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Lake Trout

Downrigging the flats?

10 posts in this topic

I'm thinking of using my downriggers over the flats with a floating Rapala. Anybody do this before? Seems like it would be a good thing to do since the flats are just that-flat.

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Down rigging should work. We troll leadcore and deep divers on flat lines on/near flts all the time. Dont know if the cannon ball would spook fish or not.

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Another idea instead of pulling your downriggers out there is to just use a three way rig with cranks. Get a big enough weight to sink the plug and put it on the bottom and troll.

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Just make sure you dont drag bottom that could make fishing tough for a big part of the flat you are on.

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Three way sounds interesting. If downrigging I'd keep it 3 feet off the bottom.

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I tried downrigging with floating raps a number of years ago on the flats. I couldn't catch any even though I could slaughter them with spinners and crawlers on the same day. I think a lot had to do with the downrigger weight scaring them off. I was running about 30ft of line from the weight to the rapala. Thinking back I shoulda have made it at least 50ft. I probably spent about 8hrs over the course of 2 days tinking with downrigers and only had 1 that got off half way.

Good Luck anyways.

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If you use downrigging, a lot of line isn't always the key. Use (if you have it) the trolling book with line back vs. depth. If you let out 50' it may only go 8' down. On the other hand, 10' out, it may go 2' down.

I don't know, thinking it out, if you have floaters on, they might float the 50' to the surface and you have to pull it back down to the weight?

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I would consider myself an excellent troller. I use the Precion Trolling book and know all the diver curves and how different weights effect the lures. However much line I used I knew I was getting those cranks withing a 1ft off bottom. Even though I used floating raps (I also used Reef Runner Ripsticks) they still have a dive curve - they only float when not moving. My only conclusion with using the downriggers was the weight was spooking fish. I have only used downriggers on ML and LOW and LOW has substantially less visibility than ML so I think that is why they are so effective on LOW.

P.S. I do recall pulling crawler/spinners on downriggers to no avail.

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I've used downriggers before pulled floating raps 20 feet back 6feet above bottom , and # 5 shad raps 20 feet back 10 feet off bottom. both caught fish. 3 ways are less work but you need to go slow or pull alot of weight.IF you want to pull fast its eather downriggers or lead. I'll take lead!

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Downriggers work great on LOW, but not on Mille Lacs. I have tried downriggers on Mille Lacs a half dozen times and haven't caught anything. On some of those same days the fish were crushing long lines behind boards. My guess is that water clarity and proximity to the boat are two major factors. I think leadcore or long lining are much more effective.

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