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Kevin J Legg

St Lawrence River Walleyes advice

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 In the past 3 week I've received about 9 personal messages inquiring about catching walleyes on the river. I certainly don't mind sharing information and enjoy the new contacts. Hopefully I've been able to give some helpful advice. I believe over the last few years I have posted a great deal about what works for me. However, I'm not certain that most people understand how difficult my methods of trolling in current and in the dark actually are. It's taken me several year and many hours to find methods that are effective for me.  I honestly believe there is a thriving population of walleyes from Cape Vincent to Massena. I believe that If I were to explored new regions I could be successful within a few nights. That said, even when I take people out at night I tend to hook the majority of the fish. You really have to put in the time to get the feel of both the boat handling and presentation techniques. There really are no secret hot spots or methods. As the add says  Just Do It.

 I hope to continue to share information and answer pms. I'll also generally give you my cell number if you want to chat. But remember there's really nothing better than experience.

 

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Hey Kevin, you have helped me out in the past. I'm headed to cape Vincent tomorrow for a week. I'm looking to get into some smallmouth. Any hot spots, depths, baits that are good around there? Pm if you can

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Get in the boat and put your dues in. No magic just fish. Smallmouth at 90 feet or more is very common in august Your choices are limitless on the river. Cape Vincent to massena is Mecca if you keep at it.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Kevin is 100% on what he says on fishing down there is very different and difficult than any other places that I have fished for eyes mainly because of the current and when I go there is a lot of boat traffic, I need to try and go in the morning. The current alone is a challenge  let alone trying to do it in the dark. I am know where near as successful as him but he pays his dues. I fiished tonight and boated one eye around 20" caught it jigging with a 1oz spoon in 40 fow I also caught several smallies most of them on a harness with 6 oz bb. Kevin I also tried my 9.5 oz bb with my favorite rapala in the real heavy current spot that  lasted about 150 yards and got snagged, that is always nice trying to get boat in reverse or turned around to try to get it out  espically in the dark and I mean dark. I did manage to save everything  when I brought it in also had a huge ball of zebra muscles attached. Good Luck just thought I would give you a little report.

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I have been going out a lot on the river myself lately in between Clayton and abay . were doing good but not great (3-5 fish per 3 hour outing) the last few weeks. Just like Kevin, with heavy current and you need to know exactly what's going and where you are at night or you will be wasting your time. I find going out in the daytime and practice trolling helps. Worm harnesses on down riggers and bottom bouncing jigs seem to be working the best for me. There seem to be a lot of surface weeds that have made flat lining lures impossible

The more time YOU spend out there the better. Once you get to know what your looking for things get less complicated

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Edited by Roybee

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I get the same thing when im catching well. It takes a ton of work to pattern eyes. My advice to people is to really read the older material. Kevin and others have posted the answer to most st lawrence questions just gotta do the research and do the work and fish. Thanks for all the posts kevin.

Sent from my LG-L38C using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I was listening to the radio and heard a song about instant gratification, it made me thank about this post

 

everybody wants instant success, however that's not how it works

 

the big thing everyone seems to miss, from all the posts, is just how much time  you guys put in, and just how much work you guys do to get over the hurdle, if someone has 20, 30, 40 posts showing fish, don't think about the fish, think, man that guy is putting in the work, he's out there 20,30,40 nights

 

kevin and Justin and many others on this site, you guys give enough information, to take years and years off the learning curve, I know personally i'll never be able to repay Hermit for all he's taught me

 

I just want to say thank you all for sharing so much,

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Roybee is right about weeds sometimes giving the long lines fits. I've also had issues with fleas recently which I never saw before the last couple years. Every night is different and the current flow can change radically. The good news is that my last night out I had no issues with weeds or fleas. Hopefully that will continue. I'm in NJ this weekend visiting my grandson and will be hitting the river for walleyes or lake for salmon next week. I consider a fish or so per hour as good fishing the same as Roybee.

Edited by Kevin J Legg

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Ive been using the clips with out weights as weed guards on flat lines or big board lines. Its all about overcoming the obstacles. Helps when you love it too!

Sent from my LG-L38C using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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No need for a split shot - they weaken the line where attached so avoid them unless needed for depth in shallow divers (large split shots). A regular sized thru-hole bead on the main line side of the leader knot/swivel will catch the debris and keep your sticks clean. A must!!

Edited by FleetTracker

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Oh and the fleas are absolutely TERRIBLE this year! so frustrating I'm sick of it. Trolling anywhere around Henderson, Stony, and way out in the big lake they cannot be avoided. They're attaching to Downrigger cables now. All over the dipsey wire. Everything you put out gets covered.

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Sometimes, depending, fishing can be easy. But often, again depending, it can be tough and seemingly fruitless. But geez.....it's that way about almost everything. Guaranteed, though, the more u do something that requires effort to achieve a level of success or satisfaction (effort= time, adjustments, application), the more fruitful and easier it can become. It helps, like Justin said, to love or have a strong interest in order to remain motivated to the effort required. This stuff is true whether you're young or old...

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Beads are a good idea but I generally use various weight split shot to help with depth control. I'm also running pretty heavy braid mainline and using the softer lead shot. Leaders do need to be closely watched as zebras can cause chafing and nicks that greatly weaken them. When fishing the river I also run 15-25 lb. flouro leader rather than the 10-12 lb. I use when fishing more open the lake.

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As always great info and approach to fishing Kevin. Learning is a continual process in life (if you are receptive to it) and the longer you go on the more you realize that you have much more to learn and that there are no magic answers and true shortcuts that substitute for actual experience.....books and opinions, and answers to questions are all "starting points" and only that. Getting that experience involves commitment, time and energy expenditure and as Justin so eloquently put it "You have to love it too". :)

Edited by Sk8man

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Devin,

You always tell me nobody uses braid....lol!! Kevin and I do...for somethings anyway. I like the clips up near the surface so the lure still dives to your desired depth even with weeds on the weedguards. Inline boards work well as weed guards too.

Sent from my LG-L38C using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Ask anyone who fishes Ontario, real Lake Ontario not jigging or dragging bouncers in a river. You won't find any braid. I still hate it. It's good for perch. Bout it.

Maybe your eyes don't fight much on Otisco and you can get away with the no stretch without losing most your fish. Every fishery is different use what works for you but if you come up to the big lake you better bring some 10lb mono! Lol

Edited by FleetTracker

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Kings fight and they use wire and copper. Our walleye fight just as much just have to bend the rod and reel em in steady and smooth. They use wire and copper in erie too. Zero stretch works fine on walleye. 10 Pound mono wont even pull kevins bottom bouncers. Techniques vary, and every line has its uses...plus i like messing with devin. He gets plenty of big walleye and certainly is doing a fine job with mono.

Sent from my LG-L38C using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Come on Justin... In no way can you compare King Salmon to Walleye other than the shared water they swim in on certain bodies. Wire is used to improve dive curves in your dipseys and arguable fish attracting hum when trolled, not to mention that many use snubbers (stretch). Copper is used to stealthily achieve depth with an undoubtably unique action at the business end, not to mention a 30-50' mono or fluoro leader (stretch). Kings wear themselves out (especially dragging 300-600' of copper through the water) and the key is in a quality drag set at the appropriate settings.

You bring braid on my boats and you'll be asked to put your rods back in your truck. Lol that stuff is never allowed on my boats. That's how strongly I feel against it. Even if the eyes fought identically lb for lb in Ontario and Otisco, they're a lot bigger here so you may not be seeing the poor results of braid. I enjoy the busting, but fact is you just can't compare river fishing, otisco, or any other lakes to one another. I grew up fishing Erie and have caught a lot of walleye out there in the western basin. Notable differences to the eyes in Ontario.

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 Sorry Fleet Tracker but I fish the lake and Quinte a lot and have caught plenty of eyes over 10 lbs. As I've  previously said, on the open lake situations I also prefer running 10-12 lb. mono. I've never had an issue landing large walleyes on it in open water especially since you're generally running long leads off boards. Lets face it, even a trophy walleye isn't a screamer.

  Try trolling heavy bottom bouncers in the current and deep water with the same mono on the river and you'd be cut off by the zebras in minutes, I know I tried that early on. Different bodies of water require different techniques and I know that braid is sometimes the best option. Just like you said, copper and wire dipsys are a different presentation that we use for salmon and there are alternative approaches to use on walleyes as well. I believe Justin and I have done enough experimenting with many different options to know that braid has it's place. I also like using it when casting cranks. Just set the drag correctly and you shouldn't have and issues loosing large fish and I like the fact that I can feel the lure working and lite bites. I do use a longer rod which is a little more forgiving.

 I'll likely be on the river some morning this week dragging the braid and hope to post some photos.  Good fishing Devin and Justin!

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I think things have really digressed from the topic... Justin compared the style of fishing I do for eyes on Ontario (trolling open lake) to dredging bouncers in a mussel infested river bottom. Not the same but ok.

Open lake fishing. Trolling sticks. For walleye. That's the topic. My point is that 10lb mono is the best method in Lake Ontario for all reasons that have been stated. Justin prefers braid in the same scenario. That's the comparison. That's the strong disagreement. But have at it if it works for you and the water you fish.

Good fishing to you guys as well! Can't believe it's August already... It's the time of year for screamer walleye!

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Devin,

 Sorry but I thought topic was still River walleyes. I think I got caught up in between yours and Justin's jabs! I actually agree with you as I use mono on the lake and Quinte but can't say I've tried the braid in that application. I know some of the Quimte guides that use it.

 Good fishing and keep experimenting. It keeps things interesting and occasionally pays off..

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