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Every year I come back for vacation. Every year I get skunked (more or less). I'm tired of catching nothing. Out last evening for three hours, nothing. Out today in the rain for two hours, nothing. Last year I caught one bow and one salmon all week. I do pretty well with the bass and warmwater fish. But when it comes to Salmon, Lakers and Bows I am awful.
I've been fishing Meredith bay since I was a kid. But I have always been bad. I've listened to you guys here, talked to others and it always seems to come back that "I'm doing it right."
Here is my setup. Small 14' tin can of a boat wth 8hp motor. Two Cannon riggers with 8lb balls. One rod each unless my wife or brother is with me. Two (or four) basic spin casting rods with 6lb mono, swivel and spoon. All sorts of colors from the rack behind the counter at AJ's. I run anywhere from 20' to 100'. I had a finder but it's dead so I am kind of going blind. But, talking with Allan at AJ's I know they are in the 25-40' range. Right? So I consentrate there but get nothing. I run the spoons about 10-15' behind the ball. All my lines are 3-4' apart in depth regardless of number of lines. I also started using flashers attached vertically to one ball and a horizontal string of flashers on my lowest line. The horizontal flashers are followed by 3' of 6lb leader tied directly to a spoon. I do the same with a dodger on another line. So it seems I have plenty of flash. Just no fish.
With all that said, the best salmon I ever caught was 5.5lbs back 15 years ago. I caught it on a dodger with 3' of leader to a squid like, plasti/rubber streamer. I hear alot of talk about streamers and very little about spoons. So I'm going to get a bunch of streamers today and try those. I also hear talk of "colors" of the line which seems to translate to depth. Whats that all about?
Anyway I know many don't want to give up their secrets but could anyone help me (and my wife) out with a little advise?
Thanks for reading this long post.
are you fishing when the sun comes up, i dont fish winni but im on the water on sebago atleast a half hour before sun up and the fishing slows down about two or so hours later. when they mention colors, thats for fishing leadcore line off the back of the boat. set one rigger with the lure close to the ball, 6 to 8 feet back, set the other rigger using the hundred foot rule 20 feet down/80 feet back, 80 feet down/20 feet back. fish the one that works that day. fishing one week vacations are difficult, fishing every weekend helps alot. speed is important on any given day, gps is a big upgrade
Despite what others may say, fishing two rods can be tough. I do it all the time and you just can't expect to catch that many on two rods. Also, time of the year - I don't typically do that well the first couple weeks of August. Much better in June/July. That said, without a fishfinder you are at a disadvantage. You gotta be where the fish and bait are. Are you also varying your speed? Somedays they only seem to touch it at a certain speed and a couple tenths off produces nothing. Certain size lure or certain color can also play into it. I do not fish Meredith Bay but moving around is also something to consider. There are areas of the lake that I used to fish and do well in, North side of Governors Island and all of Moultonboro Bay, and I can't get anything to go there anymore so I don't bother with those spots.
Two leadcore set ups. Would give you a couple more options. I think the flys work better off the leadcore. They give the fly some action more so on a day with a little wind. It will cost some bucks but AJ can set you up. Its part of the game spend some more money.
I can relate to this thread as a rookie. This has been my first year trolling specifically targeting trout and salmon. I just liked to fish but can't sit still so wanted to move around the lake. So I used to just troll out of my 14' tin can with just regular line and spoons and, of course, caught mostly bass, perch and an occassional bow when I turned to let the line down deep. This year I got a nice new boat and spent lots of money at AJs and other places on flys, spoons and the lead core setup. My success has improved much just by going deeper with bigger and more fish, many of them still bass. But yes, a few of them happened to be bows or salmon or my first lakers just last night. With a baby now toddler, I can't get up and go fishing at O'Dark Thirty but believe that to be the key to more success. I too have much more money
to spend for GPS/Sonar, G2 setups, rod pumpers, downriggers, etc, etc. Heck, I don't even have a simple marine radio. So,
much more to spend but part of the fun trying new things. I once made the mistake of calculating my price per fish.
My advice: Don't go there. :-) All 3 of my salmon this year have been caught in Meredith bay and always at dusk, never before in mid-day. All 3 were very nice fish, in my opinion. I don't know how to determine age but they were huge in my book. 22" plus and FAT with great jumping fights to the boat. So, as a rookie, I may not have great advice to improve your immediate success but note the guys on this site have years and years of experience. They make it sound easy. I can tell you, it is not. It takes lots of time and trial and error. To me, I like fishing and hunting, not because I'm going to get something every time out, but simply because of the fact that I am out. And, of course, there is always the possibility, at any moment, that I'm going to hook up with the buck or fish of a lifetime. It can be discouraging hour after hour and day after day with nothing to show for it but such is life, good
things come to those who wait. Oh, and of course that's why they call it fishing and not catching. :-) Hang in there, you're in good company. Thanks for reading my long winded story.
Get a chart from NHFG on the fin clip, and it will tell you the age of the salmon. Every year has a diffenent fin clip.
Thanks for the info and emails guys. Much appreciated. I think I will stick with my riggers for now as I'm only hear for one week a summer and don't have a ton of extra money to spend on something I will not use much. But I think I am going to try streamers on a 3' leader, lead by a dodger. I think the dodger will give the fly some good action. One other thing. Do you guys use swivels at the spoon or do you swivel it a few feet up the line and tie direct to the spoon?
I don"t use swivels with flys . But i do with lures, I use a swivel at the beginning of the leader and at the lure. Or if using a fly I only use a swivel at the start of the leader.Also if your using a dodger try 18" from the dodger to the fly. This has always worked for me. Hope this helps.
I would run a dodger and a fly on one of your rods with the fly 18" behind the dodger as Triple D sugested. Be sure to use 6# seaguar Flurocarbon leader if you don't have some get some at AJs it will increase your strike rate. Tie your fly directly on to it " I never use snaps on anything. Fish this combo between 30 and 35 feet on your rigger. Later in the morning after the sun gets up around 830 or 9 if you aren 't catching fish you might switch too a spoon and fish deeper I have been catching salmon all summer on cooper silver sutons spoons at about 53 feet. Conways bait shop in multonbore has a nice selection of suton spoons if you what to try those.
On your other down rigger rod take the reel to AJs bait and tackle have Al rig you up a 6 color inline leadcore setup it. He will slice 6 colrs of leadcore line on to the reel and than put on 50 feet of leader. Tie a barrel swival onto the end of that than a rod lenght of flurocarbon leader than a fly. Ask Al for the the 3 hots flies right now and buy them. When you fish the leadcore let out all the lead and about 35 to 50 feet on mono. You can also try jigging this set up sometimes that works realy well. You want to troll at between 2.0 and 2.2 mph gps. Take this setup and go fish around the Wiers.
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Well thanks all for the help but I've had no luck (except with Barry, Thanks Barry). Lines in at 5:15 this morning, fished until 8, nothing. I've put in probably 15hrs of fishing, some mornings some evenings. Caught a 1.5lb White Perch and an 8" Small Mouth. Thats it. Fished everywhere from 20' down to 100'. Nothing.
Anyway, my vacation is just about over so I will have to wait another year to try again. But I have to be honest, I'm thinking of calling it quits. Either that or getting a fish finder (mine died) and a couple nice leadcore setups. I just have major problems giving up. The riggers just don't catch me anything though.
My wife won't even go with me any more because it's pretty much guaranteed I won't catch anything. I'm no better in the winter. Maybe Meredith Bay just sucks for cold water fishing or I'm just bad at it? I'm going to try one more time this evening before I leave.
Enjoy the rest of the summer guys and gals and thanks again for helping me out. I'll be back for some ice fishing come February.
Hey Chris don't quit just buy a fish finder,and if you remember I told you that was the best day I've ever had on the lake (catching) I've done a lot of boat rides tho!!!
P.S. two lead core set up wont hurt either ask santa to bring em!!!
Ok go to AJ's ask allen for the firesmelt streamer he makes them there he will have it hopefully... he runs out of them quick... tell him mike sent you... run that streamer 7,8 colors in like 70 to 100 feet of water... you'll catch salmon... promise.. good luck out there. ran double firesmelts on both my leadcore setups this past labor day weekend caught fish all three days...