Char_Master

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About Char_Master

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Interests
    Fishing (Trolling, Casting, Fly), Scuba Diving, Fish Tanks, Ichthyology
  • Home Port
    Erie, PA (Lake Erie)
  • Boat Name
    Laker Taker

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  1. Following this thread, some great advice and methods I hadn't even thought of. I CPR 99% of my fish and usually rely on different ways of revival depending on the species. For Lakers (especially in Spring cold water), if you handle them quickly and have them in and out of the boat in under a minute, they will usually rocket back to the deep if torpedoed back in (getting oxygen to them quickly and sending them in the right direction). In the summer it gets more troublesome with the warm surface water so June-August I'll stop the boat after hooking up with a fish (fishing a 1-4 rod spread) and fight them while drifting, giving them time to equalize and rise slowly. Net the fish, unhook and measure in the net while the fish is still in the water, pick it up horizontally (and without gill gripping) for a quick picture or two, then place the fish back in the water, keeping a firm grip on the caudal peduncle (wrist) until it has regained enough strength to swim out of my grip (anywhere from instantly to 4-5 minutes). The most difficult Laker I've successfully revived took about 7-8 minutes after hopping into the lake with it to burp it and get water through its gills, but most take off within a minute or two. If you don't want/need pictures, I'd advise not even removing the fish from the water, but I'm somewhat of a trolling amateur and like to get pics of all my larger fish :). As for Steelhead, which are basically suicide-fighters during the Summer, I pretty much always have to stop the boat and use the same method as I do for summer Lakers, otherwise they just float belly-up looking like a free meal for gulls. Only for Steelies, I'm still not able to revive more than 50-60% of the fish after 5-10 minutes drifting with them. The others, I believe, have so much of a lactic acid buildup that they fight themselves to death. Salmon, I have much less experience with than Lakers and Steelhead, but I've noticed that the shakers swim away just fine after handled "normally" while the larger fish will sit at the surface for half a minute or so before slowly swimming back down.
  2. 450 FOW or deeper, keep baits in the top 10-100' (usually 10-50'). Orange and red are my best colors usually, but pink, blue, purple, and green are all good bets as well. Spoons and stickbaits are the way to go. Good luck!
  3. Glad to hear! Oddly enough, when I cut open the stomach of that 12 pounder, there was a large Alewife in it, but of the two Salmon I kept, neither had any Alewives in them. One had an empty stomach and the other had two mainly digested fish that looked like either Smelt or Ciscos/Herring.
  4. Thanks! If we had more time I'd have gone out further and tried to find bait, but even taking rods out at 9:00 I didn't get home until almost 7:00 last night.
  5. Absolutely, such a cool experience to catch fish in over 500 feet when I rarely if ever break 140 on Erie haha. Awesome to have so many options around here. Erie has Lake Trout, Steelhead, Walleye, Drum, Smallies and White Bass while Ontario has Chinooks, Cohos, Steelhead, Browns, Lakers, and even Atlantics. Plus all the inland species available in the area.
  6. Olcott 8/11 - 8/13 Made our annual trip to Lake Ontario the past three days and although we didn't have nearly the success that most others going out of Olcott were having, we still did better than our five day trip last July/August. 13/18 fish total landing 7 Steelhead (22-29" up to 12.0#) and 8 Chinooks (15-25" up to 7.5#). Friday evening- Fished from 3:30-8:30 PM. 3/5 Chinooks (18-22") and 1/2 Steelhead (27"). Started deep and worked the 28-30 lines in 450-510 FOW. Couldn't find fish for an hour then lost a nice Steelhead and what would've been the best Chinook of the trip (~30") about 50 yards from the boat. Silver/blue and silver/green stingers 40' and 100' down got those two fish. Headed in shallow after that, started in 100 FOW east and eventually worked into 40 FOW just off the harbor. Finally found some hungry Chinooks and took 3 little shakers (18-22") plus a feisty 27" Steelhead that swam through the outdrive and various cords around it, making us stop the boat with two other lines in (somehow didn't lose any gear, miraculously landed that Steelhead too). Everything we landed in shallow was on the same Flasher/spoon rig down mid-depth on the right rigger. Saturday morning- Fished 5:30-10:00 AM. 4/4 Steelhead (22-29") and 1/2 Chinooks (18"). Once again started deep, set up at the 27 line and trolled north. Covered 420-505 FOW. First fish ate just before 6:00 and hit a watermelon moonshine 250' back on a 3.5 wire diver. Nice 28" screamer Steelhead to start the day. Little 18" Chinook not long after that on a Flasher/spoon down 100' on a rigger. Took a nice pair of 24" and 22" Steelhead between 7:00-8:00, again on a melon spoon 250' back on a wire diver, then the offshore bite shut down for us. Tried inshore hoping to find anything willing to eat, covered 80-150 FOW with no action for about two hours before we finally got the best fish of this trip at 10:00. Ate a Flasher/spoon 50' down in 100 FOW and tore off 80' off line in a minute. Thought I had a nice Chinook on until the fish started breaking water and I saw the square tail & blue back, monster chromer on! Thankfully this one didn't run under the prop like last night, but he took a good two minutes to land after boatside since it wanted no part of our net. Super fat 29" and 12 pounds, my heaviest Steelie to date. Wasn't able to revive this fish like I was for the other Steelhead, so we headed in after that fish to fillet him and wait a few hours for the late afternoon bite. Saturday afternoon/early evening- Fished 2:00-6:00 PM. Got a tip about fish being further east so we started in 300-350 FOW off the power plant. Quickly scored a pair of smaller Chinooks (15" and 21") one off the rigger and the other off a wire diver, then nothing. Ran around trying various spots offshore with no luck so we once again came in shallow and worked 100 FOW down to 40 FOW. Finally picked up a decent Chinook, 25" and 7.5#. Only fish of the trip that ate a Flasher/fly rig (two-face with stud) about 70' down over 90 FOW. Hit a decent 22" Steelhead on a Flasher/spoon after that before we called it a night and headed in. Sunday morning- Fished 5:30-9:00 AM. Not sure if it was just us or if everyone was having trouble, but we couldn't find a single hungry fish between 50-400 FOW east of the harbor in the short time we fished. Tons of bait in shallow but no predators looking to eat, apparently. Nothing out deep either, and marked little to no bait. Saw many boats offshore but we didn't want to burn the extra gas as we had to leave early to head home regardless. Wasn't a fan of getting skunked Sunday, but we had a great time Friday and Saturday! As someone who fishes Lake Erie for Steelhead all Summer and Fall, I'm still amazed by the impressive quality of Lake O's chromer fishery. The fish up there average way larger and are all extremely tall-bodied compared to Erie's slender torpedo-shaped fish. Chinooks aren't a species I fish for very often (though they are delicious!), but the aggressive fights of those huge Steelhead is what keeps me coming back to Lake Ontario.
  7. Glad I tried this rig, it was our number one producer this weekend. Caught 13/18 fish Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon and the vast majority were on a 4" Moonshine Flounder Pounder about five feet behind an 8" Dragon Slayer Spin Doctor. Same SD with a Mixed Veggies Stinger took our biggest fish of the weekend, a 12 pound Steelhead. Glad to add another weapon to my arsenal!
  8. Nice job out there, Decoy Hound! Think I saw your boat offshore yesterday morning, we were in the same general depth.
  9. Thanks for the feedback! Heading offshore in a couple hours so I'll post here if I do any good with flasher spoon rigs.
  10. Flasher-spoons? Wondering if any of you guys ever run the standard 3-6" spoons behind a flasher? I know flasher-flies and flasher-meat are the most popular combos, and I've even heard of some people using dodger-spoon rigs, but never much mention of flasher-spoons. I'll be fishing out of Olcott for the next 2.5 days and from what I've heard so far, it's almost entirely a spoon bite offshore. That said, I'm a firm believer in always having at least one flasher in the spread whenever trolling for any of the silver species, more often than not I think it simply attracts them in to the spread so they see the spoons on other lines and go after them instead, as my catch rate is usually higher when pulling a flasher-fly while the flasher itself is rarely touched. To me, if the fish are eating primarily spoons at the time, it makes sense to run a flasher off one of my riggers to attract the Salmon & Trout to the spread and pair it with a spoon four feet or so behind that (so its action is independent of the flasher). Thoughts?
  11. Seriously!? Wow, I would have never thought. Thanks for letting me know, I would've wasted a whole weekend trying to find Lakers out there! Heck, hopefully it's still cold off Barcelona. I'm tempted just to stay at my home port and head east to fish deep off North East, PA.
  12. Thanks!
  13. Do you mean it's come closer to shore at Dunkirk? Unless the lake flipped the Laker fishing should be fine, it should still be 39° under the thermocline out deep.
  14. Hoping to fish out of Dunkirk one final time this Summer before the lake turns over in September. Thinking the same program I ran last time should produce fish. But, for those of you who fish here often, any recommendations for nice marinas that offer transient slips with power? I'd like to fish both days this coming weekend and it'd be easiest if I could just stay on the boat right on the water overnight. Thanks in advance!
  15. Thanks for the additional info, all! And those are some great pictures, fisherman21. I may be heading to lake O this weekend so I'm going to see how much my 6'8" can do up there for Browns and Steelhead. When I do go to buy a new rod though, I'm likely going for the 9' spinning rod. I've talked to a couple guys who use long rods for jigging Lakers on Ontario with success and I think it'll be more versatile than a 7' casting rod.