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bmc

Northern pike and smelt connection...

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My daughter and I have started to do some trolling for pike and the lake we're hitting has an obscene amount of smelt in it. If you get out past 30 fow there's clouds and clouds of smelt. Over the years I've fished this lake a few times with minimal success. I think part of it is due to the large amount of smelt in the lake. I'm wondering what people do in situations like this? Jigs and large minnow/smelt/ciscoe, deep cranks, vertical jigging? I was thinking of tying up some mini cowbells, snap weights, and using either large minnows or even some of the bigger Slurpie or Jerk Bait Minnows. Let's hear it!

Brian

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I run cranks with a downrigger or diver right through or below the smelt, 1,000 perfect smelt and one with messed up motion...the pike will target your crank.

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BMC, I live on a lake just like the one you described. The lake is chuck full of nice pike, and every one you catch or clean will be fat with smelt. I have found August to be the best month of the year for catching these fish. I have tried many things, but have the best luck with over-sized live-bait rigs, and big minnows like suckers, river shiners, big chubs, etc. I target points and humps adjacent to deep water (60+ feet), but generally fish in the 25-45ft. of water. I like no. 2 octopus style gamagatzus with 10lb. mono. When your minnow gets hammered, don't give it too much line so you don't gut-hook them, and because of the depth, you need to set the hook pretty hard. I hope this helps, good luck. I'm heading to Red lake tomorrow....Yeee Hawww!!!

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We are talking about the same lake!

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. I'm hoping to get out there this week and give it a try. If you're out and see a new Lund Rebel XL SS w/ a 75hp Merc, that will be me. What's the best way to keep your minnows lively this time of year?

Brian

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To keep my minnows alive in the heat of summer I use a Minnow-Mizer!It puts a cool spray of water over your minnows instead of a bubbler pumping warm air bubbles into the water that just seems to warm the water faster!It kept my shinners alive for 3 day last week when it was in the high 80s

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D.B.

Thanks for the tips. My second cousin and I were out there today from about 9am till 2pm and caught 6-8 gators. Biggest was 5.5 lbs. I did have one on that we figured was closed to 10 lbs but when I got him on top, he made a run and the hook came out. It woulda' been nice to get a tape, weight, and pic of that one, but it wasn't meant to be I guess! LOL

Pikeslayer,

Thanks for the info. I put a dozen light sucker minnows in my bait well today and threw some ice in there. I also kept my livewell on auto to keep reciculating the water and they stayed nice and lively.

Brian

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Ooh, not to hijack this thread, but how do you like your new boat? I've just got the same boat with a Yamaha 75 on the back. Wondering if you have any weight problems with the 75 merc on the back (400 lb 4 stroke I'm assuming). Mine weighs 30 lbs less than yours and is still pretty stern heavy. I want to move the trolling battery up front and also add some weight in the bow with anchors, but that's about all I can come up with.

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solbes,

I went for a 1979 Lund Pike 15' w/ a 25hp Spirit motor, so to say I love the new boat would be an understatement. Like I tell everyone, "It's like going from a canoe to a yacht." I always run w/ the motor trimmed all the way down. I haven't noticed any problems. I've got a bow mount trolling motor and 30lb anchor and a 18lb anchor up front in the storage.

By chance did you go to Greenway High School in Coleraine, MN?

Brian

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It's probably that I'm used to my old 16 footer with a 90 horse 2 stroke 'Rude. Went from 305 dry motor weight to 369 now. At rest the bow is pointed up and it porpoises readily above 1/2 trim. I think by moving the trolling battery up front and adding anchors to the bow storage I should offset more than enough weight forward. Mine also has a bow mount, but only 25 lbs of anchor. I was curious if a 30lb would fit in that little storage at the very bow. Yours does? River anchor, navy anchor style?

Now that we're comparing, what kind of top end and low trolling speed do you get out of your Merc? Prop size? It looks like mine will troll down to 2.5 and tops out around 40. Prop is still aluminum, 13.25x17. I want to eventually upgrade to stainless, but haven't decided between 13.25x17 (many brands) or 13x18 yamaha performance SS. My WOT is around 6000 or so.

The boat I got is red, and I love that classic Lund color. Yours?

Didn't go to Greenway BTW. Last name is Solberg and I went to John Marshall high in Rochester.

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I keep the anchors in the floor storage area. They are the mushroom type anchors with 3 grabbers on them. Top end on my graph is 32 mph. Low end trolling speed is 2.0 mph or a touch higher. I have no problem getting down to walleye trolling speed with big drift sock and trimming the motor up a bit. I have a 19 pitch prop on mine. It's black and with a little silver. The red looked real nice too and probably a little easier to keep clean than the black. I went to high school with some Solberg's from the Coleraine/Bovey area.

Brian

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