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arbogaster

HELP . .My Predawn Program Stinks . . .What am I doing wrong?

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OK

Just got back from Ludington last night and we did OK. We caught 11 fish and lost 4 or 5 in about 2 1/2 days of fishing. This trip again reinforced that my pre dawn program is in dire need of some help. My Go To train of thought is to find where the thermocline or "49 degree water and below" hits the bottom and set up a little shallower than that. Work that area for a short time and then angle out deeper a bit. I typically run 2 riggers and two divers and maybe start one board off to the side with a 2 color lead looking for really high fish. Once it starts getting light I start moving things deeper and fish closer to the temp break. I can consistently hang with most local guys after the morning flurry but I'll be washing baits for a couple hours while they box a few early fish. Anyone have any insight or see any major flaw in my approach. I'm stumped . . . . .

THX

Eric aka Arbogaster

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Based off of your description, you may be fishing to deep in the water column for the predawn bite. It is quite common to pull fish out of their "temperature zone" when fish are aggressive. Alot of the fish this year have been coming in the top 40ft of the water column. Thats not to say you wont catch fish deeper, but more aggressive fish may be feeding above the thermocline as well. Just a side note, from my trips out this year I have noticed that the fish seem very color selective. The fish may be hammering green one day and won't touch a spoon with any blue on it, but the next day or evening later in the evening the fish won't look at green and all they'll strike is blue. What has worked best for me this year is to have a diverse spread and let the fish tell me what colors they seem to prefer. Like I said, this may be just me, just my two cents. Good luck, there's some big fish around!

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You running glow stuff?

Its my ticket for low light fishing.

Moonshine flounder pounder and blue flounder pounder take fish every single time.

But like jake said fish shallower. At night all the aquatic creatures rise to near surface depths and the bait soon follows... followed by the salmon

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OK

Just got back from Ludington last night and we did OK. We caught 11 fish and lost 4 or 5 in about 2 1/2 days of fishing. This trip again reinforced that my pre dawn program is in dire need of some help. My Go To train of thought is to find where the thermocline or "49 degree water and below" hits the bottom and set up a little shallower than that. Work that area for a short time and then angle out deeper a bit. I typically run 2 riggers and two divers and maybe start one board off to the side with a 2 color lead looking for really high fish. Once it starts getting light I start moving things deeper and fish closer to the temp break. I can consistently hang with most local guys after the morning flurry but I'll be washing baits for a couple hours while they box a few early fish. Anyone have any insight or see any major flaw in my approach. I'm stumped . . . . .

THX

Eric aka Arbogaster

Can you give us a little more info on what you spread looks like? You mentioned your running riggers divers and a 2 color but info like how far down and back your riggers are, and how far back your divers are, and what lures your running will help us give you some tips. Also what temp range do you like to target with your lures in the morning?

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My first suggestion would be to focus on finding bait, rather than the perfect water temperature. As was mentioned previously, kings will feed out of temperature. This is particularly true in the early am before the sun comes up, and at this time of year. That has been my experience in Ludington. Not sure what you are running in the spread, but I would try some green/glow spin doctors with a green/glow fly or blue bubble glow spin doctors with a blue fly off of the dipsies. Maybe try to change up the leads to the spinnies, I have had good luck with 12 foot leads to the spinnies and 24 inch leads on the flies. Glow spoons are also good, as was mentioned the moonshines are money, Stinger NBK, Bloody Nose Glow, Dreaweaver glow green eye ghost. I like these off the riggers.

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Personally I run moonshine spoons all the way through the depth spectrum. Don't concentrate on the thermocline until later in the day. The reason for moonshine is I found a little better success going faster early in the morning. I'll go between 2.8 and 3.2 on the fishhawk and it usually works well. The moonshines handle that speed better than most spoons.

Hope this helps.

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Last really good morning bite we had, as in 5am, the break was down 50 so we dropped in at 45. However, the hot rods were a rigger down 25 and a wire diver out 80. Sounds like what you've been doing.

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Spread is as follows:

Rigger down 25 w/ MAG Moonshine Mongolian beef

Rigger down 15 with glow spinny and glow fly

Dipsy out 75 on 1 setting with spinny fly on the spoon rigger side of the boat

Dipsy out 100 on 1 setting with glow plug on the

2 color on a board maybe 20 yds off to the side with a glow plug with a

2 color with a spoon 20 yds off to the side with a standard glow spoon

I typically run 2.2 at the ball or close to it.

I guess I am always afraid to start in too shallow of water. If the temp break is out at 75 feet is the concensus to start trolling in 40 fow and work out deeper as the morning progresses or is that too much.

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For me your running to much stuff up high. I would spread out your presentation a little more right away in the AM until you start taking hits and then try to squeeze in on that range. Also, I would run the divers on a 3 setting to get them further away from the boat. Like Mike (ThumbsUP) said try and find the bait and look for hooks around it. If your not seeing fish keep looking. How deep of water to set up in depends on temps for me. If I have warm water from top to bottom I'm going to keep heading out until I find cold water.

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Having seen yonker pull big kings on 2 colors with a temp. Break down 60', I don't think you can fish too high in the dark.

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Spread is as follows:

Rigger down 25 w/ MAG Moonshine Mongolian beef

Rigger down 15 with glow spinny and glow fly

Dipsy out 75 on 1 setting with spinny fly on the spoon rigger side of the boat

Dipsy out 100 on 1 setting with glow plug on the

2 color on a board maybe 20 yds off to the side with a glow plug with a

2 color with a spoon 20 yds off to the side with a standard glow spoon

I typically run 2.2 at the ball or close to it.

I guess I am always afraid to start in too shallow of water. If the temp break is out at 75 feet is the concensus to start trolling in 40 fow and work out deeper as the morning progresses or is that too much.

Speed seems a bit slow to me ~ I've been running 2.8 - 3.2 at the ball...seems when I slow down below 2.5 so does the fishing ~~~ but I'm far from an expert;)

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Speed sounds alright, say 8-10 yrs ago it seemed like we always caught a lot of fish in the dark but the last couple of years I have had a better daylight bite. Just after daylight and before still being prime but I wouldn't worry too much about pre-dawn. I would try shorter leads with the riggers, like 6-10ft behind the ball for spoons. Free sliders with standard size MS spoons like RV Blue Flounder have been really good when darkish this year. I've also seen an increase in non-glow stuff work better...especially off the boards, SS Hot Lobster, SS Pluto, SS Hat Trick, and I'm not charging my MS spoons.

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