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Dr W

Live bait for salmon

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A few years back I went Tuna fishing and we were not hooking up trolling mostly trolling the surface , and we were marking a lot of Tuna about 80 feet down over 600fow

 

We stopped and just happened to have a bunch of needle fish live that we were using for trolling so the captain set up a drift and we used balloons like giant bobbers and used about 2 ounce sinkers and let those live needle fish down to about 80 feet.

 

In 5 hours we boated 18 yellowfin tuna all between 70 and 90 lbs.

 

Has anyone ever tried that on Lake Ontario with sawbellies ?

 

Next time we go out and it is slow we plan on taking some live sawbellies and balloons and will try this..

 

I often use a hemlock spinnier from Suttons in Naples NY for trolling

 

So we plan on having both frozen sawbellies and some live ones !

 

 

Dr W

 

Fine Spine [new old boat]

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nope, give it a try and report back haha

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In Milwaukee people bottle fish on the long cement piers that go out into Lake Michigan.  

 

1) catch alewife

2) cast out as far as you can on a 3 way swivel

3) leave the bail open on the real

4) fill empty glass beer bottle with water 1/3 of the way

5) wrap the line around the top of the bottle and lay the rod down

6) wait for the clank clank

 

There are also some boat guys in the area that will often troll to find a hot spot and then jig with large gulp minnows in that area.  

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 It would work perfectly.. Problem is, sawbellies are a pain in the ass to obtain and even worse to try and keep alive once the water temps go up..
 Also in the gigantic  great lakes[finger lakes as well], you simply need to cover a LOT of water.. miles and miles of it as most trollers know... With live bait you need to be right on top of the fish.. Its not all that workable a situation, but yes those sawbellies would be snatched up quick if you found a way to keep them alive all day and then get them down to where the fish are... bob

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I have had very good results with live alewives (caught on yazuri rigs out of bait schools) and hooking them onto a flasher fly rig (instead of the fly) or a dedicated live bait rig. I had to drop my trolling speed a lot in order to get natural representation,but in spite of a lot of laker bites it did produce well for salmon.

Edited by rolmops

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I've been using balloon rigs for years with sawbellies and shiners and smelt (when they were there :lol: ) on the Finger Lakes and at Cape Cod for Stripers with sand eels. It would definitely work on fairly calm days but as mentioned above Lake O is a great expanse and you'd need to find  a pod of fish to use it effectively (as in jigging as well) and anchor up well away from them casting back in or drift slowly. The best use on the Finger lakes is in bay areas at the edge of drop offs anchoring on the inside edge and fishing the deep side and not fishing necessarily on or near bottom but suspended from the surface on a slip rig like in slip bobbers so that the bait even dead bait presents as something that looks as though it has been hit and missed by some other fish and is either drifting or if live-flailing under the surface. Fish look upward for bait as well as down and they see shadows and contrast with the sky etc. so they will come up for it. It was the same in night fishing with bait I have had them come right after the bait from the depths. I caught about as many fish using dead bait as live which probably may surprise some people....especially browns and lakers as they are basically "scavengers". My suspicion is that chinooks would readily grab live bait especially suspended rather than at the bottom too.

Edited by Sk8man

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Good point about the non-chlorination. When using live bait I get the ice from the water filter section on the refrigerator and usually I stop at the lake and get lake water in my live well before I get my bait, and put some in a 5 gal pail as well and then add the bait to it and after dumping the bait in the live well I gradually add the ice so as not to shock them. (Luckily I live nearby a lake) :)

Edited by Sk8man

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