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Homer Is King

Trolling for Spring Steelhead

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I’ve been a member for a while but haven’t posted much. I’ve never fish Lake O but I hope to change that. I recently acquired a small tinny. It’s mostly for the Kawartha lakes but in early spring I hope to take it out onto Lake O for some steelhead action. I’ve never caught one and I am excited to give it a try! I’m new to this type of fishing but I have been researching it and have read some great articles (lot of great info on this site!). I have come up with a basic battle plan.

I’m aware of the safety issues of a small boat on a big lake. I only plan to go out on the best of days and never very far from port. The boat is more to get away from the crowds on the shore!

I plan to fish out of New Castle or Bowmanville as they are my local ports.

I plan to flat line with large spoons (northern King, etc) in silver or gold. I will also try large stick baits like the Smithwick Rogue, rapala, or jointed rapala. Again, in silver and gold.

I have picked up a couple of Dipsy Divers and plan to get a small planer board. I’ll use these if the flat lining doesn’t work. I've never used these before but I'm eager to give it a try.

I plan to troll along the mud line (the area were the coloured river water mixes with the lake water). I know at New Castle this line can be very distinct in the spring.

I know guys fish off the pier year round. When does the bite really start in the spring? I was going to start trying in mid march. I head the browns are in close then as well. Is this true?

How does that sound? Am I on the right track? Any advice for a complete newbie!!

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I'm not much ahead of you on the learning curve but I do read everything I can on this site.

From what I've read, I'd say they're biting now, are in shallow (<15 feet of water) and this early, use smaller stickbaits and spoons. Flatlining and planers are perfect right now while dipsies (and riggers) will come into play when they move a bit deeper, although you could keep them shallow by running them short and on mono. Braid will take them deeper than mono, wire deeper than braid and running them further out adds to the depth; seems like most just run on wire and break them out when the fish are deep enough.

The fish are being caught in the green water right now and will be in the muddy water later in the season.

Use the Search function to find more in-depth info here. The same basic questions get asked every season so there's a ton of info buried in old threads. Good luck.

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All of the fish will be in 20 fow or less, usually in front of or near warm water discharges (ie bays and streams). They will congregate in warmer, more stained water so look for that. Flatlining or using planers is good but use light line. As far as baits, sticks and small spoons are perfect. Use bright stuff in murky water and more realistic stuff in clear water. From now until late April is prime time for guys with small boats because the fish are conentrated and are so accessible. Hope that helps

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