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steelfire

Down riggers and summer steelhead

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I have 4 down riggers on my boat. During the summer 3 are always dedicated to fishing for  kings. But the 4th i usually dedicate to steelhead down around 70 feet or where ever i'm seeing the higher sonar marks where the steelies usually hang out. Does anyone else do this and if so, how far behind the down rigger weight do you run your lure???   I have had luck at anywhere from 10' behind the weight to 50', but nothing is consistent. 

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I second the free sliders but also pick up a few down deep. their aerial acrobatics are great or the heart!

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Free sliders are the ticket for me. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the info guys!   I haven't had much success with free sliders for some reason. But i know when the thermocline is set up around 100' down and i'm seeing Marks on the sonar from 60 to 70' down that those are usually steelhead. I have had some success with the fourth down rigger parked just above the high marks but not as many as I should be hitting. Just curious if anyone else targets those higher marks. 

Edited by steelfire

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8 minutes ago, Force of one said:

Any preferred spoons to Target steelies?

bright ones...... pink, pink/blue, orange/blue, reds....... bright.

and sometimes small....... c5's..... alpena diamonds....

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Force of one said:

Any preferred spoons to Target steelies?

Sent from my moto x4 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

Most of the steelheads I've caught in the summertime have been on sliders or short leadcores and any spoon with a good amount of orange in it. 

Edited by FishingFool34

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21 hours ago, steelfire said:

Thanks for all the info guys!   I haven't had much success with free sliders for some reason. But i know when the thermocline is set up around 100' down and i'm seeing Marks on the sonar from 60 to 70' down that those are usually steelhead. I have had some success with the fourth down rigger parked just above the high marks but not as many as I should be hitting. Just curious if anyone else targets those higher marks. 

 

Free sliders generally get you 1/3rd the way down to the rigger weight.  So 100 ft down, your sliders probably at around 35 ft.  If you want to get to 60' down, then you'll have to use fixed sliders.  Simply attach to the cable using a rubber band that will snap if a fish takes the bait.  This actually helps in most cases, as that line doesn't count as an additional rod.  In Ontario, the Regulatory Guidelines for Bait and Gear Restriction, Feb 2006 state:

 

(6) As a provincial standard, the maximum number of hooks attached to the

end of a fishing line should be four (4) regardless of whether they are

single, double, or treble hooks.

 

I haven't checked if there is a later version.

 

So this means assuming the rules haven't changed (please check yourself), that a free slider still counts as one rod, as long as total hooks including the main line bait isn't more than 4. 

 

Not sure if you have heard the term "Cheater Line" ... it's the reason, as it takes advantage of this rule in the book.  I don't think using the term cheater line is a good thing though ... it just puts a negative spin on it and sooner or later someone's going to attack it ... free slider or fixed slider is far more neutral and probably won't attract the same attention.

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Raspberry dolphin

steelie dan

blue dolphin

caramel dolphin

purple frog

monkey puke

blue chilly whillie

 

Run them up high or on fixed stackers. In about 3 weeks the big silver bullets and coho will be on fire out in 4-500fow

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Posted (edited)

Free ranging sliders 6-8 ft in length, good quality solid ring ball bearing swivel with medium length orange, red, or pink spoon run in the prop wash. Periodically abruptly increase boat speed, when changing out lures pop the downrigger and let the spoon flutter Cohos or steelies will love it.

Edited by Sk8man

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2019 at 10:19 AM, Sk8man said:

Free ranging sliders 6-8 ft in length, good quality solid ring ball bearing swivel with medium length orange, red, or pink spoon run in the prop wash. Periodically abruptly increase boat speed, when changing out lures pop the downrigger and let the spoon flutter Cohos or steelies will love it.

Thanks Sk8man and jig stick. Believe it or not, my number 1 spoon for summer steelies has been the NBK. I do great on the kings and browns but struggle with summer steelies. 

 

On 6/21/2019 at 12:02 AM, jigstick said:

Raspberry dolphin

steelie dan

blue dolphin

caramel dolphin

purple frog

monkey puke

blue chilly whillie

 

Run them up high or on fixed stackers. In about 3 weeks the big silver bullets and coho will be on fire out in 4-500fow

 

Edited by steelfire

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NBK plays like a champion. He catches everything. UV NBK is my new favorite spoon

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Better landing ratio with fixed cheaters. 

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Better hooking ratio for sure but nothing beats a slob bow rocketing out of the water before you even know you have a hit. Once hooked catch ratios are even.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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22 minutes ago, Gill-T said:

Better landing ratio with fixed cheaters. 

X2 All Day

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Better hooking ratio for sure but nothing beats a slob bow rocketing out of the water before you even know you have a hit. Once hooked catch ratios are even.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United


Sent from my LM-G710VM using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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There's something about the wandering nature of a free slider that I think entices fish into biting. I've had a much better landing ratio since switching to single hooks on my slider spoons, and I think the lighter, less drag single hook actually helps the wandering action of the free slider spoon. 

 

There are times that a fixed slider is a better presentation though, especially when you want to keep the slider close to the mainline bait, or to pin it at a steelhead depth while fishing deeper in the thermocline. I think both slider presentations should be in your arsenal on any given day, especially for fishing Steelies or Coho.

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