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I went yesterday and got skunked at Newfound.Where and what where you fishing with? Just curious its the first time I didnt catch anything there.
Straight of the docks - on the opposite shore - in 80-100 ft of water. Almost everything came off of 2.38" and 1.5" sexy smelt. We got the first off a Fuzzy bass color but as soon as the sexy's started working, it was a simple decision to run just these. The big 4 lb rainbow took a Red Head smelt (gray and orange) off Jim's jigging box on lead core. It was the only fish on that set up but we kept it out the whole day lol. Downriggers were active and lead core got about 30% of the fish.
I find stealth in that lake is important so I use Strike Saver releases so I never bring up downrigger ball the whole trip. On each ball I had a School'O smelt troll with the lures 15-25 ft back.
I do beleive bringing the ball up and down will cause the fish to disperse since the water is so clear.
I think many other setups would have worked. Like I said - no salmon - just bows and lakers. We got 10 fish in 3 hours of fishing with just 4 rods and we never got doubles. Just steady fishing with no more than 15 minutes without a fish - I will take that anytime.
Like Roland said on the Champlain trip releasing fish alive is your top priority. If this is not your strength be prepared to take a few home just in case. Be prepared with pliers, rubber net, and camera - in fact take video of fish coming in so you don't need to take a picture out of the water.
are the sexy smelt lures or flies? I was fishing about 30-45 feet but mostly on the wellington state park side. I am going to look into the strike savers as I have never heard of not bringing the ball up. Thanks for the tips.
Also do you run the blades off the rigger or on the line with the lure?
the Sexy Smelt is a color of spoon. I run vertical trolls or spacer from the ball to the release. On that day, i just had spacers- esentially Stack of Smelt veritcals with no blades. This gives me 3 vertical feet from where the release stops and the ball with the horizontals begin.
We picked up two over by Wellington, the ledges, and the islands later in the morning. There was much more fish though on the opposite side of the launch.
I am sure if you were there you would have caught plenty of fish with your existing setup.
Rule #1 of lake fishing is find the fish - location and depth. Rule #2 is everything else; including setup, lures, speed, etc and that is a confidence thing.
Although it is a pain sometimes to pick up lines after setting them, if I have gotten nothing by 1 hour of trolling and see marginal activity on the sonar, I will pick up and reset lines as little at 500 yards away. As to slow troll to that new spot will take much more time then to pull up, motor, and reset.
I usually have a 3 location strategy when going into any lake.
It just so happened my 3 locations pleasantly turned into 1. I would have then tried the point on the opposite side going into the large opening, and then off the ledges and the island.
The risk with this strategy is that you might be leaving the spot where there are fish and the bite is not on, or the fish move to where you have left.
I remember one WinniDerby where the bite turned on late afternoon. Who new? At that point I was working new area and missed all the action. I think it was a few years back on Friday afternoon.
But this is fishing after all. Not an exact science.
Do you have a picture of the blades or no blades you are using? Thanks again for all the help. I was using everything from thinfish spoons to top gun winni smelt with not luck. I was running two lines on one rigger about 10 feet apart. I didnt have any blades but dont usually. Should I always be using some sort of attractor off the ball?