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What to do when your not catching them...


What do you change when your not catching anything?  

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  1. 1. What do you change when your not catching anything?



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What is the first thing all of you do if you are not catching the fish? Change troll direction, change troll speed, change lure depths, change water depth, change lures, other?

I always thought that if I was marking fish and bait fish, then I must be in the right spot. Yesterday our graph was not really marking much at all, but we were still getting them. Other days the graph is full with no bites. Where are the fish coming from if I am not marking them?

Also, off the thread topic a little. How much does troll direction matter? Should we be trolling with, against or cross current most of the time? I know Salmon face into the current but how does that affect what direction you should troll?

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I usually grab something to eat, like a sub sandwich, that always gets interrupted by a bite in my case.....lol. On a more serious side, depends a lot on the time of day, the weather, the number of boats close by too. My best trolls, on a regular basis, is either a up or down troll, with or against the waves. Checking the bottom speed and graph also are factors for good action. If I am in a group of boats, I look around to hear and see if anyone is catching or just washing spoons, if they look dead too, I'll usually work deeper or shallower, depending on the situation, and of course try some newer lures at differing depths.

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Does having other boats close by make for better fishing in your experience?

Also, It seemed like the fish were biting a lot more just before sunrise. Is it the same way just after sunset or not as good? Do they typically always slow down during the day or are there times when the fishing is just as good during daytime?

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Fishing is always best at sun up, and at sun set. It almost always slows down when the sun is up.

We drink beer, pray to the fish gods, throw pennies at our downrigger rods, do the doghouse dance, have someone make a phone call, have someone light a cigarette (that one usually works), have someone piss off the boat (second best option), start screwing with any setup on the boat, etc.

You question largely depends on if there are fish where you are fishing. If you are not marking fish, try the above. If you are marking fish, try chaning speed, direction, lure size and/or color. But quite honestly the same lures almost always work on our boat. It's usually troll direction and speed we have wrong.

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Fishing is always best at sun up' date=' and at sun set. It almost always slows down when the sun is up.

We drink beer, pray to the fish gods, throw pennies at our downrigger rods, do the doghouse dance, have someone make a phone call, have someone light a cigarette (that one usually works), have someone piss off the boat (second best option), start screwing with any setup on the boat, etc.

You question largely depends on if there are fish where you are fishing. If you are not marking fish, try the above. If you are marking fish, try chaning speed, direction, lure size and/or color. But quite honestly the same lures almost always work on our boat. It's usually troll direction and speed we have wrong.[/quote']

I agree with the speed direction. Last year we were going south no hits. jimmy was going southwest and had fish we turned and started picking up fish.

usually it is eating that gets things rockin again and before you know it the flies have carried off the half sandwich that you set down to reel in a fish.

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Ed said it, get a sandwich and change directions to troll with the waves and stand by. If that doesn't work try changing out a few baits and then last of all get out a dodger and spin n glow or a wobble and drop it on the bottom and catch a grease ball. Works every timel they crap on the boat and the silver fish decide to bite. ( seriously) I vary speeds a lot unitl I find the right speed for the fish on that day.

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I prefer to fish away from the croud. After sun rise it usually takes long lines or dipseys away from the boat. If the fish disappear go deeper with your lures. If that doesnt work go to deeper water. The fish bite all day. Usually an hour lul and they feed again.

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Best thing to do if possible is make a call or two (assuming you know other peolpe on the water)or get on the radio and see whats working for other boats, and go from there most of the time you can get some usefull information as far as depths baits trolls etc, i have alot of friends that fish including charters so thats first on my list if its slow..

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the first thing i do is find bait and figure out where the current is coming from, turn into it or quarter it this ussuallv works , I have caught lots of fish when not marking them they are fast little buggers and you dont always mark em especialy kings , i think a lot of times they streak in from the sides.after you get a "good" troll direction mess with your speed to get to your boats optimal fishing speed ( not all boats fish good at the same speed )let the fish tell ya when its right then try to keep that speed at all cost if you slow down to land a fish be sure to get back to your good speed, speed is important. Fishing is all about repeatability ,find out what works and repeat it! I try to never follow other boats think about it ,your buddie is in front of you and says we are smacking em pull up behind us ..... if he is catching fish he is getting the aggresive ones out of the school before you get to it hmmm. I try to stay in "clean water" away from other boats and try to be that first boat thru a school of fish. this is just my 2 cents . jimmy

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That cell phone call is ok today, before cell phones we had to pretty much go on our own instincts, luck, experience, and of course, the VHF radio. The friends you make on the water with the radio is priceless for me, wish it were still happening now, as the cell takes the fun out of on the water communication from a host of fisherman on various channels they talked on. In the old days, channel 5 in Ludington was hot to trot with charters, we all helped one another, gained insights to best bites, and to great areas, and went on to be good friends off the water as well. That experience, I wouldn't change nor trade it for the cell days now if I live to be 100 years old.

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Just a note of caution to those fishing Ludington this season: the USCG, Sheriff, LPD, and DNR are cracking down more than ever on safety and DUI's on the water, they all have their own boats, some more than one, and are using these vehicles for more stops than ever in the last 30 years I have been on the water. If you're smart, you will celebrate off the water, safety first guys.

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When things slow down I break out the meat rigs. Send one deep and one where things were happening in my quest with my spoon setup for first light.

Then I speed things up as I dont have speed and temp at the ball yet I rely on my dipsey rods and the angle of my rigger wire. Also I do alot of turns. If you looked at my plotter you would think I was a bit confused. But more times than not it helps get me a few more bites. I know for a fact this year adding copper to my spread has accounted for more bites hands down. Especially in the slower part of the morning. Just trying to figure out how to justify 2 more copper rigs with the war department. There are a ton of great suggestions and I am learning more everytime I hit the water. I am constantly picking my mentor Andy's memory bank and Andy if you read this thanks so much for helping me and Kaylee out. Also information provided from all the members on this site.

Grizzly

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I think there are seveal factors involved. If i know im on fish and my baits are in the right spot, almost always speed or troll direction is the the problem IMO. If that doesnt solve the problem then its time to start changing baits. IMO too often proven fish producers are swapped out before troll direction, speed and presentation placement are evaluated. No sense in swapping out your A game for second best until youve covered those things IMO.

If your confident there arent any fish around, then you have to make a choice of going out farther or going in closer. Water temp will likely be a big player in this decision.

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