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9.14.12 - Schooling Baits and Fishermen?

Dave Mull

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When Paul Elias won a big bass tournament using the Mann's Alabama Rig, schooling configurations of baits became quite the rage. Last July at the ICAST fishing industry show in Orlando, Florida, I saw all kinds of schooling lures, ranging from duo Roadrunners to the full-blown umbrella-style rigs designed for large saltwater species, with all sorts of things in between. Even the surface-popping Double Up from lure manufacturing giant PRADCO qualifies.



My question to the GreatLakesFisherman.com crowd: Anyone using these for salmon with any success?





As soon as I saw them and got a few samples, I couldn't wait to get them in the water for salmon. After all, we all imagine those big silver kings blasting into small schools of alewives and chomping away. Now, I haven't run them a whole lot since I've been limited to fishing with other guys and when invited, I don't push to put stuff I want to experiment with in the water. Most guys prefer to use the tried and true.




But I've had some different kinds of these in the water a few times this season and so far, ZILCH. Now the three or four times I've run them were trips when fish definitely were finicky, so not much else was working either. So I don't want to judge these things from personal experience. Chime in and let us know if you've used them successfully and give us a few details!

As a side message, this BLOG will be coming to you from Branson, Missouri next week, where I'll be attending the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers conference. These are always fun and a great place to see some new stuff and hob nob with some pretty good anglers. Stay tuned!

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I've had the same thought. Have had some luck with BW's grease traps. There an attrator w/o hooks. It's hard to run rigs like you mention in my waters. IL 3 rods and up to two lures a rod, WI it's 3 lures. Rigs with multiple lures W/hooks can be illegal. The reduction in the # of rods you can use in your spread out ways the advantage they might have over a tradition salmon presentation. IMO

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The wire should not effect the way the spoon runs, it will make the wobble quicker, and it wont roll as much but it will flash a lot, I tried it and had no luck that way. I have thought a lot about running one of the soft body baits like Dave showed in the thread, but its just more stuff to go along with the really effective stuff I already run. One of these days I will try it. I think the Berkley Gulp might work for meat rigs too. But the soft shad imitators might really work.

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I ran a rig with 4 no-hook soft body "swimbaits" and a spoon off a center connection 3' to 5' back. Tried it off a downrigger and on copper. No action while other lures did get hits - the same spoon clean and flasher/fly. Tried it two trips for a few hours each time -- early to mid morning.

Basically I was thinking of it like a BW grease trap or the old Les Davis 6 pack attractors but it was not successful.

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I myself have not have a chance to run this ,but Tim at the powder Horn in Holland has, this spring and has loaded the boat every time he put it out. He used the two wire and puts a spoon and a thin finn on it and the coho and steelies loved it. I will be working on some for him next year to try out, and to sell and we will see if it was just this years great fishing or if we are on to something.

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Not these per se, but I have used a saltwater umbrella rig with a Brad's plug loaded with garlic/tuna in oil,or a herring oil soaked alewife on a five to six foot trailer(rubberband the plug if you go with alewife). I have also run six pack schoolies with a trailing standard size spoon (usually something thin and active like a Stinger) or a glow bead loaded fly off a stacker rig, with a paddle running below this clipped six to ten feet back off my A-Tom-Mik torpedo weight. Both these work, but I never went to them this year because the spoon bite was so consistent. Hardly used flies at all.

An 8'-6" to 9' MH rod is a must for these rigs with a fish on. Anything lighter and shorter makes controlling a fish very difficult.

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All good points, guys. I've had real good luck with plain swim baits in the spring, but not with the mult-lure rigs. I'm wondering if some of these could be used instead of a tradition flasher, just as the attractor, with a spoon or some sort of vibrating fly set a couple/few feet behind. Something to try.

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