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Speed vs Size


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I know speed plays an important part in getting bites , but I wonder if speed dictates what size of fish will bite... If you troll at a slower speed say 1.7 at the ball are you more likely to get a larger fish versus going 2.1?

I heard someone who I would say is an exceptional fishermen, far better than me say that he was so desperate for bites that he speed up his boat in order to attract the fiestier smaller fish.

Also whatever happened to jet divers and pink ladies? I still have mine don't run them anymore though.

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I don't think speed matters much most days all of the big fish on my boat this year have been at around 3.0 or better. I watch my divers and if they are pulling where I want I just leave it there. I have always trolled fast and we get our share of big fish. The biggest thing I find going faster is we get way more Steelhead than when I used to stick to 2.0 when I slow down I get lakers and Kings when I speed up I get Kings and Steelhead I don't like Lakers so it is a no brainer for me.

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We troll pretty quick (according to some) too. 2.7-3.2 at the ball most days. Which this weekend meant 3.0sog on most troll directions out of Holland. AND we still got lakers with our divers high in the water column. It was a weird weekend.

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You are making a big mistake if u get stuck at any 1 speed, The lures u r fishing make a big difference in the speed. Paddles will spin up and be useless at 2.7 mph, J Plugs are somewhat speed tolerant but do better between 2.0 and 2.5 mph, Spoons can be fished at any speed but faster is usually better. Sunday we trolled 2.2 at the ball, caught 7 coho in an hour and a half, sped up to 3.0 at the ball and caught 5 steelhead in a half hour. Would have caught more but had a chummer on board.

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Michigan guys troll way faster then us Wisconsin guys. Just the way it is. Speed has to do with lead length and yes it will affect the fish you catch. If you troll slow say 1.7, you will catch more trout, but if you push past 2.2 you will also catch alot more cohos and steelhead than kings. On my depth raider trolling flashers I find 1.8-2.0 catches the most kings, with 1.9-2.0 being the sweet spot. Sure you can catch them way faster but not nearly as consistently. When the fish are biting like they have been all year it's pretty hard to get it wrong, but when it gets tough you will see the guys who come in with 5 fish and the guys who are still doing double digits. Speed and direction are key, and the guys always getting them know just how important that is.

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The odd thing to me is my uncle is a comercial fisherman in AK since the 60's and has caught literally millions of Salmon even in semi retirement on his small boat he considers 40 fish to be a slow day and he never trolls below 4 kts. Even when sport fishing with rod and reel they either go fast or sit and jig. Me I grew up fishing lake Michigan and was trained early on with the 1.8 and straight crowd. However the last 5 years I have been going fast and when it don't work I usually go faster for me Salmon speed is around 3mph and Steelhead speed is from 3.5 till the lures won't stay in the water.

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Today broke my streak of limits, and after talking with a few guys my seven fish were pretty good today. I don't have a problem finding fish, I am trying to focus more on larger fish. I have had an obsession with limits, if it wasn't a limit it was a failure, however now I am looking for weight. I am mainly looking for a new challenge, also looking to put weight on tournament boards versus just numbers.

Friday I am going to run nothing but flashers and flies with 24" leaders....

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My idea is it is a big chunk of water the faster I go the more fish have a chance to find my lures. Salmon can hit your lure at speeds up to 30mph which is why some of the hits are so explosive. Salmon also don't like to waste energy so when they go after food they want it in them as fast as possible. Going slow gives them time to look it over and decide going faster means they must choose and hit it now or they have to waste energy folllowing it. Yes I know some guys do real good going slow and pounding the bottom and often are rewarded with some big fish. One of the guys I fish with is old school about it and he was banging bottom on a recent trip on my boat what he does not know is we were doing 4mph and yes he got a very nice king around 15lbs doing it. I did slow down to 3 while he was fighting it. The 20lb King that took big fish in our last tourney was taken at 3.6mph. The 26lb king I got 2 years ago was at around 3 so going fast does not mean small fish to me it means more fish per hour get to see my lures.

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I too am a speed troller. I like to cover water like Jim knowing i will be putting my lures in view of more fish. Zipping a lure past a fish can trigger a reactionary strike and usually is a violent strike at that resulting in a more solid hook-up.

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Lots of guys have accuesed me of speeding up when a fish is on and sometimes I actually have LOL. usually I don't change speed or direction when fighting a fish because I want to keep the pressure on the fish. We have had fish where all bets are off and we pull gear and get them in but it is seldom and usually involves a tangle.

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3.0 or better at the ball for salmon never put the probe down fishing for Steelhead hardly use it for salmon anymore. Blowback is not the concern people think it is with 15lb balls yes it looks like your cable is going a long way back and the balls do climb a bit when going fast but really the difference between going 2.0 and 3.5 might lift the ball a foot if that. clearly when you speed up the ball will swing back and up however once your speed settles it is right back where it was. My GT 40 cannot tell the difference between 100 down at 2.0 and 100 down at 3.5 it still says that ball is at 90 ft down because it reads in 5 ft increments.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Today broke my streak of limits, and after talking with a few guys my seven fish were pretty good today. I don't have a problem finding fish, I am trying to focus more on larger fish. I have had an obsession with limits, if it wasn't a limit it was a failure, however now I am looking for weight. I am mainly looking for a new challenge, also looking to put weight on tournament boards versus just numbers.

Friday I am going to run nothing but flashers and flies with 24" leaders....

That's quite a goal. Only wanting to catch limits or your a failure. If I said that I would be a failure everytime I fished. Not very often where I fish does anyone catch limits unless you fish by yourself.

As long as I'm catching fish that's all that matters.

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Limits of fish are far from the criteria that I judge the day by. Catching a few fish of quality is great and a limit is a bonus, at least for those of us that fish Lk Huron. Time spent with my family or friends on the water have a greater impact on having a good day. Catching limits of fish in waters that have plenty of fish is not a real challenge but fishing waters that have limited fish provides you with a real challenge to put fish in the box and will put your skills to the test. Now that to me makes for a great day!

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Turfwrench, I'm with you. I fish ports that don't have the salmon like Manistee, Frankfort or Ludington. Catch what you can. That's all I can do. Like yesterday we only caught one 20# king and lost one. But most of the boats around us never caught a fish.

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