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Jiggin Machine

Bait fishing vs. Downrigging

14 posts in this topic

I have only been downrigging once and it didn't do much for me. It almost seems like "meat" fishing. Maybe I need to try it again. As whole would most LOW fisherman prefer bait fishing or downrigging?

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I'm 100% with you on this one. I don't enjoy downrigging. I have no problem with it or those who do it. It's just not for me. Personally, I prefer hittin' a rockpile and looking for fish with the rod in my hand.

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I think most would rather baitfish, including myself, but if the live bait bite is tough, going downrigging is an excellent option to catch some fish. There is still a lot of skill involved in downrigging/flat lining/ lead core lining/etc

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I would think a large majority would prefer bait-fishing. There is just something about being connected to the bite, But as summer wears on, the vast majority of the fish have moved to the mud--it can be hard to find any of the rocks with fish. If someone figures out how to catch the mudfish with any consistancy on bait, that would revolutionize the fishing on LOW. It just seems wrong that you can find a several acre piece of the lake with literally thousands of fish and not get bit!!

Then there is the technique--when you see anglers not familiar with fishing LOW's rocks, you get to hear a lot interesting comments as they break off. And a fair share of people just don't like snags. When I used to guide, if I didn't have experienced fishermen in the boat, I would avoid rocks like the plague (except for bobber fishing).

You do see a lot of boats with 3 or 4 people (kids and oldsters too) downrigging and having a ball catching fish. It is a lot easier setting riggers and going straight when you have a crew in the boat. The smile on a kids face holding a nice eye is just as genuine no matter how caught. Most everyone likes to get bit even if it is more impersonal with the rod in the holder.

I prefer bait fishing although I often flat line plugs from opener till late August. Even tho I use rod holders, it gives you a rush when a fish pounds that crankbait. But if supper has eluded me baitfishing or flatlining or if I can't get to the rocks I want to fish, down go the balls.

It's really something how downrigging changed the summer fishing for the resorts and charter boats. I guess we are just really lucky to have multiple ways to catch fish.

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Bait fishing went very well today for my wife and I on the edge of, and on the rocks, using spinners and nighcrawlers in 29-35 fow. Released a 27.75", 25+", two 20+", had our limit of eyes in the 15"-18.75" by 2:00 PM. Of course we lost some tackle in the process.

My wife won't let me downrig when she is along, she doesn't think that's fishing smirk.gif.

It was a perfect day on lake, for some reason there was not a boat within 2 miles of us.

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I much prefer bait fishing versus downrigging/longlines. I just got into longlining this year and I have done good with it. But there is just something to feeling that bite, setting the hook and fighting the fish to the top.

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I think a good compromise is one of the other variations of pulling plugs, like lead core or long lining with a super braid.

I personally would love to catch every fish ever on a jig, but realistically that is just not going to happen.

There are a lot of good sticks on this site that have done well pulling deep diving plugs the last few years (check some old posts). I use both lead and fireline, and do well with both.

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My opinion is that down-rigging is more of a social experience than a sporting experience. The skill is in the hands of the rigger/captain. While there are still lots of ways to loose fish hooked on down-riggers it is a way to put fish in the boat when you have people who are compromised in thier skill and/or physical abillity.

Personally, the wife and I would like to never tie on anything but a jig. But we have had some great times rigging with friends & family with brats on the grill & a cold beverage in hand.

One of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had was riggin' with a buddy and his 77 year old dad this summer. I picked up a tripped rod, felt a good fish, and gave it to the dad for a 28" (his biggest ever). Just might be their last trip together.

I have to admit that the sight of a rod tripping and the "fish on" cry still gives me just a tiny shot of adrenaline but I could never be as proud of a large fish riggin' as one jiggin'.

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30 years ago we used to fish the rock piles with heavy trolling sinkers and spinners. It seemed like we always did pretty good during the heat of August. Like the rest of us though I probably only remember the good bites.

I guess I can see downrigging being a good time if nothing else is happening, the day is nice and beer is cold.

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I am not sure why some people feel the need to bad mouth downrigger fishing. I think anyone would prefer to pitch jigs into a rock pile. But if they have there noses on the bottom it is just another tool to go after them.

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I am in a group of six going up to LOW in mid September. I have never been downrigging, but looking forward to the opportunity just to catch some nice eyes on the trip either way we fish. Any thoughts on mid Sept trips, will it be more downrigging or others?

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Depending on what the weather does, downrigging should

still be a big producer. The fish ought to be in closer

and shallower but pulling plugs will still get em.

Where are you going out of?

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We are going out of Sportsmans. I've gone out of them the past 3 or 4 trips for ice fishing and had excellent luck with a 13# our two years ago. She was a dandy, never had that much fun in my life.

Thanks for the info.

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You will have a blast!

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