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Everything posted by Ravbowhunter

  1. I also own a Fish Hawk TDR. While significantly cheaper, there are a few problems with attempting to obtain the data this way. First, the TDR is exponentially larger both in physical footprint and in weight, so if the Smart Troll probe is effecting the data, the TDR would do so to a much greater extent. Second, you cannot get any live data from the TDR, you only get the read back when you pull it up so you can't determine, for example, that your copper was at 45' when your speed bumped up to 2.6, but was down at 50' when your speed slowed to 2.3; you would just see that the depth had varied when you eventually pull the probe out of the water. Finally, you can't fish with the TDR on your line, at least I wouldn't. I think the TDR is a great, cheap device to get a snapshot of the temperate of the water column, but it really isn't an option with any comparison to the Smart Troll system IMO, owning both products.
  2. I ran my system for the first time last weekend and only for an hour because I had limited time on the water, but it seemed to be accurate. I only ran mine off my downrigger because I wanted to play with it at different depths, etc. It would always be within a few feet of the amount of line out on my downrigger counter. The most it was off was about 10 feet when I had 125' of downrigger cable out. It would be interesting to attach it to copper or core and drive east until it picked up bottom and note the depth on the graph and the smart troll when that happens. Then, take the probe off and repeat to see if you pick up bottom in the same depth. This would answer two questions: (1) if the probe is providing accurate readings; and (2) how much the probe is causing the line to rise. If I have time this weekend, I might give it a try.
  3. I own a smart troll system and there is no way that the probes are causing enough resistance to bring your lines up 5-10'. They are tiny and made of carbon fiber so incredibly light. Here is a link to the website, they are a 1/2 inch diameter and less than 4 inches long. There is a picture on the link I pasted below showing the probe next to a dime. If you think these probes cause that much resistance, what would a 13" paddle, that weighs five times as much do? http://smarttroll.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=5
  4. paid for my in/out service today. Took a tour of the place and everyone seemed very nice and the facilities were first class. I am looking forward to the summer out there! Thanks for the feedback guys.
  5. Thanks guys, I am going to tour it this weekend and see how much we like it. They do seem to be priced a little high, I can get in at North Shore in Grand Haven, which is the closest marina to the big lake for $200 cheaper, so hopefully they will negotiate a little.
  6. I am considering the in/out service there this season. Does anyone have any experience with them either good or bad, particularly in the last three years? Thanks in advance for any input.
  7. Saw reports/pictures on another forum from last weekend that included three kings over 19#s taken out of Holland and South Haven. Sounds promising to me.
  8. Thanks, I found their website but it looks like they are just an insurance agency. Do you know the actual insurance company(ies) policies that they sell. Maybe they offer their own policies, if so, I would be interested in talking with them. Thanks for the feedback.
  9. Guys/Gals, My brother is starting a charter company and just purchased insurance through Markel, but it is junk--has a mandatory lay up from November 1 - April 1, plus costs a fortune (about $1,800 for a year, which is only 7 months because of the mandatory lay up). I was wondering who you guys are using. I was doing a little research and found Seaworthy Insurance, which claims to be a Berkshire Hathaway company and touts no mandatory lay ups. Just wondering who you guys are using, also any claims experiences/rates would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  10. Thanks guys. I will post a report if I make it out.
  11. Has anyone been by the lake to see if all the ice has melted/if it would be possible to access the big lake? I am considering making a trip out there on Sunday and would hate to be iced in.
  12. There are no fish in a trib of the Grand near my house and it is usually loaded with Salmon this time of year. I just love having a Pi$$ed off king 35' below the boat with my walleye jigging rod--it's my favorite way to catch them. I have never tried steelhead fishing the big lake in the fall, I am usually bow hunting, but may try it this year. I do, however, love steelhead fishing the MO with my brother January to March, before the idiots join the party.
  13. We jigged the sand docks on Sunday (9/16) again from 6:15-10:15. Saw as many as 50 boats and probably 10 Salmon boated, as well as one catfish. None of those fish came to our boat, unfortunately. We did have a handful of hits, but nothing stuck on. Not as many marks on the graph as last time. I don't know if we will get a big push of fish this year, it's already September 17th. I am kind of thinking that once they do come, they will just blow up the river. What are you guys thinking?
  14. It does come up fast in spots, it is mostly sand by the mouth of the river but there are some rocks over by the Cobb plant so you will definately want to watch the contour lines on your graph if you are unfamiliar with the lake.
  15. I will be out there on Sunday, don't know if it will be in the am or pm, don't know if I will be trolling or jigging. I guess it will all depend on what the fish tell me...LOL. In the new boat, I'm "Angler at Law" on 68.
  16. With the rough water on the big lake and getting out after work, I decided to try a little jigging. There were between 30 -40 boats out there and we saw a hand full of fish caught from 5:30 - 8:30. We didn't have a bump but did mark a few fish. Are these fish ever going to run? I would say not in the near future with the South blow that is forecasted. Surface water at the sand docks was 73 and I heard a troller say that it was only 70 down by bottom. All the fish that were caught looked very bronze.
  17. Labor Day 9-3: Set lines in 70 fow and had a double in 82 fow on the 300 copper with a green and yellow magnum uv silver streak spoon and the full core with a green plug. Picked up another one in about 100 fow on a rigger down 50 with a green plug. Picked away at them the rest of the morning with 300 copper being the ticket and taking three more fish. Also lost one on that rig and lost one on the rigger about 50 feet behind the boat. Ended up 6-8 with a 16# king, 15#king, two 13#ers and two cookie cutters. Best water was 85-115. The big fish which was caught by my buddy who had only been on the big lake once and that was when he was 8. Needless to say, he was excited to boat the big fish! Tuesday 9-4: Made it out after the rain. Set lines in 80 fow at about 7:45. Worked out to 120 and back into 95 a few times before pulling lines around 11:45. Finished 4-5. Boated two cookie cutter kings, a nice steel and a shaker steel. Lost a big fish right off the bat. Monday was all mature fish on long lines and Tuesday was all immature fish on riggers. All hits came on green spoons. Did take one fish on the 300 copper rig.
  18. I have only been doing this two years but I agree that I do not remember as many, as poorly marked, and as mobile nets last year.
  19. Here's the story: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/08/lake_michigan_charter_trip_pro.html Won't be long!
  20. 2012 Starcraft Fishmaster 210 w/ a 225 E-Tec main and 15 E-Tec kicker, 101 Terrova iPilot.
  21. We went 1-5, overshot the fish a bit. Fished from 100-145 fow (mostly 120-145) then back in to 87 fow after hearing good reports between 85-116. Got our only fish on a 300 copper in 87 fow. Also lost a fish on that set up in about 110. Had three slaps on the downriggers, all within 10' of bottom. Rough for my 17.5'er so we made it a short morning after chasing the skunk off the boat. Next time out will be in the new boat Heard reports of a bite out in 300fow. Water was 72 degrees all the way down to 60'. Good temp was right around 85.
  22. Haven't been out since the dreamweaver tourney and am gonna make a quick trip with my wife this evening if the lake flattens out. Where are the nets? Last time I was out, there were in the 12's in about 120 fow.
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