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Dan P

Small boat in deep water

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Is it okay to take a small boat (16 ft) into deep water if the wind and weather forecast are calm for the entire day?

 

How many miles out of Rochester in general does one have to travel out to find summer (late June into July) kings?

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I fish out of Rochester with my 16’ all summer for Kings. A mile out is about 100’ of water. I caught fish around that depth all last summer. You can go deeper just fine as long as the lake is calm. Just watch the forecast and keep an eye on the waves and wind direction and you will be fine. 

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Ok. I thought you might have to go out 10 plus miles. But it sounds like there is good fishing even in the summer Just a few miles out. Thanks!

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Use my 18’ all year round, been out 15+ miles. I check the radar every half hour or so. As said above, pick and choose your days. If the wave forecast says 1-3 footers, it’s typically too rough for my liking, although very safe. You will see many folks with small boats out that far. 

 

One piece of advice i live by: if I’m reconsidering going out for any reason, it’s best to stay home. The fish will be there next time when it’s less rough. 

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Ok. Caught some kings this spring for the first time by going where the other boats were. In summer they will be a lot more spread out I’m assuming. Any advise on how to approach summer kings would be appreciated. I have downriggers and dipseys I’ll be running. 

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Do you have a GPS chartplotter? You will be putting your baits down to work the top 80' depending on what you see on the f finder. Check the reports here and you will have a good idea

where to start and what to use.

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No gps. Just a basic fish/depth finder. Is this gps chart plotter something on more robust fish finders? How is it used?

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1 hour ago, Dan P said:

No gps. Just a basic fish/depth finder. Is this gps chart plotter something on more robust fish finders? How is it used?

You’ll be fine with a basic one, upgrade when you can. As long as you can measure your speed. 

 

When I first started a few years ago, all I had were two downriggers and that’s all I ran and had success because my friend is a charter capt, pointed out two flashers and flies, and said if you can go 2.5-2.7mpg, and drop those baits down at 55-65’ in any 80+ foot of water, you’ll catch fish. And he wasn’t wrong. Many will suggest a fishawk. And I’m not downplaying the FH, it’s just not worth the $800 to me. I use cutbait on my flies, and use liquid krill scent on my spoons. 

 

In my spread, which is two riggers, two dipsey wire rods, and two (up to six) in line planers. Here’s what my typical game plan is, starting around 100’ of water and heading out deeper during the troll:

 

board rods- I use a #2 or #3 tadpole or mini diver with my walleye church boards. I let out about 80-100’ of line, which covers somewhere between 20-30’. These are targeting Steelies and rainbows. I run spoons on these. Typically a wonder bread and sodus point buckeye.  These are key rods to have in the water this time of year. 

 

Wire dipsey rods- one usually set at 150’, one set at 210’. I use the 3” dipsey, not the mags. They cover anywhere from 50-80’ and target salmon. Make sure your rod holders are up to the task of holding these setups.

 

riggers- these are down at 90’ and 60’. One will have a white meat rig, the other a green flasher fly combo. 

 

Im going to start running copper this year. I’ll have three sets- 150, 200 and 300. I will run these on my walleye boards as well. 

 

Also I use 30# seagar flouro. Lots of guys run 20 but I run 30. 25# big game mono for main line. 

 

I’m not an expert. But this has worked well for me. I don’t typically limit out but I do usually get 2 or 3 each time I go out which makes me happy. I will upgrade my garmin striker FF at some point as well as add a fish hawk maybe. Good luck! Always be cognizant of boats around you and remember that some guys run extremely long coppers. Stay clear and respect the distance. You’ll find some do not tho. 

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Your phone already has GPS. Download a marine app and use that to get started.

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Offshore, I like the advice your charter Capt friend gave you.  Keep a simple and proven approach and try to find the fish. If you're on them you'll catch them.  I fish solo most of the time and it works for me and makes the trip more enjoyable.

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Thanks off shore 4. Very helpful. White meat rig? 
 

GPS you refer to is to know your speed? 

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To know your location. It is very useful to help stay on fish when you find them and know were port is in relation to where you are on the water.

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It will also give you speed over ground. Which will be different than what your speedometer may show due to currents or waves.

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13 hours ago, Dan P said:

Thanks off shore 4. Very helpful. White meat rig? 
 

GPS you refer to is to know your speed? 

Yes I use a 11” all white flasher with a reflective back and then I use an all white meat rig. On my boat, I use exclusively atomic for anything that’s not a spoon, for spoons I use Michigan stingers. 

 

Reason being- the idea is that the all white is very visible and so will draw fish into the spread. If it doesn’t like the meat rig, it will peel off and be met by the dipsey rods and perhaps strike there. Idk if it actually works but it’s a good theory lol

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15 hours ago, BreakingBass said:

Offshore, I like the advice your charter Capt friend gave you.  Keep a simple and proven approach and try to find the fish. If you're on them you'll catch them.  I fish solo most of the time and it works for me and makes the trip more enjoyable.

Thank you. I still run those two combos to this day. I have had zero luck running spin doctors, so I don’t even use them. Some guys exclusively use them tho. Just my preference. 

 

Btw, everything I outlined above is based off of personal experience. If someone woulda told me what I typed out a few years ago, it would have saved me from a lot of trial and error. Do what works for you, and know that it’s called fishing, not catching. You’ll get frustrated when boats around you are netting fish left and right, and you can’t get a single strike. Remember that there will be days when the opposite happens. Have a good time, be safe, and know that there sometimes is a DEC officer or coast guard rep at the launch to inspect your catch/safety gear. I’ve been stopped twice. Both times were good experiences, and while I had ticketable offenses, I came away with warnings. (My throwable blew out of my boat unbenounced to me, and my flares didn’t have a date on them)

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I fish out of Rochester with my 16’ all summer for Kings. A mile out is about 100’ of water. I caught fish around that depth all last summer. You can go deeper just fine as long as the lake is calm. Just watch the forecast and keep an eye on the waves and wind direction and you will be fine. 

Me too! 18’ Tracker Targa. I have learned not to motor out if the waves force you to dial back your “get to my spot” speed. Inevitably you get to your spot and realize it is to dicey to manage your gear and if you can’t manage gear sure can’t manage a fish. I do fish solo so that plays into it too.


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I have an 18foot starcraft I fish out to 300 350 out of Braddock and Sandy. Just watch waves and wind direction. Its nothing for lady o to go from calm to 3-4 footers or more in an hour. At the end of the day its all what u feel comfortable with.

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In my opinion i wouln,t be going very far offshore with a little boat,like the size you have i think you are asking for trouble remember you only have one live so don,t be careless with it.Get a bigger boat.

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I echo signalmans thoughts. There’s a ton of us 18-19ft aluminum that make it out when it’s safe to do so based on weather, having the safety gear / electronics etc.

A 16ft is a whole other league that just puts more risk into it. Sure you can do it, but if your looking for someone to say go ahead so you can feel good about doing it........

I’ve got a 19ft and wouldn’t be offshore with out my kicker, gps, and vhf and all the while my having cell phone. Is it over kill? I look at it’s mandatory. That’s me.

For what’s its worth, that lake can kick up waves in a half hr that can make life miserable let alone if something happens mechanical your worst day.

If your hooked into trolling on lake O, get a deep v 18 or bigger with a kicker that has some basic electronics. If you can’t afford it, jump in on a charter with friends during mid summer if the bites offshore.

Just an opinion and a suggestion to your question. Everyone has one. Be safe out there.


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I venture offshore in my 17.5 Lund but I have a new Kicker, GPS, Marine Radio, Cell Phones and I don't go myself. I also only do it on calm days in the summer and only go out as far as necessary to find fish which usually isn't a problem in August. If it's rough, it's not any fun anyway so why bother. The benefit of having a smaller boat is it's very easy to trailer and launch at a different spot. If we have to, we just switch over to Bass fishing on a smaller protected lake.  The bottom line is we always end up fishing someplace but we never know where we'll end up! 

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Yea I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a shallow 16’ way out there. Quite frankly I think if you get caught in such a violent storm or wave situation, you didn’t prepare properly. There’s too many very useful tools online or otherwise that will give a good forecast. But I know things can change fast. It’s one of the advantages to fishing on the eastern end- I can see a storm wayyyy before it reaches me. I do hear the kicker desire too. I will likely start carrying my old trusty 5hp two stroke in case something happens. But if the fishing is good, you won’t be alone out there. I know it’s only a matter of time before I have to pull someone off the water, and perhaps someone pulls me off the water. 

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Is it okay to take a small boat (16 ft) into deep water if the wind and weather forecast are calm for the entire day?
 
How many miles out of Rochester in general does one have to travel out to find summer (late June into July) kings?

Just keep in mind that you are in an inland sea and this is what it can be in a hurry IMG_1010.JPG


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I soloed alot from a 16 foot Smokercraft out of Golden Hills.  Alot of Kings from 100 on in in late summer did really well early am there miss it alot ! I pulled 1 dipsey rod and 1 rigger all I needed .

Brown action was good too.

Just always looked for S -SW winds less than 1 foot and keep an eye on the radar !!!

Good luck be careful a radio is a good idea too. 

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