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Need some advice please!


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Hey folks, thanks in advance for any advise on this topic!

 

Just got a trolling setup on my boat. I fish on Lake Ontario, keep the boat on I Bay. In a nutshell, I'm using 2 manual scotty downriggers (I'm brand new to running down riggers, I was using dipsy's last year), with 2 - 4 rods. I run 12 lbs weights. The lure setup is a flasher with something like a hoochie or some type of spoon. I'm chasing kings!   

 

2 questions based on the above:

  1. My rods "bounce" quite a bit on the down diggers weight. Is that normal? water was fairly calm, maybe 1-2 feet. On charters I've seen that the rods normally seem to hold a lot more steady (i.e. less "bounce") - although maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. 
  2. Do you aim for the exact depth the fish or at, or a few feet higher, I understand salmon will tend to shoot up a few feet for bait?

 

Thanks!

Paul

Edited by WebsterWaters
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  • WebsterWaters changed the title to Need some advice please!

Paul,

 

You want to run your lures above the fish. The reason why is when you mark fish, that is the distance from your transducer to the fish, not how deep the fish is. See picture below. But a fish out to the side can show as being 70' deep on the sonar, but only be 65' below the surface. Thats why you always start above the marks and adjust form there.

Screenshot_20210621-153534_Firefox.thumb.jpg.7f9a2b0c51a650ae19de522b97e8e789.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Are your rigger booms rated for 12 lbs. The bouncing could be from the booms bouncing. Shorter booms could help with this. Are you using rubber bands on your releases? Are you loading the rods? Really crank a deep arch into them. Also while its good to run the weights above your marks, stagger your depths unless you are seeing a pattern at a certain depth. You will find that a lot of fish you catch wont show on your sonar, especially with longer leads on your riggers.

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Thanks folks, great info! 

 

@VooDoo I just checked. I have the Scotty 1085 Strongarm Manual (30 inch). While I cannot find the exact weight rating, the manual for that product does say:

 

Quote

"Use enough weight (7 to 15 Ibs.) on your Downrigger to keep your line at a sharp downward angle, approximately 30 degrees or less when your trolling speed is correct."

 

I have been loading the rods, but perhaps not enough. I'll crank a deeper arch next time.

 

I do not use elastic bands, I just use Scotty clips. I stagger the depths every 20 ft. (I have not run 4 rods yet - I'm still getting comfortable with managing 2-3 rods on my own at the moment!). 

 

Thanks again. I'm heading out of I Bay tomorrow morning, I'll report back.

Thanks,

Paul

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As Misdirection says, the TOP of the fish arch is the actual depth of the fish (provided it's right underneath your boat and the fish is not off to the side of the boat).  Now, your downrigger ... let's say the top of the fish arch is at 100 ft. You have to let out probably 130 ft to 140 ft of cable out to get 100 ft down.  That is because of the drag on the line and weight which pushes it back away from your boat, and swings it up in the process.  Your downrigger weight is further back from the boat than you think ... the only way to figure it out precisely is to have a depth measure like smart troll or fishhawk.  The deeper it is, the worse it gets.

 

As for using a spoon on your rigger, I would not use a paddle with a spoon ... it changes the action of the spoon a lot and takes away from what it was designed to do.  I suggest running spoons clean with a 10 ft fluoro leader (20 lb).

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all the advice!

I loaded the rods tighter this morning (N-NE of IBay), and that definitely helped with the "bounce" action I was seeing last week. 

 

I'm using 12lbs weights. When they are down deep I'm getting roughly a 45 degree angle on the line. Maybe 15 lbs might be better? (See IMG_2355 below).

 

EDIT - Actually now that I think about it, I was heading into the current in this case. That was good for speed (my stern drive was trolling along about 2-2.5mph, BUT it probably swung the riggers weights back in the other direction a lot! Trolling with the current I could barely keep it at 3.5mph, so I swung around and headed west, into the current.) 

 

So I think everything was good to go, except for the lack of fish! Marked a few at various depths, but no joy. So it's fish 2 - Paul 0 this month. Will get out again next week. 

 

I'm going to head out on a charter out of Webster also and see how the pros do it around here ;) 

 

Took a couple of photos of my setup below. It's a standard treated 2X6 if you are wondering - lol.

IMG_2355.jpg

IMG_2348.jpg

IMG_2349.jpg

IMG_2350.jpg

IMG_2352.jpg

IMG_2354.jpg

IMG_2360.jpg

Edited by WebsterWaters
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Get rid of the "fish icons" and  read the sonar picture.  2or 3 fish icons close together may not be fish at all, but a bait ball. 

 There are plenty of vids  on You Tube to help with interpreting your fish finder.  I run my gain on manual and adjust as needed.   It takes a bit of time to get the picture dialed in ..

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Your cable picture tells me your down speed is very high.  Rather than trying to go with or against currents, try going across the general current.  i.e. N-S troll.

 

The rods in your pix aren't nearly loaded enough.  With one rod out, try putting your boat in neutral & observing the tip.  If all the rod bend comes out, then load the rod more.

 

Agree with JD, ditch the fish icons.  Seaweed, flotsam & other crud will show up as fish, which will drive you nuts.  

 

Good luck.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

 

 

 

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While experience will teach you to read your downspeed by the cable angle of your rigger, you can shorten the learning curve with a speed/temp system such as a Fish Hawk or Moor Subtroll. While a Fishhawk is expensive, used Moors come up for sale on this site on occasion. The down speed at the weight can greatly differ from surface speed. Also a drift sock (relatively cheap) can slow your speed down.

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16 hours ago, LongLine said:

Your cable picture tells me your down speed is very high.  Rather than trying to go with or against currents, try going across the general current.  i.e. N-S troll.

 

The rods in your pix aren't nearly loaded enough.  With one rod out, try putting your boat in neutral & observing the tip.  If all the rod bend comes out, then load the rod more.

 

Agree with JD, ditch the fish icons.  Seaweed, flotsam & other crud will show up as fish, which will drive you nuts.  

 

Good luck.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

 

 

 

I was going to say exactly that, those rods are definitely not loaded up enough ... needs way more curve ... 

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Note in your cable picture ... don't want to repeat, but for sure for a 12 lb weight that is WAY too much angle, your downspeed is definitely way too high. I wouldn't expect to see more than 20 to 30 degrees from a 12 lb weight. But note this ... you may see 20 degree into the water, but the cable then actually curves out (tending towards flat horizontal) the deeper and deeper it is in the water, so the overall angle is more than what your eyes can see.

 

A 15 lb weight is obviously better .... but you really need to make sure your downrigger and gunwale can handle it ... over 12 lbs is getting into risky business. I've even seen gunwales flex with 12 lb weights ... wouldn't dare put 15 lbs on those boats.

 

Doing the charter is a GREAT way to learn ... you will zero in on a lot, saving you lots of time and MONEY.  I'm assuming you got yourself a good charter that can produce?

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I feel you need to get bait placement with your middle rod at the 50 deg Mark if you have a fish hawk then above and below . 

 

If not fish the the bottom of the bait then above and below . 

 

Cable angle tells me you are going way to fast . Pull some buckets or a bag . I love my buckets . I put a how to on them on here somewhere  a few,years ago . 

 

Also I use scotty pinch pads and set them tight so fish has to pull hard to get a release .  I put a bend in my rod but not crazy . With my tight release , the fish is hooked good on the strike . 

 

 

My go to set up with 2 riggers is a flasher at 50 deg 1 rigger , other rigger a spoon 10 ft be low flasher , spoon stacked 10.ft above flasher 

 

25 ft lead or spoons a little behind flasher . 

 

 

 

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