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How to find salmon and trout summer through fall.

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Exactly what Ray K and BF said. I have learned a lot from this site over the past few seasons. You may make a few friends too if you're on it enough. You'll save some gas and money by reading the reports and posting questions about anything you need to know and help you become more productive. Most questions have been asked before and you may find the answer by doing a search on the site, but guys don't seem to mind answering the same questions again. Just a warning that once you start catching Big trout and salmon, it becomes addictive and sometimes expensive. Good luck and hope you do well on the water this season. :yes:

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I'm a newbie too, and the couple times I've been out with other folks, you can pretty much tell where they're getting them if you look at where all the boats are.

This year, is the first year I've ever managed to get into spring browns after trying for the last three years and never even having a fish on. This year, I went armed with what I've learned here and we boated 5 of 6 fish Saturday.

Some stuff I've learned so far that I plan to apply this year: Read the reports here and anyplace you can find reports for the area you're going to be fishing - a ton of good info on what depth, what speed (up and down), what lures, what colors and more can be had quickly and easily just by stopping in here on LOU. The local tackle shops can be helpful too. Ask what the hot lure is. They'll point you right at it in hopes that you'll buy a half dozen of them. And they won't steer you wrong, because they want you to come back and buy more tackle from them.

Now some other things that will help you. read the "homeport" line under names of folks here - find ones out of the place you'll be fishing and become their friend. A lot of the folks here are charter captains, and they can help you out a ton just by getting you pointed in the right direction.

Finally, before asking too many questions, I did one other thing... I started reading through the two forums here on LOU that are a huge resource for us newbies... the questions about trolling board, and the tackle and tactics board.

I've still got to figure out where I'm mounting my downriggers, but will have them on within the next couple weeks. Another good thing to keep an eye on is when the thermocline sets up. That will make finding them easier.

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Loaded question...

1) What port are you planning on fishing out of? At least in general, Rochester and east or Oak Orchard and west? IMHO, the lake fishes almost entirely differently on the east end vs. the west end.

2) Buy a probe. Helps you dial in what speed they want on a particular day and more often than not, temp is crucial to finding salmon. Steelies, it seems on Lake O not as much (its imperative on Erie).

3) Read the fishing reports, read the fishing reports, read the fishing reports, read the fishing reports

4) Find the guys that fish a lot out of the port(s) you plan on fishing out of - network, network, network, network.

Summer salmon easier to find as a general rule, fall is unique unto itself - the temp thing can fly out the window. Spring and Summer Kings wouldn't be caught dead in 60 - 65 degree water unless there were acres of Alewife there, I regularly catch Fall Kings (which are getting ready to die anyway) in the early morning on J plugs flat lined over 50 to 150 fow when the surface temp can be in the low 70s.

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It helps to go fishing with an experienced salmon angler. Pay for the gas in exchange for a day of schooling on how to rig and run different techniques.

Until you start learning the specifics such as temperature range and feeding habits, follow the fleet. I always suggest new guys stay to the edges of the gaggle until they gain experience. Unless you have your own dock in a remote location, there will be a fleet congregating within several miles of any slip/launch site on the Lake.

My first time on the lake was in my own boat out of Sodus. I knew how to use down riggers from fishing on Seneca but knew nothing about kings. I stopped in at one of the tackle stores in Sodus and told them what my experience was and what I wanted to do. He sold me 2 spoons, told me the depth to target, speed and lure depth. I caught a 29lb 14oz king that day just where he said to try. It is on my wall.

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I would like to know how to find salmon and trout in the summer and fall. This is my first year trying for them.

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"Thanks guys can you just give me an idea on where to find them in general though.or a good starting point "

It's alway easy to say read everything here , but you could spend months and never find the answer your looking for. Sounds like he is looking for the basic of what temp, kind of lures and what time of the year what to use on sunny day or cloudy day what about at 70' over 40' what kind of down speeds.

Just curious myself now where do you start to read ? or just say go by Capt Dan Keating's Great Lakes Salmon and Trout book ?

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End of the month the lake with stratify horizontally. When that happens find the thermocline & fish just above it, below it & in it.

Till then, there are a different three distinct temperature phenomena in central Big-O. The near shore is fairly constant. A little further out where your temp probe seems to go "nutz" is where the waters are mixing - upwellings, downwellings, ekert's, laminars, scum lines, the whole shooting match. A little further out it's stable again but quite cold. Our querry seems to like the stable water but will dart into the mixing area if properly temped. Browns on the inside, salmon & Stl hds on the outside.

Also factor into the equation some light penetration. On days like this last weekend, they were high in the column - calm & heavy overcast. On bright choppy days they'll generally be a little deeper and on bright calm days they'll generally be deepest.

This past weekend the mixing area was at about 60-90 FOW. Next weekend, it may move some due to the weather - sunshine, clouds, wind etc.

The last couple days saw a lot of fish swirling & lots caught roughly 30 ft down in 100-200FOW. They were obviously right on the surface and ducked down & away from the boats.

Come Mid-August it's a different story.

If your central this week, I'd advise starting at about 95 FOW & zigzaging out to about 150FOW & working that area over pretty good. If cloudy, set a rigg'r about 25-30ft down with a fairly short lead. For spoons, run Golds, purples, reds on cloudy days. If bright set it down a little lower & run greens & blues.


Tom B.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Buy a probe is definately a big help. You want to keep your lure speed somewhere between 1.8 and 2.5 mph. My experience is that for Kings you want to be in 40 - 50 degree water. Use your chart recorder and look for fish marks and bait balls. Fish can be in depths near bait ball depth. Use spin doctors, e-chip flashers, spoons, twinkies with cut bait, and flies. Use copper, lead core, wire, dipseys, etc, etc, etc. All these things work and I use them all. Practice, practice, practice. The big thing is to get out there and see what works. Some times the planers hit, some times the riggers hit, sometime copper down the shoot (straight out the back) hits. Try it all, it is a great time! That's why they call it fishin and not catchin! Good Luck!!!

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