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stan

Brown Trout Trolling

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Out here on the west coast we, will rip the shore line. Or we will put a stickbait down with in 2' of the bottom on a downrigger. Could you guys tell me your best set up for browns out there and how you run for them

Thanks Stan

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For us our best brown setups change depending on conditions. In the early spring we pound the shore with flatlines off the boards and riggers down 2-3'. We also try to fish colored water as much as possible. As the browns move out we'll throw in a couple cores or flatlines with drop weights. If we want to target browns in July or August we run wire dipsys and slide divers off the riggers. We usually run our outrigger poles to do so, this way our outside wires are way off the side of the boat and not tangling with the inside wire. We usually run the slide divers on a 0 or 1 setting this way we don't tangle them with the inside wire when setting up. These few setups take the majority of our browns each year.

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Our best are jr. thundersticks, yozuri, kaboom, rapala, and challenger stick baits and r+r, nk28, stinger, dreamwever, charger, and hi tech spoons. color depends on conditions. Hope this helps. If you check GLA billy v wrote a good article on fishing browns a while back. May have some info in it that could help you.

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K.I.S.S. for Shallow Browns

To catch these springtime bruisers, “Keep It Super Stealthyâ€.

By Bill Ruth

To our way of thinking, there are two modes for brown trout success in April’s chill shallows: Stealthy and Super Stealthy.

Our first trip of 2005, my father Jim Ruth and fishing buddy Jay Harmon and I had gotten up before sunrise and discovered a steady northwest wind and rain mixed with snow. We put on our rain gear and rubber boots and headed out of our home port of Fair Haven, New York, finding that Lake Ontario was stained from a sustained week-long rain and subsequent run-off, and a noticeable color line along the shore. In short, we had nearly perfect conditions for banging the beach for browns! We made a hard right as soon as we got out of the chute and set up our program in the dark, targeting water depths just 5 to 10 feet deep. We fished until about 10 a.m. and boated 18 browns, releasing most of them. That day we were in Stealth Mode.

Now fast-forward a year to April 2006. The same three guys head out of the same port. This time, conditions are much different. With the exception of a short rainstorm the day before, it had been clear and sunny with no wind for days. Nary a breeze puffs this morning under a starry sky. It is so cold that we scrape ice off the windshield and watch our step on the icy boat floor. The frigid temps are bearable, but the lake is flat and the colored water we had hoped for is scarce. We make the same hard right turn into wispy fog and shallow water and again set up in darkness. Fishing is tougher, but still we still boat a respectable 12 browns in the less than ideal conditions. That day we were in Super Stealth Mode.

When it comes to browns the stealthier the better. Let’s look at the little things that add up to Keeping It Super Stealthy.

Chances are that you have the makings of a super-stealth spread in your arsenal already. The program includes downriggers, but our primary deployment device is a set of old school, homemade planer boards, a.k.a. skis.

When water clarity is down, we run the big boards out just 50 to 75 feet out. If the water is fairly clear (and boat traffic is light) we run them out 125 feet or father to keep baits as far away from the noise and visual disturbance of the boat as possible.

On Lake Ontario, we can only run two rods apiece, which means six rods with our usual three-man assault team. Two stickbaits go out on each board. My favorites are Junior Thundersticks in orange/silver and black/silver. Second choices are J-9 Rapalas in black/gold, orange/gold/white, and chartreuse/silver.

I like to run the same colors to make my presentation look uniform to the fish. The idea is to mimic a school. In clear water, I’ll often start out with four black/silver Junior T-sticks set way back—as much as 250 feet back—on the boards. In cloudy water, orange or chartreuse work better and shorter leads are fine.

We use Laurvik planer board releases in high vis orange, which makes them easy to see. Our reels are SGA47LCA linecounters from Daiwa to keep track of how much line is out. After the bait is out behind the boat, put a few twists in the line and clip it into the release. Be sure to pull the excess loop all the way down towards the pinch pads. If you don’t, the loop may catch on the alligator clip when a fish hits. If that happens, you’ll probably lose both your lure and your fish. We usually run our first bait out until the release is just above the water. Send the second lure down the tether line to within about 10 feet of the first—any closer and you risk a tangle.

Next, the downriggers receive spoons. My springtime favorites are smaller spoons from companies such as Northern King, R&R, and Dreamweaver. The Mulatto pattern is a proven favorite first thing in the morning. Other favorite patterns of ours are Frogs, Natural Born Killers, Habaneros, and Orange Crush. The two stern riggers go down 5 to 8 feet depending on water depth. Keep an eye on your depth, as you can easily snag a downrigger weight on the bottom. It’s no fun having to pony up for a new Shark weight because you weren’t paying attention. Stretch the spoons 40 to 50 feet back off the riggers. We always have our speed and temp probe in the water to keep track of trolling speed and isolate any big temperature breaks. We try to keep our trolling speed around 2.25-2.5 mph, and look for warmer water. In early April, lake temps can be in the mid to high 30’s. If you find an area of colored-up water with some warmer temps, stay on that piece of water and work it thoroughly. Places where streams dump into the lake are particularly good spots to look when conditions are tough.

To go into full , Super Stealth mode, you must pay attention to the little details. For example, we only run flat-black, ball-bearing swivels in size 1. The silver, chrome, or gloss black swivels just have too much flash. Coastlock style swivels are strong and reliable. Black downrigger weights also minimize visual distraction. Another little trick we do is paint the bottom half of our planer boards black. We keep the top half orange for safety’s sake. Another key part of a stealth presentation is light line. We run Berkley Big Game in 10-pound test. We add a leader of 10-pound test Seaguar Fluorocarbon for even more stealth. A small, flat black swivel attaches the fluorocarbon to the main line.

Some may think we go overboard, but we rig for silent running. We try to keep the noise on the boat to a minimum. We walk softly on the deck, keep our voices down, and keep the stereo off. I’m all about turning the Metallica up when we’re out deep chasing kings that are 100 feet down, but when it’s brown time, we opt for silence. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your presentation. If the stick baits aren’t working, change colors and brands. If that isn’t working, send out a two-color core with a spoon on it. If you don’t have a two-color core, send out a spoon on monofilament and attach a couple of split shot a few feet ahead of the spoon.

There are no hard and fast rules that you have to follow. Try new things, have fun, and go into Stealth or Super Stealth mode to help increase your brown trout take.

GLA

Try that 8)

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My next question is, the lakes I fish do not frezze over . Surface temp will run from low 40s to mid 30s. The warm water goes to the bottom of the lake. Should I still use the 55 to 58 degree range for the browns ?

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Stan, to compare our fishing as Billy V describes on Lake Ontario, and what conditions you are facing on those Alpine lakes is like comparing apples to oranges. One, we have a primarily a baitfish food supply for the Browns, where as your browns eat crayfish, sculpin, minnows, Parr-stage trout, and primarily invertebrate nymphs. Take what you can from a rigging standpoint from this site, but understand what baits work here.....may not be the best option in the high country. Keep in mind that in Lake Ontario we are dealing with stocking numbers of trout and salmon in the MILLIONS. You can troll the same baits every day in the spring and not worry so much about the fish getting "hip" to a certain lure. You are probably trolling past every trout in the system, so you will continuously struggle to stay one step ahead of the fish by using different baits and techniques.

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well to start with , everything I have picked up from these boards and people on the phone has worked out. Our bait fish are shad and plenty of them , in the sierra lakes they have chu-chub , pond smelt and kokanee. just like on a small lake near me , called whiskey town lake..it has kings and they feed on the kokanee and small rainbow...not bad ay. now in the rivers the browns feed on crawdads and smaller fishand bugs , Now as far as spoons and the howie fly, they have been right on.My philssophy is a fish is a fish and they all have a basic instinct no matter where they are. When I started to us my depth raider and the temps I was told to look for , where right on here as well. I appreciate all help, so thanks vary much. Every little bit helps, to change 55 years of fishing another way.........I sure love the new things I have learned in the past 1 1/2 years

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Stan;

How's the smoke up there? Did Oprah's castle burn down with all of the trailers yesterday?

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those fires are 700 miles south of us up here. After so many fires it's a wonder there is anything left to burn down there. There will be a new crop of grass for next year now to burn

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Does anybody use a superbraid slide diver (set on 2 or3) rig with a long lead behind the sd to target browns in the spring. We tried this setup for rainbows on the Fingers in the fall without much success but we only used it once, it took me most of an hour just to get the lite bite feature to keep from tripping.

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Does anybody use a superbraid slide diver (set on 2 or3) rig with a long lead behind the sd to target browns in the spring. We tried this setup for rainbows on the Fingers in the fall without much success but we only used it once, it took me most of an hour just to get the lite bite feature to keep from tripping.

Yup, I rig the braid with 20-30 yards of mono leader. The final leader is 10-12 pound flourocarbon. This can be a deadly rig in late spring once the fish move into the 30 foot + depths. Use the Lite Bite versus the old model slide diver. Some of those browns can be on the wee side and the Lite Bite will release.

The Professor showed me how to employ the slide diver on browns and now, like the Monkeys used to sing, "I'm a believer".

Be careful when trying for those bottom hugging browns. The older slide divers can be trickey when close to the bottom. They can be cut off when they bump bottom even once. This is due to their design where the main line enters at the front. This section faces the rocks when trolled so the line gets cut between the rocks and diver. I lost 2 full rigs within 30 minutes one day. The Lite Bites are slightly different and will better survive bottom bounces.

Also, slide divers have different dive charachteristics than dipsies. I can get much deeper with same size slide divers but, I have the larger wieght and a ring on mine.

Keep them away from the boat, 35 to 50 feet in front of your lure and off the bottom and you'll catch fish.

Did you get your buck yet?

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Yesterday I brought 10 shoulders and 10 hind quarters over to the guy who makes the awesome sausages- it's important to maintain inventories! Back to the diver setups, got a question; the original dipsy setups I put together last spring I used 14# Fireline Crystal, after I started using wire I just left these in the garage until I started using them to mess around with the slide divers in the fall, question is should I use something else for line, that Crystal seems to stick out like a sore thumb to me and I do have a bunch of dark green Power Pro and Spider wire left over from making up lead core rigs? Also, who makes those copper back side spoons you had on Dapper Dan and where do you get them?

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Double;

Thanks for setting me straight, got any strip loins left over??? Love venison, but don't hunt anymore. :( If you took ten shoulders over, weren't they attached to 5 deer?

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Guys, you need to understand my situation. I hunt 600 acres of crop land that is surrounded by forest - get the picture? 2 deer/bow stamp, 3 deer regular season(7M) x 2 hunters (oldest son + myself) = 10 deer. We also wind up filling other peoples DMPs, which is completely legal. It is nothing here to see 7-12 deer in one place. We grow a lot of cow feed and deer like it and grow well on it so we make the best of it and eat a lot of venison. I have 1 large freezer for venison alone. We feed the deer and they feed us, it is not a typical situation but if you look at the whole picture it makes perfect sense.

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Andy:

First, are you setting up slide diver rigs for the Finger Lakes or the Big O? I think 14# line is too light on the Big Lake for a diver. The diver and the lures will put significant stress on the line which means that a good brown or anything of good size could easily clean you off on the initial strike. I've lost spoons on 12# flourocarbon behind slide divers. All the tension in the set up doesn't allow much margin for the hit. I suggest you run 25 or 30# through the slide diver and then leader down at the back side. Don't be surprise to find salmon or big lakers in shallow when you are in close picking around for browns. I lost more than a few spoons last spring from salvage hits when looking for browns though they might have been from Sheephead.

My slide divers are set up with 30# Fireline, one in smoke and one in dark green. I haven't noticed any different between the two in catch rates. I think the lure and location expleains any differences better than line color. I use 20-30 yards of 30# Big Game through the diver and then 6-8 feet of flourocarbon leader after the diver to the lure (12-15# for browns and 25-30# for salmon).

Not sure which copper back spoons you mean but it's likely 1 of 2 which I favor: Stinger Glow Goby Copper and Stinger NBK copper cup. Not many places carry the coper cup NBK but Fat Nancy's always has them. The Copper Cup Glow Goby can be found in many places. Fat Nancy's and Jon's Little Salmon Tackle have them. Also, the glow back Stinger Glow Goby worked very well last year as did the NK-28 Glow Frog. I'll cheat the Gobies on one rigger and cheat the NBK and Glow Frog on the other side. The center rigger this year will be for sea trials of different spoons. I had good luck on the NK-28 Sea Sick Wadler and the Stinger Penguin off slide divers. I didn't break out the wire dipsies when targeting browns in close.

I had good success with 4/0 dodgers 30-36 inches in front of spoons off the riggers. Best colors were copper/silver and solid silver. I intend to experiment with additional dodger colors this coming season.

You know where you can get rid of excess meat sticks ;)

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I was leaning the same way in the line department - especially watching the bend in the sd rigs, they seem to torque over as much if not more than a mag dipsy! Thanks for the spoon tips, I am trying to put together a decent spoon selection this winter because it's tough to grow and harvest all that deer food, fish ,and procure tackle at the same time.

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Andy:

The dodgers are Lure Jensen but they list them as 4/0. They are 3-15/16 by 1-3/8. Something is up with the Lure Jensen web site-it's not working for me today. Cabelas lists them as size 040. Look closely at the pictures of the silver and copper/silver in the following link and you will see the LJ mark of 4/0.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templ ... ISO-8859-1

I have some 4 inch fined Pro Troll flashers but they didn't seem to work as well as the LJ dodgers.

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