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Barbelboy

A couple questions for lake superior vetrans

22 posts in this topic

Alright guys I hope you can help me. I know this is early, but i've been sitting in my boat in the garage for a month with spring fever. I went to UMD and fished the big lake quite a bit from shore so i'm not a complete stranger to it, but i would like to start fishing it from a boat (17' crestliner). I have downriggers, dipsy divers and the proper trolling equipment. I've spent a lot of time down rigging for inland lakers and 3-4 trips to lake michigan and one on superior. I went through last summer's posts and I saw quite a bit of reference to stick baits. My question(s) is/are how would you start and what would be a good selection of your favorites? I was thinking of starting with several baits on riggers (flasher fly combo, spoons, etc)and 2 dipseys. I've been out of the duluth harbor under the bridge, but would probably use the two harbor's landings more this year.What about flat lines? Planers? Lead core? cowbells? I also read quite a bit about walleyes being caught. Is this mostly in the duluth/superior harbor area around the St. Louis river? I know i'm asking a lot of questions, and there are always the variables of thermocline depth, time of day, water temps, weather, etc. But i'd really appreciate any help any of you guys would be willing to share.

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I take it you'll be wanting to get out right away this Spring.

Typically we'll be hoping to have some warm water on top or I should say warmer then whats down below. For that you use your boards and fish the top with stick baits. Where that warm water is is where you'll be fishing. I slight NE wind and warm days would be nice. I'd be found along the park point trolling in close for Lake Trout. Could be down the South shore too.

Maybe we'll have a cold Spring and that warm top water is slow to develop. Probably be downrigging on the bottom in 120' of water North of Duluth. We'll have to wait and see. Sounds like you got the gear.

Anyway plan on starting around Duluth and South Shore, as the season progresses you'll move up the shore. When and how deep we won't know till that time.

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For stick baits I like brads baits, bombers, x-raps and plain old top water rapalas. Just about every color will catch fish on the big lake. Just go with the colors you like and have confindence in and they will catch you fish. If your going to be more on the south shore chasing eyes try some diving baits like shad raps, reef runners, fasttracks, etc. Sometimes it seems like nothing works two days in a row. Just keep changing things up till you find things that work for you. Heck I know nothing and I've been known to catch a fish out there once in a while \:\)

Good luck

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If you have never seen Chip Porter's Great Lakes videos I highly reccommend watching them for all novices to the Great Lakes fisheries. Their a great start for many of the basics.

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Thanks guys. I really appreciate the info. What about dodgers/flashers and flys? I've heard they don't work well on superior? I'll definitely look into Mr. Porter's videos.

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Well, I'm not at all the LS expert, but I've seen and heard about a lot of fish coming off flashers/dodgers and flies/meat.

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The flasher fly and meat is the mainstay come late summer.

I guess what I was trying to point out earlier is there are a ton of situations that will arise at so time throughout the season.

As those conditions present themselves we can go over them at that time. To go over all them now would be like writing a book.

As Joel pointed out, reading up now and then when it comes time to fall back on that as things change out there is good info.

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Barbelboy, I fish lake superior over the week of memorial day every year. We stay in a transiant slip at Barker's Island. The landing and fish cleaning station is first class. The charter fleet has a dock there as well. The charter captains have been very helpful and willing to share hot baits and bites with us.

The weather usually dictates the species we target, so be ready to change up in a moments notice. Our best baits have been:

1. On flat days targeting jack kings(best eating)we like pink and purple baits on flat lines off planer boards. Bombers and Yo Zuri crystal minnows have been great, but my go to is clear pink 3 treble Rapala with foil tape inside.

2. For cohos we like red Walleye diver and Shad Raps. My go to, has been Fleet Farm red special Shad Rap. Yo Zuri floater in silver and tenn. shad both sizes.

3. When the wind picks up we like to fish a little deeper. The baits are not siluetted against the surface like on a flat day and the cohos are not hitting the scum/bug line formed at temp break. Our hot setup is dipsies with crodile spoons. This is usually our best bet for the few browns we luck into as well. I like deep diving crytal minnows and my buddy likes fire tigre Shad Raps off boards for a varity of species.

4. When the waves really come up and I start chumming, if you know what I mean, we head inside the breakwall at the Superior Entry. Here we target giant walleyes with deep diving cranks. Perch colored 30 foot Rapala is my favorite but clown color does well too.

Early in the year we rarely get out the downriggers, flashers, and dipsies. We hope for good weather and do well on top if the weather cooperates. It's more fun to catch fish without all gear on just a flat line.

King Oscar posts on FM and is a great resource. If you're blown off the lake for the day walk the docks and look at other peoples rigs great way to meet people and get new ideas. There are also great lakes websites and anybody at Marine General in Duluth can set you up. We fish off a 26 foot Sportcraft walkaround with a hard top named Pie Pie. Hale us on the radio or stop on by the transiant slip at Barker's. We will be there all week and will probably fish the Jaws Derby.

I use all my great lakes stuff on Burntside, I'm sure your inland experience will transfer to the big lake just fine. Hope to see you out there. Hans.

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Sweet,

That's all awesome info. Again I really appreciate it. I only have a 17 crestliner so I won't be doing much in chumming weather, but you'll see me out there. I'll try to hail you when i'm out there.

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Ok guys, last one.

Is there a decent gps/contour map of lake superior?

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Navionics Premium North or Gold. Also they make a Great Lakes Chip. I like the Premium North because it has all of the Lake Superior waters I would ever fish plus a lot of inland lakes around here that Lakemaster doesnt seem to think are important.

Hit the boat show this weekend and talk to Russ at Marine General and he will have deals on them.

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I'll second the Navionics chip Northlander mentioned.

Last year, I got the great lakes fishing chip and absolutely love it for how accurate it is for areas around here, the Apostles, and Lake Michigan.

Sure, it costs a few bucks, but have the fog roll in on you once without a radar, and you'll beg for one. We hit a thick fog the first morning in the dark on Lake Mich last year. We followed depth contours on the GPS map, kept an eye out for other boats, and nailed the salmon.

Weakness: I noticed it was a bit off on the depth contours when I was out of Taconite Harbor last fall - but that may have something to do with how remote that is, and how darn deep it gets there within a 100 feet of shore.

While the fishing can be good here, don't forget there's lots of excellent water you can hit with a boat your size - such as the Apostles at any time during the open water season, or Silver Bay and Tac Harbor and Grand Marais later in the summer - excellent fishing, if you can avoid days with bumpy water.

You're not the only one with plans to get the boat geared up. I don't care how cold it'll get tonight - its only a matter of time now..... I'm closer to getting back in the boat now than I was from putting it away last October.

Yes, you have lots to learn, but guess what, so do the rest of us who've been doing it for years....

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I aint no expert but have learned alot over the years. PP is good early. i have used boards, in line, but i also longline. Fish are closer to the surface that time of year and shallower. i like sticks or spoons. Two harbors is good and in fact most of my fish for the year trolling out from 2 harbors. I feel for you. i have found mysedlf out in the garage carressing my boat and whispering syrupy sweetness to it.

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definitly go with the navionics chip. The one I would use is the "lake of the woods +2K" it has all of superior, a couple of lakes in canada and it covers more lakes in the duluth area then the north chip.

On a different note, most of my sticks baits are shallow runners, would it be better to stock up on some medium or deep divers? thinking of adding to my collection.

O

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Either that or invest in some snap weights or inline weights.

I have plenty of both deep and shallow and some in between. The less I have to put on a line to get to my lure to the fish the better I like it. I like to stay pretty basic. So if I can run a deeep diver down 25' by itself rather than add weights/dypsies etc. thats what I like to do. There are times though where a shallow divers action will catch you more and vise versa.

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Northlander,

Find myself fishing alone more these days, was looking into in-line trolling boards and leaving the mast at home. I picked up some new line counter reels, but need a good rod for the in-line boards and Dipsy's. Any Suggestions?

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On the cheaper side I have some Gander Mt. Board rods that work fine. I have some gary Roach rods I really like and then some Diawa rods that are good as well. Some guys I fish with turned me onto the Shimano Talora rods and they are a very nice rod for not too much money. I like longer 7.5-8.5' rods for the big lake.

A line counter reel is the way to go. Diawa, Shimano and Okuma all make some good reels. The Abu isnt bad but for the $ Ill stick to the Diawa Sealines in the 17 walleye size or the 27 for multi purpose. If I need more line capacity like for kings Ill go to the 47's.

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I do not now what to add but, Be willing to spend some $$$$$$ for this. I do now allot about the lake and will post more later. I am a charter capt, if you need more help you can Email me at tpfister@mac.com. we will have some more info on the lake this spring.

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Everyone has you on the right track. I'd like to suggest you invest in a temperature probe. When used correctly finding the 'target' zone is a lot easier and that can help you dictate what methods to employ in chasing the fish. The flashers and flies used on Superior are a little different than Lake Michigan. Over in Lake Michigan it's mostly blue oriented baits and those aren't usually top producers here. Green, yellow, pink, and silver are a few colors to look for in baits. Russ at Marine Genreal will hook you up with all the good stuff as you need it. I think success trolling is often the result of good speed control. Devices like the fish hawk help to determine if there is any current that might be affecting your bait. While you might be trolling at 2 knots on top with your gps there could be a current pushing your bait with you and essentially killing the action. A lot of days I don't think the colors matter so much as long as you have your speed dialed in and are fishing the right area of the water column. For the start of the season put everything you have in the top 20 feet of the water column. Dypsies and boards for the first few trips then start replacing board lines with rigger lines.

Once everything gets dialed in you could wind up with a triple like this...

picture489zo8.jpg

Now I'm getting pumped to get back out there too!

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Barbelboy, WLSTA is having a fishing seminar at the Moose Lodge in Superior on March 15th. Its all about trolling on Lake Superior. Great way to cut the learning curve. Might be a swap meet there too, not sure.

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 Originally Posted By: matthothand
Everyone has you on the right track. I'd like to suggest you invest in a temperature probe. When used correctly finding the 'target' zone is a lot easier and that can help you dictate what methods to employ in chasing the fish. The flashers and flies used on Superior are a little different than Lake Michigan. Over in Lake Michigan it's mostly blue oriented baits and those aren't usually top producers here. Green, yellow, pink, and silver are a few colors to look for in baits. Russ at Marine Genreal will hook you up with all the good stuff as you need it. I think success trolling is often the result of good speed control. Devices like the fish hawk help to determine if there is any current that might be affecting your bait. While you might be trolling at 2 knots on top with your gps there could be a current pushing your bait with you and essentially killing the action. A lot of days I don't think the colors matter so much as long as you have your speed dialed in and are fishing the right area of the water column. For the start of the season put everything you have in the top 20 feet of the water column. Dypsies and boards for the first few trips then start replacing board lines with rigger lines.

Once everything gets dialed in you could wind up with a triple like this...

picture489zo8.jpg

Now I'm getting pumped to get back out there too!

Oh man. Don't torture me. Is that a walleye, also. Also, for those early morning or late evening trips, pick up some spoons with any type of glow in the dark and charge them, often

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Sorry for the torure! Yeah that's a walleye. After netting the laker the king ran circles around the rest of the lines and after bringing in the dipsy line hand over hand we discovered that 16" walleye. Then we had to reset everything. Once we got back on the trackline everything wound up getting fish and we went home.

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