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How do I know when I should be running a flasher in front of my spoon and when to use a spoon by itself

 

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Where are you fishing?

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I'm fishing a lake in Montana called fort peck. Not sure if everything will relate to my lake but I figured cant hurt to try some new things 

 

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I'm guessing most of the time , the fish are pretty deep in the reservoir (50 feet or deeper.  I would run both flasher and fly setups, and also clean spoons/no flasher.

How many lines are you running?  A few downriggers and a few divers?

What types of spoons have you run?

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I run four lines on down riggers boat dont give you much room on this lake so if u run divers eventually your gunna get it hooked on someone else's line and I run moonshine spoons mainly 

 

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I know out west (Pacific Ocean) they'll run a 11" paddle in front of a spoon with a 6' leader between them as a standard setup.  I've taken salmon on that setup in Lake Michigan, but usually I run my spoons naked. 

If you're running 4 riggers, I'd start your morning with 3 flashers and run one naked spoon as your deep line.  Run the flashers a bit higher in the water column in the morning and the fish should come up to investigate.  If they don't hit, they'll peel off and head back down and see the naked spoon.  As your morning progresses, you may have to remove the flashers if they aren't getting bit and go with naked spoons, or try increasing your length behind the cannonballs.  I usually lower my cannonballs as the morning progresses also.

You can also run fixed sliders and free sliders above your primary baits.

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Good advice Jason.

You could also run one downrigger rod with a two color leadcore.  Let the spoon and leadcore out, then put a clean spoon on that line.  I would also try some other types of spoons too (non-glow).  One of my favorite spoons is a magnum blue dolphin (by Silver Streak).  I also really like to use the UV spoons in the Stinger and Stingray size from Michigan Stinger.  I would guess greens and blues would work best. 

What kind of water clarity is there in the reservoir?  If it's not crystal clear, then some plugs might be effective run 50-100 feet behind the ball.

If the fish are very skitish due to a lot of boat traffic, it might be more effective to only run 2 downriggers instead of all four.

How deep do you usually run the downriggers?

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On 5/29/2020 at 7:28 AM, jdh said:

Where are you fishing?

Water is not crystal clear but clearer than most lakes I've been on.im usually running anywhere from 60 to 100 feet but most of my fish have come from 80 to 100. I mark lots of fish higher in the water column just cant seam to get the bites there

 

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