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cherokee

What depth are you spearing at?

22 posts in this topic

Just curious as to what depth most people are spearing at this time of year. Early on I normally start shallow and move deeper as season progresses. However, there comes a time when the big ones start to come in shallow again.

How shallow will you go? and what is the shallowest you have ever speared a northern?

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i think the shallowest i've speared a northern in was about 5 feet but right now i was in about 15 feet and did pretty well today they were really moving

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Most of this season I have been setting up in 8-12'. On some of the lakes I spear, I thought a lot of the fish were deep early in the season (>20'). Now the last two weeks I am seeing more fish in the 8-12' range.

So far I have been spearing 11 different lakes this season and the 8-12' range seems to be working out pretty well for me. I have heard of some guys spearing consistenly over deep water. Personally I don't do this because most of the lakes I am spearing are clear down to about 12-14'. I really like to see bottom clearly and everything that goes on in the entire water column. It is interesting to see how all the small bait fish and other species of fish relate to whatever cover is available, the bottom itself and preditors coming in.

Now that I think about it I don't think I have ever set up in anything shallower than 7' or so. There is a story in the book referenced in another post called "Darkhouse Spearing Accross North America" in which the author is spearing a spot in Montana where there is only 18" of water under ice that is over 3' thick.

One other benefit of spearing over deeper water is that you can sometimes see the fish coming in for a long time if they are coming in low.

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I've heard of a big one taken a week or two ago that came in from the shallow. He was spearing in 5 feet of water on the break. Maybe the fish came in from the deep and circled. Who knows.

The old timers, my grandfather, who passed away some 25 years ago always speared shallow (4-7 ft) as did a lot of his spearing buddies.

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I got the 34.5"er that is posted in this forum in about 4 foot of water. He came in about a foot off the bottom of the ice. That was scarry since I am so used to spearing in 8~14 FOW and having a good 5 to 7 feet of watter above the northern. Not 12 inches!!

I would have to say I am more comfortable in deeper water. But as long as you are seeing fish (spearable or not) it is a good day.

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Yes a good day it is when you see fish. Nothing like having a fish startle you after staring down the hole sometimes for an hour or so. Better it be a northern than a muskrat coming up into your hole(heard of that happening)!

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A bit off the original topic, but related to suddenly seeing fish after hours: A few years ago I was set up in a new spot I thought had good potential. I made it a goal to sit there until at least 2PM to see would happen - slow day or not. As is my habit, I was set up and ready to spear before it was even light enough to see bottom. I hadn't seen more than some small sunfish by 11 AM. Then at about 11:15 I was standing over the hole stretching and relieving myself into a coffee can when out of nowhere a big northern glides in and inhales a 10" decoy minnow I had down about 3'. I pulled myself together and gave the sting on my artificial decoy and slow pull and she came right back into a red/white I had down about 5'. This time she was facing into the hole near the bottom in about 8' of water. I watched her for a few minutes and decided not to throw. She then slowly backed out using her pectoral fins. Later in the day I was rewarded for my vigil by having some perfect eaters come in steady between 1 and 1:45 PM. Now I have that coordinate marked as a good late day and afternoon spot.

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nice story, that's what is called catch and release! Our way!!

it sure beats watching TV!

Mike89

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i have been setting up in 12-14 fow. Not to shallow and not to deep

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Depth is key but make sure you arnt sitting right on top of the weed patches, get on the weed lines!!!

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that is correct, make sure that your getting out off the line, where everything is still close to your house, but yet, that your not sitting right on it. The fish are going to travel on the edge, and the closer you get to it, the better you are.

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Ive been in 7 fow all year and is because the lake only gets about 12ft deep but I have speared 21 fow before and done real well. this past weekend we were fishin crappies in 46 fow and a couple of guys next to us nailed some pike on tip ups that were only set down about 8foot.

I noticed that on mille lacs that the pike fisherman are moveing into the bays this time of year.

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When you guys spear 15 feet or deeper how far down do you put your decoy? I know in 12 feet of water a northern has no problem coming up to 5 or 6 ft down under the ice.

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when I speared the 21 fow the decoys were only down 3-4 ft under the ice and I was suprised how many fish were swimin that high off the bottom, the guy I was with he stuck a personal best at just over 21 pounds and his decoy was only three ft down.

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I'm gonna have to give that a try. It's nice seeing bottom but I'm ok with spearing deep.

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I have heard people talk that the northerns like to skim the bottom of the ice (6 to 12 inches from the ice) sometimes looking for small bait fish. I heard they like to do this toward sunset.

I haven't seen it so I don't know if it is true or not.

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I have speared pike in water as shallow as 18" and as deep as 15 ft. I prefer to be right in the middle of that range, usually 6 ft or so, but there is something to be said about seeing a 40" class fish come into a decoy in 18" of water, the thing LOOKS HUGE!

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ya everyone has there own feel as to where they want to set up. I perfer to be righ ton the edge of the weedline, because i feel that the fish at this time of year are traveling on that line.

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I usually spear in 6 to 8 ft. of water but know guys that spear much deeper and do well.

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Today I was spearing in 6 feet right on the break. One came from the shallows and one from the deep. There you go. :}

Thanks to all. It's interesting to see what everyone's preference is.

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Put the portable out today, about 18 inches of water under the ice. Cousin and I managed to take our fish in about 2 hours. Fish from all directions. Nothing too big, but we didn't stick it out for the entire day. Not the biggest challenge sticking a fish 6 inches under the spear. I prefer the 6 foot range.

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the last time that i was out, i was in 13 fow, didnt see alot of fish, but they were all trailing the weedlines, and i believe still that all the fish are roaming on the outside weedlines. if you can get set up on a outside or inside turn, your going to be awesome now at this time of the year.

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