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Hey folks, new to the forum, not sure how this community slipped under my nose for so long. Im looking for some pointer's on trolling. Ive been a diehard caster but I realize the importance and potential of being able to troll effectively.  Added a kicker motor to my rig and kind of waiting to have a better understanding before I further invest. I know a glass rod is almost a must, but what lengths do you guys use for what? I'm looking at the same rod in a 7'6 and 9'. Is either a better all around size? For now I'll be holding my rod and probably add a couple Down East holders by fall. Also will be doing most of my trolling at night and in the up/cross stream fashion if that makes a difference. So many other questions but I'll try to contain myself, thanks in advance 

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Posted (edited)

I don't really have a ton of insight or input to offer but I will tell you this: glass rods are far from a must. I have heard of isolated incidents of graphite rods breaking in extreme cold but even that I know many guys that troll right up to the end of the season using $35 Shimano TDR without issue year after year. Some guys will tell you I know you got to have the st. Croix trolling rods and spend a bunch of money on your trolling setups and while that may be good advice for the reel just get some decent stout rods and get out there.i run shimano tdrs with tekota lc reels(lc is a must for repeatability)

Edited by FishnChef

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Try investing in fat az  products, great for dipping rods in the water to decrease weed hookups but also when you run shallow you can easily  tip the rod up high to prevent running ground.  As far as rods  it’s dependent on how many rods you want to  run typically short rod 7ft down deep, 8”6 for next rod  and longer rod for planner board.   I agree with fishnchef on the tekota, and glass rods. 

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Thanks Herbs for the fat AZ tip, I didn't know they had mounts like that.

What size tekotas are you guy's using? 

And is anyone strictly for or against T-in hooks? I read mixed opinion's on hook up percentage vs. letting hooks chew up expensive baits

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Heh. That they are glass rods. So I guess what I was really trying to say is you don't need to get carried away buying expensive musky trolling specific rods. I run tekota 500 and 600 and one 300. The 500 is probably about perfect. as for the teeing of hooks I believe it's supposed to be better for hookup percentage and your baits but there are some people with way more musky under their belt that could chime in with more real world info

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48 minutes ago, zach said:

Gotta t your hooks.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

Done & done. Thanks for the advice.

 

Also just downloaded this week's Fat AZ podcast to listen to on the drive to the lake tomorrow. Looking forward to that.

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I thought I read something about putting the hook points closer together required more force psi to bury the barbs, and in combination with lighter drags used to troll, could result in dropped fish. Or does the light drag more apply to short lining? Either way I'm obviously doing what the real life experience says haha. Zach, do you use the flat T or forward bend T? 

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He uses this "t". And if Zach says to t your hooks then t your damn hooks! haha

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Well. I got my shot yesterday and blew it.

 

Started trolling around 11:00 and nothing until 15:44 when I got a vicious rip on a big flat stick. Super heavy fish. Definitely the biggest I've had on but shook the hook before I even got her near the boat. Must have never gotten the hooks in solid.

 

After replaying it a thousand times, I think that my drags were too loose and my rods too soft. I've been using 9'6" MH Talora dipsey rods and will probably try to pick up a couple of 8' heavies for next time. I'll also check/sharpen my hooks more and make sure my drags are a bit tighter. Just so painful to finally get a big one to bite and screw it up.

 

Figured I'd post this here to show what not to do. Good luck!

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 Not a big one, but got the net wet right before lightning and rain forced me off the water. A fish easy 6 inches longer followed this one to the boat. If I wasnt solo probably could've scooped them both in the net! Her head went in but when I had to lean back and lift the hoop it was just too heavy and she rolled out

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Nice job, White wolf. That's a pretty fish.

 

And muskiedreams, thanks, I did check the bite marks. There were teeth marks just behind the head of the lure and a scale on the middle treble.

 

I may give the SLR a try for the full moon next week. I know it's a one in a million to even see any fish up there but my buddy wants to give it a go. If anybody has any tips I'd be happy to hear them. Otherwise I'll probably just try trolling around some deep structure.

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18 hours ago, Chowdaire said:

Near Cape Vincent, btw

I was up near Vincent around opener, but the water was real high and cold it was difficult to find active fish. They were either in shallow weeds, which were almost nonexistent, or up high over deeper water. There are 2 types of fish in that area, migratory and resident muskies. The open water lake fish move in and out with fall to spring migration following bait fish and accessing spawning habitat. But there definitely are big fish that live there year round.

Are you only trolling? In a river setting jigging can be productive even in the day time with higher pressure and boat traffic.

Target weed edges with flow around them, current breaks/eddies, the edge of flats that have access to deep water, and open water in the middle of large bays. The fish relate to food and usually if any other species perch, bass, drum, walleye, suckers is abundant in an area, there are probably muskies hanging around. Driving around and watching electronic's is key there. Sometimes you can find tons of bait 20 down out over 120 feet of water with big hooks around it in SLR

 

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Great info. Thanks!

 

I plan to mostly troll but I will have my casting and jigging gear with me too. Not sure how much fishing time I'll get because the docks are all still flooded, so no easy access to the boat, but hopefully I'll get a few hours free to poke around.

 

 

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2 more including first night mode trolling muskie. 38, 38.5, and 36 since I started this thread, so thanks to those who've contributed so far. And before someone points it out, yes, I'm trolling with a casting set up at the moment haha. I bought a TDR and it came with a chipped eye that cut 80lb master braid twice in a row while dropping my bait back... that's with no tension..the first time I thought wow I must've missed a bad knick in my line. thank god it was a bright floating bait.

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Posted (edited)

Nicely done. Thanks for the heads up on eyelets, have to check mine

Edited by FishnChef

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Great fish!

 

I just bought 2 TDR's and had to return one due to a badly bent guide and popped insert. Definitely worth checking. 

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I gave Cape Vincent a shot last week but no luck. I mostly trolled for musky along the edges of the shoals and island. Lots of bait out in 50fow+ but seemed like a deadzone from 20-50. Marked very little in that range. I didn't get to give it as long as I would have liked but made probably 3 full passes around the whole area. I didn't try jigging but did throw a few musky baits in between shallow casting for bass but nothing there either.

 

We did at least get some nice bass though.

 

I'll probably try giving it another shot in the fall. Good luck to all.

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