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New Steelhead Open Lake Fishing Reg Update

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You're correct in June and early July, but get into August and September when thermoclines are 60-80' down in the Western Basin (much deeper on the eastern) and you'd be surprised how deep the Steelhead go. Last September we fished offshore all month and pulled Steelhead down 60-90' all month.

 

 

100%..... I fished really far offshore in Late August and all of Sept ( no stagers )... Steel were mixed in with 2yr old kings... 75-90ft down was the most productive

 

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32 minutes ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

You're correct in June and early July, but get into August and September when thermoclines are 60-80' down in the Western Basin (much deeper on the eastern) and you'd be surprised how deep the Steelhead go. Last September we fished offshore all month and pulled Steelhead down 60-90' all month.

Alright then. Yes i do catch one on a 300 copper on occasion in August and eat them. My boat comes out the beginning of September and I switch over to smallmouth and musky.

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Lucky, I think the idea is with a five king limit, charter captains won't have to venture into steelhead water.  Most king fishing takes place inside of 200', and their ain't many steelhead in that zone.  Saves on the gas bill for the charter operator also.  I am not saying there should not be some form of short- term tweaking of the regulations to help steelhead recover, but try to make it a win-win.  The cuts have been in one direction for a couple of decades.  

He wouldnt know this Chad . He doesn’t lake fish and just makes bs assumptions. I really think he is just here to stir the pot.


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18 hours ago, Gill-T said:

Lucky, I think the idea is with a five king limit, charter captains won't have to venture into steelhead water.  Most king fishing takes place inside of 200', and their ain't many steelhead in that zone.  Saves on the gas bill for the charter operator also.  I am not saying there should not be some form of short- term tweaking of the regulations to help steelhead recover, but try to make it a win-win.  The cuts have been in one direction for a couple of decades.  

SO all the captains who maintain that the reason they can't release them because they are too stressed from fighting the lead all the way up and due to rapidly changing thermal regimes are making all that up, and they are actually targeting them instead of catching them incidentally to targeting Kings on all those Junk rigs?  Gee, all you would have to do is take the cheater off once the two were in the boat, or move, and then no mortality with release.  Really, you guys should get your stories straight, your feet will be full of holes pretty soon!  

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Salty13, there are multiple stories that cause steelhead mortality.....even stream fisherman. Your level of helpfulness in this discussion has run its course. Go find your waders and dust off your fly rod. 

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I've been following this thread right along  and having fished both streams and lakes all my life including Lake O and feel that there is a whole lot of room for both ends of the spectrum in terms of opinions, the relating of experiences injection of ideas etc. and many of the comments offered thus far have been both entertaining and enlightening but some comments have also seem to have gotten away from the spirit of the forum too and emotional coloring seems to be gaining a foothold and overcoming the main purpose of it which is informational sharing. It may not be the most fruitful avenue to let emotions take over the conversation as it can inhibit others from offering ideas or opinions from which we might learn something. A little tolerance goes a long way. The upcoming holidays can be stressful enough for folks without taking potshots and letting all the emotions take over the conversation regardless of the strength of belief or opinion. Its not worth it.

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Well....... Here's what you know zero about Charlie.... Offshore ( easpecially) in the latter part of the summer, early fall.. Kings and steelhead tend to occupy the same water column. With the water clarity in recent years ( there you go somthing you may know a lot about) lead cores, coppers and other "Junk " lines tend to be more productive for BOTH species. So why would I remove my first string players? I'm not and neither is anyone else.
So let's look at weather patterns in general the last few summers. Very unpredictable. Thermocline had a tough time setting up because it blew in a different direction every other day it seemed like... I fished deeper in the last few years than I have in 40 years out on the lake... So let's just say you get a steelhead on a rigger set at 80ft ( looking through my journal 80ft down was a consistant rigger to go). Steelhead fight themselves to death. The combination of the build up of lactic acid and brining them up from depths....even on a rigger... Kills them.
See you would know this if you were out there and had a little understanding of how it works..
And cheaters are really tough to use when the fleas are waded up out there.
Now on the tributary side, I do not get out and fish it anymore. My personal opinion is, I don't feel ok fishing for fish in a confined space.... Not as bad as a high fenced hunt... But just not my cup of tea... To each his own as long as it's done legally. With that said, I'm in no position to get on a tributary thread and bust fly angler's ball$ about tbe techniques they use. ( as long as it's legal).. You know why I wouldn't? Because I stay in my Lane... Maybe people would take what you say more credible if you stayed in your lane....

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Likely our bread and butter fish, the lake trout, will take the biggest hit if salmon fishing declines. Cowbells will be flying by 9am. Even though you can C&R them better than steelhead, mortality will still be high in the Summer months. I’d imagine that any charter east of Oak Orchard looking to put clients on fish is going to save gas and opt for more of sure thing with lakers. Heck Charters do that even now if customers aren’t specific about what they want to catch. The upside to this is predation on alewives from lakers will be significantly reduced. Likely having as much or of an impact on increasing alewife abundance as the reduced salmon stocking. The impact will be long lasting as well since lake trout are long lived. 

 

With pen rearing in full effect and the natural reproduction we have nowadays, I’m not so sure the reduced stocking will have as much of an impact on salmon fishing as it did in the 90s. Sure, 20 + fish mornings will not be as common, and likely salmon fishing will be best in the Spring west and to the east in the Fall like it has in the past. I remember struggling to catch 2 or 3 salmon in the 90s. I don’t think it will get that bad...maybe. Other difference is, with the advent of the cowbell, I suspect the laker population will get hit heavily and fast. Difference between then and now is just about everybody knows how to fish lakers now. The use of cowbells as a laker fishing technique was not well known until the late 90s. Once it caught on, after a few years of heavy lake trout fishing along with the already reduced salmon stocking the alewife population bounced back and salmon stocking was increased. 

 

I really don’t think reduced limits or size restrictions will have much of an impact on trib fishing. As many other folks have mentioned I have a heck of a time getting lake caught steelhead to survive, especially once surface temps hit 68 plus. Since I prefer to catch steelhead in the streams and hardly ever keep fish in the lake, I truly would be in favor of reductions if I thought it would help. From a purely humane perspective I think it is a shame to release any fish that will not survive if somebody is willing to eat it. As others mentioned it is difficult to avoid catching steelhead while salmon fishing in the summer as they are found in many of the same water as salmon after June. Possibly April through June a creel reduction would make sense because steelhead somewhat can be targeted on surface and have a better chance of being released. 

 

I peaked in my trib steelhead fishing in the mid 90’s to about 2013, when my first son was born. I fished the tribs 2-4 times a week October-March. My logs all show that my best years were late 90s to about 2004-2005. I think the biggest impact of steelhead fishing in the tribs is the fishing pressure they get regardless of how many fish are in the system. For example,  I remember taking days off from work when the the Genny blew out and then came back to that “perfect green” color. Easily 20-30 plus fish could be caught the first couple of days. By day 3, 10-15, and after that people struggled. Having more fish in the system wont stop the gluttony that happened the first few days and fishing will still be slow after that. It’s not that these fish die, it is they stop biting after being caught a couple times.  The only solution would be to get folks to stop fishing after catching 5 or 10 fish, instead of continuing to catch 10 or 20 more. That is just not going to happen. Same scenarios at the Oak and Sandy. Thinking back, the reason why my fishing was best in the 90s through early 2000s was the use of center pins had not come in to full effect. I was a early adopter. Once everybody started using them, just like the effect cowbells had in the laker fishing, the pressure on these fish once in the tribs tripled. 

 

Again, this regulation has zero impact on me, but I thought I’d share an outside perspective. 

 

 

Edited by A-Lure-A
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IMG_1469.JPG
Fishing’s great right now.


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Yep. Still goes all the time with his friends though.

 

 

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1 hour ago, whaler1 said:

IMG_1469.JPG
Fishing’s great right now.


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Beautiful pic!!!

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That looks like a pic to be framed Bill beautiful fish and pic:yes:

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His buddy got this coho with him this morning. I don’t know the kid so I cropped the pic. Beautiful fish. Adjustments.JPG


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I only fish the lake, I would not know where to start in a trib. But I do know of two ways to improve the trib fishing. First would be removal of barbs when fishing catch and release and second is to stop showing pictures or writing reports or just write negative ones. Steelhead survival will increase and the need for stricter regulations will decrease.

 

 

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Edited by rolmops

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When I trib fly or float fish , the biggest hook I ever use is a size 6 . Mostly 8 , 10, 12 or even 14 . The barn  means nothing IMO. 

 

We need out of state guys coming for the revenue for continued funding . 

 

As much as I hate crowds . 

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