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Pete Collin, the Steely-Eyed Guide

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Hello All,


I told Isaac that he would have to make a post about our trip Saturday because I would be too busy in the coming week.  Throw in one miserable, rainy, woods-work preventing day, and here I am writing about it.


idn713 and I have talked about taking a trip for a year now.  He really wanted to jig for lakers with somebody that has done it before, successfully.  Still glowing from a very successful prior trip, I motored us out with a fair amount of confidence.  Isaac had never landed a laker via jigging, and I was eager to guide, coach, assist, and photograph his milestone.


We didn't have to look too far to find a good workable bunch of fish.  The wind was brisk that blew up at a right angle to shore.  This makes it tough to remain in your best depth for very long, even with 2 drift bags out.  We spent some time studying the graph screen so I could show him what you look for before you start dropping jigs.


They didn't bite right away.  I wasn't concerned.  We had all day, we were among a good bunch, and the minute the fish got hungry or annoyed we'd be ready for them.  We never ran out of stories to tell so the morning slipped by quickly.


Nothing continued to happen at the end of our lines.  That's OK, there was rain in the forecast for the late afternoon, they often bite at the leading edge of a front, hang in there, we'll get 'em.


I got a bite.  Great.  First one's always the hardest.  He feels pretty good.  Let's reel him up and see.....Ohhhhh!  Hook pulled out.  Haha!  That's the way it goes.  We got an ice breaker.  Things are turning on for sure.


Not much else after that but wind, waves, gulls, and banter.  Isaac was right in the middle of a story about growing up in Brockport and BAM!  He gets a nice hit.  Nothing wrong with Isaac's forceful hookset.  He'll take to jig fishing just fine.  Boy, those are some bouncy headshakes he's giving you.  Pretty big bend in the rod, too.  Can't wait to see him.  Don't horse him, now.  He'll tire out.  Getting pretty close to the boat.  Bet we get a nice pict.....Ohhhhhh!  Hook pulled out.  Better luck next time.


Our optimism held for the next few hours that were punctuated by bumps, taps, and seconds-ons.  I actually landed a fish.  A lazy, oafish thing that came in quickly and materialized into a big slob of a 33 incher once we netted him.  Well good.  Skunk's out.  Let's get you one, Isaac.  More lull....then came the "unicorn", as Isaac called it.  For the first time in my life, I jigged a landlocked salmon!  Not huge, but gave a bunch of quick darts and dives while trying to evade the landing net.  Very cool.  Good to catch a holy grail species.


We had lots of company for the lack of action that followed.  The whole fleet, it seemed, came in from the deep where the chinooks live, and began trolling lakers all around us.  I had yet to see such a big bunch of trollers.  Up until now I was relatively alone while jigging.  They say it's been a tough year for salmon.  I guess a jigger's meat and potatoes is a salmon fisher's consolation prize.  Well the guys in those big charter boats were consoled just fine.  Their rigger rods popped like magic.  The slow troll of the boats afforded us a close, clear view of every rod grab, reel crank, net scoop, and photo pose those guys made.  There wasn't a boat that passed that wasn't frantic with fish-landing activity.  What was it that made the lakers pass up our jigs?  Did they need a phalanx of spinning cowbells to light up the bottom like a disco dance floor?  Did they require a 12 pound lead ball to bash the lake bed like a pile driver to wake them up?  We pondered dozens of theories as to why we couldn't, so to speak, find a date in a women's prison with a fist full of Zoom flukes.


We quit at 2:00 or so.  It was tough to leave without cracking the code.  But I must say Isaac was a terrific sport about the whole thing.  He's another hard core fisherman, and understands that those are the breaks sometimes.  Obviously,  I have a lot to learn.



Edited by Pete Collin
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It isn't just you, we had the same experience a few weeks ago. A couple boats (not the whole fleet, but it wasn't the Shootout that day, either) were pounding the fish around us and we couldn't buy a hit. Judging from how weak the hits can be when trolling and the amount of current in the lake this year, I think that maybe we're just not feeling them well enough? I'll be interested to hear from anyone who manages to figure then out better. We do okay off the Niagara Bar in the spring, but haven't cracked the code for those 90' fish in the main lake yet. 

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I'm not sure if you were a writer in a previous life, or it may be that you are in this one.  I truly enjoy your posts.  I feel like I'm there!


Keep em' comin.....

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we haven't met in person, but like others have said, your posts are so well-written that i feel i know you!


what port have you been heading out of for your laker jigging? I tried for a few hours last week out of sandy creek and couldn't find any concentrations. I was looking in 50-70 fow because my 48 degree temps were as shallow as 50 that day.





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pete , too wet for woods work ? sounds like forester talk to me ! i'll let you borrow a raincoat if your worried about melting . :lol:  actually , i used the rain day to hit the genny for smallies on the fly . managed to wrangle up 3 decent fish in a an hour . saw a leviathan smallie break the top and tried in vain to coax him in for some face time , but it wasn't to be that day . pretty sure he's one i released last year in the same spot . looks like he used his time to grow into a giant ! no matter , i am sure it'll rain again soon . funny how logging in the rain is a no go , but fishing , well that's a different story . enjoyed working with you on the last job . nice work on the atlantic , need to get me one of those . we'll have to hit the water together sometime .

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