Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by J.D.

  1. Ray, I remember you posting last season about using a heaver super line, like 65 or 80 pound test with your divers. I was wondering what formula you were using to set your depth?? does it run closer to the wire settings or mono??


    Jim S.

  2. The shallow water West from the river to Braddocks Bay is still thick with mud from the wave action earlier in the week. 2 foot visibility at best. Temps were in the low 40's.

    Ended up working out deeper- 25-35 FOW where the color was a bit better, pulled one small steelhead on a 000 dodger / peanut fly 5' down. We saw one other boat pull up and head West past Braddocks only to fly by us headed East towards Webster an hour later.

    Great to be back on the water.... :clap:

  3. here you go......

    Lake Ontario Brown Trout Fishing:

    Well the time is growing shorter till spring arrives. Soon we all will have our boats shoveled out and in the water. Time for spring Browns.

    You send out your planer boards and start to set lines. 3 rods set off the starboard planer and you start to send out the second rod off the port board. “Fish On!†you yell as you grab the rod from one of the starboard rod holders. No sooner did the words come out of your mouth and another rod fires from the starboard planer. As your buddy is anxiously waiting with the net, he sees a third rod take off. TRILPLED UP! This is not uncommon when fishing for spring brown trout. The action can be fast and furious with multiple hook ups and numbers of fish.

    First, stealth is the key. Browns are, by nature, spooky. So some fine tuning must be made to be consistent in catching them. Fluorocarbon leaders are a must. An 8 to 10 lb. leader about 8 feet long should always be attached to your mainline. I simply tie a very small barrel swivel to my mainline (12lb -15lb. clear Big Game Trilene) and attach the fluorocarbon at the other end. For fluorocarbon I recommend Seagur.

    Terminal tackle. I run a tiny size 1 snap at the lure. The barrel swivel between my mainline and the leader keeps the twist out of the line so no need for a snap swivel at the lure.

    Planer boards are a priceless item for these shallow, weary spring browns. Mast style boards such as the dual wooden ones or the Big Jon otter boat are the most commonly used. They are readily available at local shops or via mail order thru Cabelas. If these are not practical for your boat then in-line boards such as “Offshore side planer†or “Yellow Birds†will work. For this discussion we will concentrate setting up with mast style planer boards.

    Setting up planer boards. Planer boards were designed to carry your lures off to the side and away from the boat, so make sure you use them to their potential. Typically I side them out 100’ to each side of the boat. I run 6 rods – 3 off each planer board. See diagram: Sorry I am no artist.

    Okay now to describe the diagram. Rod placement is critical or it can tangle to a mess. The rod towards the bow (#1 above) must be the farthest out on the tow line and rod #3 closest to the boat and the last sent out. Also when attaching lines to releases make sure that your line is under the previous set rod. This way the lines will clear over the others when you get a release. I stagger about 20 feet between releases along the tow rope.

    Now for lure set back. I start normally with 100 foot setback on the starboard side and 75 on the port. I adjust lengths to match when a pattern develops. Typical setbacks are from 75’ – 150’.

    Posted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:37 pm Post subject: GEARING UP FOR SPRING BROWNS PART 2

    Now that the boat is set up for spring, your rod and reels are relined, terminal gear is all in order, as per part 1 on spring browns: Let’s go shopping for the tackle to get these spring time treasures into the boat. There are two lure styles that stand out from April till mid may, stickbaits and spoons. Size does matter! When choosing spoons for spring brownies 2 ½†to 3 ½†predominant. Do not let these smaller sizes scare you; monster browns pound these small offerings. With stickbaits 3 ½†to 4 ½†are the ticket in both regular and jointed body styles. First we will talk about spoons. The spoon market is flooded with different company’s, styles, colors, and sizes. For this article we will discuss what has worked day in and day out on Lake Ontario. Flutter spoons trolled at slow to moderate speed are very consistent at catching early season browns. For this article, flutter spoon will be defined as any ultra –thin, lite weight spoon. R&R Tackle Company “superlitesâ€, Honeybee, and Eppinger’s #3f evil eyes are three examples and my top producers. Standard spoons such as Northern King c5 or 4d’s, and Silver Streak mini and regular size, hold their own as well. Their weight allows you to run them without added weights off planer boards, this came be deadly at times. Spoon colors. As mentioned before, there are thousands of patterns on the market which work. Here we will touch base just on the color combos that are most consistent day in and day out. Basically three color shades are needed. These are silver, gold, and fluorescents. Below I will list six color combos for each that are my go to choices. My typical silver spoon combos would include the following. Silver/orange stripe, black/silver, blue/silver, green/silver, watermelon, and silver/green glow. Gold colored spoons. Dreamweaver chicken wing, black/gold, gold watermelon, gold/green stripe, gold/green glow, and orange crush gold. For fluorescent color spoons; black/chart, orange, red, lemon/lime, frog, and chameleon all produce. Stickbaits probably account for more spring browns taken than any other lure type combined. These plastic or wooden minnow shaped plugs produce a side to side wobble action that drive spring browns crazy. As with spoon, there are multiple manufactures that market stickbaits. Most company’s offer two basic body styles; regular (straight) and joint, both of which work well. Rebel, Storm thunderstick’s, Rapala, Yo-zuri, and Challenger are the most commonly used. Color choices for stickbaits are as wide as it is with spoons. The color selection is the same for both straight and jointed models. I have cut down on the number of colors in my tackle box to just the top producers. Black/silver, black/gold, firetiger, perch, brown trout, orange, blue, chartreuse, metallic rainbow trout, Billy barrow, red, and green are my dirty dozen color choices. Stickbaits are available in a wide range of diving depths. The majority of your selection should consist of floating/shallow diving models. By this I am referring to those with a maximum diving depth of only a few feet. This will help eliminate snagging bottom when trolling in only a few feet of water with planer boards. A selection of models with diving depths in the 8 to 15 foot range will produce well for suspended or bottom hugging browns, so they too deserve a place in your tackle box. With the above selection of tackle, colors and sizes you will be well prepared to target the excellent early season brown trout fishery that is available on Lake Ontario. Very soon they will be in those shallow water haunts feeding heavily after the long winter. The browns will be there in numbers and ready …..are you ready for them?

    Well with about 80 days left to go before the boat goes splash, let’s discuss spring Brown Trout locations. There are a number of factors that come into play when searching for spring Brown Trout. Water depth, temperature, clarity, and fishing pressure are a few things that determine where to fish.

    First water depth for these spring time gems. The vast majority of spring time fishing is done in shallow water. Water depths from 4’ out to 50’ can all be productive during April and Early May. Periods of low or first light, low fishing pressure, and colored water means ultra shallow fishing. This calls for them planer boards discussed in part 1 and shallow set riggers. As the sun light increases during mid morning or with pressured fish, moving out a little deeper often is necessary. The Browns tend to move out and down under these conditions. Weighted planer board lines, slide divers and riggers are the ticket now.

    Next we will discuss water temperature. Ideal Brown trout temperature range is when you have 52-54 degree water intersecting with the bottom lake structure. In the early to mid spring this situation will be all but impossible to find. So to locate browns in the spring, you need to search for the warmest water possible in a given area. A surface water temperature difference as little as a degree or two can, and usually will, attract fish. I have noticed that action seems to pick up once the lake has warmed up into the low 40’s. Once the water has warmed up to 46 degrees plus, prime spring fishing has begun.

    Water temperature varies in an area for a number of reasons. Colored water, sand or rock bottoms, and tributary run offs tend to have warmer water than the surrounding areas. Also look for embayment, river mouths, and warm water discharges. I have seen a 5 to 6 degree difference in water temperature in a few hundred feet, while fishing in these areas.

    Clarity of the water is another factor that determines your success. As mentioned in previous parts of this series, Browns are spooky by nature. Clear water is the hardest to fish. Browns will be less spooky in muddy to pea green colored water. Typically pea green or “fishy water†is the most fertile. Its shade of green is produced by the high amount of algae and plankton contain within the water. This in turn draws baitfish and BROWNS. Finding this pea green colored water can be difficult but once found it can be a treasure.

    Often times you will encounter transition lines while trolling. These are areas where water changes color, such as muddy to pea green or muddy to clear. Trolling in an “s†pattern or weaving in and out the transition line can be very productive. Also look for “scum lines†and/or current rips on the water surface.

    Other things to watch for would include the following. Birds, diving birds are a dead giveaway in locating baitfish. Fleeing baitfish jumping out of the water along the shoreline are hard to see but I have seen this a number of times. Browns will chase minnows; in turn the bait will jump or splash around on the surface. When you see either of these two situations I try to work the area. Try to circle to area rather than troll straight thru. This will pick up the outside fish first, while not spooking the school.

    A few closing notes. Shallow trolling in the spring is very productive but poses a few issues. First, before heading into water less than 10’ deep –know the area. Many boulders, pipes and other debris wait on the bottom to rip open your hull or your prop off. Next, also while trolling along the shoreline remember that you and the other fisherman are limited in direction at which they can turn – can’t turn into shore. Third, most everyone will be running long set backs of the riggers and planer boards, as much as 175’. Last but not least planer boards pose two problems, other fishermen’s can be hard to see and while trolling with planer boards out 100’ off both sides of the boat, your turn radius is that of a train.

    In Part 1 we described the basic equipment for the boat and terminal tackle. Part 2 touched base on lure selection, size and colors. Part 3 was on location, NOW LETâ€S PUT SOME FISH IN THE BOAT.

    This part is going to pull it all together to give the basics to catch these spring time browns.

    First, and foremost, with spring time brown trout fishing – the early bird gets the worm. The prime time for fishing is just before sun up till about 8:30 am. A number of factors can shorten or lengthen this period, but that is a good average time frame. The first few passes thru an area are usually the best, after that it gets slower and slower.

    Fishing with the pack is not the best idea. This is a big mistake that we all make from time to time. We see (or hear) a few fish caught from an area so we head towards it. This will hurt the number of browns you catch. Picture this: 100 Jet Ski’s racing around in a ½ mile area. The noise would drive you nuts. Image a brown trout in 4 feet of water with 50 props. Working just outside of the pack can be MORE productive. As little as 300 yards has paid off nicely for me in the past. Also, finding untapped waters a mile or so away is more rewarding than catching 2 or 3 fish that have been worked to death.

    Speed kills. I know that some trollers burn thru at 3 mph in search of actively feeding browns during the early season. The cold water temperatures slow the metabolism of the browns, this makes them lazy. I have found that the most productive speed to consistently take these natural or inactive fish is between 1.8 to 2.3 mph. With the slower metabolisms in the early spring the Browns don’t want to exert more energy than they will gain from the food which they take in. I usually start my program around 2.0 to 2.2 mph surface speed and then adjust as the fish dictate.

    Setting up and set backs. Set backs for the planer boards and shallow riggers are a gamble. They can change by the hour. As with speed, let the fish tell you what they prefer. I run leads from 75’ to 150’ back off the boards. I will set one side at 75’ and the other at 100’ when I start in the morning. Shorten or length until a program ties together. With the riggers I like to run the starboard corner back 65’-75’ back and the port 45’-55’ back. Also some days I run the (third) chute rigger right in the prop wash.

    I will end this series on spring browns with a “pro’s pointer.†This is a simple trick that has started off a lot of good morning for me. As you are running to your location have two rods ready to go. Have the rods rigged with the lures that you want to use on the last out (closest) planer board lines for each side of the boat. As soon as you slow to trolling speed shot them out FIRST, straight out of the back of the boat. Send one back 100’ and the other in the prop wash. THEN, go about setting up as you normally would. Once all the OTHER rods are rigged, then reel them in at set them. You will be surprised at how many times you will boat a fish or two before you even get a planer board all the way out!

    Summer Browns:

    well with the warmer temps we are having the fish will be moving off to their summer locations fairly soon. So I will post a little insight on locating those summer browns.

    Summer Brown Trout fishing can be excellent here off Rochester. Below we will discuss basics on finding them, patterns that produce year after year, and a few added techniques to help you hook up more.

    Summer time brown trout offer a good onshore fishing opportunity. These fish can be fairly easy to locate, compared to other species at this time. Browns preferred water temperature is about 55-60 degrees but I have noticed that 52-54 degree temperatures produce best. Usually during the summer months these fish can be found within 1 to 3 miles of shore.

    Unlike the spring, we are not looking for the warmest water and/or run off to locate the Browns. Temperature is still important but not the surface temp, down temp. is key. Once a thermocline sets up areas where water in the low 50’s intersecting with the lake bottom will attract browns. Normally 40 foot of water during late spring and moving out deeper to 100-125’ as summer progresses.

    Although browns by nature like some sort of structure around them they will also suspend. Many times they will suspend over water 60-125’ deep. Typically these fish will be suspended 40-80’ down. Your electronics will earn their keep while searching for these browns. Watch for bait, hooks and water temperature in the low to mid 50’s.

    Browns tend not to roam far. Areas that produced well in the spring will continue to do so all season long – just deeper. Points and deep water reefs are excellent areas to concentrate on. Areas like Lighthouse, Braddocks and Shipbuilders are good examples.

  4. I have a Minn Kota power drive on my 17 footer... 55lb. thrust, 12 volt is all you will need. I have the long shaft ( 54"). I love sitting in the back of the boat in rough water instead of the bow. The auto pilot keeps you running in a straight line so you're fishing instead of steering the motor all day. Mine is 6 years old and still works like the day I bought it


  5. I use the Walker clincher set up as shown in Sponge's photo, and a Blacks release above it just like Longline has shown, and remove the DR probe after each trip..... readings with 200 feet of cable out with no problems..

    Jim S.

  6. After a few lively debates with some fellow fisherman, it seems like none of us can agree exactly what the best temps. are to target for each species of fish while setting up your spread. Hoping some long time trollers can help by listing their target down temps.

    Thanks, Jim S.

    My List:

    Kings 48-55

    browns 55-60

    steelhead 55-65

    lakers 40-50

  7. I agree with Ray..... been stacking riggers since day one and on some days, it's the hot ticket.. My go to stack is a spoon 30' back on the bottom with a flasher/fly or Evil Eye high speed dodger/squid 10' above and 10' back. Some times I run 2 dodgers with a 000 on bottom and a 0 on top like a giant mupp rig.

    Just my $.02

  8. Freeman,

    I had this very conversation with the owner of Northern King lures last year at their spring factory sale.

    LongLine's post on speed is spot on.

    Many spoon blanks are sold during the sale, treble AND single hooks are available from NK to "build your own" spoons. I run all single hooks in the sizes they recommend, and get my share of fish.

    NK mags...4/0 single siwash hook

    NK 28.... 3/0 single siwash hook

    Run 2/0 hooks on the smaller / lighter spoons

    I hope this helps....

    Jim S.

  • Create New...