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Staging - What to expect?


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Have some questions on what to expect when we start to head into fall.   Almost all of my Lake O experience was summer time almost 20 years ago and not so much in the fall.  We fished hard and caught some fish but now I have my own boat that is fairly well rigged for trolling and really don't know what to expect.  Looking on some info on what I can expect as the fish start to change their behavior and get ready for the fall.  Other than moving in front of the rivers, what kind of technique or tackle changes should I be thinking about?  About what time do the kings start moving shallower?  I saw a couple of fish that were starting to turn dark already.  What are the implications with fish changing color, moving closer to the rivers?  Any implication in meat quality when they turn colors or does it decline when they are closer to the rivers?  How about browns and steelhead?  Anything else you would like to share I'm all ears!

 

This site has been a wealth of knowledge for a guy like me.  Thanks, in advance, for your time in sharing your knowledge.

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We usually make our last trip Labor Day. Same as usual out in front of river mouths. Flashers flies and spoons. Also run a j plug once in a while. Combat fishing at its finest. Going to be busy in a small area. Try running an orange crush flasher and fly. You have to basically make them mad

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On 8/13/2022 at 3:28 PM, 13owhunter said:

 

Have some questions on what to expect when we start to head into fall.   Almost all of my Lake O experience was summer time almost 20 years ago and not so much in the fall.  We fished hard and caught some fish but now I have my own boat that is fairly well rigged for trolling and really don't know what to expect.  Looking on some info on what I can expect as the fish start to change their behavior and get ready for the fall.  Other than moving in front of the rivers, what kind of technique or tackle changes should I be thinking about?  About what time do the kings start moving shallower?  I saw a couple of fish that were starting to turn dark already.  What are the implications with fish changing color, moving closer to the rivers?  Any implication in meat quality when they turn colors or does it decline when they are closer to the rivers?  How about browns and steelhead?  Anything else you would like to share I'm all ears!

 

This site has been a wealth of knowledge for a guy like me.  Thanks, in advance, for your time in sharing your knowledge.

As staging starts, fish the marks on the screen and throw temp out the window.  Saturday, we took a couple matures in 70 degree water, some in the 50's and some down in 42 degree water.  Lots of big hooks up high in that 70 degree water that were mature kings. Stagers can be frustrating but you need to stick with them and grind it out.  As for colors, GREEN GREEN GREEN!  

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It's already starting.... fish are piled up in 120-150 fow between Sandy Pond and Salmon River as of yesterday. Managed to find a few that wanted to bite but most were not interested in anything we had. 

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18 minutes ago, Cody191 said:

How’s the meat quality on staging fish? Does it go down hill as soon as they start changing color or once their in the river awhile?


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If they are chrome, they are good. If they are dark, they are in the process of dying. Simple as that. 

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20 minutes ago, Cody191 said:

How’s the meat quality on staging fish? Does it go down hill as soon as they start changing color or once their in the river awhile?


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If you want eater kings in late August or September, run offshore and catch juvenile kings.  They will be chrome and the meat will look great.  Once stagers darken up, they are still ok but I don't keep them anymore.  I have a buddy that takes them and smokes them and he says you cant notice the difference.  

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9 minutes ago, Cody191 said:

Well they don’t go from chrome to dark overnight. Are you saying if there is any color to them at all they are no good?


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Little staging dark on the back, but chrome on the sides, you are good. Once the fish gets entirely darker from staging, I believe they should not be eaten. That is natures full fledged sign that they are starting to deteriorate 

Edited by idn713
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