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About jatc

  • Birthday 11/11/1974

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  1. For my schedule, it works better to get on the water at 3:00 AM and fish until noon than start at 6:00 AM and fish until 3:00 PM. The other thing is I can fish where I want to and not where the 6,000,000,000,000 other boats force me to! This year, albeit only fishing a few times, I agree the dark bite hasn't been there like it was the last few years. In fact the dawn bite has been behind the mid-morning bite all the way around for us. Most of our fish are coming between 8:30 and 10:30 this year.
  2. Don't forget about Black Screwball and Wonderbread!
  3. jatc


    Is this a new type of flasher/fly rig?
  4. Fish Hawk is now owned by Trevor Sumption and things have changed over there. Customer service is awesome if you run into a problem. I really like the X-4 setup they have out these days, and the old issues of screwy readings and battery life of the 840 has been fixed. I've heard good things about the Depth Raider as well.
  5. Best thing I've found to save my gas money is going to an Aviation sight for your port and looking at the winds. Within 24 hrs this seems to be the most accurate forecast I have found. The key is knowing which winds and at what speed makes your port unfishable. I gave up on NOAA years ago.
  6. Well my friends made it up from Kansas and we headed out of town about midnight on Saturday. Based on the reports I'd had heard I wasn't expecting a banner day, but this was the only day my friends could go and they were super pumped having never been on big water before. Launched the boat around 4:00 AM on Sunday and motored out to 80' straight out and put it on a North troll at about 2.2. First issue was apparent when I put the probe down and realized it wasn't working. Changed batteries and still nothing. Don't think it would have mattered much anyway. Took me a little while to get the spread out being the first trip out this year and we commenced to rod watching. We were marking some fish and bait in the top 50' so I kept most everything high. 5:15 we were in 150' up by the lighthouse and the wire diver back 50' with a white slick fishcatcher and a bloody nose fly started jumping. One of the Kansas guys grabbed the rod and pretty soon we had a 12# king in the boat. Cool, my goal was to get at least a couple for these guys to tangle with. On a hunch, I put a standard size wonderbread spoon down 48' on a rigger and as soon as I turned away it popped. The other guy from KS got that rod, and soon we had another 10# fish. Put that spoon back down and within 20 minutes it took two 6# kings. Mission accomplished for me and everyone was happy on the boat. 4 for 4 at that point all within 45 minutes of the first hit. By 6:30 we were north of the point in 180' still headed north. I was looking at the spread when the corner rigger down 32' with a glow grey ghost J-plug double over and started screaming. I grabbed the rod and handed it off. This fish was a 16# king that put on a clinic for us. Jumped a few times and went on a couple of 350' runs before charging the boat. I knew we were in trouble when the fish went straight sideways about 20' behind the boat. Somehow we were able to weave the rod under the downrigger boom and around the wire diver before the fish took my buddy all the way around the boat. Good thing we have a walk around center console. After circling completely around the boat he managed to wrap himself around the rigger cable and I got lucky and was able to stab him with the net just as the line broke. That is one fish those guys I don't think will ever forget. After that I was just a boat ride for the rest of the morning. Had one drive by steelie on a seven color with a lemon ice spoon in 350' that gave us a couple of jumps before getting unhooked. Other than that, nothing. We really didn't care though. Last fish was a skipper that we had dragged on the seven color that we found when we were bringing in the rods at the end of the day. He wasn't in good shape so we boxed him too. Counting the skipper we ended up 6 for 7. Not bad compared to the reports I've been getting. All in all areally nice day on the water with quite a bit of excitement early. If this lake ever sets up nice, I think the fishing will get good. Right now it appears you have to cover water and find an active school because we marked several fish later in the morning but they just wouldn't go for us. Here's a shot of the fish and the newly hooked salmon fisherman from Kansas.
  7. If you have a large open area I would suggest tying your wire around a tree and pulling it off of the spool by slowly walking backwards checking the wire carefully for kinks and abrasion as you go. If the wire had been reeled in with very little tension, it may be wrapped over itself on the spool which is causing the backlash and breakage where it is catching on itself. If the line is in good condition after you unspool it, it will probably be fine if you reel it back up keeping good tension on it as you go. This is a good way to check your coppers and cores before each season also. I have found it is much easier to fix the bad spots while standing in my yard then while on the boat while trying to fish.
  8. Flasher/fly setups on my boat are are pretty simple. 11" white paddle with a green fly on my deepest rigger mid-morning is usually hot for me. Sorry, I couldn't tell you who makes which flies I use because I've got so many on my boat I can't keep track of the manufacturers anymore. For flashers, I run a lot of Fishcatchers and E-chips, and a few Spin Dr.'s also. White/green or Mtn. Dew 8" flashers on the wire with green, mirage, or white flies seem to work well for deeper fish on my boat. As far as a chute rod, this can be a pain BUT, with a large enough crew, I have caught several fish on a full core with a green ladderback J-plug out the back. Just have to make sure someone is available to burn it in if need be. Don't be afraid to run spoons and plugs on your diver rods. Early morning I seem to catch many more fish with splatterback J's and spoons on my divers (especially my high fireline divers) than with FF's. Just the way it seems to work on my boat. A chrome cut plug J-plug on my high diver back 75 to 100' is just killer for us at first light. I normaly run magnum Dolphins (green or blue) on my coppers and do well with them. Can't seem to make the FF's work on the copper, but many of my friends do very well with them. Oh yeah, don't forget the two color or short copper with a double orange crush spoon WAAAYY out on a board for the steelies. Accounts for at least two fish almost every trip out. Just keep changing up until something works. I have a fifteen minute rule, every fifteen minutes I change speed, depth, or presentations until things start firing. No sense dragging a dead spread all day. Amazing how my catch has pretty much doubled since I instituted this rule.
  9. On those early mornings before light with little moon, I've had really good luck running a magnum Silver Streak Black Screwball (without charging the center glow section) running off of a fireline dipsey back about 100' on a 1 1/2 setting on the same side as a glow flasher/fly combo on the rigger back 15' down about 25'. Seems to work well in combination with the spoon taking about 70% of the hits on that side. I have also done extremely well before light with uncharged green splatterback Ace-Hi's off of the riggers. Very faint glow. Have popped my share of fish on white fishcatchers and seaweed flies at night also. The one constant I've noticed is a preference most mornings for a very, very faint glow. At dusk into dark my experience seems to favor the brightest thing I can get in the water. Go figure.
  10. San Diego Jam Knot (also known as a reverse clinch knot) is what I use for rigger rods with 12 or 20 Big Game. Grandpa tought me this knot 30 years ago and I use it on all mono connections. Rarely ever breaks even with 4# leader for steelies in the river. Always lubricate any knot you choose to use and ALWAYS test the knot before putting it out. Most knots involve a "wrap" of some sort, and if you get a little lazy you might end up with an overlap somewhere which greatly reduces the knot strength. A quick "pull check" will find this problem. Polomar knot for braid is usually a pretty safe bet and hard to screw up.
  11. For me, it really depends on where I finished up the night before. Out of Frankfort I guess I'll consider "deep" as 225' and deeper which isn't very far out of port. If I am sticking fish Friday night at dark in 200' of water, that is probably where I'll already be when the sun comes up on Saturday. If I didn't fish the previous night and don't have a trusted report to point me out there, I'll usually set up in about 100' before light and work out from there. In Frankfort, the first light boat pack seems to hang in the 100' -150' zone and if at all possible I try to stay outside of them. I'm usually one of the first boats into 200' on any given morning that I'm out. As was mentioned before, boat traffic can really shut down the bite in a hurry, so I like a little seperation. That, and it is so much more peaceful when you don't have to try to weave through the boats! Somedays my fishing deep at first light does work against me. There are a few days each year that I should have stayed in the pack with the super active fish, but overall my bite is fairly steady past 200'.
  12. Last year we had our best success running large paddles that were predominantly white or all white with 11" slick glow white fishcatcher leading the pack. Fly color was usually green or blue most days with Bugeye double glow chartruese being my top fish getter. The old seaweed horsefly behind an 8" green/white fishcatcher really stuck a ton of fish on the wire divers also for the first time in about five years on my boat. Two years ago, most flasher/fly fish were on black or chartruese paddles and I couldn't buy a bite on the white stuff. Last year I think I cought only one fish on black and a few on chartruese. Really curious to see what they'll want this year.
  13. I have to agree here. I used to run a ton of meat up until three years ago. What happened to me was that in 2008 I had a very tough time finding quality herring when I needed it, so I started going without the meat rigs. What I learned kinda shocked me. I actually do better without the meat than when I used to run it exclusively. My mid-day catch rates have increased the last two years running standard rigs. I sure don't miss messing with the smelly stuff anymore. Then if you add in the cost, I can pick up a couple of good spoons or plugs per trip that will last me much longer in the long term. For a lot of guys it is a confidence thing. They know that if you stick a meat rig on a wire diver and put it back 200' during late morning that they are running a very reliable rig. I guess I just learned that there are other "very reliable" rigs to run as well, you just have to experiment and network a little bit. I am in no way bashing meat, and for many guys it is a great presentation for those off times. In fact, it works extremely well for the weekend guys that can't get a lot of time on the water because as long as the bait is good, it is hard to run this stuff wrong with today's manufactored rigs. Just don't fall into the trap of believing that you just can't catch fish during the day without the stuff. There will be days that a flasher/fly will out produce the meat, but you won't know this if you are running just meat on your deep stuff.
  14. If I had to pick just one, I'll have to go with Magnum Green Chille Wille. By far my best long copper spoon. For all around spoon, it'd have to be a Nuked Veggie in a standard size. Riggers, dipsies, cores, coppers; doesn't matter, you can't mess up unless you don't get it wet.
  15. I think it has more to do with "where" you put the line rather than "how" you deploy the rig. Obviously if you just let the dipsey freespool on back it will tangle itself up just like a mono or braided dipsey will, this has already been covered in this thread. I've seen where guys get into trouble when they set the dipsey on a 3 setting and let it back 200' and engage the reel. At a high setting the dipsey is going to pull off to the side, especially on thin wire. If you are running cores or Cu fairly tight to the boat, in all likelyhood the wire is going to cut across and into these lines causing a huge mess. The wire diver won't "ride over" a 300' Copper line like a 10 color rig will. For this reason, my wires are always inside of my long lines with a lot of seperation between them. If you have a wire on a #1 back 200' it dives at a much steeper angle than the 300' copper will. If there isn't good horizontal seperation, they can and probably will tangle on turns which cause the copper to stall and fall into the wires path. You have to watch out too if you are running long leads fairly shallow on your corner rigger. In this case I let the dipsey out the side so it doesn't have to cross my rigger lines at all. You really have to picture things in 3D when running different types of rigs.
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