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John Kelley

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Everything posted by John Kelley

  1. Nice one Ken, looks like you found some stuff that worked for you, brother!!
  2. Henderson Harbor always seems to have a bunch of hungry browns.
  3. Looks like that fish could swim right off the wall!!
  4. Nicely done, and don't worry, the warm weather is heading your way. Was almost 70 degrees yesterday in South Dakota, and mid 60's today!!
  5. A couple of little tricks I like to do when big old surface feeding rainbows get finicky are to switch to live bait. My favorite trick is to take a nice, fat nightcrawler, and blow him up with a worm blower. Then I hook the worm through the mouth and right back out again with a #6 or #8 Gamakatsu octopus style hook, with no weight, and cast him out toward the swirling fish, on a light or ultralight spinning outfit on 4-6 pound fluorocarbon line. Those hungry rainbows can never resist a fat worm, wriggling and squirming on the surface. When they take the bait, let them have it for a few seconds before setting the hook, so they can get the whole worm down, and get the hook. Beware of hungry bass in the area, because they will go for that floating nightcrawler on the surface, too!! The other trick I like to employ involves a small #10 octopus style hook, and threading two fat little waxworms onto it. Once again, I use no weight, but clip a small float about 12†to 18†above the hook. Using the spinning outfit and light fluoro line, again cast toward the swirling, surface feeders. The slowly sinking waxworms will be wiggling around, and squirting out bits of flesh and body juices, that really turns on the trout. As soon as that float twitches you can set the hook on this set-up. Hope this helps. Thanks and good luck!!
  6. A ton of people out in the Western states use spinner and crawler rigs behind them for rainbows and kokanees(landlocked sockeye salmon), much higher in the water column than you would for lakers.
  7. I too have had good luck with Okuma customer service. I love my Convectors, and would suggest that you upgrade to them once your Magda's go south, if you are already an Okuma guy, for sure. Totally agree with you on the Magdas too, can't beat them for the price. 209 is a fraction of the reel a Magda is, in my opinion. Good luck.
  8. Junk and really low gear ratio. If you want quality Penn reels, you will have to upgrade to their GTI reels. Just my own personal experience with them, anyways.
  9. Nice, might have to buy my next batch from you, sir!
  10. Hey guys, I picked up some 4" Slingblade dodgers with some peanut flies to try out on Cohos this Spring. I guess they are supposed to be able to be trolled faster than herring style dodgers because of the shape. The guys in the western states swear by them for cold water kings, cohos, and kokanees. Have any of you guys used them yet? I am attaching a pic of the 3 dodgers I bought. Let me know what you think. Thanks.
  11. Hey Fellas, I thought I would share a cheap and easy method I have been using to store my leaders the last year or so. First, I buy these plastic Sterilite containers with a snap on lid and handle for about $5.00/each from my local Shopko, or Walmart. Then I cut lengths of pool noodles to fit inside them. I can get 4 fully loaded pool noodles inside each box. Then I cut a toothpick in half with a scissors, and shove the sharp end into the noodle at an angle, to use as a peg for one end of the leader, wrap the leader around the noddle as many times as it takes to get the whole leader wrapped. Then I either use another half toothpick to peg the other end, or if it works out to the right length, I just put it on the original toothpick. I have been storing all kinds of leaders in these, including diver leaders, and fly leaders. of course the fly leaders are easier, because the hook end just shoves right into the noodle, only requiring 1/2 toothpick. I have included some pics in case anyone is interested. These work good for storing night-crawler harnesses too, for any of you walleye guys. Thanks.
  12. Cool, I plan on stuffing them full of scented up tuna fish, as well, and see if they work on Lake Michigan next summer. My test run will probably be on Lake Oahe this spring. Didn't expect to see many guys using them, so this is good news for me!! Thanks.
  13. Ha anyone tried these Brad's Superbaits on Lake Ontario? I have been watching plenty of footage of them with the Columbia river guys. They look like they should work on the Great Lakes, too. I have ordered a bunch of the cut plug style off of Ebay, and will report how I do with them next summer on Lake Michigan, and the Missouri river. Just another weapon in the arsenal. Figured they would be a good replacement when a guy can't find any herring.
  14. Just wanted to point that line capacity thing out, especially on 500 and longer coppers, where it really makes a big difference. I concur with your other points!
  15. Les, I think the Solterra has a higher line capacity than the Tekota.
  16. I never go wrong with orange for steelies. The orange Michigan Stingers in standard size work great, as do the Orange Crush Moonshine in standard and magnum sizes. I have also done very well on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario,Jackson Lake and several smaller lakes in Western Washington Steelhead on hammered gold and orange Krocodile spoons, in 1/8 and 1/2 ounce sizes. Thanks.
  17. Just to test out how deep you are running, you can always start out in say 35' of water with a smooth bottom, and see if you are digging bottom. If you are hitting bottom with your lure, keep running a little deeper, at the same speed, until you no longer are hitting bottom, and that will tell you how deep your reef runner and say 3 core will get you at a given speed. Run it in the opposite fashion if you are not hitting bottom on your initial depth. A little experimenting on your own will make you way more confident in the actual depths you will be running, than any of us telling you what works on our boats. If there is one thing I have learned about trolling, it is that no two boats seem to run lures at exactly the same tolerances. Same general tolerances, sure, but never exactly the same. Hope this helps. Good luck, cranks on leadcore are a fun and effective tool in the arsenal, for multiple species of fish.
  18. That would be awesome, thanks!! We couldn't find any emerald shiners anywhere, either, and were forced to buy small golden shiners instead. I don't know if that was a factor or not. The smaller fish had gobies and emeralds in its stomach. I will say the lack of snow on top of the ice really makes for some easy walking and pulling of the shack. After hiking for miles through snow drifted ice out in South Dakota already this winter, this was a treat!!
  19. Haha Les, I didn't even have my shack setup at that time. I was just using the sled part for the chairs. It was pretty warm, around 28 degrees, I think.
  20. Yeah, we were just out from it and hang a hard right. Right across from the first aerators, and straight out from the Yacht Club, I think. Was my first trip out there, so I was just guessing on where to setup. There were lots of locals fishing around us. Nobody was doing very well.
  21. I was in 10 feet, right off the end of a floating fishing pier, in the Harbor Marina.
  22. My friend Josef and I made the long drive to Milwaukee last weekend, to ice fish for the big Browns and Steelhead there. The bite was not very good, and I only managed 2 fish for 3 hits, all weekend long. Luckily, my 3rd hit was a good one. An all spawned out Hen Brown trout that went 13.5 pounds. Here she is. Thanks.
  23. I spent two years in NY working, and fishing on Lake Ontario every chance I got. My biggest and best were the following: 30 pound 3 ounce king salmon, 14 pound 4 ounce brown trout, 18 pound laker,13 pound steelhead, and 12 pound Coho and my sole Atlantic @ 10 pounds. I was proudest of the big king because I caught it all by myself on a fairly rough day, in my little 20' Tracker Tundra. Here is the story of that day: I arrived at the “Oak†late morning and was on the lake around noon. All by myself, so I decided to motor out to about 150' of water to set up shop, and troll her north to the open water. The lake was a little bumpy, so I decided to fish two riggers with spoons and the 400' copper with a herring Twinkie rig behind a white with green dot 11" DW paddle. The spoons I was fishing were Carbon 14 on the starboard rigger and Double Trouble on the Port side rigger, with matching sliders on each rig. I set the riggers at 90' & 100'. I did not have much action until I hit the 29 north line, and then I could not keep the steelhead off of the doublet trouble slider spoon. After 6 steelhead, of various sizes, and one open water brown trout, I finally left that slider off of the port downrigger. Shortly thereafter, I took a real hot rip on the copper, and it was off to the races, with line screaming off the old Okuma 55L. 5 minutes into the fight, the line went limp, and one of the three hooks on that treble had been completely broken off. I switched out that hook with a new treble, and was back in action again. This was all taking place in about the 540' to 570' area. Fifteen minutes later another screamer grabs the copper, and it is off to the races once again. I had this one on a little bit longer than the previous fish, but it cut through the 50 pound leader, and was gone soon, too. It was about at this time that I opened the windshield, and the wind grabbed it and slammed it into my net, knocking the net into the drink. Now I am sitting 11 miles off shore with no landing net, in a hot fish zone!! in the meantime I had boated 3 more steelhead, two more on the double trouble, and one on the carbon 14 slider. I figured out that the salmon wanted herring strips, so I re-rigged the copper setup one more time, and set up a herring rig on the starboard rigger as well, and sent it down to the 120' mark. Now I have the Double trouble spoon down 80' on the port rigger, the copper 400 pulling herring, and the starboard rigger @ 120' pulling Herring. Copper fires again, and this time I land a nice little 15 pound king on it, and have to gill the fish to get it into the boat. I was quite proud of myself for that maneuver, and threw that fish in the box. About a half hour later the port rigger fires hard and instantly starts screaming the clicker on the old Sealine 47. This fish was a lot bigger, and a little trickier to get my hands in its gills. When it was all over, I hoisted a nice 26 pound hen into the boat, and was thinking quite highly of myself. My digital scale was jumping between 26 and 28 pounds, so I called the Cove to see if I could use their scale just to see what it actually weighed when I got back. They said sure, as long as I made it there before 8 p.m. It was about 5:30 or 6, and I had 2 nice salmon in the box, so I just decided to troll south, toward shore and be happy with my afternoon. I think I was about at the 450' area, heading south, when I noticed some nice hooks on the screen @ 100' of water. I raised the starboard rigger up to 100', reeled in the 20' of slack, and just turned around to look ahead of me, when I heard the clicker on that Sealine screaming hard and fast. The rod was doubled over, and I had a real hard time getting it out of the rod holder. I socked the fished good, set the rod back in its holder, then reeled in the 400 copper and the other rigger as fast as I could, and grabbed the rod again. I could tell this was a good fish, and circled him to gain some line on him. Pretty soon I was looking at the biggest salmon I had seen all season, lying on the surface behind the boat. I struggled a couple of times to get him close enough to gill him, and then hoisted his big body into the boat!! My first Tyee, and I was pumped!! I shouted out Tyee a couple of times as loud as I could, and was quite stoked!! Landed without a net, even!! Yeah!! Back at the Cove it weighed 30 pounds 3 ounces, was 43 inches long, and 24.5 inches around. It is now safely at the taxidermist shop! I caught a bunch more salmon and steelhead Saturday and Sunday, but nothing that nice. Thanks.
  24. Try the Oak Orchard Creek @ the Captains Cove or over by the Black North restaurant near the East side public ramp. Good luck. There are some submarines floating around that river, for sure!! :)
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