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Pulling copper


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Is there anyone out there that would be willing to teach me how to pull copper? I’d be more than willing to pay for your time! Thank you!
 
 
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Hi, Matt. I'd be happy to help you out. I've been doing it a long time and have had some good success. That's how I just caught the seond biggest fish in the Lake Trout Derby. Remember when you caught a winner on our boat a while ago -- we we pulling flashers then. You can catch perch, bass, pickerel, pike, browns, and lake trout. We've even caught a few bull heads! Happy to take you on on my boat or ride along if Steven takes you. He can get ahold of me through Sam.

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I bought this copper reel from a man that age prohibited him from fishing anymore. It keeps the tangles and kinks to a minimum. A birdnest on the floor of the boat basically ends the day if someone moves their feet and gets it overlapped. A kink, you'll just loose your spoon on the next fish or two. Like sk8man said, the tick tick on the bottom is what you want to feel along with the flutter of the spoon in your fingers. A good partner that can follow contour lines or keep the boat within 10 feet of the water depth you want to be in makes a big difference also. Some days you need to yank 3 feet and let out every 30 seconds, some days more subtle works better. I have 3 hook sharpeners on the boat, the hook gets beat dragging the bottom. It gets touched up every fish. If you drag for a half hour w/out a hit, pull it in, usually a fouled spoon w/ a zebra mussel on the hook. Have fun. Hand over hand your first big one is a blast. Screenshot_20190602-092155.jpg

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The last time I pulled copper was the day the spring broke on my Victrola motor!   But the real old timers used to hand over hand and wrap on a spindle of some sort while playing a fish.  But as perch said, watch out for those twists and kinks, they are deadly to copper.

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When you don't have a victrola box or a sewing machine to gather up the solid copper wire, coiling it at your feet on the floor of the boat is just as important as fighting the fish. When the mud chicken takes a 100 foot run out through your hands, which is your drag, no kinks, no tangles, and ohh boy, a birdsnest hurts getting pulled through your hands. If you don't have a reeling device, the coil at your feet you purposely made is very important. Don't move your feet or let the net man step on that. That's a day ender. Land the fish, sharpen the hook, and with care feed the spoon back out to depth before you move your feet. Then hand the wire to your buddy, jump behind the wheel and get them on one!

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Although it can be done by the coiling in the bottom of the boat that method may not be the first or best to try with more than yourself and very few objects in the bottom of boat for starters. In the old days it was done that way pretty much out of necessity and often with a lot of swearing accompanying it:lol:. My grandfather fished that way  for lakers on Seneca back in the early 1900's out of a rowboat no less.with the old Geneva and Sutton spoons. The easiest modern method is to use either a victrola or an A and S automatic (spring loaded) reel. A drawback to the A and S is that it doesn't hold as much wire as a victrola but it is more compact and works well in 100  ft or less water. The spring in the A &S isn't as strong as most victrolas so the slack wire take-up can be a lot slower. Some victrolas have multiple springs (or strong singles) and others are even motorized so careful where your fingers are placed.

victrolaaands1.jpg

Edited by Sk8man
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Yes. It has a 12 volt dc gear reduction motor on it. Basically the sewing machine is the chassis to hold the shaft. The lexan and wingnut/spring on the end of the shaft is the drag. When you have a fish on, you press the sewing machine pedal with your foot and hand over hand, when the laker makes a run, the little disc you can see slips on the big one so it can take wire out without ripping its lips off so we stay hooked up. So much easier than coiling on the boat floor and winding it on the wooden holder my cousins gpa made. This is the spoon I pull also.20190602_151920.jpg

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Cool setup:yes: Something to note is that it is best with heavier spoons by either tying the lure directly to the wire with a loop and hay wire twist, or with the swivel because it is direct metal contact which helps to feel what is going on down below with the spoon. Both methods have slightly different action of the spoon. One advantage of the loop and haywire twist is that it can keep the spoon with the hook upright so it doesn't snag bottom as easily but it can also depend on the particular spoon you are using. Note also the position of the hook on the spoon. The spoon is designed so that the hook rides upward with the spoon on its back when contacting bottom.

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:smile: 2 lb You obviously know what you are doing. When I post stuff here it is aimed to the wider audience that may be wondering about things, maybe totally unfamiliar with them, or perhaps thinking about trying things out so my suggestions are intended to help shorten the learning curve so they may not have to spend the years trying to figure this stuff out like I did:lol:

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16 hours ago, Sk8man said:

Although it can be done by the coiling in the bottom of the boat that method may not be the first or best to try with more than yourself and very few objects in the bottom of boat for starters. In the old days it was done that way pretty much out of necessity and often with a lot of swearing accompanying it:lol:. My grandfather fished that way  for lakers on Seneca back in the early 1900's out of a rowboat no less.with the old Geneva and Sutton spoons. The easiest modern method is to use either a victrola or an A and S automatic (spring loaded) reel. A drawback to the A and S is that it doesn't hold as much wire as a victrola but it is more compact and works well in 100  ft or less water. The spring in the A &S isn't as strong as most victrolas so the slack wire take-up can be a lot slower. Some victrolas have multiple springs (or strong singles) and others are even motorized so careful where your fingers are placed.

victrolaaands1.jpg

What's a "Geneva" spoon?

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Here are some examples. They are from around 1900 or thereabouts and were used by my grandfather on Seneca. Note the old style swivels on four of them. The hooks were either soldered on or riveted back then, and on some hooks were fastened to the interior area of the lures

genevaspoons.jpg

Edited by Sk8man
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Could a manual downrigger be used For pulling copper wire? The downrigger reel holds the wire and no rod used. Or is there not enough drag sensitivity?  I’ve never used a downrigger but have experience with a Seth Green rig. 
I am imagining all hand work once the wire is out then when hooked up manually reeling in with one hand on rig handle and the other hand cradling the wire while feeling for head shakes and letting wire back out from playing rig reel. 
I’ve been out once and have a big spool with several hundred feet of wire on it but it was hard to handle 98C544C3-2543-463D-BBDC-99429B8583EE.thumb.jpeg.525a76bbcd4a4f61428f76cb82b768b7.jpeg

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Could a manual downrigger be used For pulling copper wire? The downrigger reel holds the wire and no rod used. Or is there not enough drag sensitivity?  I’ve never used a downrigger but have experience with a Seth Green rig. 
I am imagining all hand work once the wire is out then when hooked up manually reeling in with one hand on rig handle and the other hand cradling the wire while feeling for head shakes and letting wire back out from playing rig reel. 
I’ve been out once and have a big spool with several hundred feet of wire on it but it was hard to handle 98C544C3-2543-463D-BBDC-99429B8583EE.thumb.jpeg.525a76bbcd4a4f61428f76cb82b768b7.jpeg

So you could do it but to your point the drag piece would be come the problem especially when you connect to a 10+lber. You would find yourself either pulling it all in by hand and laying the copper on the floor or both hands trying to reel it in while controling the tension on the drag. If you had another person trying to reel it while you pulled it in by hand might work but the position of a down rigger on the back of the boat with someone handling the copper isn’t comfortable. Some have modified a downrigger to do what your saying with a lighter spongier boom so it takes away the stiffness. You would just have to play around with it.


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Enjoyed pulling copper since my childhood (hence my nickname here) until the zebras took over.  I mainly jig now, but have been thinking of getting the victrola and twin minnows out again for old-time sake -- just curious how you avoid a constant mess these days with all the zebras?  Thanks

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Enjoyed pulling copper since my childhood (hence my nickname here) until the zebras took over.  I mainly jig now, but have been thinking of getting the victrola and twin minnows out again for old-time sake -- just curious how you avoid a constant mess these days with all the zebras?  Thanks

Do it. Nothing’s changed regarding copper, may have to clean it a few more times but they still work. Buddy and I were on Cayuga a few weeks ago and I pulled out the twin for old times sake and had a ball. Caught weeds but was still fun. Keep Copper Alive!


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29 minutes ago, Frogger said:


Do it. Nothing’s changed regarding copper, may have to clean it a few more times but they still work. Buddy and I were on Cayuga a few weeks ago and I pulled out the twin for old times sake and had a ball. Caught weeds but was still fun. Keep Copper Alive!


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X2  For those folks that keep looking for that perfect rod that you get the true feel of the fish fight you are looking in the wrong place. There is nothing that compares to the feel of a big laker being pulled off the bottom on copper with a Twin Minnow or Pfleuger spoon at the end of it. The sudden 'thud" ( feeling like you are snagged up on bottom) with the vicious head shaking and struggling while gradually coming to the boat all the while worrying about keeping the boat under control and possibly losing your fingers even with a leather finger or gloves....nothing in the world like it! :smile: Think I may have talked myself back into it:lol:

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