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Hey all - been reading these posts for a few years - never posted.  Started fishing 5 years ago - so still a newbie as I do not do enough catching.  fish from a 19' Keywest CC and mostly salmon hunt. Learned enough to start putting fish in the boat a few years ago, and spring fishing has been good to me the last few years.  Managed a skunking Saturday morning (8am - noon) and wanted to avoid that this weekend.  I struggle this time of the year - I saw boats from 60' to 200' and everywhere in-between.  I worked from 80' to 150', marked most fish around 120'  ran spoons and flashers (Silver / Green / purple / red) for 4 hours 60-90' down.  Ran North, South east and West -  Nothing!   Deeper water?   Shallower water?   Meat?   

 

I don't have or know how to run meat heads and don't have or know how to run copper.  I have 2 riggers, I typically run #3 dipsies out 280' and will let out 10 colors of lead on my 2 long lines.  my thought is the lead runs 60', the riggers I run 70' and 80' and the divers are getting near 90'.  any advise is greatly appreciated - still figuring it out!    I was thinking the currents and down speeds may have been a problem -  it was a good blow Sat and not sure of the speeds down below - I have a fishhawk, but dont use it as my old Merc seems to put out so much noise, it keeps effecting the FishHawk sonar feed.  I put noise reducing plugs in the motor, but they last about 20 hours of run time and it does it again.  I was running 2.5-3.0 on the surface.  Thanks all for any input - Tight lines to all!

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I was out Sunday morning and it was a bit of a grind for us, a lot of short hits, we went 5 for 12 for the morning.  We fished the same water and the same depth down as you mentioned.  I always check speed and temperature, my best speed with my Depth Raider is anywhere from 2.1 to 2.4 downspeed depending on the day.  Temperature was up a bit this weekend but I tried to keep my spread is the high 40 to low 50 degree water.  I ran only 4 rods, sometimes I feel less is more, 2 riggers, 2 wire divers, all spoons.  I try to always visualize what my spread is looking like down below and ensure that I have decent separation between my wire divers and riggers that are on the same side to make sure that my diver is not affecting my rigger.  For example, if my one rigger is at 58' down, I know if I put my wire out 240' on a 2.5 setting that the lure is somewhere around 70' down, so there is about 10-12' of separation.  Same goes on the other side but I may put one rigger up higher and keep my wire down below.  If conditions are good on the lake, I will put my boards out and put some lead core out to cover the upper 30' of water knowing that steelhead are around.  Or, I will put cheaters on my rigger rods to accomplish the same.  My leads on my riggers were much closer (20-30').  

I wouldn't get discouraged, keep playing with your setup as the morning goes along, if what you are doing is not getting the strikes, start playing with your leads, change up your speed, etc. until you start getting some strikes.

The great thing about this fishery is you keep learning and there are a lot of seasoned guys that are willing to help.

 

Hope this helps

 

Tomy

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I have never played with leads on my riggers.  But my std set-up wold be around 20'-30'.   Never done more than that. 

 

hat lead do you run on your diver?  I run them, but they are my least productive set-up.  10 colors of lead is my best in spring - but as the fish get deeper, they stop working.  Do you play with diver colors too?

Very much appreciated Tomy!

 

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27 minutes ago, HolyDiver said:

I have never played with leads on my riggers.  But my std set-up wold be around 20'-30'.   Never done more than that. 

 

hat lead do you run on your diver?  I run them, but they are my least productive set-up.  10 colors of lead is my best in spring - but as the fish get deeper, they stop working.  Do you play with diver colors too?

Very much appreciated Tomy!

 

8-10’ lead on my divers when running spoons 

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Is the I Bay launch open? Great post and feedback by the way...I get skunked all the time!!


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I am no professional by any means but I very rarely ever got skunked and haven't been skunked since I got a fish hawk. My best advice to u is if u have to change plugs every 20 hrs then do it. I have a 1979 75 stinger it is loud! I've never had an issue with it interfering with the fh tho. Try changing the location of the fh that would probably help. I was out this past Sunday and last Sunday and I had to do a surface speed of 5.5-6.2 going west to get my ball speed at 2.6-3.1 heading east surface speed was 1.9-2.2 for down speed to get 2.8-3.4 slowest I could get the boat. 

 

As for leads on my riggers I run about 35-40' back then put the line to my rigger. For my dipsey I run 10foot of lead then hook on my dipsey then another lead to lure 8-10' of fluorocarbon. Lead core I run a 15' fluorocarbon lead. 

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Hemmerin' 'em:   Thanks:  Great info.  I spoke to FH - they say the Merc 115 I have is know to be very noisy - The sonar gets feedback and then glitches the system and it shuts off.  But.... Plugs are cheap and UR correct - If I am investing in all this gear, time and gas, not sure the plugs will even hit the radar.  Question - Do you verify the speed on the FH with GPS at the surface each time?  I got to the point I was not sure I trusted the FH.  I get skunked 3-4 trips a year and hate it.  My first season took 20 trips before my first fish... So progress!!  Thanks for the info on the lead lengths - I think I tend to run riggers short.

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Don’t be so married to lure depths. We often fish higher in the am this time of year, and drop stuff down as the day progresses. We had hits like 40-50 down to start Saturday. You’ve really gotta fish the marks, especially early summer


The Fishin’ Physician Assistant

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Temperature is a guide to get you in the ballpark, your screen will tell you where to fish.  Speed and presentation are everything and is somewhat unique to your boat and lures being used.  Take notes when rods start flying about direction of troll, speed at ball and SOG.  I very rarely troll East/West unless boat traffic, wind or currents dicate it. I prefer a more northerly to southerly troll to mitigate the impacts of the prevailing Niagara current or in the case after an upwelling, a reverse surface current.  Pay attention to how your rigger lines and divers are tracking behind the boat.   If one side is pulling to middle of boat you are on a terrible track with the current and wind, correct it until they are tracking more inline with the boat, 9/10 times you will find the best presentations and speed by keying in on this item.  Do not be afraid to experiment with anything until you get rods to fire and get confidence in a spread.  Many days it is tough to know what you are doing wrong without the experience behind you to have the confidence that rods will begin to fire when you figure out the magic sauce that day.  But that is why we keep coming back for more, every day is unique and needs to be figured out.

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UpGrady - Great tip - Thanks!!  I was for sure on a horrible track - Lines were 15-20deg off my track.  Just never thought about that one - seems kinda dumb now.   

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since the question of lead length came up on dipsies I have found personally 6-8 on spoons is good. You can go more but I’ve never found it necessary. On flasher flies I run 8-10 foot for sure. Any shorter I guess the spin is too tight or something. We would never catch. I also have found shorter lengths on downriggers to be better. We used 15-25 this weekend. Used to fish longer when we fished Lake Michigan with success but Lake Ontario is certainly different in that regard. Don’t get discouraged I heard it was a grind all over. We worked and shared information with a guy in olcott and while we did well their boat just couldn’t get them going fishing similar water. Sometimes it goes like that. I’ve been on the other side too many times to count.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Temperature is a guide to get you in the ballpark, your screen will tell you where to fish.  Speed and presentation are everything and is somewhat unique to your boat and lures being used.  Take notes when rods start flying about direction of troll, speed at ball and SOG.  I very rarely troll East/West unless boat traffic, wind or currents dicate it. I prefer a more northerly to southerly troll to mitigate the impacts of the prevailing Niagara current or in the case after an upwelling, a reverse surface current.  Pay attention to how your rigger lines and divers are tracking behind the boat.   If one side is pulling to middle of boat you are on a terrible track with the current and wind, correct it until they are tracking more inline with the boat, 9/10 times you will find the best presentations and speed by keying in on this item.  Do not be afraid to experiment with anything until you get rods to fire and get confidence in a spread.  Many days it is tough to know what you are doing wrong without the experience behind you to have the confidence that rods will begin to fire when you figure out the magic sauce that day.  But that is why we keep coming back for more, every day is unique and needs to be figured out.


The current this weekend in olcott was just as describing here. We found east/west to be best. We got of line the lines started to drag behind one side and had less pressure on the other.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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yep.  That was lily a big problem for me - I recall commenting how much of an angle the lines were - more than I had ever seen - Appreciate it - net thing to watch.  

 

Anyone got thoughts on the time of day for these guys.  Is it completely random?  I have had good morning hits with dead afternoons, lousy days with good evening bite - Any tricks there, or just grind it out and put in the time (which is not problem for me - I always say a **** day on the water beats a text from the ex)

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Holydiver the only time I check it to my GPS is my first trip out in the spring. Go in shallow as u can to get out of strong currents set the fh down to about 5 feet and make sure it matches ur gps. I've never had to recalibrate mine.

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