Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Divemaster

  1. Wow, that's extremely shallow compared to what I thought. It may even be possible to catch them on weighted streamers at some point then. Are most of the fish leans and humpers, or are there some cool Siscowets mixed in there too?
  2. I've watched that video a few times, the fishing there looks amazing! How deep of water are you targeting on the reef? I know it can be anywhere from 10-600'+ in some spots.
  3. Dang, what did that beast measure? That's exactly the kind of fish I'm looking for!
  4. Thanks for the info! I've read much about Stannard Rock, and although it's expensive I'm hoping to get out there for one of the days during my trip. So far the three charters I've considered are Daybreak, Shelter Bay, and Keweenaw. The first two both seem to be pretty highly praised, but I haven't heard anything about the last one, which I think may be a newer charter.
  5. Hello, everyone. I'm planning on making a several day to week long trip up to Lake Superior next summer and I'm starting to put the plans together for it now. I've wanted to fish Superior for a few years now and if all things go as planned, I'm aiming to make the 10-12 hour trip north next June or July. Being as my home port is Erie, PA on Lake Erie, Lake Superior is simply too far away to haul my boat up, especially seeing as how I've never fished it and thus am not familiar first hand with its waters other than what I know from the Internet. The number one reason I'll be making this trip is for the trophy, native strain Lake Trout that I see coming out of the lake on a regular basis. From all I've gathered, Superior looks to be the number one Laker fishery in the US, and pretty high on the worldwide list. Lake Trout are the primary target on this trip and I won't be complaining if I catch nothing but them, but I certainly wouldn't mind a Steelhead, Coho, or Pink mixed in here and there, though they are not priority fish. As I said earlier, I won't be bringing my boat this far north so I plan on doing all charters up there when fishing the lake. I may also fly fish Brookie streams for a day or two, so looking for about 4-5 days of boat fishing for Lakers on the actual lake. If anyone can suggest a good charter boat and guide or two specializing in Lake Trout, I would greatly appreciate it! Not sure what town I'll be staying in yet, but I'm considering either Marquette or somewhere on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Willing to drive up to 60 minutes in the morning to whatever port the charter goes out of. One last thing I should add is that I would like the Lake Trout fishing to be diverse whoever I go out with. Looking to both troll and jig for them, and possibly even cast lures or fly fish if the Lakers are shallow/suspended enough. Above all else I'm hoping to learn a new thing or two about fishing for my favorite species and the Great Lakes as a whole from whoever I fish with, and hopefully C&R some nice fish while I'm at it. Thanks for the help, guys!
  6. Any thoughts on this? Going to order the rod and reel within the next couple days and I'm still going back and forth, but leaning towards the Calcutta. My only other concern with this setup is that the G. Loomis E6X Swimbait rod I'm most likely going with is a heavy power rod. It's made for 1/2-2 ounce lures with a moderate fast action and 7'4" length, which is all perfect, but heavy power seems a bit much, although if it's made for Bass then I guess it shouldn't be too stout of a rod, so it should probably be fine.
  7. I'd love to get a 400b or 700b, but unfortunately they only make them in right hand retrieve models, at least what I've seen, and it's very annoying to me (for casting purposes) to have to switch the rod from hand-to-hand every cast to work the lure in. I'd love a nice Calcutta 301d which is left handed, but $380 is too expensive for me after just buying 4 new trolling setups for around $1,000 in April. The Trinidads also look great, but again, too expensive and only right hand retrieve. I wouldn't be so against right handed reels if I was only jigging, but this setup is for both jigging and casting. So at this point, it's really just the Calcutta 200b versus the Ambassedeur C4 6601. Unless anyone has another suggestion for a left-hand retrieve model?
  8. I'm still liking the G. Loomis E6X Swimbait rod, but now thinking about the Shimano Calutta 201b reel. 27" retrieve, 6.0:1 gear ratio, 11# max drag (might be a bit light?), 135 yards of 40# braid. Anyone ever use this reel?
  9. The other reel I was considering was the Abu Garcia Ambassedeur C4-6601. 6.3:1 gear ratio 30" retrieve 15# max drag. Looks good to me, but it seems like with Abu Garcias most people either love them or hate them. Ideally, I'd get myself a nice Calcutta 301D, but that's a bit out of my current price range.
  10. Thinking about this setup. G. Loomis E6X Swimbait Rod 7'4" Heavy-Power Mod/Fast-Action 1/2-2 ounce lures. For the reel, a Shimano Cardiff 301A 5.8:1 gear ratio 24" line retrieve 10# max drag. Spooled up with 30# green PowerPro. Sound good to you guys? I've heard mixed things on the Cardiff, but it seems good overall.
  11. (Skip to last paragraph if you don't want to read my rant haha) I'm currently looking to buy myself a new setup for Lake Trout and thought I'd get some opinions from people here. I just started fishing for Lakers a bit over a year ago, only having the chance to fish them once last spring and due to weather, only 7-8 full days this year from April-June. During that time, however, I've come to call them my favorite fish to catch on lakes (whereas Brookies are my favorites in streams). Where I fish for them on Lake Erie, they're only readily available to anglers from April-June and October-December, even with a boat they're difficult to locate and even harder to catch during the summer months. Fishermen on Erie only target them by trolling, in April and May, but I don't follow standard angling convention, and I'm looking to hammer some pre and post spawn fish this Fall and early Winter not only by trolling, but also jigging and casting (what I want a new setup for, as my current Laker rods and reels are all for trolling). In addition, I'm making a trip up to Lake Ontario either at the end of this month or sometime in early August (and hopefully again in October). When I go up there, I've heard that they're accessible to anglers all summer in 70-170 FOW using both trolling and jigging techniques, another reason to buy a dedicated rod for this purpose. As for what I'm looking for in a new setup, I'd like it to be pretty versatile, so that I can use it well for a variety of active fishing methods, I won't be worried about investing in technique specific setups until I get deeper in to Laker fishing over the course of the next several years and hopefully for the remainder of my angling career. Anyway, the rod should be able to handle Great Lakes sized Lake Trout. The smallest Laker I've caught this year on Lake Erie was 8.5 pounds with the largest sitting at right about 25 pounds, the average fish is anywhere from 10-16 pounds, in my experience. Lake Ontario is supposed to have even larger Trout, with anglers occasionally catching 30+ pound fish. The rod also needs to be able to fish a variety of lures such as various types of jigs, jerkbaits, and casting spoons, and possibly crankbaits/stickbaits as well, but I won't be upset if I cannot use the later. It should have enough sensitivity to be able to feel the subtle takes of light biters while deep-jigging, but have enough backbone to be able to get solid hook sets in the bony mouths of these fish. As far as length goes, I'm thinking 7' minimum, but probably something 7'6" or 8'. One of the other reasons for me buying a new rod is that my current two rods I use for casting on the lake cover opposite sized lures. I have one rated for 1/8-3/8 ounce lures and one rated for 2.25-6 ounce ones, but nothing to use for throwing and jigging 1/2-2 ounce lures, so the rod should be suited to handle baits anywhere from 1/2-3 ounces, ideally. As for the reel, I'm still debating whether to go for a large spinning reel, or a casting reel. And if casting, whether a low profile or a round/traditional. I'm leaning towards a round casting, but not sure yet. The most important thing here is that it needs to be able to hold at least 100 yards of line (preferably more), most likely braid, for deepwater jigging in, at times, over 100' deep water. A higher gear ratio would be beneficial for jigging and for jerkbaits, the two types of lures I'll be using the most, but for the constant pull of heavier spoons, would a mid-range gear ratio be more versatile, or would it not be as efficient for jigs and jerkbait fishing? Whichever type of reel I go with, I think a medium to large sized reel would be beneficial, a 2500-4000 size for spinning reels or 300-400 size for casting reels. For line, I'm definitely going to go with braid mainline (probably use a couple feet of fluoro as a leader), but I'm debating how heavy to go. The three sizes I'm thinking are 30#, 50#, or 65#. They all have their places, but for primarily jigs and jerkbaits, I think 30# power pro should work well. I'd like to invest in a quality setup that will last me a while, but also don't want to break the bank, so I'm willing to spend up to $250-350 total on it. With that said, does anyone have suggestions for specific makes or brands of rods and reels to look in to for the use of 1/2-2 ounce jigs, jerkbaits, and casting spoons for 5-30+ pound Lake Trout in anywhere from 5-170 FOW on primarily lakes Erie and Ontario? Thanks for the help once again, everyone! -Sean
  12. Thanks for the tip. I know orange is popular for Steel but I'll try all different colors. Caught my current PB (9#) last August on a deep diver Reef Runner in Purple/Pink/Chartreuse 50-60' down in 100 FOW. Taking a break this weekend (been at it nonstop every weekend since the end of April) but I'll be up for the next one and if winds cooperate (10% of the time on Erie, it feels like) then I'll head out to the trenches and start looking for them. Thanks for the tips, everyone! PS, what are some of the best colors for Steelhead? I know orange and red are universal but for example do the best spoon colors differ from flasher/fly colors? I've got tons of MI Stingers but might buy a few Spin Doctors and flies here soon.
  13. Yes, it's very nice to troll so quietly. The loudest thing you'll hear all day on the boat is the fish finder, unless a fish is on, then it gets loud :). That's a good idea. When it's flat calm it's amazing how little power the troller uses and when we're heading with the waves I barely have to turn it on to go around 2.0 mph. I'd love to get a 9.9 kicker but there's two problems with that for my boat. 1) the swim platform is thick and slanted, so there's no good way to mount it. And 2) the only place we had room to mount riggers was a small area on the back and they only have 24" beams so they barely clear the swim platform as it is, no room for a kicker back there too. This really wasn't a fishing boat until we turned it in to one, but when my dad's dad offered it for $6,000 in great shape we couldn't pass.
  14. Yeah, I had a fun time calculating lure depth last year with no tables, varying speeds, and running 900 Reef Runners off of rigger balls LOL. Glad I have leadcore and diver rods plus the precision trolling app this year!
  15. I've got a couple flatfish I bought for lakers (of course, never caught a single one on them) so I'll them for Steelhead too. That's one of the things I don't like about slowing down, not covering as much water. Then again, USFW only stocks 325,000 Lakers yearly for the entire lake while PA alone stocks 1,000,000 Steelhead, so there should be plenty of them down there! I could also use my main engine at faster speeds so it runs cleaner, maybe like 3.0-4.5 mph if the fish will chase the lures.
  16. Thanks for the tips. The highest up we've caught Steelhead has been 40' down, probably because of the warm surface water in Erie, but in the other Great Lakes I suppose 40' down is pretty high in the water column haha. That's good to hear with the stingers as they're my number one spoon, have a few boxes of them in all different sizes and colors. I figured Magnums were too big for Steelhead but I guess not.
  17. Here on eastern Lake Erie, it's almost the season for summer offshore Steelhead (for the 5-10 boats that actually fish for something other than Walleye/Perch). After a very successful spring Laker season, I'm excited to see how the improvements on our boat (6 rod spread this year, 2 last year. Plus a new, quiet electric trolling motor) will affect our catch rate. The only downside is speed. From what I've gathered the past year or so, many say that Steelhead like the fastest trolling speeds of any of the Great Lakes Salmonids. Last year, we caught a couple trolling for Walleye at 1.8-2.4 mph, but most were around 2.5-3.0 mph, 90% caught on spoons and 10% on plugs. Last year we also used a trolling plate on the main I/O engine to troll (long story but it broke off). The noise and stink that the main engine created after a couple hours at trolling speeds annoyed everyone on the boat, so we decided to get a Minn Kota Saltwater Riptide with 160# of thrust for this season. It's a great motor, incredibly quiet, trolls up to 3.8 mph, and pushes our 22' Sea Ray with ease. The only problem: short battery life. We even have four 29 deep cycle batteries just for the trolling motor and yet it still only gets 7-8 hours at 1.5-1.8 mph and 4-5 hours at 2.4-2.8 mph, the two speeds we use for Laker trolling. With steelhead seeming to love 2.5-3.0 mph, I fear we may only get 3-4 hours from the motor which is very disappointing considering we fish 8-12 hours each day. My question for you all: Are there any baits/lures/presentations that work well for catching Steelhead at a slower speed (say, 2.0-2.5 mph) so that we can save battery life on the troller? Since we only fished spoons and plugs on two rods last year, I'm thinking maybe there's some other type of lure that will work better at low(er) speeds for Chromers. Maybe something like Dodgers or Flashers, or even a different style of spoon? If not, I guess we could always use the main engine for a couple hours wants the troller is dead, but I'd prefer not to. If the area we're fishing matters for this, we do most of our Steelhead trolling in the summer in 60-160 FOW (60-80 FOW in the shallower west and 80-140 FOW to the deeper east, on average). Surface temp June-August tends to be 70-78°F with down temps anywhere from 39-55°F. The Steelhead out of Erie average 3-10# with a few in the 11-15# range and that rare 15#+ being caught a couple times each year. Thanks for the help.
  18. Stingers are my number one spoons. Yes, the paint starts to chip after a few toothy fish and I've even had big 18-25# Lakers destroy the relatively strong hooks beyond use to where they need replaced, but man the fish love them so it's worth buying new ones to replaced damaged or chipped ones, in my opinion. Just started fishing Dreamweavers this year, but so far no fish on them.
  19. Thanks for the tip, that'll be helpful for faster-hitting Lakers and Summer Chromers! So, attach the splitshot right on the loop of the fly/spin'n'glo at the end of the leader, or the loop where the dodger attaches to the top leader? Sorry, I've just never used these so I don't know all the terminology yet haha.
  20. Dodgers with spin'n'glos still work as well at that high speed? I thought they'd twist your line pretty bad and make full rotations instead of a lazy swing.
  21. I ordered myself a pair of dodgers from Anglers Avenue last night to try out. Not expecting them to be here for this weekend, but hopefully they'll come for the next one. I ordered a green edge and a fire tiger, both silver horde dodgers, both have the "trash can" finish and either a silver/green or chartreuse size 0 spin n glo. Looking forward to trying them out, but from what I've heard about 1.5-1.7 mph is the speed to troll these, that's going to take some getting used to considering I've caught all of my Lakers in the 2.4-2.8 mph range.
  22. If you're boat fishing troll 1.2-1.8 mph at night anywhere from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM around tributary mouths with all Flatlines and planer boards. Use shallow diving stickbaits like small Reef Runners, shallow Bay Rats, Floating Rapalas, and X-Raps. If you're shore fishing like I usually do this time of year (fishing Lakers all day) at night on Erie (fishing PA waters), then cast all of those same lures as above with a medium power, fast action rod with a fairly slow retrieve and long pauses. Good luck!
  23. I haven't tried it but I'd like to. Sadly, I don't have any access to smelt in my area so it's not really an option. Do you think frozen Creek Chubs would work? I've got plenty of them around me in SW PA that I could catch, freeze, and try with a bait rig.
  24. So far this year, we've been doing very well trolling for Lake Trout thanks to the help of everyone here who has posted on my previous threads. However, I feel that we may be able to bring even more fish to the boat if I added some new lures and attractors to my arsenal in order to diversify my spread. As of now, all of the Lakers we've caught this year have been on 3-6" spoons trolled at a higher speed than is typical for Lake Trout (2.5-3.0 mph). This presentation has been working great, but, I do want to add some other lures and attractors as well in order to see if it results in more and or larger fish (although I can't complain, of the 8 fish landed in a total of two days this season so far, the smallest has been 11.5 pounds and the largest was 25 pounds!). Locally (the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie fishing in eastern PA waters), I've been hearing that many guys including charter captains have been doing well using spin'n'glows or peanuts (or whatever they're called) behind Dodgers, of which I've never used or own either. My questions pertaining to these are: How fast do you troll them for Lakers? How much and how heavy of a leader from dodger to peanut and also downrigger ball to dodger? What size of each? What colors work the best? And what are some good brands and places to buy them? I also know that many guys up on Lake Ontario will use cowbells/gang trolls for Lakers so earlier today I picked up a 60" 7-blade Luhr Jensen Dave Davis to familiarize myself with for next weekend. I really don't know much about these either but I figured I'd research how to fish them over the week and give it a try next time we're out. As far as cowbells go the questions I have are: How fast do I troll them? Is 60" a good length or should I go smaller like 36" or 48"? How much and how heavy of a mono or fluoro leader should I put behind them to the lures? What kind of lures do you troll behind them? And what are some good brands and places to buy them? Moving on from Lake Trout, in preparation for the summer offshore Steelhead season, I want to start getting together lures to fish for them as well. We did great on Chromers with spoons and stickbaits last year but I see that many guys use flasher and fly combos, especially in the upper Great Lakes. For these I pretty much have the same questions as the previous lures: How fast do you troll them? What size flasher and fly? What colors work the best for Steelhead? How much and how heavy of a leader from flasher to fly and also downrigger ball to flasher? And what are some good brands and places to buy them? Once again, sorry for the tremendous amount of questions and feel free to answer them in a couple sentences only sharing as much info as you'd like, I'm just looking for the basics, no need to post all of your secret combos and tactics, unless you want to haha. This is only my second year trolling and this crowd seems like the most knowledgeable group of people on the Internet for Great Lakes trolling, which is why I keep posting these question threads here. Thanks again for the help! -Sean
  25. Those look like some great lures! I've noticed one thing in particular when trolling for Lakers, and that is when the fish have lockjaw, replace all the 3-4" spoons you're running with 5-6" ones and the fish will respond (might be more of a aggressive instinct rather than a predatory one).
  • Create New...