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Mike Stark

How long do you stay in one spot when fishing lakers?

12 posts in this topic

so i was wondering how long you folks stay in one spot when fishing lakers. i have a area that most always produces at least a fish on. i found a spot that produced really well the other day...so it was hard for me to move from that spot today...but i got nothing today....should i have moved to a new area or maybe moved to a deeper spot?

if you folks have a spot do you stick it out and hope for the best?

thanks!

mike

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Depends on many things. Weather is a big factor. Like was it the same type weather last time I fished the spot? If its real cold I dont move much. I hunker down on a time tested spot and wait them out. If its nice I hole hop more at the spot.

Am I just sitting in the house or hole hopping? I will stay on a spot longer if Im hopping from hole to hole than I would just sitting in the house.

I have no hard rule of thumb but if I have spent a couple hours in a laker spot and not at least had fish chase Im usually gone to another spot.

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mstark83,

I think you're asking how long (as in days) do you keep using a spot for lakers???

If so, I usually keep trying different spots every time I'm out, not necessarily miles apart, but a quarter to half mile away.

I don't know if giving an area a break does anything, just what I like to do.

It also keeps stfcatfish guessing when studying the satellite photos every night in the secret room in his basement! grin.gif

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mstark83, it depends.

Theres so many variables that I take it day by day, hour by hour. If a new spot doesn't feel right I'm out of there. I might move to a totally different area or I might move somewhere on the same structure I'm on.

Fishing with a partner or group helps to cover the structure and in some cases different areas. If I'm seeing Lake Trout I'll stick them out. Sometimes you'll need to have baitfish around to get into Lakers. If I'm not seeing the bait fish I'll first change depth.

If I'm on a good time tested spot and its cold and windy I'm apt to stay put or make small moves.

The bite for Lake Trout can turn on and off so I take that into account also. I might end up moving back to my old holes.

When we get those calm sunny days with the temps above freezing you can bet I'll be hole hoping during slow times. I'll have a dozen holes cut in one area and use them all. IMO that is more productive then lure changes at slow times.

So I might know where I'll start out but won't know where I'll have been or end up till the day is over.

Being efficient and organized is key to mobility when its time to bug out.

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Mike, I generally stay on the spot all day long. Not always. Like Frank, if if doesn't "feel" right, I move. I depend a lot on instinct in all types of fishing, and if your gut twitches about something it's usually right.

I think lakers turn on and off, and I know that if I'm on a proven location it's a matter of time before there is an active window. That window might only be one or two aggressive fish in a full day, and maybe one of those gets caught, but moving from one good spot to another good spot doesn't guarantee fish, either, so I tend to wait them out.

If the weather is nice, however, I'll drill a whole slew of holes on and around the structure I'm working and explore the whole structure. On different days (probably a factor of weather, barometric pressure and forage, as well as how far along in the season) fish may be keying on different parts of the structure, and it's pretty darn hard to get a sense in advance of which part of the area they'll be working on which day.

I agree with Frank also that lure changes generally don't make a big difference. A person could go out on the ice with two or three different lures and no more, and catch lakers just as well as someone who has 4,049 lures.

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lol...4,049 huh. Is that how many you are up to? A little off topic here, do lakers tend to relate to bottom structure or are they mainly suspended. I ask this because both lakers i have caught have been within 6 ft. of the bottom, but i always hear about them susepeded half way up the water column. Last time i was out i was graffing some larger fish like crazy pretty much the whole 3 hours i was out there..A few chased so i figured they were lakers and i caught one, but is there really anyway to determine what they are without a camera? For some reason i am always fishing deaper then most...75-90 ft. and i have been using my zoom for bottom six ft. and graphing bait fish and larger fish on a consistent basis, what do you think they are if they are holding closer to the bottom structure like this?

and to answer this question i tend to move around..mostly on the structure i start at though, but i like to be graphing something for me to stay there. My opinion on this doesnt mean to much though cause i really have no idea what im doing for lakers, lol grin.gif

Blake

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Good question Grousehunter!

Historically, lake trout have been fished right on the bottom. The old "standard" was to lay your cisco on the bottom, and let the trout pick it up. I heard a fisheries guy one time explain that the trout would go smashing through a school of ciscoes like a battering ram, and then go back and scoop the dead ones off the bottom. True? I don't know, but it sounds plausible.

Generally we have at least one line either on the bottom or near it, and the others suspended 10-20 feet below the ice. A trout will come a long way up after a bait, and it makes sense to fish above the fish, since they can't see down. There have been a few times when it seemed like as soon as I'd drop the cisco below the ice the trout would be right there grabbing it. It seems as if the more active fish are higher up, if that makes sense.

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If I fish a reliable spot for an hour and haven't had any action I will move. I never move to a spot with a similar depth or structure. If I'm fishing a rock face with a sharp drop, I will move to a reef that is shallower or deeper, etc. etc. I will return to a spot if I haven't had any success. There are a couple of lakes that have such good spots that I'm content to set up and wait out the fish. Sometimes it can be a long wait.

The question about the depth depends more on the lake. I've caught lakers in every depth in the water column. I've even had lakers hit 3 to 5 feet below the hole. If I'm fishing two rods, I jig one shallow and one on the bottom. Then I move the jigs up and down the water column until I find a taker. I also keep my eye on the Marcum.

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Great advice everyone! thanks, I don't live in laker country so every hour is critical. Seems that I'm moving about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs or so if I'm not seeing fish. If it's nasty out 3 spots will do it for the whole day and if it's nice I will blast 30-40 holes a day. Even if I catch fish in one spot I will move looking for more or bigger fish. Someone said seeing bait is key I agree with that and I have had some of my best fish hit within ten feet of the ice, that will get your heart pound'in. As for lures I have way more than I need but I am a bit of a lure junkie and collector. I seem to switch about 4-5 times in a day because of changing light levels and forage base. I also tend to work 30-70fow, seems that I catch a lot of small fish in 80+ fow.

See ya on the ice!

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Well, I'm going to good-naturedly disagree on the bait thing. I've caught good numbers of lakers through the ice in places where I didn't see a smelt on the electronics all day long.

But this laker obsession has a LOT of variables, and it's most important to fish in places and with lures and techniques that give the angler confidence. Some fish shallow, some deep. Some look for bait, some don't. Some use this lure, some use that.

And we all seem to put our share of lakers on the ice, especially when we use lures, tactics and locations we're confident in. Sure love fishing for those babies. Got a nice 2 and a 4 on Friday where there was no bait to speak of. Well, got a 5 lb pout, too, so we've got fresh laker and fresh cod backstraps. Mmmmmm, best of both worlds. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Hard to argue that.

All you Northern boys are whetting my appetite for pout now too. Dang! Oh, well, more opportunity for a different meal. grin.gif

Good for you, Steve.

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Baits for me are tubes in white, green and blue. Airplanes in pink, green, white and red. I have a couple of jigging spoons and I even have a couple of Witta jigs. "Now ya know for sure I fish on doze nordern lakes." I've also iced lots of lakers with a tip-ups baited with a cisco.

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