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Night trolling


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So I’ve been trying to get to Cayuga or Owasco for a while now. Can’t ever seem to get a full day to come up fishing. Was thinking about making the drive up one evening but was wondering if it’s worth trying to troll into the dark. Say 11 or 12 o’clock at night. I’ve never tried it. I’m just trying to justify all the driving hours to get some fishing in.Does anybody have any luck trolling at night for trout or salmon?If so how does the pattern change? Move in shallow? Fish higher in column? Maybe not troll at all? Switch to jigging or casting? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Even if it’s just telling me I’d be wasting my time.

 

Thanks all

 

 

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I've tried it a few times. Never done well.. and it's harder than you think.  Seems like a good idea. But if it was more people would be doing it. I've only tried trolling. Not live bait. 

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As mentioned it is a lot of work for trout and salmon and the results don't often pay off to the extent it is worth it. I used to do it before and after night fishing with bait (more productive). First of all it is difficult to see what you are doing and where exactly your lines are located and the angle of them etc. Tangles are made easier by the darkness and especially if there is any wind at all. Didn't have mapping then so it was nearly impossible to tell where you are in the lake and easy to get turned around from where you think you are and especially when the cottage lights go out:lol: Give it a shot and see what you think....

Edited by Sk8man
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I’m not so worried about being at out at night. I actually do a lot of night fishing and have lights and proper safety/nav equipment. Just I’ve more focused on stripers and walleye. Sounds like most people don’t do it on fingers.


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5 hours ago, Cody191 said:

I’m not so worried about being at out at night. I actually do a lot of night fishing and have lights and proper safety/nav equipment. Just I’ve more focused on stripers and walleye. Sounds like most people don’t do it on fingers.

 

 

I'll bet a few guys are following this thread. I would be interested in hearing how you make out trolling the fingers for trout/salmon in the dark. I often wondered if they actively feed at night. This could open more fishing opportunities for some.

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They do actively feed at night for sure:smile: trolling for them in the dark may not be the ultimate way to catch them though:lol:

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Hey Cody
I have tried several times for walleye on Owasco at night with only 1 or 2 fish to show for my efforts. On Cayuga the trout seem to bite until about a half hour after sunset. We have stayed longer to see if they continue to bite in the dark, but the bite seems to shut down not too long after that half hour. Not saying they won't feed again in 4 hours or that the bite won't turn on again, but seems to be less likely they'll hit. On a side note, in 2014/15 Owasco froze over so that you could fish Lakers. The bite was intense during the day and you could fill a limit of Lakers quickly. I tried an overnight laker trip and couldn't get anything to go. Sun came up and we crushed them. That's ice fishing, so maybe open water is different. Good luck if you get out. Being on the lake at night is an awesome experience.

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Unless you are good at it I would forget it ! Sk8man touched a lot of the bases ! We see expert fishermen out at ~ 3am and come in at sunup and they do it every day ! Launching at 6 am form a trailer is enough of a chore for me ! In the dark it gets a lot more complicated along with the possible meeting weird people at the dock !

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50 years ago when there still were ciscos in the finger lakes night trolling worked good. At night the schools of Cisco would come up high to feed on the micro organisms and the lakers would follow. The Ciscos are gone and the mooneyes are less attracted by light.


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Sounds as though you may be referring to Owasco but I wouldn't generalize that to all the Finger Lakes (e.g. Keuka, Seneca, or Canadaigua for example) I night fished fished those lakes 50 years ago and the sawbellies were attracted to the lights in huge schools and we got our bait to fish that way. There is less bait now than back in those times and that holds for each of those lakes mentioned. Seneca has bait but not the predators munching on it but I remember herds of bait that would literally run for miles from bottom to surface on each of the lakes I mentioned on my graph recorder.

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I chase land locked stripers when alewife come in to shallow water to spawn earlier in the year. I assume they do something similar on the fingers? If so maybe that time of year would increase chances for better night fishing. Water temps would also be more conducive for predator fish higher in water column or in shallow.


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I'm on Owasco and have done my share of late evening fishing. The salmonid bite seems to shut down around 8 these days. I have trolled at night for walleye around Burtis Point using Rappals with some success.

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