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wingnut38

Trolling Shallow?

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wingnut38

I haven't tried trolling crankbaits before and it sounds like that is the ticket right now. Can you actually troll through 3-5 feet of water without spooking the fish? Or should you just find a spot and cast?

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rodmaker

You can troll in shallow, but the key is speed, and get the lures far behind the boat. 100 ft or so. Be careful with the rocks!!!

I know people who cast while drifting in 2 ft of water or so.

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Team Otter

Don't worry about spooking the fish. The fish that are in shallow at night at there to eat and that's about all they have on their minds. Get enough line out to tick bottom occassionally and hang on. If you're a first-timer at this, I would recommend concentrating on the N end in the sand or the W side in the weeds. Rocks make for a tougher learning experience.

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computerboy

I'm still a newbie when it comes to fall fishing and haven't been able to really dial it in yet. So far this year I've had limited success, but I'm hoping to improve. I've been trolling super rogues and husky jerks in the 6 - 10' range over weeds and rocks on the west side but they haven't seemed to run into many eyes thus far.

What speed/depth would you concentrate on right now with the water temps in the 52-54 range?

Thanks in advance!

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hanson

Are you trolling at night?

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computerboy

Yeah, we actually have been getting out pretty late (after 11pm ususally). I think our problem might be speed and possibly location. The last few times we've been out we haven't been able to get under 2.5mph on my buddies boat. We're usually in the 2.4 - 2.8 range which I think might be too fast.

What do you think?

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hanson

I hated to ask that simple question but no where else in this topic was fishing at night mentioned so you never know.

Speed? You'll need to slow it down a little. Most guys will agree on 1.8 to 2.2 mph or so for shallow water crank trolling.

You might have to throw a small drift sock off the bow or side of the boat while trolling to slow you down more. Or pick an area on the lake to troll into the wind to slow you down as well.

I'm fairly new to this night trolling game as well and am learning too. Us beginners seam to run into similar problems dialing in a pattern.

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Tim_Anderson

If you're worried about engine noise and speed, try pulling yourself with your bow-mount trolling motor. When the wind permits, sometimes it's nice to be able to take the "stealth approach".

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computerboy

Thanks for the info Hanson, I really appreciate it. I think we'll either trim the big motor up a ways to slow us down, or drop the bow-mount down if the wind allows us to get into that magic speed range. We also might try the East side, but that's unfamiliar water for us so we may just plug away at the West side again tonight.

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Team Otter

computerboy,

You need to be able to consistently get below 1.5 mph to have a decent shot at establishing a pattern. At the current water temperature, my boat would not see 2.0 mph and when it gets between 40 - 50 degrees, 0.5 - 1.2 mph will be common place.

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computerboy

Thanks Otter, that's kinda what I figured. We'll ratchet down to the speed to under 2.0 mph tonight and we'll see how we do. I really appreciate you weighing in on this, it give us clueless rookies hope. smile.gif

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Paul Waldowski

CB,

I'll be out on the pond tonight also. Feel free to call me @ 651-248-0613 and we can exchange reports.

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polarsusd81

This is one of many reasons why Paul is one of the nicest guys up on the big pond. Wish you luck from the cities on a great night on the lake.

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rodmaker

Yes he is!!!!!!

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Team Otter

No problem. I hope you did well.

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computerboy

Hey Paul,

We started early tonight so I missed your post before we left, but I'll be happy to give you our report. We called it quits early tonight as we had limited success again. The surface temp over by Terry's was a consistent 54/55 degrees tonight. We did manage to get our speed down as was advised by others, but we just couldn't turn them on. We only saw a couple of boats out on the West side again tonight, which was the exact opposite of what we experienced this time last year. Maybe others are having similar luck over there (or lack thereof) and are staying away? In all fairness though, we only gave it a half-hearted attempt tonight after getting spanked the past few times out.

Thanks so much for the offer to exchange reports Paul. We'll be back up the next couple of weekends to have at it again and I'd be happy to let you know how we do.

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Paul Waldowski

CB,

No problem, let me know when you are coming back up again. We were just south of you and managed to pull quite a few fish inside the weedline in 5 feet of water with our biggest going 27 1/2 inches.

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Team Otter

Atta' boy PW.

Are they schooling yet or did you cover a lot of water?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Borch
      It usually pays off finding your own fish.   Nice report.
    • Borch
      Welcome to the forum.  Lots of good options already given.  Have some fun!
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      The fish are out there and they go hot and cold on the bite but they are catchable!  Anytime you can get the kids out fishing is worth it in my opinion!  Take them up and wet a line is about the only way you will find out if they can catch anything or not.  The main thing to look for before going to Red is the week leading up to the date you plan on fishing is to watch the wind speed and direction.  If blowing from the west for a few days the water stirs up and gets hard to fish. 
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      Good job guys!
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    • Gillraker
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      agree with gimruis.  look to the river. Your chances of catching a 3# bass or better are exponentially better on the river.  (There's a reason SC/mississippi was chosen for the Gov's opener last year--the Mississippi around here is really a world class smallmouth fishery.)  (most river rats will tell you that you can essentially catch smallies any time of year and often as by-catch while targeting other species.)  Below the SC dam is pretty much catch and release only (all 12-20 inchers must be released) but it's quite loaded with big smallies! (and lots of good shore areas on public land)  Just be prepared to lose a few lures on snags... Frankly, If you want to stick to lakes, I think you can pretty much pick a lake in a 30 mile radius...--most produce bass in good quantity, it's just years may vary in terms of sizes.  Clearwater is good.  Consider Bass lake adjacent to it.  (...it's not just a clever name.)
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      Haha!  Based on our conversation at the truck I’m going to edit that comment a teeny bit!  Cuz I know both of us had a workout.  I was still sore yesterday but it was a good sore. 😎
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