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About Divemaster

Personal Information

  • Real Name
  • Biography
    Fish Lake Erie out of the port of Erie, PA for Lake Trout, Steelhead, Browns, Drum, and Pike
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA area
  • Interests
    Fishing (trolling, spin, and fly), Scuba Diving, and Fish Tanks
  • Occupation
    Fish Breeder

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  1. Some 2016 Catches

    Thanks guys!
  2. Some 2016 Catches

    Some 2016 Catches Some of my better catches from last year's boat fishing season. Spring Lake Trout on eastern Lake Erie and Summer Steelhead on Lakes Erie and Ontario. Plus some much welcome bycatch all year! 2017 is already out to a great start with some big Lakers, hoping to post some of them later on. Enjoy! First Laker of 2016 33", late April 34" fatty, early May 32" bycatch Walleye, late May 30" Pike from the propwash, mid June 28" Erie Steelhead, mid July First Pink Salmon, mid July SLOB Summer Laker 36" and 23+ pounds, mid July 29" Deepwater Drum First Chinook Salmon, late July Lake Ontario monster 12 pound Steelie, early August
  3. Steelhead Trolling Speed

    Haven't touched this thread in a while. We did decent on Steel last summer, three or four 2-5 fish days on Lake Erie and a pair of 4-5 fish days on Lake Ontario in the beginning of August. Not terrible for a couple of guys who just took up trolling on a whim a two years ago. Everything was trolling 3.0-4.0 mph, all on stingers and moonshines from 20-100' down in 70-550 FOW. Boated chromers from 1-14# and lost either a large Steelie or Atlantic (most likely the latter) in the 20-25# class on Lake O. Going to put more effort towards getting them slow this year, in the 1.6-2.0 mph range. Both because of the fumes and noise from using the main for fast trolling speeds kills us and also we can get into a nice mix bag of Steelhead, Pinks, Lakers, Walleye, White Bass, and Drum at lower speeds (vs. just Steelhead, White Bass, and rare Lakers at high speed). That said, has anyone tried using red or orange Dodgers with peanut flies for Steelhead? I've heard that's a popular rig for Cohos on Lake Michigan (I'm assuming Dodgers means only low speed trolling), and considering Steelhead love the same colors, I feel like that'd work well for them, too. A pink dodger/peanut or hoochie might put a few Pink Salmon in the net, too.
  4. Help With Fish Identification

    Video won't work for me, but that grey fish just looks like a wild coloration Goldfish (yep, a naturally colored Eurasian GOLDfish isn't gold lol).
  5. 2017 Lake Superior Trip

    Any of you guys ever go out with (or know anyone that has) any of these charters? http://www.chumbucketcharters.net http://www.troutscoutcharters.com http://www.bountyhunteralpena.com/index.html They all seem pretty affordable for 6-7 hour trips which would be a nice end to our week before heading home the next day. I also don't know anyone personally whose fished on Lake Huron, though, so I can't say how any of these guys are.
  6. 2017 Lake Superior Trip

    Almost have everything worked out for this trip. Have a few days of charters on Superior for native Char, two for trolling and one for Stannard Rock jigging/casting/fly fishing. Plus a charter on the St. Mary's River one day to fly fish for Lake Huron-run Atlantic Salmon, as well as an extra two days built in to explore/shore fish the area in search of native Brook Trout and wild Browns in the creeks and Splake, Steelhead, Cohos, Pinks, etc. from beaches and piers. Hopefully the weather cooperates when we go up and the lake isn't rough all week after the 12 hour drive haha. I do have a question for you guys, though. We have an extra day at the end of our trip that we were originally just going to skip and go home to rest, but being the fish nut that I am we might use that extra day up there for another day of fishing instead. If we do use it to fish, we'd either do some shore fishing on the St. Mary's for more Atlantics, or potentially book a charter for a day on northern Lake Huron to experience a new lake and hopefully catch a nice mixed bag of Salmonids. Can anyone recommend any reliable charters for the northern Huron area? Alpena seems to be a pretty popular port, but I'm sure there's some other good ones too. Again, Lake Trout are the primary target, but some Browns, Steelies, and Atlantics in the mix would be fine too!
  7. Lead-free weights and line question Hey guys. Does anyone have a good online source for buying lead free weights? Going to need multiple styles, but most importantly I'm currently looking for 10# (maybe 12#) cast iron downrigger balls with fins. Not having much success finding any yet. I'm also looking for snap weights or regular bell weights in the 1-5oz range (probably nickel or tin, I'd guess) to use on my board rods for more versatility than the 10 color leadcore I used last season. On that note. Those of you who use snap weights, what's your line setup? As I said, I used 10 colors of leadcore last season on my planer board rods and felt it was very limiting as to how deep you can fish (even with various lures, I can still only get in the 50-75' range). With snap weights, I'll be able to go as light as an ounce or even no weight for 1-10' subsurface Steelhead and White Bass up to 5oz on a slow troll to bounce bottom down to 140' for Lakers. I'm thinking along the lines of 200yds of 50# braid mainline with 200yds of filler 40-50# mono backing should work well, but wanted to get the thoughts of you guys first. I know braid can be an issue with fleas in the summer in general, but I'll mainly be fishing eastern Lake Erie, which doesn't have many of the smaller more annoying fleas, so I should be fine there unless I take a trip to Lake Ontario (which I mainly do in the spring and fall anyway). Thanks for the help! -Sean
  8. Are the weights lead or iron?
  9. Best Mooching Rods and Reels?

    Earl, I don't believe that mooching rods have triggers considering the reel is on the bottom of the rod, maybe you're thinking of the conventional casting rod setups they use for the non-trolling mooching technique out west. On a side note, I measured my downrigger rod holders yesterday and they're much shorter than I remembered, only about 7.5", which means that the 8.5" butts on the mooching rods will be suitable. So, I'm thinking that the setups I'll be going with will be the Shimano Convergence rods in 10'6", medium power slow action and the Daiwa M-One UTD reels with 25 pound mono.
  10. Best Mooching Rods and Reels?

    Anyone here use the 9' TFO mooching rods? http://templeforkoutfitters.ca/9-downrigger-mooching-rod-blue-blank.html The shorter length is nice but at over double the price of the Convergence and still the same short rear grip (8.5"), I'm skeptical. Ideally, something 9'0" with a slow action, medium power, and 10-12"+ rear grip would be perfect for me, maybe just a standard downrigger rod? But then I believe the guides are different between conventional and mooching style trolling rods, with mooching guides being more similar to those on a spinning rod.
  11. Best Mooching Rods and Reels?

    Phishtix, thanks for the info, do you recall what model of the E6X you're using? I have a couple E6X spinning rods and love them, but for use as downrigger rods, they're a tad expensive haha. mrhookup, that's good to know! I was partial to the Daiwa due to quality but now I have someone with experience with both reels to confirm that. Yeah I can imagine that having copper on 1:1 reels with no levelwind might get a bit messy lol. I do a lot of fly fishing though (more than I troll or boat fish, actually), so I've got experience guiding line on to that style of reel. Do you have a preference for 20# vs 25# mono? I haven't noticed much of a difference myself, and I can fit a few extra yards of the former on any given reel than the latter, my only concern is the strain when running Dodgers and flashers at high speeds, etc.. I'll have to look in to different rods, 7' might be a tad short for me but something in the 9' range would be perfect for storage and still long enough for a good fight, though I don't believe any true "mooching" rods are made at that shorter length.
  12. Favorite Plugs???

    OP, are you referring to J-Plugs or Crankbait style plugs? I use the latter quite often, X-Raps, Bay Rat LXDs, and my favorite, M-2 Flatfish. Mainly troll them slow for Lakers and cast-and-retrieve them for all Salmonids. Rip fast at first to get them down then reel in slowly .
  13. Best Mooching Rods and Reels? Does anyone here use mooching setups for Great Lakes trolling? This seems to be more of a west coast method but it's also slowly growing in popularity on the Great Lakes. I'm considering buying a pair of them to use as my Downrigger rods this season but wanted to get some feedback from guys who've trolled with this style of rod and reel before. The single action reel has to make the fight of any fish even more fun, almost like using a fly reel, which is my preferred method of angling if practical, not to mention I'll bet the maintenance of this type of reel is a lot less than line counter level winds. The longer rods with a slow action also sound great but at the same time I'm not a fan of only having an 8.5" rear grip in the rod holder if a big Steelie starts going aerial and storing a rod over 10' could definitely be problematic, though I'd say it'd be worth it for all of the benefits this type of combo offers. If I do end up buying a couple setups, I was thinking the Shimano Convergence rods in 10'6" medium-power, slow-action, 1-4 ounce presentations with either the Daiwa M-One UTD or Shimano GT-4000 reels and 20# or 25# mono. The Islander MR3s and Daiwa Raws both look great too, but I don't have that kind of money to throw around at the moment haha. Any thoughts on the best rods and reels for someone just starting out with this type of trolling? The main species I'll be targeting will be Lake Trout (5-30#), Steelhead (1-20#), Brown Trout (1-20#), Pink Salmon (1-5#), Walleye (3-15#), Drum (2-30#), and White Bass (.5-6#) on eastern Lake Erie with the occasional trip to Lake Ontario for Lakers, Chinooks, Cohos, Atlantics, Steelhead, and Browns. Thanks for the help, all! -Sean
  14. New to site

    Welcome to the site from a fellow Erie Gar angler!
  15. best reels for wire rods

    My wire reels are Shimano Tekota 600-LCs. A bit pricy, I think I got them for around $220-230 each, but well worth it for the quality.