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Techniques. What am I doing wrong?


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Not sure if the only people talking on the radio are the people catching fish but it is maddening listening to people saying they didn't do that great when they get 5 for 7 in a day. I am happy when I catch 1 or 2.

That being said, what could we be doing wrong? We listen to reports on the radio of water depth and lure depth that they are catching them in, so I don't think location is an issue. Maybe it is the spoons that we are using? The spoons we use are not as big as some of the ones we see other people using and they are not glow in the dark. Seems like glow in the dark is popular, could that be it?

What about trolling speed? Generally we just use a GPS and troll at around 2.8 mph whether we are going into the current or with it.

Any tips would be appreciated, I just cant figure out why so many of you go out every time at catch at least 4-5 per time. I know there are a lot of fators to consider but what would be considered the biggest factor?

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The best advice I can give (not knowing what you are doing) is to take a ride with some of the advanced fisherman on the site. I learned an unbelievable amount of information when I started learning from fellow fisherman.

There are several on the site that often look for riders to fill the boat.

I suggest you take them up on their offer and pay for gas. OH, and bring donuts.

You will learn what you are doing wrong.

Many may offer advice, but they won't know what you are doing now that differs from their advice, so they won't know what to change.

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Yeah I figured it would be difficult to point me in the right direction without knowing exactly wha I am doing. Both of my brothers went out with other people to try and figure it out and they said the only thing different is the spoons are bigger/glow in the dark and their fish finders are able to show bait fish and thermoclines.

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I say the two biggest factors are speed and current direction, I've found that many times if your trolling direction is off 5-10 degrees either going into or with the current is the difference between great fishing or slow fishing.Also a sub surface probe ( depth raider , fish hawk) will tell you when you are truely running with or against the current, but the simplest wat to tell is when all your gear tracks straight. You willfind many times that trolling straight into the waves or with them is not completely following the current flow. Hope this helps alittle.

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My first thought if you know your spread is 'similar' to others who do catch a lot is read as many reports and research favorite spoons on this site. There are many threads about favorite spoons or favorite flasher and flies. Many with pictures. Then go out and buy a few of the known good producers and give it a go. Fish change depths and locations all the time so recent radio chat, fishing alot, reading reports, or talking to others is the best place to start. But usually the same spoons can and will produce day in and day out, granted some better then others. I find Silver Streak and Moonshine spoons have done great for me the past two years and from reading reports they are good all over. I have not found a bad moonshine color personally but the Flounder Pounder seems to always take something in the standard and magnum size. Silver Streak try some blue, green, and yellow patterns both standard and magnum. There is no reason why you shouldnt be getting more fish in the boat. And honostly you dont have to spend a ton to get the basic standbys.

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It took me and my dad about a season and a half to hone our skill enough where we rarely get skunked, we dont put numberS in the boat like a lot of guys here but we are happy with 2 fish an outing. Although we usually run 4 rods, 2 riggers and 2 dipseys. We'll run and 8 color and a 2 color on boards when conditions are favorable. Just keep trying different things. When you find something that works stick with it.

For some reason after we started using free sliders on our riggers we started hooking more fish. So that is something we do most times while running spoons. We dont run them if fishing plugs or paddles.

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Some days, especially when the water is warm, the fish turn off by 9am.

Is it possible for you to get out at sun up, or as the sun is going down?

Certain patterns work better at differnt times of the year. For example;

1, Spring (may) is a primarily spoon bite. Big mag spoons to match the bait.

2, June, Lake Trout only, with metal flashers.

3, July is a combo of spoons and some flasher/fly.

4, August, flasher/flies, and plugs.

Try setting you spread up the same way every time. Say, port rigger deepest and short er lead, Starboard rigger up 10' and longer lead. Divers set to run just above the riggers, and copper,/cores above the divers. When you get fish, make the adjustment to that depth.

2.8-2.9 is a good speed all the time.

Troll south when possible.

Most of time the fish will move deeper, and down after the sun comes up.

Don't turn around just because caught a fish back there, rather keep the speed, direction, and spread the same.

If the green spoon keeps going at 40' then set two, or three at that depth.

The most important pc of equipment you can have is your cell phone. Stay active, and make friends.

Yes, take these guys up on there offer to ride along.

Finish filling out your profile, so we know what area you fish.

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This is my second season fishing the big pond. I have learned a lot here. Here is what works for me. My spread consist of 2 cores and 4 divers. Put a double orange crush on the 5 core. A blue or green or caremel dolphin on the 7 core. On the high divers set on 2.5 180 to 220 back I use flasher fly combos Mtn dew flashers and no see um flies. On the low divers set at 1 150-180 out I use a black spoon with green ribbon (my most productive spoon). On the other low diver I use a NBK spoon. This spread will produce at least 10 hits in 4 hours. I troll fast any where from 3 to 3.5 mph. I like to cover more area and find the aggressive fish. Also heres a thought. How many salmon do we really need? My freezer is FULL of fish and I give lots of it away. Just have fun being out on the water.

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The best advice is to get a ride with an advanced fisherman and learn from his techniques. Another thing to remember is it takes time to get the feel of your boat when u finally start catching fish consistantly take notes in a log book and keep records of your lures speeds depths temps and all of the other things u r doing when successful. I log every fish with depth, temp speed, and time of day. Lures are important but not the most important thing. Speed and size are critical. This yr in St Joe the Alewives are small immature and the fish are full of them I downsized to standard stingers and the spoon bite was on. Yesterday it was direction of troll and dept of presentation. SE troll and 100 dn on the riggers was the deal also wire divers on 1 out 150 with standard size spoon as long as it was purple and white. This site has a lot of guys that will take u out and show what their program is. Pay attention to the Charter guys here they share a lot of info without getting too specific about locations. (its their livelyhood). When we catch 7 or 8 they are getting 15 or 20. Time of day get on the water befor sunrise and fish until noon to 1 PM then take a break the fish shut dn for a couple of hours and will start again about an hour and a half befor sunset. The fish do move deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky. Dont be afraid to go deep when everyone is fishing the mud. 50 boats in front of the piers yesterday and we went ot 100 FOW and Got 7 Kings.

Above all dont be afraid to ask questions, the only dumb question is the one that is unasked.

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Welcome the the site and why dont you break down what your running and on what rods as a general spread. Your speed should be ok.

Things like leader lenghts from dipsey to spoon, flasher to fly, and leads off the downrigger are all very important too.

Repeat whats working that day, and keep a log of hte fish you get and the conditions.

It all helps in time.

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Thanks for all the tips guys. Our typical setup is 4 downriggers 2 dipsys and a copper core. We try many different combinations of lures on the setups but it is usually mostly spoons with a couple of flies. As far as depth is concerned we are usually just listening to the radio and doing what they say. I would like to be able to figure out what depth to run by myself in case the radio is silent. Somewhere near the thermocline I assume? How do you figure out if you should be in 100ft of water or 200ft of water when both depths show a thermocline?

As far as speed goes we are usually at 2.7mph using a GPS so it could be more or less depending on the current direction.

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Getting out for the prime morning and night bites would make alot of difference. Alot of us look like hereos for 1.5 hours in the morning and dusk and then cant buy a bite mid day.

Bascially you do some things wrong and get away with it becuase the fish are much more actually typically during that time.

If there not biting in one area, cover water, search, keep grinding.

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Depends on the situtions. Once you find some baits your have confidence in you will not jump to pull them off the lines.

In the morning start with baits kinda high in the colum, and dropped them a few feet every 10 or 15 minutes until you find some and go from there.

If your still out there at 9 30 am and your on a cold spell, dont assume your spread or baits or junk, there just generally off the feed.

In kewaunee I always have a green on green flasher of some sort out. I also catch alot of fish on my color leadcore with an orange spoon, and high diver out about 150 on a number 3 with a white/green 8 inch protroll or opti with same colored fly at 24 inches over the years has always been steady.

But maybe thats just because they worked a few times so I like ot keep them in the water?

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Kraker....

You ask about changing lures..... .that is something I talked with your brother about... You can ask ANYONE that fishes on my boat... I run the same 2 lures on my deep rods almost 100% of the time after it gets light out. They never get changed.... Does it hurt me... sometimes.. maybe... other times I look like a pro. I know day in and day out that Patriot BLL or Monica FS spoon will get me fish down deep. (Same pattern with 2 differnt names)

I almost always run a Mod blue veggie on the 250 and a mixed veggie stingray(the small one) on the 5 color for steelhead.

As for the other rods... The tend to get a bit more of a change... but if you find something that works.. STICK WITH IT... BEAT IT TO DEATH.... untill it stops catching fish.

I fished 1 waypoint for 4 weeks straight and caught fish on it EVERY trip on the same spread....

As I said in the begining.. I would rather fish without riggers and fish 6 copper/lead. Riggers are hit or miss for me and I caught a majority of my fish on the long lines. In saying that they do have their days.

If you were to make 1 change that will help you catch more fish it would be add a couple of long lines on boards... 300 and a 200 would cover most of them with a hand full of dive bombs.

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If you were to make 1 change that will help you catch more fish it would be add a couple of long lines on boards....

I agree with this. It sounds like you usually have 3 or more people on board (4 riggers, 2 divers and a long line..) You might try running 2 riggers, 2-4 divers and as many long lines as you can. Riggers have been effective this fall but typically they are not my most effective setup. A typical 9 rod spread for me is 1-2 riggers, 2-4 divers and 4-6 on boards. 12 rod spread is 2-3 riggers, 3-4 divers and the rest on boards. Figure out what they want and give them lots of it.

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Also, im not sure how big time of day is but we don't really fish extreme morning or night. If we go in the morning we are out at around 9am or so and if we go out at night we are back in before sunset.

Fishing a glow program before first light or at last light can be some of the most productive times to fish. That alone might put 2-3 more fish in your box per trip.

We also catch a few more fish close to noon. It's amazing how many times we put another fish or two in the box as we are pulling lines around noon.

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Also, im not sure how big time of day is but we don't really fish extreme morning or night. If we go in the morning we are out at around 9am or so and if we go out at night we are back in before sunset.

Fishing a glow program before first light or at last light can be some of the most productive times to fish. That alone might put 2-3 more fish in your box per trip.

We also catch a few more fish close to noon. It's amazing how many times we put another fish or two in the box as we are pulling lines around noon.

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Andrew what port do you fish out of? If you want to go some time i fish out of Holland and plan on fishing until october some time. Just pm me with your name and number and maybe we can get out, I have done this before and did a show and tell and explain type trip to help others learn, I like to help out. Jimmy

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