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Everything posted by Divemaster

  1. Glad I could help, you won't be disappointed with them for Walleye fishing. I fish the eastern basin of Erie myself, PA and NY waters.
  2. I've been using them for the past two years. I don't use plugs very often but when I do, there's always one or two Bay rats in my Spread. I use the chartreuse long-extra deep, Orange long-extra deep, and Purple long-deep. Those same three run on flatlines, boards, and wire Diver's have been producing Walleye, Steelhead, and Lakers the last two seasons.
  3. Thanks! Spring Lakers were a bit slower than usual for us but summer was on fire whenever we could get out.
  4. Thanks! Drum are such an underutilized sportfish. Hit like a freight train and take off running, even more fun when you can jig them in 8-20'. Even had a couple spool me with a 12lb leader! Our biggest this year was only a 9 pounder but in 2015 we boated a 10, 12, and 14.
  5. 2017 Bigwater Catches Haven't posted much here lately so I figured I'd share a few pictures from our season out on the bigwater this year. Our season ran from early April to early November (though, Oct. and Nov. we're totally dead) and we fished three of the Great Lakes this year including our home eastern Lake Erie and western Lake Ontario on our boat as well as central Lake Superior on Captain John Tomczyk's boat (Daybreak Charters, also highly recommended if you're looking for a great experience!). On Erie we trolled for Lakers, Drum, and White Bass and jigged for Drum and Walleye. Lake Ontario in early August was monster Steelhead trolling with plenty of small Chinook as bycatch. Lake Superior in late June was a great new place to fish for us and we caught a multitude of native Lakers. It's amazing how much variation Superior fish have since they're the original strains and have adapted specifically for the various environments of that lake. Another awesome season in the books, we'll be back at it again next April for Erie Lakers, but until then it's time to keep crushing them in streams and rivers! (We catch & release 95% of our trolled fish, but a few pictured below (the gill gripped ones) were kept for the grill.) Erie Lake Trout Wicked Lamprey wound Largest fish of Spring, 18 pounds 8.5# Walleye White Bass are welcome on our boat Superior Laker Bug-eyed Char 33" Lake Superior tank Awesome coloration Inshore Drum jigging 37" 23# Erie Laker Action was hot in July New PB Lake Trout, 38" 24#, eastern Lake Erie Some more jigged Drum Lake O Steel Bycatch Chinook 12 pound Steelshark
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 .
  16. 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
  17. Welcome to the site from a fellow Erie Gar angler!
  18. 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.
  19. I very rarely eat fish, usually only 1-4 times a month during boating season and once every month or two during the rest of the year. Most fishing on my boat is strictly C&R, we only keep the fish that are fatally injured or are suffering barotrauma. My Lake Trout season runs from mid April through late August (prime April and May) and usually there's about a 5% mortality rate, we keep that one fish out of every twenty or so and it tastes great, I just prefer to release all of my Lakers. Steelhead and Salmon season (June-September), we put them all back. Usually a 10-20% mortality rate and the fish that don't make it either we take home or let the gulls and Burbot eat. Just not a fan of the taste of either, much prefer Lake Trout to Salmon or chrome. I'm in the mood for a well prepared Steelhead once or twice a season, but other than that, they're all going back in. Great sport, just not the best tasting fish to my palette.
  20. Very nice! My shallowest Laker so far is about 65' but I'm hoping to change that this fall with some Cleos and meat flies.
  21. That sounds like a great time! I agree with you that Redfins and leans are the most beautiful morphotype of Lakers, but being the complete fish-nerd that I am, the opportunity to catch all of these different types of Lake Trout in one place is very appealing to me. Thanks for the info, and you should be hearing from me soon about booking a charter or two.
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