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      Fishing Report Clubs - LIMITED MEMBERSHIP - Join Today - FREE   01/24/2018

      Fishing Minnesota had added a new menu item (see above) called Fishing Report Clubs. It's a way to keep the really good fishing reports coming and being shared only with those who also provide detailed fishing reports. We will only approve new members who request to join if they have already posted a recent fishing report in the area forum, associated with the Fishing Report Club area  you want to join. We are going to limit the number of regular memberships, in the Fishing Report Clubs, to the top 20  members in each Club, to those with the best frequency and quality fishing reports provided in the club and less so in the regular fishing report forum open to all members. The higher quality fishing report reserved for the club of course. If  you want fishing reports  around your area, I would Join Now, some of the clubs are starting to fill fast. Use the Fishing Reports Club link in the Menu above (after you've posted a fishing report in the regular area forum) and request to Join.
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ReelTimes

Downrigger Leader Length

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ReelTimes

Just wondering thoughts on the length of the leader between the cannon ball and lure that everyone uses. In doing some research, a number of times I noted recommendations of 7-15 feet or maybe up to 20 feet behind the ball....with the deeper depths requiring less distance behind the ball. I think the rational was that the downrigger line and cannonball can be natural fish attractors, and keeping the lure closer to those structures as well as less potential for tangles from currents. I have generally tended to run longer distances (30-40 feet or more) with the thought of getting the lure away from the boat (like you do with boards). I would be interested to hear what others are doing and any thoughts on the subject. Thx.

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DeathRoe

Usually not more than 10-14ft, even less if you're running stacks. In that case, the leader on the bottom cannot be longer than the height of the stack, otherwise, tangle city! Sometimes longer leaders will get more fish, but not often enough to warrant doing it all the time.

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End of the Line

I run them all over from 8' to 40' I let the fish tell me what they want. The only problem with that is if one bites on an 8 footer and the other on a 40 footer, your no closer to figuring out what they want! grin.gif

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matthothand

Shorter on bottom and longer on top if you're stacking is a good rule of thumb. It depends on what you're running for baits (spoons,dodgers/flashers,etc.), and how many lines you have in the water, how far apart the riggers are, wind on top and current below, how fast you let it down, and boat speed. There are numerous factors but it pretty much all boils down to keeping lines from getting tangled. Everyone has their preferences and you just have to play around and see what works best for you. As for me, I see no point in running anything further than 35 feet behind especially in a loaded boat.

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Northlander

Usually from 10-20' for me. If the fish are hitting them short Ill stay short. Uslually 1st ones of the day are about 15'. Or 1 at 10 and 1 at 15'.

How many other guys pull bombers or other sticks behind riggers for eyes? How far back do ya run those?

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SKIPPERS KID

STEVE

THANKS for not giving out the hole deal I would like to tell but if you come to the seminar you would know ????? we will try to help you can try different feet and when one works for you keep it there it is all about speed with smelt it IS SLOW with spoons you can go faster it is about where the fish ARE than where you are fishing and how fast you are fishing. if you think we need another seminar we can put one on let me know we can help... shocked.gif..

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Surface Tension

I can't give a definite answer to the question either other then to say it depends. As a rule the shorter the length the less slack time from the point of release till the rod loads back up. That helps with hooks ups. Downside is ball shy fish.

Matt pointed out some variables that will dictate your drop back lengths. I'm usually the opposite though on stacked lines and the bottom set with a longer drop back then the stacked line. When I have a lot of lines down I slow the speed of the drop and let the balls settle in a few times when going deep, that seems to help with tangles especially on the outdowns with wingers. Most my tangles happen from one of a few reasons. A fish that runs lateral after a strike, heavy cross winds and driver error.

Skippers Kid made the point about speed and flashers/dodgers. I too run slow when running meat rigs and couldn't do that without the drift sock. Of coarse you'll have to pick a spoon for stacked lines that'll give action with those slower speeds.

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outdoor ran

I pretty much run all mine short. As little has 3ft at times on big spoons. I've tried running my shallow ones way back but havn't had much luck. So I tend to put them back 20-30ft. But iam a spoon guy who likes to cover some water. One of theses days I'll slow down and fish some meat smirk.gif

Frank you run your sock down the chute? do you have to bring that in everytime you get a fish. Just seems like it would always be in the way. I'm going to have to get one. Cant troll slow enough for the huge flasher meat rigs.

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Northlander

Dont want it in the back of your boat Randy. Run the sock down the front of your boat or off the side cleat. If ya have 2 small ones it works great you dont have as hard a time steering.

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Surface Tension

Right, I tie the lead of the sock to a forward cleat. Its out of the way and easy to put in and pull out.

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ReelTimes

Thanks for all the info. Its great to compare notes on what others are doing. Sounds like I tend to run them farther back then most. I have had very few problems with tangles but have system that works for me and agree you have to be attentive to the rigger release and reel up the slack or you can have difficulties with your hook-sets. I may try some shorter lengths and experiment a little. Northlander...I run bombers on the riggers sometimes but personally have had better catch success running them on the boards with weight attached or running deeper diving lures (reef runners). Also, I have used the riggers successfully on Mille Lacs when I had my girls with and they didn't have quite the touch to know whether they were on bottom with the bottom bouncers, so we ran crawler and leech harnesses 30 feet behind the bombs about 4-5 feet off of bottom. Has worked well twice now for us. People kind of look and think your craZy. I'd personally rather hold the rod with bottom bouncer but my daughters just did't have the feel for doing that.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • IceHawk
      First off welcome to the site ! Fish that area quite often and have seen some good flocks around there.  I would get out and do some glassing in the area , especially around some picked corn fields. Right now they are wintered up but will break  apart once spring gets closer. Maybe hit up a local bait store and ask around if anyone knows of a spot. Or look at the landowners list that received permits in that area. They legally have to grant permission to hunt there land but unfortunately a lot of landowners will tell you they are full even if there not  Good luck in your search. 
    • Bisonguy
      this will be my first time chasing Minnesota turkeys. Any tips on where to go around Lake Lida area? 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      When i was there all could find was perch but i only fished for about 3-4 hours all weekend. Not sure on panfish but i know the walleye bit is still pretty good. I'm sure theres plenty of panfish to be had back there though to.
    • Wanderer
      +1 here.  I miss the hills of SE MN but when I have birds walking through my yard it’s hard to leave Central MN. Its not like they’re gonna be super easy but I’m trying to get my first with a bow, and that’s not easy.  Not yet anyway.  The more days I can get in, the better.  And sticking around home makes THAT part easier. When I first started hunting turkeys it took me three seasons to kill a bird.  Then every year after that was a score with the shotgun for about 20 seasons maybe?  I’m going into my second legitimate season of effort with my bow.  Hoping two times is a charm.
    • JFitz
      I spent a little time last summer looking for weed walleyes in Niles Bay. About 10 minutes into my experiment I caught a chunky 22" on a spinner rig over a weedbed in about 10'. The weeds were growing about halfway to the surface but that fish had no problem smacking my bait. I'll keep experimenting this year.... can't wait for open water!
    • Rick
      I hear the panfish are kicking it up a bit? Any word out there?
    • Alex wilhelmi
      awesome feedback! thank you so much for the info! Ill get up ther next year, i dont want to keep any i just want to catch some nice eyes and northern.....hell, whatever! ive been in a sleeper 5 times on LOW and we only had one real good trip. upper red lake once in a sleeper caught 3 eyes in 3 days. i dont mind if i catch one or two fish, its all about the experience for me on the big water. but the girlfriend is a hard one to convince at times for a return trip if the fishing is slow. were headed to fairbault this weekend, i hope we get into something. thanks again guys! ill post a report on our trip. good luck on the ice!
    • IceHawk
      Well who else is going after long beards this spring? I was drawn for season B again no surprise. There were surplus tags left as there were last couple years.  Really like the new approach to not having to apply for the later seasons spreads the hunters out and gives guys like me the opportunity to get after them early   Been out doing some scouting and been seeing some big wintering flocks one I was glassing other day had over 60 birds in it! They have really been working over the picked corn lately.  Oh cant wait to hear the first gobble of the year 
    • Head Shot
      Hello: Repairing Coleman Focus 3 / 5 / 10 / and certain model numbers for the focus 15. If your coleman focus heater is in need of a rebuilt burner or other parts I can help. I do supply parts and repair the above heaters including rebuilding burners for the heater. Qestions = give me a shout. Head Shot eklb@mediacombb.net
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Pat, July is my best time for walleyes in the weeds! I did not cast spinner baits but did pull spinners with 1/2 crawler right along the edges in about 3' to 4' deep water. We were so close to the boat with our lines that we could see our spinners and actually see the walleyes charge out of the weeds and grab our baits! FUN!! Now, thanks to the rustys, those cabbage weed beds are gone. Cliff
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