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Jack

Walleye and riggers

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Hi,

been reading where guys are running harnesses off riggers   I was wondering how far back from the a ball you run them and what speed ?

thanks jt

 

 

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I would say focus on leadcores and dipsys over riggers. Last year there was no comparison of the bites that came of the other 2. Riggers are pretty slow for eyes. But, I ran sticks 20-30 and harnesses longer. Sometimes 50-100' back and caught fish.

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Also, you will want the right release. I used chamberlins and was very happy. You don't want to drag a 12" around

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Use small spoons light leader 15 ft behind ball. Sometimes this is our best setup on Erie. 

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Interesting to see the variety of approaches here......

 

On Erie, I fish harnesses off the riggers all the time and every time I'm trolling. They are equally as productive as divers and lead core for me. Speed depends on time of year and what they want. but in general some place between 1.25 and 2. Usually at 150 back, but at times as "close" as 50 back. 15 back???? I've never tried, but I will next year.......

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Thanks for the great info.  I always trolled Lake Ontario for trout and salmon . A good friend introduced me to Lake Erie this past summer and I’m hooked big time.

He loves Rod n hand fishing and I love trolling so our worlds are uniting for the love of walleye. A lot to learn and this is a great place for that. Thanks again

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i've fished erie since the late 70's. started out drift fishing the western basin. switched to trolling in the late 80's. started using manual riggers and flatlines then used big boards and riggers. moved to the central basin and started using divers but still used my riggers. I did switch to electric riggers and 13# weights for the central basin. the only bad thing about the electric is I didnt switch a lot sooner. some of my biggest eyes have came off my riggers. I think chamberlain releases are a must for erie. set them just tight enough the lure doesn't trip them. this does take some effort to get it right but its worth the effort. I use leads from 15' to 25' and never needed anything over 25' to catch fish. most times I run spoons on my riggers but have run harnesses. I have had great luck with both. if you have any questions feel free to message me.

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Also good luck on riggers, never short 15'-20' though, may have to give that a try.

 

One way that really works great on eyes on riggers and will satisfy you friend with rod in hand.

 Run leads at least 50' back drop the rigger to the bottom and pop it, hold on to rod, don't reel much, lift, drop, reel slow and WAM walleye on! The lures goes down, up, flutters differently and the attack mode kicks it

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Scobar, you got that right. Nothing like feeling one hit on a rigger pop. You just got me wishing for summer!

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We been fishing out of Buffalo the small boat harbor. Starting fishing in August so real pumped about starting early in the spring. Most of the fishing we did was in 50+ feet of water. Not sure where to start in the cooler spring water. Any thoughts?

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I consistently run riggers throughout the summer for walleye. I run mostly spoons (stingers & nk28) with an odd stickbait mixed in too. This past summer the riggers where as good and if not better than dipseys some days. I only run 5-15' leads off the ball. My speeds are 1.7 to 3mph but majority of time 2.5 mph. If running two riggers I will keep them staggered by atleast ten feet apart. The riggers put in hundreds of walleye in the boat this past summer.

Sent from my LG-H873 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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We been fishing out of Buffalo the small boat harbor. Starting fishing in August so real pumped about starting early in the spring. Most of the fishing we did was in 50+ feet of water. Not sure where to start in the cooler spring water. Any thoughts?
I have done well in 30 to 50 ft through the end of may.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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there are so many eater eyes in erie right now you can catch them just about anywhere. I fish out of Geneva in july. but others fish it early but shallow. the best place to fish early is the western basin. but they can be caught to the east.

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Smaller downrigger balls, put them a couple of feet off the bottom, then stagger the leads.  One 15' off the ball, one 40-50' off the ball.  Some days you don't have to put any other lines out.  

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I’ve been the12# balls I used in lake O. What do you think is the right size ball for this ?

are you running bait or spoons.

Thanks JT

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10lb are fine and fishing shallow could go to 8lb.  Some folks feel using a smaller ball creates less disturbance and is more “stealthy”.  Based on number of eyes in Erie now, I don’t know that I would run out to buy a bunch of different rigger weights.  I run a 10lb and a 13lb on probe rigger-I tend to fish up off bottom especially with probe rigger.  Over the years I’ve found this to be more “economical”.   For eyes a spoon fluttered off a rigger puts fish in the boat especially when it is a bit slow.

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I use 13# pancake weights on the central basin. I fish 50' to 55' down and I don't get much blowback at all. I used 10# balls when I fished the western basin.

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The reason I use smaller 8 lbers is a small fish dragging will pull cable back slightly 

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19 hours ago, Gill-T said:

The reason I use smaller 8 lbers is a small fish dragging will pull cable back slightly 

if you use chamberlain releases you wont need the fish to pull the cable back. just set the lure tension right and small fish will trip the release most times.

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I don’t want the release to trip on small nibbles. Better hook up ratio to keep it on tighter side. 

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I use my salmon rods, 40# big game mono, 12# balls and steel cable. My biggest fish (11.5 was the biggest several over 10) in july and august and into september consistently came off riggers, 10-15' behind the ball pulling my homemade atomik fly harnesses with glass rattle chambers and scorpion spoons for blades. I just put rubber bands on my blacks releases.

Edited by zackblain

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I put hundreds of hours running riggers for eyes on the St Lawrence. Learned to use them on Oneida in the 80's and 90's. Lessons learned: Oneida's bottom is a LOT more forgiving than the river. I try to skim no more than 2 feet off of the bottom so you've got to be very familiar with the area you're fishing, A good depthfinder/gps map  is essential. My leads are 40 to 50 ft pulling shallow running stick baits. Keeps them ticking right off of the bottom.

 

I used to run Black's releases and was pretty happy when tuned properly, but have gone to Chamberlain's for 3 years. They are 20 bucks vs 10 for the blacks, have 2 adjustments, and can be set for a light release with a good sharp rod snap for a reliable hook set. Allows you to crank the rods down, especially when there's surface weeds and not get a lot of false releases. The release upon a strike is an independent magnetic thumb screw. They can be set super light for soft hits and always go back to where you had them.

 

I'm sold and won't go back. I especially like that guys fishing with you can be shown how to set a rod and it ends up OK.

 

 

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 1:57 PM, Gill-T said:

I don’t want the release to trip on small nibbles. Better hook up ratio to keep it on tighter side. 

i've been using the chamberlain almost since there inception. once I got them adjusted right I get very few false releases. but get releases on just about all small fish including white perch. the few false releases is much better than dragging small fish around. fishing erie you'll find the small sheep head and white perch are what you catch the most on some days. if the release doesn't trip on these fish you end up checking the rigger often or drag the little fish around all day. you wont catch walleye if your dragging a white perch around. it may be just me but 5 or 6 false releases per day is much better than checking the rigger ever 15 or 20 minutes. of course you can check them every 30 to 60 minutes. but it a small fish has been on most of that time your rigger is just dead weight. but to each there own. i've checked my riggers before going to the chamberlain release and had walleye of up to 2 1/2 lbs just swimming along with the lure and I never knew it was there until I brought the weight up to check the lure.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 8:15 AM, Jack said:

I’ve been the12# balls I used in lake O. What do you think is the right size ball for this ?

are you running bait or spoons.

Thanks JT

12# balls are good for anyplace you fish erie. I used 10# on the western basin. but didnt like the blowback fishing 50' to 60' on the central basin  so I switched to 13# pancake weights. 12# will work great either place. I run both harnesses and spoons in the summer depending on  the fish. but mostly fish spoons on my riggers. for early trolling the westers basin (april early may) shallow diving cranks off riggers at 1.0 to 1.5 will catch fish. use bandits, reef runners, husky jerks, flatlined should catch fish. don't be afraid to try hot n tots as they was our staple back when I fished the western basin. there are so many eater eyes in erie right now you should be able to catch fish. we started fishing the western basin back in the early 80's. now is the only time i've seen fishing as good as it was then.

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