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Chuck Smth

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Everything posted by Chuck Smth

  1. Color is important, but fish where you see fish. If the bottom machine is showing a blank screen - move. Kings are eating machines and if you find them and they're hungry they'll usually eat. I'd start with blue green dolphins, NBKs and like stuff on sunny days, maybe move towards blacks and purples if it's over cast. The other thing is if you're new too it stay with on brand and size. Often it isn't actually the color, it's just that the spoon was working good at the speed you were trolling. I like spoons that run good between 2.5 an 3.0 in the spring. A
  2. For jigging I prefer a flasher, that's the quickest and easiest to read. For a standard bottom machine the frequency is still high enough (50 kHz is low frequency! ) and the speed of sound in water is so fast that what you see on the flasher is worst case a few milliseconds behind, so it's essentially real time. Chuck
  3. As mentioned, with cable steering the choices are limited, but that said if I had to troll without an autopilot I'd probably give it up. It makes that big a difference. Probably puts more fish in the boat than any other piece of gear. My $.02, YMMV. CHuck
  4. I'll offer up a different suggestion: run two Dipseys and then run lead off the boards. A five color and a 10 color along with two dipseys should never get tangled and you can deploy them without worrying about them running into each other. This also makes your spread longer and wider so you're fishing a bigger box of water. As you get better you can add more lead lines into the spread. Running two Dipseys off of one side sounds good until you get a screamer on and then you can have a mess, and lose a lot of gear. Others may have different opinions but that's how we do it and it rarely results in problems. Chuck
  5. Your best bet is to design what you want and then have them made in Shenzen by one of the myriad for-contract lure manufacturers there. You'll need to work with an importer to clear the paperwork but trust me, you'll make a lot more margin by having the work done in a low-cost region. With small items like this economy of scale is everything. You worked up a parts and labor cost but you left out the costs of packaging, distribution and advertising. The actual lure cost can be insignificant compared to the time and treasure you'll spend on the business side of things. Anytime you get involved in an endeavor that includes molten lead you're going to have a lot of (expensive!) OSHA requirements to meet. My advice: start small and then if the demand is there, offshore production. Don't forget people like Worth will sell you stuff wholesale you can simply repackage/rebrand too, as will the offshore suppliers.
  6. A FishHawk has a weak link between the ball and the probe. This way, if you snag your ball on the bottom you only lose a cheap downrigger ball and not an expensive probe unit. Second,the downrigger ball has a lot of mass so it won't equilibrate to it's surroundings quickly enough and third, who wants to keep a battery in the cannonball? You'd also need to run a finned weight in order to keep it tracking straight for the speed to be accurate. Other than that, it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. FishHawks work really great the way they are. Chuck
  7. Frogger you are so right. My best customers understood the difference between price and value. Like my mentor taught me, "When you sell price you're only as smart as your dumbest competitor!" Chuck
  8. In my personal experience, dealer agreements in the marine business often aren't worth the price of the paper they're written on. I've seen manufacturers break their own territory agreements. I've had a boat manufacturer's factory rep. send a customer from my territory to another dealer out-of-state and lost a deal because of it. That's after spending beaucoup dollars as a dealer to stock, advertise and promote their boats. As far as pricing, you cannot dictate a selling price. As I noted earlier, that's a federal offense (Sherman Act) and you can have a very expensive slap on the wrist for that, along with a lot of bad press. All IMHO, YMMV, that's cool.
  9. Try bass fishing, it makes salmon trolling look pretty darned affordable,
  10. Manufacturers cannot dictate the selling price. That's a federal offense; HOWEVER, as part of your dealer or distributor agreement (aka "contract") they may dictate that you only advertise a certain price. Take for example, TRACKER boats. I sold many, many TRACKER boats for less than the nationally advertised price. It will be interesting to see what happens with Ranger now that they have put a lowball nationally advertised price in the BassPro catalog. Ranger always had the opposite problem, they loaded dealers with inventory and then the dealers needed to move them cheap. If you were a new Ranger dealer you were always competing with dealers giving them away. Chuck
  11. Jim, I'm an engineer in the large industrial pump business. Desalination is pretty cheap. There are large projects going on right now in California.
  12. Transom savers come in two basic flavors. Ones that attach to the trailer frame and ones that slip over the back keel roller. If you have a bunk trailer you generally want the slip over type. If you have a roller trailer you generally need one that attaches to the last cross-member ( since no keel roller is present) but that can be complicated if there are trailer running lights in the way. Roller trailers are a real PITA. The main thing is to make sure the transom saver can go from the roller to the lower unit without hitting the bottom of the transom. Most modern fiberglass boats with Coosa transoms are just fine and happy without a transom saver. You really need it more to keep the motor from bashing the trim rams on bumps. BTW, when I fish saltwater it's the ruler rather than the exception to not see transom savers - even with 4 Verados hanging off the back! Saltwater eats transom savers alive. Another alternative is to buy one of the fixtures that go on the motor on the trim rams to save them. If you don't use a transom saver or have trim ram trailer brackets then tip your motor all the way up, flip down the trailer latch and then lower the motor onto it. The motor should be balanced at that point and put the least stress on the transom and trim. Aluminum boat transoms are - ephemeral. Not if, but when it's going to rot out. Were I to buy a used aluminum boat my first off-season project would be to remove the wood and replace it with a poured transom and then never have to worry about it ever again. Yeah, some people will post "Oh yeah? Well my boat is 40 years old and the transom is perfect:", but trust me, it's not. Even though it looks great you get electrolysis between the aluminum transom and the motor bracket and bolts. This results in pinholes in the aluminum and the wood starts rotting where the motor is attached. I sold high-end aluminum boats for a long time to put myself through college and took a lot of "perfect" trades in with shot transoms! If you have an aluminum boat get a bunk trailer and a transom saver. IMHO, YMMV. Chuck
  13. Interesting discussion about the rollout, but I don's see many comments on the data here. I found the data interesting and stuff about natural reproduction was an eye opener too. We should have some bigger fish this coming year. Maybe not like they were in the 80's ( Those of us that were fishing then sure remember them!) but the fish should be well fed and heathly. I would have liked to see some data on the lamprey control and my experience in 2021 was more scarred fish and we caught some with lampreys attached. I think I remember reading something about how all the rain had blown out the creeks and so they weren't able to treat them, but I can't recall any specifics. Chuck
  14. Bass boats have been using electric trolling motors for decades. Electric power for trolling makes perfect sense. Quiet, efficient, low maintenance. There are already electric outboards available and trolling motors that can be attached to the anti-cavitation plate of an outdrive. If I was setting up a new boat for trolling today I would definitely consider an electric kicker. I already see smaller boats on the lake trolling with bow-mounts with the iPilot and doing so successfully. YMMV, Chuck
  15. As far as the minerals mining - where do you think all the iron, steel and aluminum come from to build an internal combustion engine? Where does the power come from to run the foundries? People forget that. Lithium is plentiful and easy to mine. We have enough lithium to power multiple civilizations. We have free fusion energy from the sun, you get enough Watts per square foot that we can power the entire nation easily with a few hundred square miles out in the desert. Of course, you'd want to de-centralize but you get the picture. Solar energy density is amazingly high. Now, samarium cobalt and neodymium we don't have domestically. That's a concern. Samarium cobalt comes from the Congo and China. Neither is a good option. Engineers need to solve that problem, and they will. Chuck
  16. The big question always is, "How rough is it out on the lake?" Good news is that you can get real time wind and wave information from your computer or phone. I put this quick tutorial together to show you how. You old-timers can add in any other tips on how to use them. You can also get historical data which is what I used to do the 2020/2021 wind comparison. Hope this is helpful for those who don't already use this data. Chuck
  17. Yeah, right on. The buoys are a great resource to use. Maybe I'll do a video of how to access them with your phone and get pictures of the seas, wind and wave data with graphs and all kinds of useful data. The data is aligned with my journal too. We didn't have to make those long runs out to 300' like we did last year. Fishing was a lot more "old school" this year.
  18. Just realized I can attach the data. Here it is if anyone else wants to play with it. 2020 data.txt AUG2021.txt JUL2021.txt JUN2021.txt SEPT2021.txt
  19. I've seen some interesting musings regarding how fishing was different this year because of the wind. Being a hopeless nerd engineer I decided to investigate. I downloaded the data from NOAA buoy 45012 which is located slightly NE of Rochester pretty much in the middle of the lake. I parsed the data to have similar sets for 2021 and 2020, from late June to the end of September. There are about 13,000 data points for each year (total about 26,000) For the overall results: Year Avg Direction Avg Speed 2020 229.3 12.9 mph 2021 192.3 10.7 mph So the data shows that 2021 was slightly less windy during the prime season and a little more southerly, SSW for 2021 vs SW for 2020. Overall, I'd say the winds weren't significantly different between the two years. The slightly more southerly winds would tend to keep the lake flatter and bring the temps up shallower which should have helped the smaller boats too. If anyone wants the data I have it in EXCEL format or text format. Chuck
  20. Since I'm a pretty nerdy engineer I keep a detailed diary of every trip. Conditions, winds, location, temps., speeds, what produced, what didn't, etc. If I compare this year to last they are remarkably similar. The only thing the data I've got shows is that we didn't get as many doubles/triples as last year and that pretty much accounts for the lower total number of kings boated. As I noted earlier, the plus side is that steelhead and cohos were more plentiful this year for us. So when you add that into the number of kings we caught, we had a decent year. Not off-the-charts and a few days we really had to grind, but a good year. Another thing was we had a little more south wind this year so we didn't have to run as far offshore to find temps. BTW, I really encourage keeping a notebook. It helps me a lot.
  21. Interesting comment on the right-of-way, I see that one a lot. "Right of Way" is a lot more complicated then "two points abaft the starboard beam." You also need to take into account "A vessel restricted in it's ability to maneuver." If you're in a small boat ( assuming so since it has the rubber-style plug and not a Garboard drain style) and a 10 meter boat is coming from your left with a full spread of boards, copper and lead, then they may have the right of way. Most charter boats are less than 12 meters so they aren't required to use lights or shapes to show their maneuverability status. Up current vs down current, overtaking, towing, etc., all need to be considered in the right-of-way determination. Best advice I can give is to assume the other boat doesn't see you and take action yourself regardless of who has the right of way. You never know when there might be an emergency situation onboard or mechanical malfunction on the other boat. Common courtesy also comes into play. The charter guys are out there with paying customers, trying to scratch out a little profit and we need to be mindful of that and give them a break. It's a really big lake and there's plenty of room for everyone. My $.02, IMHO and YMMV. Chuck
  22. Great Lakes trolling without an autopilot sure takes a lot more work. Combine no autopilot with a bad driver and it's going to be a LOOONNNNG day on the water, lol! I'm sure others may feel differently, but for me a good autopilot will put more fish in the boat than any other piece of equipment since it frees everyone up to be fishing instead of driving, and makes netting fish a breeze. IMHO, YMMV and that's cool.
  23. Out of Rochester we never had the insane triples and quads like the last couple of years but we had a pretty consistent bite. One thing we noticed is that the fish were noticeably bigger this year and the bait more plentiful than in recent years. We did some of the biggest kings I've seen since the early 80's this year. That's fine with me. I'd rather catch one really nice fish than a bunch of teenagers. We had to use the electronics more in 2021, usually if you found bait you found kings. Drop a waypoint and then work the heck out of it and the fish generally cooperated. On the plus side - steelhead and cohos were plentiful and eager biters if you went offshore. Downriggers probably only accounted for about a third of our fish this year. Most were on lead and dipseys. Downriggers weren't really catching kings for us until late summer when we started pulling meat, but even then maybe only half the bites came off downriggers. Dipsey/Spinny was probably our best producer all year. One trip this year we were having a tough bite so just to get the skunk off we pulled into 100', dropped the balls to the bottom and within minutes had a laker on. I think that bite is as good as ever. We didn't target browns so I can't personally speak to that fishery, but I've heard it was pretty tough sledding this year.
  24. When you hook up the last thing you want to do is to stop trolling. You're on fish! Keep the troll going. You can't get a double if you stop fishing . We've had as many as four on at once. Just keep the boat going straight and all will be fine. And real important - if if you have one, when you stop your autopilot doesn't work. As for kings being line-shy? Nah. Think about it. Wire/Dispey/snubber/Spinny/twinkie rig combo and they still smash it. The only reason I like Flouro leaders is because they're tough. Leaders take a lot of abuse because we use nets. Others my have different opinions on that and that's cool, but in my experience (almost 40 years) the fish don't care. Kings are eating machines. A four year old king can weigh two times more than a 25 year old walleye. For me, boards are more about being able to run more lines without tangles than anything else. We generally run the lead off the boards, dipseys inside them and then downriggers. Once you get your spread set stop never stop fishing. Truth be told, slowing or stopping makes it a lot harder to keep the fish under control. If you keep moving forward it keeps the fish behind the boat and all the lines straight. As long as you take your time and don't bring in a big one too green it will an easy net job. Anyway, it works for me, others have their way of doing things, try different things and see what works best for you. It's more fun to lose one than to be sitting on the couch. Chuck
  25. Just wondering if anybody wants any specific How-To videos. Topics, techniques, rigging, boat maintenance, whatever. If you have any requests let me know and we'll see what we can do over on our YouTube channel. Additionally if you have something you'd like to present, or would like have a video of your charter operation made let me know and we're happy to accommodate you. All for free. We do this to promote fishing, not to make money! Chuck
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