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Old 01-30-2018, 09:14 AM   #1
FamFire
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Default Trolling for Spring salmon and trout

I've been fishing Winni for over 20 years. Every spring (before, during and after the derby), we've had success with shiners and smelt, once we find the right depth. I was thinking of trying something different this year. I know, most of you will say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" But I'd still like to experiment. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:21 PM   #2
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I only occasionally used smelt the first few years I fished. The guides will tell you and I'm sure they are right...that you will catch the biggest salmon on live bait. I just don't like looking for a bait store and some of the hassle with keeping shiners alive. I have had success with both flies and hardware also but have most faith in hardware. Both will allow you to cover more water because you troll faster and require no care to "keep them alive" or hassles finding them.

AJ has great selections of both and will point you in the right direction for the colors that have been most common producers but I have found each year is a little different. There is always a "new lure pattern" that seems to shine for a season or two for me. I have 5-6 that I like and always buy "experimental" colors each year. Half the fun is finding the right color they are hitting. Check in with AJ and grab several he recommends then pick a few that catch your eye. Troll at 1.7-2.5 mph (slower in the early spring at the lower end of that range - faster at that magic 55 degree water temp). Right on surface at ice out 5-15 down up to derby time. Sometimes leadcore does better...sometimes downriggers are better. Having ability to experiment and adapt seperates the successful fishermen from those straining water.

Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:44 AM   #3
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You're so right about colors. Last year we had tremendous success with pink/purple, but only on the rainbows. I might try these out in April (attached)
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:52 PM   #4
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Top guns are great and they don't have to be kept alive. I use them exclusively and they can kill it just like any other bait when the bite is on. Like anything else, figuring out the right color to use on any given day is the challenge but will say that some color patterns I have generally do well all the time regardless of the cloud cover, time of day or water temps.

Personally I think it's more a matter of personal preference than it is one being better than the other. More important to know where the fish are.

The one piece of gear I do think is helpful to have is downriggers (which I don't have). It is kinda nice to know where your bait is versus guessing.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:12 AM   #5
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Downriggers I have. We're set up on a 20 ft CC with a 150HP and a 15HP 4 stroke for trolling. Upgraded the electronics last year to the Humminbird Helix 10. I have a couple of Top Guns from AJ's - gold and gold bikini. Love to hear what colors you're "killing it" with.

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Top guns are great and they don't have to be kept alive. I use them exclusively and they can kill it just like any other bait when the bite is on. Like anything else, figuring out the right color to use on any given day is the challenge but will say that some color patterns I have generally do well all the time regardless of the cloud cover, time of day or water temps.

Personally I think it's more a matter of personal preference than it is one being better than the other. More important to know where the fish are.

The one piece of gear I do think is helpful to have is downriggers (which I don't have). It is kinda nice to know where your bait is versus guessing.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:55 PM   #6
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FF, In general most won't provide specifics on "where" and "on what" on a public forum because the immediate response is the entire Internet shows up on that spot pulling the same lure and it takes years some times to rebuild. Folks on other sites found that out several years back...especially for a specific fishery like Winni salmon and lakers.

Having said that, in effort to promote local business, I will say that AJ is very willing to talk to anyone about "what they are hitting right now" which is better (more current information anyway). He might also give some general "where" spots but honestly - fish move around. where they are today, last year and next month will all change. You can simply cruise with that 150 and "see" where the people are trolling. Once you find spot(s)...don't marry one spot...find several and try at different times of day. Generally good spots are crowded (which I prefer to avoid even if my catch rate drops a bit). If fishing these spots, be respectful of others. Give plenty of room and plan your course so you don't have to cross bows (and trash your spread) or sterns and trash their spread. People can get emotional but we all share the resource so I always try to be respectful. If I find people are not being respectful...I pull up my gear and go somewhere else where I can relax and enjoy the sport.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:40 PM   #7
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Roger that. Iíll be up there this weekend. It will give me some time to get to AJs and assess my hardware inventory.


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Old 02-11-2018, 10:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamFire View Post
Downriggers I have. We're set up on a 20 ft CC with a 150HP and a 15HP 4 stroke for trolling. Upgraded the electronics last year to the Humminbird Helix 10. I have a couple of Top Guns from AJ's - gold and gold bikini. Love to hear what colors you're "killing it" with.
Trout tend to like blue with silver

Salmon like the orange or red with silver or copper. Rainbows like it too.

One other thing to keep in mind, bright lures on sunny days, less color on cloudy days.
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