Spring Coho Report from Captain Rick Bentley

Captain Rick Bentley originally began fishing the Lake Michigan waters off Waukegan Harbor for salmon and trout when he was about 12 years old with his uncle. Within several years, he was being actively pursued to run the rods on the deck as a first mate for many different captains in Waukegan.

Following a career in financial consulting, Rick returned to Waukegan Harbor as a full-time charter fishing guide in 2007. Earlier this month, he posted a fishing report regarding spring coho fishing:

“Fishing continues to be excellent. In fact we are off to the best start to any season that I have seen since coming back as a captain, seven years ago.

We have already been out 25 times this season and all but two of those trips resulted in limit catches. Even those two trips fell just a few fish shy of us filling up.

Coho salmon continue to make up the bulk of our catch but we are catching some nice steelhead on the side too.

We seem to have a massive amount of coho salmon in the area and we have seen more pods of baitfish in the shallows than we can remember. I think good fishing will remain on the near-term horizon. We are fishing somewhat shallow water still but have begun to fish a little deeper waters just recently. When in deeper water, we will continue to take advantage by setting some lines in the direction for kings. That effort was rewarded with an 18lb king being caught in the afternoon of May 13.

Availability is very limited in the near term but if you haven't made a reservation yet for the remainder of the season, the time to do that is now especially if you need a specific date. Remember, June means continued catches of coho with more kings, steelhead and lake trout mixed in. July and August is the time for large king salmon up to 25+lbs plus more steelhead, lake trout and some larger coho. September and October is usually an offshore fishery for kings and steelhead in the 5-15lb range as well as large lake trout up to 30lbs.”

Be sure to visit Rick’s website and like him on Facebook.

Happy fishing!


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