Fishing their fourth annual Sheboygan Salmon Cup and 333 on Lake Michigan, Wolf Pack Adventures once again went head-to-head with the best salmon-heads on the Great Lakes. With two boats in a total tournament field of 40 crews, each comprised of four anglers, the competition came down to who could boat the ten biggest king salmon over two days. The side tournament, the “333,” involved weighing your three biggest fish over two days – no substitutions.
The strategy? Get on good fish and put them in the box. To do that, boats were allowed a maximum of nine lines—a combination of downriggers, planer boards and dipsy rods. For the guys in Wolf Pack II, that meant pulling Luhr Jensen and Pro-Troll flashers and custom UV flies at speeds anywhere between 1.5 and 2.0 mph at depths from 50- to 80-feet down over as much as 160 feet of water. And once hooked, it took a steady backbone—both from the anglers and the rods—to bring in the four-year-old double-digit salmon.
“The right rod for each specific location on the back of the boat is critical,” says 24-year-old Capt. Greg Schoemer. “I’m using the 10’6” St. Croix EYECON—the same rod used by walleye pros for fishing planer boards—for my outside dipsy rods. I’ve found the length, strength and how they load up with stuff as big as magnums and the chows that attack ‘em suitable for Great Lakes salmon applications. I’m also using shorter St. Croix EYECON rods for my inside dipsy and downrigger rods. They’re more than walleye rods. Just look at the results!”
The team of Wolf Pack II (Capt. Greg Schoemer, First Mate Nick Rammer, Carl Snell and Jim Edlund)—and their St. Croix EYECON sticks—weighed in an impressive ten fish for a grand total of 127.30 pounds for a solid second place, just shy of Anglers’ Avenue first place 130.15 pounds finish.
Schoemer and company also took second place in the 333, with three impressive kings that weighed 48.20-pounds, not far behind team Mohr Fish, who weighed 49.05-pounds for first place in the 333.
“Whether I’ve got clients out or I’m fishing a high-stress tournament like the Salmon Cup, I know I can rely on St. Croix rods. That kind of confidence is integral to what I do,” says Capt. Schoemer.
“You can bet we’ll be back in the Cup next year to climb that leader board and establish without a doubt that Wolf Pack Charters is number one on Lake Michigan!”
While Wolf Pack I didn’t fare nearly as well as its sister vessel this year, Capt. Pat Kalmerton is looking forward to redemption in the upcoming Coho Derby Super Tournament in August. Kalmerton holds the Coho Derby big fish record and first place finishes in brown trout, rainbow trout and king salmon categories. In fact, in 2011 Kalmerton had six kings over 25 at the final weigh-in, a truly awesome achievement that Schoemer also has his sights on.
Image courtesy of Traditions Media