommend Winthrop? Im sending him your info, I hope to have some good outings down there....he has my Lake Superior boat..and has a slip at Winthrop....A 24 ft. Privateer. Similar to my 26 in Algoma...Thanx again for the help...JP
I don't fish out of Winthrop but follow some of the charters on Facebook.That gives me an idea of when the fish cross the state line and relative distance from shore. Most years the bite down there is going well the last 2 weeks of April.