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bobbyboy26

Inland lakes landlock salmon trolling? Specifically millsite, lake of the woods and ADK lakes like lake George n schroon lake

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I have trolled for quite some time for these little guys and I have been stumped for years. I've caught everything else trolling but I cannot figure out or find out anything about what to do an not to do. I know it's not like fishing for kings where there are thousands and I know fish after ice out with smelt imitations and such. I think what I'm getting at is specific tips to catch the eluded landlock. I only have a small 14 foot boat other wise I'd run down to Cayuga where there are more landlocked salmon. I'm running leadcore lines n 6 lb fluorocarbon leaders with spoons and also flat lining smelt imitating flies like grey ghosts. Also running. Downrigger off the back but I don't think I need to go that deep yet as the water hasn't started to thermocline quite yet up north here. Any info you've got would be awesome. Thanks alot

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Not knowing more about the situation (e.g. how fast you are trolling, specifically how you are setting your lines up...how far back, what depths of water you are covering as well as WHERE you are fishing it's difficult to answer. however here are some general things: landlocks often are line shy....I'd run my lines way back and way out (outriggers, or planer boards, or inline boards) and as far off to the side of the boat as practical. The fluorocarbon leader is a good thing but 6 lb. could be light depending on where you are fishing. If it Lake O that is definitely the case. I'd make sure the fluoro leader is about 20 ft. long maybe 10 lb. test for general fishing. You are in a small boat and atlantics are arial artists so you want to be able to rein them in a bit and 6 lb. isn't the best idea for that. You didn't mention how many colors of leadcore but right now  and up north I'd say 2 or 3 colors would be what I'd try.... You can always add weight too if needed if you go deeper. Troll moderately fast and do "s" patterns and lots of "turns". I'd try stickbaits in say the size of a J-7-9 Rapala and small spoons. It seems a little early for flies and streamers up north. When toplining way back is the rule and if a stickbait try putting on one or two splitshot about 2 ft. ahead of the stickbait. If using your downriggers they don't have to be limited to "deep water" use. Run lures 50 or 60ft back and with stickbaits as I mentioned to keep them down a bit with large splitshot or use a little heavier spoons or weight the light flutters to keep them below the surface. Small sized dipseys can also be used successfully in shallow water. Work any boards along the shoreline in the early AM hours and as the sun goes upward move out deeper. Hope this helps...pretty general but better than nothing  :)

 

I later saw WHERE you are fishing.....maybe I'd settle for 8 lb. test fluoro as it woud give a little more leverage if you hit a big fish. Not much give to fluoro...

Edited by Sk8man

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Hey thanks Alot. I was spotting bait today over 30-40 ft And marking fish anywhere from 22 ft- 35ft. I was running 60 ft leader off 4 colors and another 75 ft of line after that. Ran a few jr thundersticks with a few splitshot behind. I was able to run as slow as 1.8 hoping to pick up a laker and went up to speeds of 3.0 at times. In the am I was running spoons off the rigger and leadcore. The small Michigan stingers. Ran a penguin Off the core and an orange/copper off the rigger. Ran three a few different spoons and played with depths. Just couldn't figure it out at millsite lake. I know the core hung up twice on me when I ran into 26 ft of water

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Forgot about all them important things hahaha. I guess it takes a little work to give a solid report like the ones I've been reading

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Yea this was the shakedown run for sure. Wind was killin me couldn't keep the boat straight when setting rods up. Ran ground twice. I was wondering if I should run a flasher also off my rigger an add a stack couple feet above that as my mainline/lure line. Any tips would be awesome. I've gotta catch this fish an knock it off the list

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You should be able to do it without complicating things....sometimes simpler is better...I'd stay with the basics for a while before going to other attractors etc. First thing I would do is shorten the length of the fluoro leader on the leadcore to say 15 to 20 ft max.  I'd try using the stickbaits in the AM early and then as you go a bit deeper when the sun getting up there use the flutter spoons (heavier than flutters...small floppy ones if possible on toplines)> The smaller (i.e. not magnums) stingers should be good for the landlocks especially off downriggers. Try shortening your main downrigger lead lengths to about 30-50 ft. and use a slider (cheater) with small light flutter spoon as well  if you run into deeper water. Landlocks like steelies and rainbows sometimes come right into the prop wash for a slider. I'm a little surprised you hung up in 26 ft water with 4 colors but that may be related to the extra long leader you were using or you may have caught the belly of the leadcore or something if going at 1.8 at the time. Fish where the bait is and at the depths you are marking the fish....If using too long a lead from the downrigger it can kill the action of many lures as well as bring them up much higher in the water column than you think they are running especially when you speed up. Keep going through the bait and then turn around and go back through once in awhile pop your down rigger and let it stay in the holder and just let it "flutter" in the water bit by itself until it surfaces. Int he AM start out shallow and gradually go deeper with the depths and your presentations..remember too that when you mark suspended fish they may not all be trout of any type so if no response after several tries move out and down. Also try some bottom oriented strategies just in case they are "sitting it out" there especially near pronounced drop-offs and don't be afraid to go real deep and run lines about 20-60 ft. down over "whatever".

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You too pardner. Let me know how ya make out with it...

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Landlocks like the prop wash in the spring , we always have one back about 100' with something orange in it.   We run faster too 2.4 to 3.0 .  Lakers can swim faster if they want too.  

Edited by Big Dave

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"Lakers can swim faster if they want too".   :) :smile: :) Dave....

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I just returned from lake geoge this past week. I trolled 4 flat liners off boards . All stick baits 100 ft back and took hit after hit both lakers and salmon. Lakers are still all over the surface over 80 depth. Same with salmon. Nothing on riggers.

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I fished sixberry which is right around the corner from millsite and caught a couple landlocks using 2-3 ounce bottom bouncers 5ft leaders with bright colored small spinners like mepps bout 100ft back trolling. I was told that in millsite towards the farthest island ice fisherman would pile old Christmas trees where it's extremely deep then jig in the summer. My second time there DEC stopped me at the launch when I had a 15hp four stroke Yamaha (10hp limit) nice guy but stopped that quest.

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  I have frequently fished Millsiite for lakers and have done fairly well long-lining  j11 rebels/ rapalas or similar sticjkbait. I often catch them near the surface in 60-70 fow over no apparent structure. I believe the smelt move upward toward the evening and the lakers follow. I have experimented with side planners and down riggers but I have had my best results simply using long-lines. For some reason stickbaits have been much better for me than spoons. Over the years things have changed somewhat as smelt have taken over and cisco numbers seem to have decreased. Keep an eye out for surface activity and if you see a fish swirl, troll over toward it. I've  also been fairly successful using jigging spoons in the depths latter in the year.

 I've caught lakers over 13 lbs., and a brown or LL about 7 lbs., and saw a rainbow caught about 7 lbs. taken. That said I haven't fished it in a few years as I've been running to Lake Ontario to fish spring browns, even though it's much farther than my 10 minute drive to Millsite.  A good day on the big lake is 20+ browns where a good day on Millsite is 2-3 fish but it is a peaceful, quiet, small lake experience. Also, on the small lakes, I'm limited to using my Gheenoe with a 6 hp rather than my Lund which is much better equipped.

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