idn713

Drifting Live Bait for Trout

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So anyone ever drift for trout (like over 100 FOW)? 

 

I was thinking, bring four steelhead noodle rods, 10lb main lines, 1-2 oz egg sinker, swivel, three ft Fluro leader, and common shiner (sawbellies sound like a nightmare to get and keep). 

 

Drop the rigs to staggered depths, slap em in a rod holder and let the wind take it over while you crack a beer and rod watch. 

 

Anyone ever do this? I was thinking about bringing it to Lake O and seeing if I can’t get a king to take a crack at it.

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You beat me to it but I was thinking of trying the same thing. Picked up some walleye rigs to drag on the bottom


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Posted (edited)

I do it using  a Lake Clear Wabbler for extra flash up in the Adirondacks for Land Locked Salmon, and used to do it in Hemlock until they stopped stocking them there.  Andy Todd from OMNR told me that a lot of Canadians jig for Kings, much the way FL guys go after Lakers.  Be careful with the beers, though, the Coast Guard may be watching.  The guy who taught me to night fish for  rainbows would not allow beer on his boat, said drinkers spent too much time leaning over the side.  As Archie Bunker once said, "You can't buy beer, you can only rent it!" 

Edited by Lucky13

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 No reason why it won't work as long as the bait is in the zone. It was done forever before downriggers/dipseys/leadcore/wire etc...

Here's the problem though- A big fat shiner looks great to you and me but  remember that most likely a trout in one of the Finger Lakes  have never  eaten  one  or even  seen one... They will hit shiners in shallow water in winter at times, but if two guys are together one fishing shiners and the other one sawbellies, the shiner guy might have a long day... You can try them, and you might get lucky, but these open water, suspended big lake dwelling  "silver"trout and salmon eat mostly sawbellies and little else, and often thats all they will hit when bait fishing.. Tried it a bunch of times.. Sawbellies are much more consistent producers, but you are correct, they are a pain in the ass... thats why so few people fish  with them any more, except  from shore in the cold weather.... bob

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i have been thinking the same thing as you guys.  so i was jigging for lakers this past sunday on cayuga, i got into a bunch of baitfish, i dropped down a sabiki rig (i think that is how you spell it) i jigged it around and picked up a bunch of alewifes, threw them in a bucket. i hooked them on a live bait rig two at a time and dropped them overboard while i continued to jig.  i did see numerous lakers on the bottom show interest but never hit the alewifes.  all the while i was catching lakers on the jig.  i ended up drowning 4 alwifes.  i caught a total of 8 lakers all in the 25-30 inch range on the jig. never a single bite on the live bait. i'm totally stumped. what the heck? mind you my jig was 14 feet from the bait!

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I'm thinking the movement of the jigs spurs their predator reflex more so than a minnow just sitting there. 

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Posted (edited)

I think katydid is correct. The movement of the jig attracted the impulsive (instinctual) feeding urge of the laker much like action of a spoon or stick when trolling. When they are feeding on live bait they often "test" the live or dead bait first which is noted by a tick tick on the rod tip. If they don't feel resistance they then will grab the bait and run with it. At this point they may not even have the hook in their mouth or throat which is why you don't pull on them yet. You wait for them to stop (perhaps turn the bait around in their mouth?) and swallow the bait (usually head first) then they run again and then you pull on them. What I am describing here is a feeding "process" rather than an impulsive chase/grab which applies to the jigging. If there is a lot of bait present they can afford to be "fussy", but they are nearly always vulnerable to their impulse to strike something moving near them when near bait. This could also explain fish with multiple bait still in their mouth throat and stomach still striking a moving jig or lure. They may not be all that hungry but the impulse to grab bait is still strong and determines their behavior. I know this is pretty hypothetical but after seeing it happen a few thousand times :lol: it is a strong hunch:smile:
 

Edited by Sk8man

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To answer your initial question: drifting with both live or dead bait has been done for years on the Finger Lakes. It can be done with the single method using a three-way swivel with sinker suspended (weight adjusted to conditions) with various length leader, the method you mentioned above, or using multiple leaders on a Seth Green rig with treble or double hooks and live bait slowly drifted through the water. Night fishermen have used a modified version of this rig for years while anchored as well. The problem with using the multiple leader rig on Lake O is the presence of kings as they could easily destroy one of these rigs by tangling it up in ways you've never seen:lol: The key to the drift method is the wind direction and velocity. Conditions have to be nearly perfect to do it successfully e.g. light wind blowing from a favorable direction for your position on the water to achieve the right flow and speed. It can be a lot of fun and effective when done correctly.

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Excellent summation. I learned years ago, while deep jigging 100' of water, that no amount of jigging action would get them to hit. Angrily I reeled frantically up, only to have the Laker hit 30' under my boat.  Weird fish!

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Sk8man is one of the most valuable resources of awesome, clear info on the LOU site.  I've learned so much reading his posts/replies.  Truly appreciated!

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:smile: thanks for the positive comments cinnamon fish....much appreciated.

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I have caught alot of land locked salmon drifting live smelt with a spinning rod using split shot and nose hooked smelt . Most productive rod is the one in your hand as when you feel the bight you drop it back a little then set the hook . I dont feel  large sinkers would work well as the fish will feel it and drop the bait . I would try using your rigger with a long leed and a very light release or send it down to depth with then trip the release and it will rise very slowly .

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This is why I ask! Looks like it just probably isn’t feasible on the big pong. Looks like I will stick to jigging out there, now that works pretty dang well on those big Ontario greasers!

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...have also used sawbellies (vertically) over the years on occasion, they do seem to prefer a jig though which is fine by me.  

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I haven't done it for years but If I was marking fish on the South end say 30 or 40 ft down. I would lip hook a sawbelly and cast it out 30 to 40 ft from the boat. Then hook up a bobber up to that line and cast the bobber out to get it away from the boat. If the lake is flat, many brown trout were caught with this method.

 

 

 

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I too agree with cinnamon fish.  "Sk8man is one of the most valuable resources of awesome, clear info on the LOU site.  I've learned so much reading his posts/replies".......jk. Ps how did you two guys get your signature name?   Just wondering

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thx JK:smile: My name came from the fact that I rollerbladed on the streets of Canandaigua and down by the lake nearly every day or evening that was available for about 20 years. The kids who skateboarded out in front of the courthouse steps started yelling skateman at me when they would see me and then other kids  around town started doing it so I got some tee shirts made up with it on there and the name stuck so I figured I'd use it on LOU.

Edited by Sk8man

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You are welcome and we do appreciate you answers.  I like the way you got your name on here.  I have had some names given to me that way but most are not allowed on the internet.....ha ha......jk

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I feel like the best group of guys to answer this in the finger lakes are the crew of the "green machine" aka bill Ryan and his crew they are known for their live bait fishing in the series and take money in most the ones they fish with huge fish mostly huge browns. I'd love to be a fly in the boat one day to witness their program. I can tell you they use light leaders and small hooks from speaking to them when they weighed their 18lb brown a few years back in the memorial day derby

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You will never get down to 100ft with 2 onces of lead drifting.  you need wire line and 12 to 16 ounces of lead to drift light wind on Seneca. if you want to fish with 2 ounces of lead. you have to anchor your boat. fishing with live bait is very good way to fish for trout. why use live bait. dead bait is better. try using a quick fish, flat fish. peanut , apex or dry drifting with any kine of dead bait. buying a bucket of live fresh sawbilles is very expensive.  

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Suttontroller94 - You are correct about Will Ryan, Will Jr. and their buddy Josh Zach being excellent bait fishermen and especially so with brown trout. My son and I have competed against them in derbies, and in fact did so again this year. Bill Sr. is a LOU member by the way so he may respond if he sees this post. They came very close this year to beating my 16 lb.derby record brown here on Canandaigua that beat their 13 lb. brown in the 2016 derby, and Will Jr. holds the record for Seneca and Josh Zack won the Canandaigua derby this year with a 15 plus pound brown caught stillfishing as they don't troll. The original question on this post was addressing drifting with bait which is a very different "animal" than even basic stillfishing, and derby fishing secrets are something that are seldom fully given out or discussed on public forums so you may be disappointed in this regard:smile::lol: but I'm sure you understand why. We have spent a lifetime figuring out some of the fishing nuances that make a difference in derby fishing for big fish and those guys have it down to a science:smile: Consistant results are not accidental.....

Edited by Sk8man

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O yeah I'm not doubting the fact it's a secret and I know why for sure the amount of money that little boat has cashed checks for over the years has got to be insane I'm just saying with fishing live bait in general they know their game you are right about it being different than drifting for sure though. In my opinion if you were going to bother trying to use live bait you might as well anchor over a pod of fish and still fish them to maintain the proper presentation like mentioned above of minimal resistance when a fish grabs the bait. I know when I fish slipbobbers from shore that you have to let the fish run and a lot of the times they will run, drop the bait then run with it again before you can connect. Another thing was the choice of bait and this is kinda me letting out one of my old secrets... people think you need big bait like sawbellies or bass minnows but we used to fish year around off the pier in Watkins or the shore of tfalls with perch minnows under the float even when sawbellies were in do to them being cheap and easy to keep alive and most the time they outfished sawbellies

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You make excellent points st94. As with lakers, browns are scroungers and opportunists and they feed on a varied diet. fatheads will work on them as will golden shiners and emeralds and even worms or egg sacks etc. if presented right, and that is where most of the "secrecy" comes in...the presentation of the bait combined with indepth knowledge of their habits and possible vulnerabilities. It is true with trolling as well but a much different approach. I would add one thing to this though and that is that big browns don't get to that large size by being stupid or careless; they are quite wary and the methods employed in catching the smaller ones or even other species may not work at all with them. They also may be doing things differently in their feeding habits that separate them from some of the other fish such as being highly nocturnal feeders and once this is figured out success in catching them improves:smile: The Ryans are also a real good example of something I have reiterated on here a bunch of times in different ways:in depth knowledge of your target fish, their habits, food preferences, and positioning in the water column at various times throughout the season will trump any of the fancy equipment so heavily relied on these days. Trolling and stillfishing are two very different approaches and each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses and probabilities attached to it. Derbies also have a very different strategy attached and that is it is not about catching the most fish....it is about catching the biggest fish which is VERY different in practice. :smile:

I apologize idn713 for hijacking your thread but it seemed like an opportune time to discuss things:smile:

Edited by Sk8man

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OK what baits are you allowed to use?  Can you use any fish you catch as bait?  That does not seem clear in the reg book.  Also a bait shop told us we can only usenightcrawlers that we buy in NY. is that so?  I realize you can not transport bait across certain roads but I am lalking about in the same lake, can you use any fish or parts of those fish for bait in the finger lakes????......jk

 

 

 

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