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I bought my first boat in May and have downriggers and copper for trolling. I am looking for any help in finding fish. I seem to have the worst luck ever and I have a 12 y/o that thinks his old man is hopless. I have fished Seneca and look to fish Canandaigua and maybe Cayuga looking at the postings. Just looking for any tricks of the trade you may have and in simple terms what equipmet or lures should I be using. Thanks so much.

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Welcome to the club. We just started up with a boat for the first time in August. My crew is my wife and 3 kids ages 6-11. This site is heaven-sent, as there is loads of knowledge here, and when put to use properly, will help you catch fish. My early learning curve from everyone is that accurate boat speed is key number 1. Let the posters know what you have for a boat, tackle, etc, and you'll get some good direction. We had a poor day out yesterday, (if you can call sunny/70's poor), I think because it was midday, but my kids still have a blast cranking in rigs and downriggers and riding along on the bow. If you're like me, you could fish all day, but the family has me on a 2-3 hour time limit. I'm hoping that will get longer if we start to produce more, but if your son wants to quit for the day, definitely do it...there are more days to fish, but you don't want to sour him on the sport. Good luck.


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Stalker, a few questions for you; 1. What do you have for measuring your speed, i.e. gps, downspeed & temp, etc and what speed have you been using? 2. Do you have a set of dipsy diver rod&reel combos, are they wire or super braid? 3. Do you have some flasher/fly combos, and if so what leader length are you using on the flies. 4. How heavy are your downrigger weights? 5. What kind of copper set up(s) do you have(how many feet of copper,etc, leader test/length, etc.

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This site is great for finding the fish. There is almost always a few updates a week, and that should give you an idea of depth speed and presentation. If you read back into previous posts you will see that spin doctor/fly set ups are a must to have on board. These are best run behind dipsey divers, and you will want to invest in good ball bearing swivels to run these. Good ball bearing swivels are a must for everything i run. They are expensive, but i have lost spin doctors and other rigs after the line twised up and broke. Cowbells are another good set up to have. I have run just about everything behind cowbells (peanut, spoon, stickbait) and had luck. They can be hard to hook up on during a "lite bite" due to the extra drag of the cowbells.

These rigs work great, but if your on a budget it may take a while to get a good inventory. Also you may want to get used to setting up the downriggers and lines before you run these. I would hate to see someone go out for the first time and get alll the lines tangled up and loose $50 worth of takle. So if I were you I would start out with spoons to get the hang of things. Sutton spoons always get wet when I go out. Sutton 44's do well all year round and 88's run slow and do well in the spring. alpena diamonds are great if you can find them, seneca marine has both last i knew.

Stick baits work well in the spring and fall. Fire tiger or perch colors, rainbow trout colors, and silver black do well. as far as everything else goes for color, choose green. Green, green, and more green. Blue, purple, white, and black are good back ups.

If you have no way to measure speed, start out by checking the lure action in the water next to the boat before you send it down on the rigger. Also make sure all your lures work at the same speed. A sutton 88 will start to spin around 1.5mph, but your stickbait may not work well untill it get up closer to 1.8mph.

Hope this helps a bit. Feel free to ask for more specifics if/when you need them.

Tight lines!

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For a green horn, there are other methods to put fins in the boat.

In my opinion, you should start SIMPLE and jig for some lake trout. This is my prefered method, don't get me wrong I love trolling as well. If at all possible put a bow mount trolling motor on your boat if you don't already have one and tip a 3/4 oz. or 1 ounce jig with a shaker or fluke and jig away.

It keeps the kids busy and I have had several kids in the 8 yr. old range land BIG fish. PM me for more info.

Good Luck, Chris

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Seneca or Cayuga. My best combo's for some lake trout action this time of year have been:

1. Trolling about 1.5 mph

2. Running in 70-110 feet of water

3. Running my tackle about 10 feet off the bottom

4. Running green flasher/green fly combo with fly 18" off back of flasher

5. Also had good success with cowbells and spinning "popcorn" type rig.

I have had no action on sticks or spoons since the Spring. Now sure what I'm doing wrong there but I have been doing very good with the above setup.

Running in this "shallow" depth of 70-110 feet should produce lots of action. You will probably have to go deeper to catch bigger fish right now but action is what you are looking for and you'll probably do better in this range. Two weeks ago, I used this setup on Cayuga and caught 10 lakers in 3 1/2 hours fishing by myself.

If you plan on coming out to Cayuga I'd be happy to join you and help you out. If you do, send me a PM.


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