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chunkytrout

Trolling for Lakers/Salmon

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I like to hear tactics from some veteran trout trollers. My buddy aquirred a BIG boat and we're getting stoked for BIG open water trolling. Any info on navigation for Lake Superior would be great as well (books, websites)

Thanks
chunky

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chunky trout i fish by the apostle islands in wisconson. lots of salmon and lakers in this area.there is a sight called outdooralure.com it gives a fishing report for this area every couple of days. there still talking ice fishing up there but through out the year this sight may help.

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chunky,
There is a site that gets used infrequently for most of the year but starting in april will start getting reports for western lake superior here near duluth and up the shore to silver bay. there are some regulars that you can glean some info from that sound like they've been doing it for many years.
Do a search for great lakes sport fishing council, they have state by state forums. I have done the early season thing, trolling along park point for coho's and lakers mainly as soon as the ice is out. Mostly stickbaits up high early on, I like bombers and raps adn will be trying some reefrunners this year.
Have a good one, if I end up getting the chance to make it back up I will let you know.
Xplorer/Chris

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Reef Runners have been my chioce of stick baits on the south shore area.
Usually I have good luck using jointed sticks but when the black flys are hatching use anything with black spots on the surface using trolling boards, last year this proved to be deadly.

Now you started it , I have the fever Ineed to get the boat out!!!! grin.gif

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Hey Jar Jar,
Last year I didnt get a WI license but plan to this year. Maybe I could get a few pointers for that side of the lake from you? Any info about baot landings on the south shore would be great also.
Do you also troll for eyes out there, I have heard that the river mouths can be decent some times? Would like to find out what colors of RR'ers have produced. I have used them in the river the past 3 years (little rippers) and done well with them on eyes and smallies. I'm at, maybe we can get together this spring once the ice goes out and I can return the favor to chunky for the laker outing (no way 13 and a barrel in my boat tho smile.gif )
Xplorer/Chris

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 03-10-2003).]

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Hey Xplorer,
One of the best landings I use alot is Loonsfoot by the Spur station on east second st. very good launch (4 ramps) and only about 1 mile from the lake.
I would like to get together this spring but I have to take a look at my transom on my boat, it was looking alittle soft when I put it away for the year . I'm looking for a hull only and I will just transfer the motor, seats etc..
I will keep you posted on what I'm going to do.

Jar Jar

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Right now I run a 16' tri-hull so I am limited on when I can get out. I'm looking for a deep 16'-18' and just transfer everything over.

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Jar Jar,
I have done most all my trolling on the MN side of the Sup. entry. I usually just put in under the high bridge and run out either entry. I was wondering if there was any decent landings between superior and past the brule river. If we can get the ice outta here in April we'll see if we can hookup some weekend.
Xplorer

PS: chunky, ya i think a pony would work wink.gif

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 03-04-2003).]

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Well the only landings are at the river mouths and they are pretty shallow and sandy meaning clogged lower units.
In april I like to go to chequamagon bay and fish browns with the boat and we usually do pretty good.
Landing at the rivers is limited to 14'boats or less needless to say. It's kinda cold to get out of your boat and pull it up the mouth.
Iwill keep an eye on the lake and Chequamagon Bay and let you know whats going on.


Jar Jar

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Ice out in april is gonna be a chancy one. I'll bet we're lookin at another walleye spawn like last opener.

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Jar Jar,
I kind of figured that, one day a couple springs ago i went down to the one at amnicon river mouth, looked like i would have a tough time with my 17'er by myself. I ran into a guy one day that was running from the high bridge down to the mouth of the Brule to troll walleye's, that is a bit far for me unless it is like glass!
Would definitly be interested in chequamegon tho, have icefished it a few times by the onion, and have wanted to try it trolling. I have also heard that night trolling for eye's can be good, not numbers wise but some nice quality fish. Keep me updated, (i always check out outdoor allure's report for washburn area) and hope the transom is OK.
Chunky, the good thing about the big lake is the river usually opens up way before the lakes do. I have been out as early as end of march a couple years ago (tho i was trolling thru skim ice along park point a few mornings smile.gif)
I am a novice troller but can usually pick up a fish or two. Seems i always get a coho no matter how inept i am that day!!!
Xplorer

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Good News! I am the proud owner of a Glasstron 175T! Between my buddy's Bayliner and my new rig, I plan to be on the pond alot this year. Xplorer/JarJar, do you guys run kickers for trolling out there or run under main engine? Is a VHF a must have out there?

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I don't use a kicker I use my 75hp and if Iget too much speed I throw out my drift sock, but it is real bad on fuel that way.
As for Chequamegon, the ice usually is in the south end of the bay and we fish up by Houghton point and the Souix River. Jointed stick baits seem to do the best.


Jar Jar

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chunky
Ya, what Jar Jar says. I troll with my 90hp (no kicker), i get down to @2.5mph gps and if i need to go slower i have been throwing out a 5 gallon pail or two. With 2 out I can get down to @1.4mph.
I have also used both big boards and inline boards with success (and at first i just long-lined baits) Built a set of double boards last year after making a set of singles the year before. My neighbor said they were "da bomb' but i couldnt get them weighted properly and gave up (kept tipping over).
Do you pick up any splake by the Onion, or mainly coho/lakers? I'm getting fired up for openwater, keep looking at the boat and almost brought the tackle box in the house last night for a going thru. All that leads to is money out the door, cause i see i need this, and that, and a few of those...... smile.gif
Xplorer

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I built some big boards out of white cedar last year and the are light and boy do they pull. I dont have a problem with a fish that does'nt release pulling the board back.

I guess I have never really trolled off the Onion I usually stay between the souix and houghton out in front of the orange house with the american flag or around in pikes bay where the river comes in.

I've gota stop talking about this it is driving me crazy!!!!

Jar Jar

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Jar Jar,
Where did you get the white cedar? I made mine out of standard pine and put on about 4 coats of marine varnish. One of them is heavier and pulls harder than the other and i was wondering what i could use that would be lighter. I only have a homemade mast made out of Schedule 40 conduit so anything that pulls easier would be better.
Plus with the ice looks like i would have plenty of time to get another set of boards done frown.gif
I am looking to pick up a few more reef runners, any must have colors that have produced for you?
My best has been purple demon, and i've done well on the purple/pink bombers too for coho's.
Xplorer

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 03-07-2003).]

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I get the white cedar from a customer of mine in Iron River wi. he lets me know when he gets some in . Cedar has a natural oil in it and repels water well.

I think I only have one or two reef runners (the small style)in my box. They are chartruse with yellow belly but they are deadly for cohos.

Jar Jar

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Xplorer, i was thinking on how to make a planer mast. I got everything figured out except the reels. Did you go storebought on those?

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Chunky,
I priced the store bought and they are over 75.00 a piece. I'm thinkin of trying old tricycle wheels or pullys off a dryer or washer. Right now i have hand wraps (that sucks).

Jar Jar

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10-4 on the hand wraps..OUCH! Almost thinking i could make them out of wood. There's got to be a better way. It was you with the tri-hull right. From my experience we had to split when the chop got to 2.5- 3 footers. Same with you? I don't know if I made the right choice with a planing hull but it was too good of a deal and a step up for me. I was looking through some old fishing books (1950-60's) and man did they make some nice boats for blue water fishing. Big bathtubs with dual 50's on the back. All 18-22 footers. Cool old Great Lakes photos of boats and trophies. ARGH!!! I'm driving myself CRAZY....melt melt melt!
chunky

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Chunky and Jar Jar,
Here's what I did for the reels. As I said before my mast is schedule 40 pvc. I bought two reels of the planer board line from marine general (they come on plastic reels) I then cut 4 circular pieces of 1/8th inch hardboard that were about 1" larger than the reels. I used pl400 to glue them to the reels. Then I found a 12" pieceof allthread that was just smaller than the hole thru the reels, and drilled a hole thru the pvc just slightly smaller that. Wound it thru and mounted the reels/hardboard on the allthread(held in place by nuts). At the top of the pvc i put 2 eye screws to run the cord thru. I use a wrench to tighten the spool down. It is easier to show someone than to explain here, and takes about the same amount of time smile.gif
At first i used a couple of the old reel to reel movie spools but they were a bit tough.
If the ice ever melts (or if your down in the area) i'd be happy to show you. It aint the prettiest out there, but it works (although i usally handline the boards in, and then reel up the line) and it was cheap grin.gif
Xplorer

Jar Jar, if your customer ever has any more white cedar he would be willing to let go of, I would be interested in enough to build a set of boards with.

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 03-09-2003).]

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Bingo, that's the lead I needed. Sure am glad you're a couple of steps ahead on this one. For the top of my mast, I'm attaching a piece of flat steel (forming a T) with holes drilled on each end. I got a couple of those small pulleys you get in the hardware store for a few bucks and attached them to the flat steel. Now I just have to save enough money for one more Gadabout and I'm set. I still want to make use of that kicker plate. Not only for trolling but for a backup motor just in case..

chunky

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Good luck on your hunt, let us know how you do!
    • I have another weekend in me to fish and fight the winds and weather and then the boat will be done for the year.  Guess it is that time of the season but would really love to get another couple outings in but such is life! 
    • who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.   also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings
    • Looks like a good time 
    • I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.    I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
    • SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.   Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.   I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.   Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.   I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.   I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.   Good luck to those heading out this weekend!
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