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    Michigan City, IN

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scoffer's Achievements



  1. Nice job on the install, looks great. I run multiple batteries as well, using the Blue Sea Systems add a battery kit with ACR. https://www.bluesea.com/products/7650/Add-A-Battery_Kit_-_120A Motor and manufacturer electrical (lights, bilge, blower, etc.) are on the starting battery, then all my Raymarine electronics (Ray 60 VHF, A78 MFD, CP200 sidevision, Evolution AP system) and Fish Hawk are on the second "house" battery, which is a large type 29 deep cycle. Down riggers are on a 3rd battery (type 29 deep cycle) that just gets charged by shore power. Keeping the AP on a separate battery than you motor seemed like a good idea to me when I was planning out the system. Now, my only complaint so far with the Evolution AP system is the lack of an appropriate trolling pattern... The only thing they have that is close to an S pattern is what they call zig zag... the smallest degree of turn that you can program is an 80 degree turn (100 degree inside angle). This is a bit too steep, though I have used it cautiously and have managed to avoid tangles so far. I have a feature request in with them asking for a more moderate degree of turn for their zig zag pattern, or a completely separate "S" style pattern. So far, no luck. I'm hoping that it might be included when they update all of their current MFD's to the new Light House 3 operating system that came out with their new Axiom MFD's.
  2. Michigan City 5/13 PM Had stuff going on in the morning so didn't get out until around noon. Fished until about 7:15 Still having some engine strangeness with timing and idle RPM changing on its own (suspect something is hanging up in the advance on the distributor), so stayed within a few miles of shore. Not a lot as far as marks went, pretty sporadic. Water temp at surface ranged from 50 - 52, ball temp 48 - 50 when in the lower water column. Trolled out to about 60 ft. while setting lines and turned west running bottom tracking on the ball with a variety of spoons. Ran the other rigger between 30 and 40 moving it every so often. Ran Spindoctor / fly combo and flasher / fly combo on mag dipseys 60 - 80 ft back, keeping them in the lower portion of the water column. Ran thin fin on one board and jet diver / spoon combo on the other. Had I been thinking I would have just pulled out one of the lead core rods and done that instead... I'm still a novice at this, so it's a learning experience every time. Kept seeing small marks in 10 - 15 ft of water which I thought was just noise from the prop wash. At about 5 we were ready to call it with no fish on the boat and a few misses. We were in about 40 ft of water right off of Mt Baldy at the time. I decided to cycle one of the riggers cycle between 18 -10 feet every 15 seconds. Rod popped right as the rigger stopped cycling at the full up position. Small 6lb King. Finally a fish in the boat! After that we ran everything up to the top of the 20 ft of the water column. I changed out the mag dipseys to small deeper divers and put spoons on those about 60 back to try and put them in 15 ft. Didn't get another hit unfortunately. Got to play around with setting rods quite a bit though and manged to get the zig zag pattern on my autopilot to a usable setting. Kept a 2.2 - 2.5 speed at ball most of the day, which was about 2.7 at the surface (Fish Hawk). Hoping that I can get the last of the engine gremlins cleared out so I feel confident enough to go offshore with the boat. Until then, I'll keep trying in close I suppose. WP_20170513_14_42_49_Pro.mp4
  3. Michigan City 5/3/17 Boat has been in since 4/2, but had some more mechanical issues. Went out a few times for troubleshooting / testing, but not fishing. Managed to cut out of work a couple of hours early yesterday to get some lines wet for a couple of hours. Got to the harbor mouth at about 4:30 PM. Wind had picked up and the wave period got pretty short, so we were getting banged around pretty good even though it was only 2's. Had a few marks just to the north of the lighthouse in 40 to 50ft of water, but no takers. Decided to turn out of the waves for a more comfortable ride and dropped the trolling bags in to keep speed down. A few more marks, but no takers. Once we got to the south light there was pretty much no marks. Trolled to Baldy in about 40ft or so and turned around to head back in. Pulled lines at about 6:45 as we entered the break wall. Long story short, we got skunked. Still a good trip to test out the boat though, so I'll take that. Spoke with a guy who pulled in right as we were about to head out. He had a few fish, but said they were fishing 15 miles out. Definitely did not have time for that run and less than ideal conditions, so we tried our luck in shallow. Temp at the probe was pretty consistent with the surface temp. I think the lowest we saw was 48 on the bottom throughout our trip, 49 - 50 was the average. Surface temp was 50. Looks like the lake is going to be pretty torn up until Monday. Not sure what they plan to do for the Coho Classic this weekend, but if the NOAA forecast is accurate, I would think it would be cancelled...
  4. I think you will really be impressed with the Raymarine system, and I think you will find it well worth the cost. And... If you are looking at upgrading your MFD / Sonar anytime soon, check out the new Axiom MFD's with the RealVision 3D Sonar they just announced a few weeks ago. It would definitely be a great integrated system. http://www.raymarine.com/multifunction-displays/axiom/ I just put my system together last year, and I'm really bummed the Axiom line wasn't available at that time. I would have jumped on it in a heartbeat.
  5. I put a Raymarine EV-100 system in my 1977 Searay 240 SDB last year. It has dual helms and hydraulic steering, so I was able to use the pump and the cheaper packaged system (think I only paid $1300 for it all brand new and there was an additional $200 rebate after that). I shopped around for quite a bit to find that deal. Check this place out for good deals on Raymarine stuff: https://www.thegpsstore.com The nice thing about the Raymarine system is that it can be operated completely independent of any chart plotter and comes with a display (p70R for power boats). I have mine interfaced with my Raymarine a78 display. I have to say, I love this system. It holds course very very well even in rough conditions. It also has built in patterns that you can run should you so choose. If you interface it with a plotter, you can just punch in coordinates and tell the autopilot to take you there. I think if you are going to go the Raymarine route and you don't want to switch over to hydraulic steering, you might be able to use one of their Mechanical Rotary drives to interface with your existing helm. http://www.raymarine.com/view/?id=579 (You will have to click on the Mechanical Rotary tab to view the drive) I'm not entirely sure, but the way it reads on their site, those drives are intended for interfacing with a cable steering system. I believe they interface right at the helm, so you would not remove your existing power steering from the equation, and when the autopilot is not engaged, the steering system should act normally with no interference from the autopilot drive. The downfall is that you will have to go with the more expensive EV200 system to interface with that drive type, and the drive itself is pretty spendy. Your are looking at over $3k in parts at this point... $1699 for the EV200 (add it to the cart for that price) @ GPS Store: https://www.thegpsstore.com/Raymarine-Evolution-EV200-Autopilot-P3814.aspx Looks like there is a $400 rebate on that right now though through Raymarine though... http://www.raymarine.com/uploadedFiles/Competitions/GearUp2016/Raymarine_SuperGearUp_2017.pdf $1400 for the drive: https://www.amazon.com/RAYMARINE-M81135-Rotary-Drive-Type/dp/B001CTXRTO That all being said... If you are even entertaining the thought of a Raymarine system, go to the Raymarine forum and create an account and make a new thread detailing your current boat setup as you have here and ask what your options are as far as a setup goes. http://forum.raymarine.com/index.php The moderators on there are Raymarine employees and are very well oriented with the technical details of their systems. They got me through quite a few questions on my install. You can also call their technical support directly and speak with them over the phone if you prefer. http://www.raymarine.com/display/?id=773 I understand your reasoning completely in regards to wanting to get an autopilot. The way my boat is set up, it was pretty much impossible to fish without a three man crew. Helm is down below requiring steps down or on the fly bridge requiring navigating a ladder, so, unless you had three people or more, one person would have to be at a helm to steer and whoever was reeling a fish in would have to net it themselves... Not a good setup and more than likely a double hookup would end with a lost fish. Also, if you do interface a Raymarine WiFi enabled MFD (like the a78), you can use an iPad or Android tablet to connect to the system and change the course of the autopilot from there... No need to run back to the helm! Hope this helps a bit!
  6. I've started to grow my collection of trolling flies and am outgrowing putting them in a Plano divider box, or at least I will need several more. How does everyone else store their trolling files? Trying to avoid a tangled mess here.
  7. Thanks. At least it was a nice day, so got to catch some sun!
  8. Hi all, first post here. After going out with friends for the last few years and fishing off of their boats, I finally decided to get my own boat so I could get out more often. Bought an old 1977 Searay last year at the end of the season for a very low price. Lots of work needed to be done on it. Finally got it in the slip mid July this year after getting it outfitted and most repairs done. Turned out there were more repairs to be done once I actually took it out on the water... Turned out the resistance wire in the engine harness had gone bad... Took two months a couple of breakdowns, a tow, and a whole lot of head scratching to figure that one out... Anyways, finally made it out yesterday for the first day of fishing, way too late in the season. Left the slip at about 8:45 AM. Marked a good number of fish from the DNR building all the way out to the breakwall. Outside of the breakwall, there was nothing. Marked a couple of good sized bait balls right outside of the mouth of the north end of the breakwall though. Set lines and ran back in, out, and around the break wall. Marked fish, but no hits. Decided to troll out to the Purdue Research Buoy which is right on the Michigan / Indiana state line. Buoy data showed a nice thermocline right between 45 and 48 ft, so we figured we'd find some fish there. Not a single mark, and the Fish Hawk probe did not reflect that water temp change. Surface temp on the Fish Hawk was consistent with the surface temp from the buoy. Probe showed only a 2 degree drop down close to 60 ft, which was right on the bottom. Buoy data did show that the temp was the same from surface down to 45 ft., but then showed the thermocline occurring between 45ft (around 62 degrees) and 48ft (right around 48 degrees). Seemed a bit drastic to me, but I would hope that a research buoy would have accurate information. Going to assume that the probe maybe damaged even though it's brand new out of the box this spring and this is the first time it's been used... At this point we continued to troll due West to stay in Indiana water (neither of us had our Michigan licenses). Trolled the line for about 5 miles or so, then turned back toward Michigan City. Wind started picking up pretty good. Forecast had originally called for SE winds at 10 knots, but by this point, wind direction had changed to NE at about 15 knots. Waves built a bit from gentle Eastbound rollers when we decided to troll out to the buoy to NE 2-3 footers with small caps. Nothing major, but definitely not what was originally forecasted. Regardless, just wanted to be on the water and put the boat to the test, so we trolled all the way back to MC and got beat around for the next few hours. I don't think we marked a single fish the entire way out to the buoy or back until we got back inside of the breakwall. Got back to the slip at 4:45 PM. Long story short, we were completely skunked. Didn't mark a single fish most of the day so I can't blame the presentation. Trolling bags allowed me to get the speed at the probe all the way down to 1.3 when going into the waves, and kept us right around 1.8 - 2 at idle when going with them. Varied speed from bottom at idle up to 2.8, made turns of varying degrees, etc. Just didn't put ourselves on top of the fish... Should have stayed inshore and kept trolling from the DNR building to the breakwall and back where we were marking fish (saw a few of them hitting bugs on the surface as well). Might have picked up a couple of hungry ones. Going to try to get out again this week and follow that game plan. Here's the buoy data website if anyone is interested / doesn't already know about it: http://iiseagrant.org/buoy/index.php It updates every 10 minutes, and could be a pretty decent resource as long as it's accurate.
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