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Everything posted by Divemaster

  1. I use an HDS 5 gen 2 and it works great, I imagine it's much cheaper than a 9" gen 3 model. I've never used a fish hawk but am saving up for one, if you can afford one if you downgrade your fish finder then I'd definitely go for it.
  2. Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread over the last several months, I wouldn't know half of what I know now about trolling without the help of you all!
  3. Well, we did pretty good this Sunday for our first trip of the year. I landed all three of the Lakers that were on including the heaviest fish of my life, a 35" long by 24" around 25.04 pound Laker (first picture), a 30" long by 20" around 15.00 pound fish, and finally a 28" long by 18" around 11.50 pound fish. The first two were on the right (deeper) Downrigger 56-58 feet down and the last fish was on the left dipsy 40 feet down. All fish were caught on 3-5" MI stingers in about 60 FOW. I also had four other releases on one of the left rigger rod but not one time was a fish on the end of the line after it popped, any ideas on that? I changed the release in the ball and it still happened once after that, maybe the rod was too tight or a fish just T-boned and spit out the lure before it was hooked? PS, anyone know how to identify the different strains of Lakers? I know USFW stocked 3-6 strains of Lake Trout in Lake Erie and I can see the differences between the first two fish and the last one below but not sure what strains they are. I think the first two were either finger lakes or lake Champlain strain and the last one sort of looks like a lean Lake Superior strain.
  4. No, just somewhat close to it. Now as far as Downriggers go, yes, I'll be within a foot or two of the bottom if possible.
  5. I wasn't planning on running spin n glows on the leadcore, but rather on our downrigger and Dipsy setups. For the leadcore I plan on only using spoons, Crankbaits, and worm harnesses (when walleye or drum fishing).
  6. Okay, I wasn't expecting it to hit the bottom, just get within the bottom 20-30'. We don't have any of that last stuff yet but I'll be ordering some flies, spin'n'glows, cowbells, gangtrolls, flashers, and dodgers within the next couple of weeks (not buying all that at once after our major boat expenses!), can you suggest some good brands for any of the things I just listed?
  7. I guess I'd better add a few more shallow Rapalas and Bay Rats to my box then haha.
  8. Really? Theoretically, if I had all 10 colors of leadcore out plus a 50' 20# fluoro leader in front and a few feet of backing down before attaching the board, and I used a lure like a Reef Runner 800 Deep Diver or Flatfish M-2, approximately how deep would that go? Or maybe even something like a flutter spoon to stay shallower if there's no boats around. For the sake of this example lets say I'm trolling 2.5-2.6 mph. I have the precision trolling app on my phone but it doesn't cover all scenarios and speeds and I can only get data for up to 162 total feet of line out using leadcore trolling at 2.0mph so that can't be very accurate.
  9. Okay, I'll have to remember that for next year since we already have them both spooled with 10 colors. I like to idea of 3 colors on one and 7 colors on another though, it'll save some money on spools too! I guess we'll be flatlining this weekend when we're shallow, which will work fine for now. But like I said earlier, 10 colors will be very helpful in a month or two when Lakers are holding on the bottom in 70-110'+ of water.
  10. You can't clip the board to the leadcore at all?! That's going to be a problem for me considering we have reels loaded with 10 colors (300') of leadcore after 50' of fluoro. Not only is that too much line to have out in Presque Isle Bay (Max depth 35') with boats cruising around but that's going to sink lines way further down. It will be very helpful for deep water later in the year, though. It's hard to imagine that everyone is always running all of their leadcore, but I guess if you have enough reels to have some spooled up with different amounts then it wouldn't be a problem.
  11. So you're saying get your entire fluoro leader out (in my case, 50 feet), then let 20-30 feet of leadcore out before clipping it off to the board, correct?
  12. Fishing Lakers in the main lake off of the town of Northeast, PA and Steelhead/Browns on Presque Isle Bay in Erie, PA.
  13. Bump again lol. On a different note from water temp, how much line do you all let out from the reel after attaching the leadcore (or whatever line you use) to an inline planer board? I've heard everything from 50-200' of line out after you clip on the board. We'll be putting in for the year this Saturday so hopefully I'll have some nice fish from this year to finally post here after months of stream fishing for almost nothing other than 10-18" inland stocked trout haha.
  14. Bump for this ^. I'm aiming to finish it this week because we're launching next weekend and I'm hoping these temp ranges are pretty accurate.
  15. Yup, I normally just put on my tank and BCD and just climb down the Downrigger cables to see where the lures are LOL. My original plan was to run them on the number two base plate setting but I wasn't sure if keeping it farther away from the boat would get more strikes. I ordered the convectors prespooled actually so they're coming with a 50 feet leader of 20# fluorocarbon then 10 colors (300 feet) of 27# leadcore and finally 450 feet of 30# braid backing. We do have the planers already and they're offshore OR-12s. As for my boat, it's a 1997 Sea Ray 21.5' Express Cruiser. Main engine is a 260hp I/O with the trolling motor being a Minn Kota saltwater riptide (160 pounds of thrust). Unfortunately the back deck isn't very open compared to other boats but it still works nicely for 1-3 guys and maybe even a 4th. 90-95% of the time it's just my dad and I fishing so during that time we can only run 6 rods max (2 downriggers, 2 divers, and 2 planers).
  16. Thanks for the tips, bad dog! So if I'm running the dipsy diver with a base plate setting of 3, would that increase my chances of tangling with my planer board line! Also, how much line do you all tend to let out for inline planers after attaching them to the line? I don't want to have them so close that they'll snag my diver lines but I also don't want other boats to be running them over if everyone is on a school of fish. I did buy all my setups the other day for those wondering what I'm working with and they seem to match up with the specifications everyone is saying works best for the application. For the two diver rods I got 9'0" medium power Okuma Classic Pro GLTs and Shimano Tekota 600LC reels spooled with 30# green braid. The inline planer setups are 7'6" medium/heavy power St. Croix Triumph Musky rods and Okuma Convector CV-45D reels spooled with 27# leadcore and a 50' leader of 20# fluorocarbon.
  17. That's what I figured the reason for their success was, and why not many locals jig for them, although not many locals fish for them period since Erie is a world class Walleye fishery with coldwater fisheries only available year round in the eastern basin. I'll try jigging between trolling sessions in a week or two here when we launch the boat, hopefully I'll have some fish to report to you guys then!
  18. Okay, sounds good. 20# mono is already pretty strong plus the lakers we catch only average 5-20 pounds with the steelhead being 3-15 pounds so it's not like we're trying to catch musky or salmon. Although, we may try fishing Lake O sometime this year for Chinook's if we get a chance.
  19. Okay, locally Lake Trout are the most concentrated during the spawn in the Fall but they can at times stack up pretty well in the early Spring, I'll try jigging at those times. In the summer they're so scattered it's almost hard to catch them trolling, so I'll avoid jigging then. I'd love to get in to some open water Salmonids on the fly this year, hopefully they'll be shallow enough to get with sink-tip line and heavy streamers in a few weeks.
  20. Got my Downrigger reels spooled up earlier today. The local shop didn't carry the big game trilene that I used last year so I spooled both up with 20# Trilene XL instead. That should still be strong enough for Lakers and Steelhead, I assume?
  21. Hello, everyone. I'm probably getting ahead of myself as this season will only be our second year trolling and first year using a six rod spread, but, I'm also looking in to other methods of catching my main target species (Lake Trout) in order to have some variety in styles of fishing over the course of a day. From what I've read outside of trolling, jigging spoons seem to be the best way to target Lakers in the Great Lakes. One of my concerns is that this method of fishing is popular in the colder lakes like Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Where I fish at on Lake Erie the water is much warmer and shallower overall. In the summer it's difficult to find surface temperatures below 70° even at the Canadian border and the deepest water you'll find on the US side is just a little over 160', which is about 20 miles from port and our usual summer steelhead spots are normally 8-15 miles from port in 50-100'. Overall the summer isn't seeming that productive for the jigging option, Spring and Fall however provide lower water temperatures and our target areas provide a bit deeper water (10-130'). So, to get to my point, do you all think that it would be possible to catch Lake Trout using jigging spoons on Lake Erie during the spring and fall (and possibly summer) with such (relative to the other Great Lakes) warm, shallow water? Or would I be better off to just stick to all trolling? If it would be possible for me to catch them jigging,I have a few questions. 1) Is there a certain setup that will work well for this application? My plan as of now is to use my White Bass and Drum rod being a 6'8" medium power, extra fast action (just looks like a regular fast or even moderate fast action to me) G. Loomis E6X Jig/Senko rod (rated for 1/4 - 3/4 ounce lures) with a Shimano Sedona 2500FD spinning reel spooled with green 20 pound power pro braid mainline and a ~24" leader of 12 pound fluoro going to the snap swivel. Looking at a lot of the jigs people use for Lakers that setup seems a bit light, so I could also use my 7'6" heavy power, fast action musky casting rod I use for big jerkbaits that's rated for 2-6 ounce lures and has 50 pound braid, but the rod seems a bit overkill. 2) Are there any specific lures that work very well? For now I have a couple of 3/4 ounce little cleos I could use but I've also been looking at moonshine spoons as well. 3) Spoons vs tubes vs bucktails? Does one work better than the others in certain situations or water conditions, or is it just the preference of the individual fish? 4) Treble vs single hooks? I know trebles give you a better chance of hooking the fish and that's what I've been using on all of my trolling lures so far, but I've also heard that single hooks set and hold better in the mouth and obviously with one hook instead of three it will cause the fish much less pain. 5) Is there a certain water temperature, depth, and or position I'd want to have my lure in to catch the most fish? I'm guessing the answer to this is based on typical seasonal patterns of the fish, but just thought I'd ask to be safe. 6) Is there a good speed range to be drifting at for using jigging lures for these fish (I assume you're not anchored)? We tend to drift on an average of around 0.8-1.2 mph depending on wind and wave conditions if we're just letting the water push us. Aside from jigging, I've never heard of anyone doing this much in the Great Lakes but, has/does anyone use live or dead bait for Lake Trout? Before we started trolling last year, all we did on Erie for the previous 12 years I've been going up and 65 years my family has casually fished it has been to drift fish bait for mixed bag fish. If we were to bait fish for lake trout we'd probably dead drift (again 0.8-1.2 mph on average) with two or three rods (depending on whether I'd want to jig as well) with our rigs on the bottom and either drag the baits directly on the bottom or use one of my rigs that suspends the bait a few inches off of it (when you only dead drift for miscellaneous fish for 12 years, you start making some pretty involved rigs after a while ). Also, if I was to fish with bait, is there anything that works better than other bait? I know that Rainbow Smelt are the main forage of Lale Trout in Erie but you can't find them in any local bait stores. Emerald shiners are a popular local live bait and they're the second most important forage for local Lakers, but they still only comprise ~20% of their diet and are a fairly small species, though I could hook several on a large enough hook. Thanks for helping me out again, everyone, I appreciate you all sharing your knowledge! -Sean
  22. Lately, I've been working on a reference guide to have on our boat for the season with the most important information about all of the species we'll be targeting this year. I have been able to find the majority of the information that I need, but preferred water temperatures for each species seems to vary greatly with each source I check. So far, this table looks to be the most reliable, but what do you all think? Do these water temperatures seem to hold true when you're targeting the fish on here? http://www.fishhawkelectronics.com/salmon-walleye-fishing/preferred-water-temperature.html
  23. Has anyone ever used the Penn Squall for trolling? I know Penn makes great reels but most don't have line counters (for saltwater trolling), the 20 size model of the Squall does, though. I was thinking of using a pair of them for dipsies, I still am considering the Tekotas as well but for $80 less (each) the Squalls seem pretty nice! The gear ratio seems a little high to me (4.9:1) for pulling divers but what do you all think? The 20 size is also the second smallest model, but it still takes 455 yards of 50# braid which in my mind is pretty impressive! I was also thinking if I used braid, the rods could be multi-purpose and I could also use them as Flatlines if I was trolling shallow, but if wire makes a big difference in the divers I'll go with that. Also, I'm thinking of using a medium-heavy power Uglystick Tiger for my planer rods instead of a heavy power Tiger Lite, as some folks over at the fisherie.com forum were saying that heavy power was too stout for my primary target species. Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I buy the right gear that'll work well and last before I dish out a couple hundred dollars.
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