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8 Rod Program Recommendation Needed Please!


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I only make it to Lake O a couple times of year and I really want to refine my approach to maximize my experience... I've been studying up and accumulating more gear but I need to come up with a solid plan for my next trip in late July.  

 

Obviously I want to catch Kings, but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket.  So, my overall goal would be to catch Kings but get more overall action by using some setups to target Steelhead/Coho as well, especially considering the King numbers have been down this year so far.  

 

So that being said, with an 8 rod spread, what would you guys choose to run for an effective program?

 

I have all the gear... big boards, down riggers, wire divers, slide divers, 200/300 copper, big paddles/meat rigs, etc.   

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!  

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We made our first trip this spring and ran 8 rods. Next time I go back I will have some copper rigs. I think I would run a rigger off each side with a slider 2 dipsys off each side then a copper or lead core off a board off each. That should target pretty much h all depths.

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We made our first trip this spring and ran 8 rods. Next time I go back I will have some copper rigs. I think I would run a rigger off each side with a slider 2 dipsys off each side then a copper or lead core off a board off each. That should target pretty much h all depths.

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That’s kinda what I was thinking but I’ve heard a lot of pros talk about coordinating your spread so that all the lines play well off each other… so I’m trying to figure out specifically what that would look like.

I guess the big thing is to make sure the action is working properly on all your lines given your speed. Meat paddles need to go slow 2.0ish but that makes most spoons not work too well at that slow speed. So if I go big paddles with meat on the riggers, maybe pair those with flasher flies on the wire divers and run forgiving spoons like super slims on the long lines. 2 rods on boards with 200/300 copper and 2 with 7 color lead? Would I put one of each on each side or pair them up?



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Alot of that is making in the same color patterns purples greens blues instead of mixing everything. Also spin drs work at speeds with spoons I would run a wire diver then a high diver and 2 boards off each side or a rogger and board off each side I think a rigger and board off each side gives you more spacing

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My 6 rod spread is 2 riggers , 2 wire divers , a 10 color off one board and a 300 copper off the other board. Also a free slider on each rigger or May stack rods on riggers. I am only fishing a 19 ft boat so I am limited 

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What baits do you normally run off your copper and lead long lines?  

 

I never ran a shoot rod before due to fear of tangles but recently started experimenting with the Church stern planer.  https://www.fishusa.com/Church-Tackle-TX-007-Stern-Planer?quantity=1&L-Size1=1094

 

Easy to use and worked really well!  Can sail it back as far as you want to keep the shoot open

 

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You can run anything off leadcore or copper the weighted line takes the lure to the depth it's made for depending on length. On Niagara bar this spring alot of guys were having good luck on spoons ran off copper on boards I think the I creased boat traffic made the lines away from the boat more attractive

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yep, I fished the bar area the last weekend of the derby and had a tough time with the flat lake and boat traffic.  It wasn't until we got out of the traffic that we started to hook up and got 2 20lb kings in 250 fow north of the bar.  People with boards and long lines were putting more fish in the boat even if they were cohos and chrome at least it was more action.  That's why when I go back I'm going to have a wider/stealthier spread.  We ran high/low dispey on each side with riggers off the corner.  

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14 hours ago, hookedupf7 said:

My 6 rod spread is 2 riggers , 2 wire divers , a 10 color off one board and a 300 copper off the other board. Also a free slider on each rigger or May stack rods on riggers. I am only fishing a 19 ft boat so I am limited 

 

DITTO -  Great starting point.  if temps are down deeper swap 10 color for 4 or 500,

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Is your spread targeting kings only at those depths 50ft +? Steelhead and cohos usually are higher up earlier in year right? My thinking was to run some stuff in the 30 ft range to put more fish in the boat with the kings less prevalent so far this year


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I assume you've run an 8 rod spread before?

 

It's one thing having the equipment, and another having the experience to deploy and retrieve and not end up spending half your day untangling lines.

 

Assuming you have done this before ... for sure 2 downriggers, probably a cheater on one of them (to target steelhead), 4 dipseys wire divers, and 2 off the boards one on each side of the boat (depending on where the 42F to 48F depth is, it'll be either leadcore for shallower depths, and copper for deeper).

 

If you haven't done 8 before, I'd probably cut 2 wire dipseys from the stage.

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1 hour ago, TyeeTanic said:

I assume you've run an 8 rod spread before?

 

It's one thing having the equipment, and another having the experience to deploy and retrieve and not end up spending half your day untangling lines.

 

Assuming you have done this before ... for sure 2 downriggers, probably a cheater on one of them (to target steelhead), 4 dipseys wire divers, and 2 off the boards one on each side of the boat (depending on where the 42F to 48F depth is, it'll be either leadcore for shallower depths, and copper for deeper).

 

If you haven't done 8 before, I'd probably cut 2 wire dipseys from the stage.

I've done it before with big boards for walleye/steelhead/lake trout on lake erie many times but not for kings... have only used 4-6 rod setups without boards on Lake O in my previous trips.   Why does it seem like many only run one line off the boards?  Usually if I go through hassle of setting up the big boards, I want to run more than one line.  I was thinking 4 of the 8 rods in my setup would be on boards and out of the way, 2 wire divers, 2 downrigger rods.  

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If your running copper off your boards I would not recommend running 2 per side.  copper moves differently  in the water than lead or other lines. you'll likely end up with a big tangle on your first turn. and if by chance you don't, you will when a king grabs the port copper and heads to the starboard side. I only run 1 copper off a board at a time.   

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thanks, makes sense.  It's a lot of money to risk losing on a turn or big king.  Do you run regular copper or weighted steel?   Think it's okay to run 2 leadcore lines?  

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My 8 rod spread is 4 rigger 2 divers 1 300 copper 1 400 copper off the big boards. 

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Any time you try and optimize for multiple species, across multiple depths, with multiple presentations - you end up marginalizing pretty much everything.   My advice is to pick something and fish it - Kings may be deeper and steelhead up high but you can have current moving in two different directions above and below the break and so how do you deal with that?  Well you don't.  You end up favoring one presentation over the other and some of your rods will likely go dead in the process.  Most boats run one temp probe so unless they are moving it up and down a lot - they won't have awareness throughout the entire column.  My advice is to pick one species to target and go all in.  Its far easier to dial a spread for one species than it is to haphazardly toss a bunch of stuff out and hope for the best. When we fish - we fish a single species - not saying there aren't incidental catches but when we fish Browns or Kings - that's what we are fishing for and expect to catch.  

Edited by AnglingAddict
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48 minutes ago, ErieBuck said:

I've done it before with big boards for walleye/steelhead/lake trout on lake erie many times but not for kings... have only used 4-6 rod setups without boards on Lake O in my previous trips.   Why does it seem like many only run one line off the boards?  Usually if I go through hassle of setting up the big boards, I want to run more than one line.  I was thinking 4 of the 8 rods in my setup would be on boards and out of the way, 2 wire divers, 2 downrigger rods.  

You can, but often times the riggers and wire divers work better ... so guys are focusing on those setups.  The ACTUAL strategy is to create a pattern that draws the fish into the riggers (due to ball turbulence), if they don't take the rigger lines, they drop back and have a look at the diver lines, if they don't take that, they have a look at the copper lines further back (and stealthier).

 

For walleye what depth are you normally targeting? I think guys get worried when they have 300 ft and 400 ft copper lines out on the boards ... we already see enough tangles (one is more than enough) with just two lines out, especially when a king takes it, and sweeps across from port to starboard (or vice versa). Can create one big mess really fast.

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You can, but often times the riggers and wire divers work better ... so guys are focusing on those setups.  The ACTUAL strategy is to create a pattern that draws the fish into the riggers (due to ball turbulence), if they don't take the rigger lines, they drop back and have a look at the diver lines, if they don't take that, they have a look at the copper lines further back (and stealthier).
 
For walleye what depth are you normally targeting? I think guys get worried when they have 300 ft and 400 ft copper lines out on the boards ... we already see enough tangles (one is more than enough) with just two lines out, especially when a king takes it, and sweeps across from port to starboard (or vice versa). Can create one big mess really fast.

What kind of program do you run on your riggers to draw them in? One attractor, one spoon? Two attractors? Mid/late summer last year I had some success with 11inch paddles w/ Twinkie meat rigs on both riggers but wasn’t running boards, just wire divers. Hoping to
get bit a little more by incorporating some copper on the outside this year so i like that strategy of drawing them in.

I hate fishing for walleye but it’s something to do mid summer and they are good eating! Later in summer they can be down 50 or more, but usually suspended in the middle water column 25-40, so short 3 cores with deep diving plugs usually do the trick.

Late Summer steelhead fishing temps are usually down 50-75. Sometimes will get deep on long lines for Lakers, but usually target with riggers/divers


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25 minutes ago, ErieBuck said:


What kind of program do you run on your riggers to draw them in? One attractor, one spoon? Two attractors? Mid/late summer last year I had some success with 11inch paddles w/ Twinkie meat rigs on both riggers but wasn’t running boards, just wire divers. Hoping to
get bit a little more by incorporating some copper on the outside this year so i like that strategy of drawing them in.

I hate fishing for walleye but it’s something to do mid summer and they are good eating! Later in summer they can be down 50 or more, but usually suspended in the middle water column 25-40, so short 3 cores with deep diving plugs usually do the trick.

Late Summer steelhead fishing temps are usually down 50-75. Sometimes will get deep on long lines for Lakers, but usually target with riggers/divers


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Well, I sold my boat a few years back, but was definitely deep into it and all the techniques at the time, including participating (and placing) in tournaments (4th place was my highest finish in Tightlines). 

 

I preferred spoons over anything else on the riggers, often starting with glow patterns early in the morning, but also paying attention to spoon colors from spring to late summer (blues/chrome in spring, then moving to greens, then purples/reds/orange).  I'd also put on some j plugs to get erratic action deep in the summer to entice staging kings.  As the dusk diminished and the sun set in, I moved to spoons with UV in them.   I have to say, NOTHING did better for me than my trusty 42nd spoon.

 

On occasion, if I found spoons just weren't working, I switched to meat rigs (11" paddle, and a herring strip, or an MC Rocket). Sometimes that did the trick.

 

A few of my buddies will add paddle and fly off the rigger ... but I normally reserved that combo for the wire divers.

 

I also threw on a free slider on the rigger lines, to target fish higher in the water column ... normally got lots of hits from steelhead.

 

As for your answer on walleye depths, yeah, that makes sense ... it's totally in range for leadcore.  On Lake O in mid summer, you need your lines typically 60ft to 100 ft down ... cores just don't work (unless you put together a SWR ... short core off the rigger).  You end up having to use copper, and by the time you let out 400 ft of copper, and another 100 ft of backing line ... you are playing with fire if you have more than two out there (one on each side).

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Every day is a new day. Unless you are Kreskin I would suggest am startup the following way: 3 riggers- meat and flasher on 1 rigger, FF combo on 1 am ,spoon + bright spoon cheater on other. Wire diver with FF combo or flasher/meat on one side, braid slide diver with am spoon on other side. 300 or 400 copper on one board am spoon, 8 color on other board bright spoon. weave across depth contours varying speed. If nothing is happening as day brightens change spoons to a mix of bright and muted and maybe drop a spoon rigger. If day is overcast get a gold spoon and maybe a gold ff combo out and or purple spoon and or purple ff combo. If lockjaw is present IMHO less is more. obviously if a certain presentation or direction or speed results in a hit respond accordingly. DONT LEAVE FISH TO FIND FISH. One hot rod can make the day....

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At the risk of implying that I know what I'm talking about (which I certainly don't think i do) what I'm talking about is what I call 'the best odds approach to hunting'- be it fish or game. It's not that I don't ever run 2 divers/side because I do if the fish tell me that that 'investment' is one I need to make. In the same way, it's not that I don't ever run 2 junk lines per big board because I will if the fish tell me that that approach is worth the inherint risk. In general it seems to me like the best spread is something you have: a.) confidence in b.) you can control and be flexible with c.) is going to minimize issues getting fish in the boat and c.) lends itself to being changed to maximize any and all information the fish unintentionally give you about their preferences.

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We run three in line side planers on each side of the boat. Lead cores on all, dipsey divers on a 3 setting to get deeper or down riggers on the stern.


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I think I’m going to run 1 300 copper line off the big boards on each side, a wire diver on each side and 2 rigger rods one with a slider.

If I have enough help on the boat, maybe add another pair of wire divers but, the more I think about it, 6 is enough!

For late July trip, im thinking my initial setup will be:

Rigger 1: 11” pro troll paddle with atomik Twinkie meat rig

Rigger 2: moonshine mag spoon with smaller spoon on a slider above

Wire Diver 1: 8 inch spin doctor with fly

Wire Diver 2: 8 inch spin doctor or 8 inch protroll with meat head

300’copper 1: mag spoon

300 copper 2: 8 inch flasher with meat head

Do you guys prefer to run the meat heads naked behind the flasher on wire/copper or the setup with twinkie flies in front


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