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Any suggestions for trolling in Hemlock?


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I'm new to the forum and very new to trolling! I'm in need of help.

 

I have spent the past 20 years fly fishing and spin fishing for trout in the streams around Rochester (Mainly the Oatka). A few years ago I built a small wooden skiff that I mostly take out on ponds and small bodies of water.

 

2 years ago I "Discovered" Hemlock lake and fell in love. I started out fishing for panfish, perch and bass with the occasional Pike for good measure. After my first trip I found out there Lakers, browns and Salmon in there! I did my research and I decided to try trolling with a dipsy diver and spoon. I have a 30lb trust electric trolling motor so I bought a low end okuma trolling rod with a line counter reel and gave it a shot. I probably spent more time adjusting the diver and adjusting speed then fishing. The diver tripped one time that I thought was a strike but no hookup. I tried changing speed and direction and lures but I really only kind of know what I'm doing. It's all so new to me.

 

I met a guy at the north end launch as I was pulling back in and he was fishing lead core without a diver and had caught a nice salmon. Soooo like any skunked and depressed fisherman I went out and bought another pole and fitted it with a 10 color lead core with 30# backing and #20 mono leader. The next time I was out I ran the diver on one side and the lead right down the chute. After a hour or so I had a hit on my diver rod on a spoon. I was very excited to finally have a fish on but surprised when I netted a 19" smallmouth. The next trip was the same. A few tripped divers and possible bumps on my lead core. No trout but a very nice Smallmouth. The next TWO trips had no hookups and maybe one strike.

 

So lots of trips and no fish and I am at a loss. I have run a flasher fly setup. A dodger and spoon. a bare spoon. This is getting to be ridiculous and I'm ready to throw in the towel.

 

I am thinking about torturing myself with a trip on Saturday morning as long as the wind isn't blowing hard. Just wondering if any of you much more experienced fisherman can give me any advice or thoughts on what I'm doing wrong? Or advice on a rig or setup that has worked for you there? Also I've never fished hemlock in the spring, only summer and fall. Should I target a specific depth? Thanks in advance for your help!

 

-Steve

 

 

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the dec used to stock some landlocks into hemlock when they had extra but it has been awhile since they have.they have been trying to get the natural population of rainbows to recover so they haven't stocked browns there either in the last 4 or 5 years.it's a good lake trout fishery and the bass and pickerel fishing is excellent.sounds like you're not fishing deep enough for summer lake trout.you can catch them shallower in the spring.a decent fish finder helps.

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I would use a 10 or 12 # fluorocarbon leader probably 10 and of the core Only 20'long because lead core wipes in the water and if you longer u lose the action.on d diver 8' leader.how fast are you going?

 

 Darkwater1 -  I am very new to leadcore so It's been all a guessing game. I'll try the fluoro and shorten up my leader a bit.  The GPS in my phone usually pegs me around 1.5 - 3 MPH. If the wind is blowing up from the south and I'm running south my little 30# Minn Kota struggles just to keep it moving forward!  Thanks for your help!

Edited by SwedishFish
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...sounds like you're not fishing deep enough for summer lake trout.you can catch them shallower in the spring.a decent fish finder helps.

 

I thought the depth might be a problem. I've thought about running lead on my diver rod to go deeper in the summer but not sure how that would work. I'm hoping that the spring fishing will be more productive for me. I've also toyed with getting a small cannon downrigger to get me lower in the water column.

 

I do not have a decent fishfinder for this type of fishing. I have a small lowrance with down-scan imaging that I used for perch and bass fishing. It doesn't have gps. It gives me decent depth readings and surface water temp. I haven't been able to figure out the adjustment so I can see the thermocline.

 

Thanks for the info and your suggestions!

Edited by SwedishFish
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I find the south end better back when I fished it. Small spoons off down riggers (Michigan stinger scorpions) caught the majority of our fish but we did well off lead as well out on an inline planer board. The fish in there are very spooky. 10lb mono attached to 20' or 30' of 6 to 8 floro. In the spring stick baits off flat lines have produced for me as well. We caught our biggest rainbow fishing out of the south end on the west side in 20' of water in may.   

 

Try Canadice as well over summer working 70' to 90' on bottom for lakers. 

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If your a fly fisherman you might have a full sinking fly line. Try tying in a spoon a couple feet above a steamer.(take the hook off of the spoon first). I bet you could get them that way. You can adjust depth by the amount of line you let out. Just like lead core.

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yes definitely small baits.the south end is very weedy and is the best largemouth and pickerel fishing .also is where springwater creek feeds in and where the rainbows are coming out of this time of year. don't get discouraged by your summertime trolling results.hemlock can experience deep water oxygen depletion in the summer which confines the cold water species  to a narrow layer of water.this is where the sonar helps.keep at it. you will figure it out

Edited by shawn393
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I find the south end better back when I fished it. Small spoons off down riggers (Michigan stinger scorpions) caught the majority of our fish but we did well off lead as well out on an inline planer board. The fish in there are very spooky. 10lb mono attached to 20' or 30' of 6 to 8 floro. In the spring stick baits off flat lines have produced for me as well. We caught our biggest rainbow fishing out of the south end on the west side in 20' of water in may.

Try Canadice as well over summer working 70' to 90' on bottom for lakers.

I have been using larger spoons with no luck so I'll switch to some smaller ones and see if that helps. I've also been looking at planer boards. It seems like there is an endless amount of "stuff" you need for trolling!!

I think I might try the south end tomorrow morning to switch it up. Thank you for all the help and advice!

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And lead on a diver rod doesn't work. Michigan stinger makes dive bombs you can add to the core and it achieves a greater depth,

I didn't think so but wasn't sure. Is a lhur Jensen "jet diver" similar to a dive bomb? My local field and stream has a huge clearance section of them I was looking at yesterday

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If your a fly fisherman you might have a full sinking fly line. Try tying in a spoon a couple feet above a steamer.(take the hook off of the spoon first). I bet you could get them that way. You can adjust depth by the amount of line you let out. Just like lead core.

Now that sounds like an idea! I do have a st croix set up with full sinking line. Now that would be a fight on a 5 weight rod!

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yes definitely small baits....don't get discouraged by your summertime trolling results.keep at it. you will figure it out

Yes I will definitely give the smaller baits a try and try the south end. Thanks for the encouragement. Every time I go I feel like I'm learning more but also I haven't had the positive reinforcements of catching fish! But that's fishing I guess.

Thanks again to all of you for your helpful advice and comments!

- Steve

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I'd try running a #1 dipsy back 250-280' with a 15' lead hook up a Spin doctor and a blue, green or white fly, the length of the fly leader is critical, longer 24-33" this time of year. That dipsy should be bumping bottom, let it. The Lakers should be right down the middle 70-80' a good fish finder would confirm that. Speed should be 2.4 and if you get nothing try switching to a flutter spoon, smaller size and slow it down. Good luck.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I'd try running a #1 dipsy back 250-280' with a 15' lead hook up a Spin doctor and a blue, green or white fly, the length of the fly leader is critical, longer 24-33" this time of year. That dipsy should be bumping bottom, let it. The Lakers should be right down the middle 70-80' a good fish finder would confirm that. Speed should be 2.4 and if you get nothing try switching to a flutter spoon, smaller size and slow it down. Good luck.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Nautitroller - thanks for the advice! I've been using a 5-6 foot leader after my dipsy not 15. I do have a spin doctor and some blue/green flies that I've used. I don't think I've ever put the diver that far down. I guess I was thinking I didn't want it to hit or be that close to the bottom. I'll check but I think my leaders are right around 30" after the spin doctor.

This is probably a dumb question but how would you land a fish with almost 17 feet of line after your dipsy?

Edited by SwedishFish
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Try to find a manual downrigger used then start looking for some Sutton 44 spoons they slay lakers down there.Fish them a few feet off the bottom at less than 2 mph.Try a mag dipsy later in the summer they will get the depth your looking for. Good luck beautiful lake ....

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Try to find a manual downrigger used then start looking for some Sutton 44 spoons they slay lakers down there.Fish them a few feet off the bottom at less than 2 mph.Try a mag dipsy later in the summer they will get the depth your looking for. Good luck beautiful lake ....

Been looking at an inexpensive manual one. Keep checking craigslist and I've seen a few just never grabbed one yet. This is all leading me to need a bigger boat to be able to handle all this new gear!

I've wanted to stop at suttons in Naples but the last few times I was there they were closed. I'll keep my eyes out for 44's.

Yes! I love the lake! Thanks for all the tips and advice!

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Nautitroller - thanks for the advice! I've been using a 5-6 foot leader after my dipsy not 15. I do have a spin doctor and some blue/green flies that I've used. I don't think I've ever put the diver that far down. I guess I was thinking I didn't want it to hit or be that close to the bottom. I'll check but I think my leaders are right around 30" after the spin doctor.

This is probably a dumb question but how would you land a fish with almost 17 feet of line after your dipsy?

Use 30 lb and hand line em in. Have never had a problem with fish seeing it. The lighter line should be used on rigs above 50' IMO.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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