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Do you guys have better success trolling into current or with the current, and do you adjust trolling speed from one direction to the other to entice more bites?  It seems the fish only want to bite for us going in one direction some times, just wondered if there's a trick to getting bit going the other way.

 

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We definitely adjust trolling speeds based on the current.  If you are going 2.5 into the current, and then turn and go the other way with the current, if you maintain the same speed you will be going much faster due to the current pushing you instead of working against you.  Your spread will have a completely different look to it.

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To clarify, I am talking about downspeed which I try to keep the same in either direction.  Should I be looking to increase downspeed too?  I know the boat needs to move faster, but do my lures need to move faster as well? 

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I always try to troll into a down current. Your spoons are more likely to be kicking and you save on gas.

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To clarify, I am talking about downspeed which I try to keep the same in either direction.  Should I be looking to increase downspeed too?  I know the boat needs to move faster, but do my lures need to move faster as well? 

 

hawkeye,

 

Sometimes down-speed can be deceptive when measuring it at the DR ball because the ball is often not in the same current as your lures. For illustration suppose there is a current mid-lake...like between 30 feet deep and 50 feet deep. If your ball is 60 feet deep it will not measure the down-current. The DR ball will punch through the current even when traveling against it...but your lures won't. That is why sometimes when looking at the way your gear runs you can tell something changed when you change directions even though your measured down-speed appears to be nearly the same in both directions.

 

If down-speed changes by 0.5 MPH the depth of your lures can change by as much as 30 feet. So when changing directions that is only a 0.25 MPH current. In other words traveling against a 0.25 MPH current then turning 180 degrees so you are traveling in the same direction as a 0.25 MPH down-current that is a change in down-speed of 0.5 MPH. If your cannon ball is in the same current as your lures you will see the change...if the cannon ball is below the current then it might appear that down-speed didn't change much.

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to ans. yer 1st post....yes 80% of the time it is a directional troll  look at a "current" map and you will be amazed at what is going on out there. and it changes sometimes in a matter of hours. but their is one thing that changes very little....the bottom..........

 

as to yer  2nd post usually ya want a proper speed for yer lures.... on yer (bad dir. troll) maybe ya need to raise the ball a tad or drop it to find that happy colum of water  also do the same with yer speed ..

 

whatever you do if it works stick to it ..unless you have the time and paitence to try new stuff.    

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Thanks guys, I do try to repeat what works.  I'll have to try moving my spread around a little.  I do know a few times we couldn't buy a bite on an east troll but the boat beside me was doing well.  When we turned around we started popping rods.  Not sure what they were doing different, we had the same surface speeds but they caught fish in both directions.  Might have  been as simple as moving rods up or down a few feet.  Makes sense now that you guys mention it.  Faster surface speed would move my lures up in the column regardless of direction.

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The main currents in the lake are from west to east. Running a north to south troll often solves the current situation.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Pay Attention to your down speed. Make adjustments as needed to keep the "hot" speed when changing direction. Make mental notes of the current and its effects when trolling. Don't be afraid to sporadically change up your down speed faster and slower if the bite shuts down or is slow. On days of "crazy" currents I find that most of our fish come on turns. Again, Don't be afraid to experiment with your speed and direction and make mental notes or keep a journal. Hope this helps.

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Underwater currents are perhaps one of the most important influences on lure action and fishing results and yet they are poorly understood by most of us mainly because we are always stuck making inferences about them not direct observation. The currents are affected by many factors such as water and air temperature, bottom and surface structure, nearby land formations such as points, wind direction and speed (and changes in it). Water current is a dynamic and ever changing factor to deal with when fishing. These currents are often dramatically different on each body of water and and can be very different on a given body of water in hours or minutes. A good example of this is Seneca Lake where I grew up. The lake is connected to the Seneca River and canal at the northeast end of the lake and it flows into Cayuga Lake to the east.  There are locks situated at various points in the canal which are opened up periodically during the boating season sometimes many times per day for boat traffic. Although the lake has natural currents that respond to wind and structure differences the opening and closing of the canal locks exerts a significant influence on the lake currents (strengthening them when pulling water through the locks). When I was a kid we used to jump off the car bridge and train bridge on the canal itself when swimming and when the locks would open you could jump off one side of the bridge and come up on the other the current was so swift. When the locks were closed there was little if any such effect. The changes in flow of the water also affected the currents in Cayuga Lake in a different manner and less directly as Van Cleef Lake (man made body just before Cayuga Lake) buffers the current effects. The currents on Lake Ontario and the other Great lakes are more widely distributed and subject to very different influences and at a different level because of their size and surface areas and bottom characteristics. The point I am making here is that you shouldn't be thinking that "current is current" and it is the same "animal" wherever you fish. The bottom structure and land formations shape directly the flow both laterally and within the water column itself making each place a vastly different set of circumstances. The old timers on the Finger Lakes that I talked with over the years and learned from all said that they believed that trolling with the current (especially when it is strong) kills the action of your lures and that you need to either troll against it or at an angle to it to get the most out of the lures. I know this may fly in the face of the beliefs of some folks and I should also note that this was not based on Lake Ontario where in my opinion the current circumstances are quite different. Using cowbells on the Finger Lakes can give you a goood example of the difference of trolling with or against the current.....they virtually go dead going with a strong current.

Edited by Sk8man

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If you were casting a lure into a stream or river would you cast upstream, downstream or across the current???

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Probably all of the above Paul because if I were using lures (rather than bait) I would in all likelyhood be pretty desperate to catch something in the ones I fish :lol:

Edited by Sk8man

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If you were casting a lure into a stream or river would you cast upstream, downstream or across the current???

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

 

 

Depends.  Generally across and slightly upstream, but if others are catching fish casting downstream I try to make some adjustments to catch those fish too. 

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How does bait move in current? Isn't that the answer? I suspect in a strong current the bait has no choice but to move with the current. In a lighter current, the bait will probably face the current and slowly make ground.

Edited by TyeeTanic

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Actually this sort of makes my point about not all water current being the same and a reason why they are fished differently.

 

The currents in streams are a good example of a very different type of water current then that of the lakes because the water flow is restricted and concentrated laterally without the same cross current influences as present in a lake environment. The current is channeled mainly  in one direction whereas the lake currents are more diffuse and have more lateral expanse and because the water is also deeper it has a very different verticality as well (i.e. path of travel in the water column) whereas streams are relatively shallow with ocassionally deeper "holes" but mostly shallow water constantly running in pretty much one direction in alignment with the land features (downward). Lake currents run more horizontally and even can run upward in the water column to a much greater degree and their directionality may be more significantly influenced by factors such as water temperature and wind direction and speed..
Edited by Sk8man

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In a stream the big fish find slow moving water (where they don't have to expend much energy) and lie in wait for bait to come down the stream to them.

Like sk8man said a lake has a vertical factor...so they can lurk under the current and look up. My theory is...find the depth where your lure is low in the in the current layer and the big fish will be just under the current waiting for your lure to swim past.

Edited by Smart Troll

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Not always true. When they are feeding you will find them in strong current

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Yes, it was just a generality. I agree when they are feeding you might find them anywhere. It is the same in a stream but I still have pretty good luck in the eddys and deep holes where the water is slow moving.

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Fish live in their own environment, in this case a mass of water that moves in a certain direction and the fish move right along with it as part of that water mass. They can freely move in any direction,but always relative to the speed of their water mass. Much like you and I can go anywhere on this planet and yet we move at 15000 miles per hour because our environment does. (relative to the sun).

If we want to troll effectively we must make our lures move with a certain speed  relative to the water mass below us and we can go in any direction that we please as long as we bear in mind to move right along with the fish carrying water mass that we target. If the current is to the west we can troll north west by compass,but our lure inside the water mass will be moving at 90 degrees of the movement of that water mass.

Therefore,it does not matter which direction we troll relative to the current below us as long as our down speed  is the one we go by.

Edited by rolmops

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The main currents in the lake are from west to east. Running a north to south troll often solves the current situation.
Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United


Ask yourself this--you are standing on a riverbank casting a spoon. Will you have a better chance of catching a fish by casting upstream, downstream or across the stream?


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Better be casting across the stream or you might be fishing on land, trees, brush, etc...Casting down stream or upstream is relative to mainly casting across stream.

cent frum my notso smartphone

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I think I'll go with my earlier comments as far as the original question. The answer to Paul's question is basically the comparison is like apples to baseballs:lol: Fish diagonals across  from upstream to downstream...where the fish tend to be lying facing upstream.

Edited by Sk8man

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I think I'll go my earlier comments as far as the original question. The answer to Paul's question is basicallyy the comparison is like apples to baseballs Fish diagonals across  from upstream to downstream...where the fish tend to be lying facing upstream.

I like that answer better than mine....I gotta go git my daredevil outta the willow hack now

cent frum my notso smartphone

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Like skipper19 said...I also think that dragging your lure in the same direction the current is flowing is best (if possible). For one thing, if the fish are below the current (resting and waiting) then any food in the current will likely be coming from that direction. In addition to that, fish cannot think like us but they do have instincts. If I have to run up hill against the wind (against the current to the fish) to get something I want (food) then it better be pretty close to me to begin with or it will just take too much energy and effort to chase the food and there is higher risk that I won't catch it. If I can run downhill with the wind at my back (with the current to the fish) then maybe it can be a little further away and I still might go for it.

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