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Deepest salmon


IRon

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I've never been one to make life any harder than it needs to be. You know, work smarter not harder. But last year was tough and the early bite in close didn't always develop and some days a couple lakers saved the day and maybe a coho or 2 mixed in. Some days 10-11 o'clock would roll around and we'd find ourselves wandering around 200+ feet of water with a mixed spread trying to salvage our pride. Always had one deep at 100' feet or so, and deep long lines seem like a pain, but if it catches fish.....

Question: with the new slide divers with 150 feet capabilities and the Deep Sea divers going to 400+, what's the deepest you guys fish or have caught fish in the Great Lakes?

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Fishing deep is not a new thing, the man who pioneered this whole spread is a awesome fisherman and a little bit different, that is Mark Chmura. He regularly catches fish 400ft down.

Deepest I have caught fish down was 280ft down.

Thanks Matt. Yep, read about his theories in the past. Interesting to say the least. Don't really have the means to send a 25# weight down to 400 on my boat, though. But if the going gets tough again this year I might send some divers down there!

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Chased a mark on the graph once and popped a nice king 176' down on a size 3 j plug of all things. 120-150' is no big deal with mag wire divers and 10# rigger weights. Had to fish a double am and pm one time with out of town guests and went 10 for 16 (rookies) with the first fish on a 400 copper and everything else 120-160' down, as the warm water was 100' deep plus. Morning we worked Lakers and immatures suspended over 200', at night we pounded the bottom in 130' with meat for heavies.

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You can catch them as deep as you want but you have to have the right conditions on the right day just like conditions need to be right to catch them at the pierhead.

Bottom line is don't expect to "save the day" by dropping lines down 200 to 400 ft.

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I have by no means perfected it like Mark but offshore from Racine I catch a lot of fish in deep water. Even in the spring chasing cohos on the surface in 200-300 feet of water there are usually kings or big trout down past 200. As long as I am marking fish I will dedicate my center rigger, and depending on action, my two deep divers down there. I only have 300 feet of cable on my rigger but will fish as deep as I can if needed and my wire divers will be out 300,400,500 or 600 feet if needed. Your fish finder will be your best friend especially if you can mark your down rigger balls. UV spin doctors have been my best presentation for really deep salmon and trout. Chamberlin releases will be your best friend especially if the deep fish are lake trout. Many times the hot deep rod dies only to find a small trout of 2 year old hanging on.

I had more than a few trips last season the +/-300 foot down rigger saved the day. If I could have ran more riggers down there I would have really cleaned house. It is time consuming by the time you set the rod, catch the fish and reset the rod. And of course pop it off the rigger as soon as its set and have to start over again :)

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Three summers ago when the lake was 70* from the surface down to 90', I spent most of the summer with riggers down 150'+. Caught a lot of Kings 220 to 250' down on riggers using flashers and meat rigs.

That got me thinking about a better way to get down deep. Did some Internet research and in the Pacific NW vertical jigging is used frequently. So a that fallI gave it a try on deep Kings is using ZZinger and BuzzBomb jigging "spoons" down 200 to 300'. On days with a one to two foot chop the deep water off Little Sable and Big Sable points holds lots of fish in mid day. After locating schools of bait and hooks on the graph, I drift and jig for them on 7' Taloras with 20# Power Pro and a 15' fluoro leader. The ones I have found that respond best are when fishing 5' above or ~10' below the bait clouds. The hits are great since you actually get to feel them, plus no boat momentum during the fight -- just you and the fish. Caught a lot of 20# fish this way and one at 32#.

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I have 2 rods that are set up just with braid for deep fish, both are 10 ft diawa heartland rod with okuma catalina reels. When the fish go deep I run spinnies and flys or spinnies with meat rigs and use the 2 torpedo diver set up to reach fish down to about 300 ft.

When running a deep spread I will only run 2 low divers, 1 deep chute rigger and the other 2 braid rods to fish the deep fish. I will still run my other program to target fish in the normal temp zone.

I have caught kings in 35-39 degree water down 100+ from the spring thru the fall.

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On lake Ontario North side 150 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water big Salmon are a regular occurrence. First time I did it was when I had manual riggers. Living on the south end of Lake Huron makes it hard to do in my home port. Have to run at least 20 miles to do it. I have caught one at 250 feet the west side of Lake Michigan.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Three summers ago when the lake was 70* from the surface down to 90', I spent most of the summer with riggers down 150'+. Caught a lot of Kings 220 to 250' down on riggers using flashers and meat rigs.

That got me thinking about a better way to get down deep. Did some Internet research and in the Pacific NW vertical jigging is used frequently. So a that fallI gave it a try on deep Kings is using ZZinger and BuzzBomb jigging "spoons" down 200 to 300'. On days with a one to two foot chop the deep water off Little Sable and Big Sable points holds lots of fish in mid day. After locating schools of bait and hooks on the graph, I drift and jig for them on 7' Taloras with 20# Power Pro and a 15' fluoro leader. The ones I have found that respond best are when fishing 5' above or ~10' below the bait clouds. The hits are great since you actually get to feel them, plus no boat momentum during the fight -- just you and the fish. Caught a lot of 20# fish this way and one at 32#.

interesting info as I am planning to do some vertical jigging this year also, something new to try when other methods dont want to produce as normal

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last spring, late April/early May I was getting big kings on my riggers with UV white 11" paddles on the bottom in 200-250 FOW. That deep, I usually run the depth counter to about about 30-40' deeper than the actual depth, due to blow back.

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