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Bassboy1645

okay so after about an honest three days worth of fishing for theses things i gave up in frusteration and dismay and didnt see the point in it. after the walleyes gave me the shaft once more for a few days i tried it again only on snowbank. Hence my absence from the bash. I caught my first laker on saturday and it was a dandy 6-7 pounder. I cant belive how hard it crushed my jigging rap!! In our spot we fished it seemed the action was hot! right away my party caught four and missed 2 in the first 10 mins on tip ups and lures!! i have to admitt it was fun but i still dont think its quite my style. from a walleye perspective it sucks only drillign one or 2 holes and hopping to get lucky. I think id still rather chase eyes but for the past few days i have been chasing lakers on snowbank and i think by next school year ill be fond of it. until then it was a neat experience!!! grin.gif

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Tom Linderholm

Heck, by the title of the post I thought this might be a recipe. blush.gif

On a serious note from what I found it takes a bit of commitment for these bad boys, hole hopping from what I saw was a key tool in finding these bad boys. Whether it was 10 feet or 100 the guys I was with seemed to find a little more action from moving around on the steep drops.

My question is have you tasted the inland laker, if you have you may have a little more interest in iceing these delicious snacks.

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Steve Foss

Two opinions from me. For what they're worth.

Inland laker: Best tasting fish in fresh water.

Inland laker: Moving all over the place is overrated.

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Northlander

Ya Cheffrey we did have to search them out a bit but once we found what depth they were using it sure made it easy to stay on them. I think its like it is for all bigger predator fish, find the travel lanes and baitfish and you will catch some. We had a ton of smelt in our area and I know that was key. Those smelt were sure holding lots of fish in that area.

Heck even this blind squirrel found a nut or 2. grin.gif

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Surface Tension

Laker Fever, some are immune to it some aren't.

Tis the season, watch out!

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chaffmj

Northlander and or STCatfish,

What is a good depth for lakers? I fished in 40, 55 and 74 at the bash and failed. I know there is no secret number but just curios what worked last weekend. Last year when I caught fish I was in 50 off of Lockhart and got one off the bottom jigging and another one came up and hit a minnow at 35. Where can I get one of those slender spoons? Do they sell them in the Twin Cities anywhere or is there someplace along the way from St. Paul to Ely to buy them? I will be coming back and trying again in a few weeks.

Mike

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Northlander

If I remember correct the depth where I caught all my fish was 56'. I dont think the depth had anything to do with it as much as thats where the smelt were holding in a soft bottom.

We drilled many holes on Friday and tried many depths but once we got out over about 50' in our last area and found we had smelt we started catching fish in that area.

I dont even pretend to know Burntside or Lake Trout well at all. I do know how to fish a little and with any fish bait fish are key.

I will say that without our H2Oc's and the Lakemaster and Navionics Chips we wouldnt have even stopped on this spot. They came in very handy when my elcheapo batteries werent freezing. mad.gif (Note to self dont buy the cheap batteries anymore) The other thing was we had sleds or whelers and being able to hop around helped us out. Friday was nice and we fished outside most of the day. This made it easier to cover more spots and stumble on fish.

Long winded but I hope it answers your question. Im sure STF will see this and help you out more on what he has learned over the years on B-side as far as depth etc.

I love the walleyes but nothing fights like a laker through the ice but maybe a muskie.

You can get slender spoons in 4 sizes and many color combos at www.customjigsandspins.com

I hooked fish on Nilsmaster jigging shads in blue/white and green/white as well as Rapala jigging shad, and a blue/silver jigging rapala and a smelt colored jerkshad with a 3/8th oz. bullet head jig in just plain lead color. The lighter jerkshad was all they would chase sat when it got cold and windy.

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Steve Foss

Well, I'm usually around the 50-foot breakline along main lake structure like neckdowns between islands and prominent shoreline points or basins. It's just my belief, not tested for a billion years or anything, that the 50-foot zone is a pretty key travel zone for lakers on the move in Burntside. There are times when they're caught in shallow bays in winter, but I believe that's when they are feeding instead of moving, and I don't have a good enough handle on when Bside lakers come in shallow to feed in winter. I do know that I come in contact with lots and lots of lakers around that 50 FOW line. And, of course, like Northlander said, it doesn't hurt to have smelt coming through, either, though I've had many days in the last five years catching good numbers of trout without seeing a single smelt flicker on the Vex in the spots I was fishing.

And if I'm on a travel zone spot where I've seen/caught good numbers of fish before, I don't bother moving to other spots unless I feel itchy to be moving around. I may drill 20 holes and hop around the immediate spot if the weather's nice to keep from getting bored if the fish aren't cooperating, but that's about it. On a good spot, if you're not seeing fish, you'll do just as well over time waiting them out as you will trying to find a spot where there are fish on the Vex as soon as you drill your holes.

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Fish&Fowl

I would have to go with STF on the depth and moving aspects of laker fishing. Fishing them in Ontario, I have had trips where we've fished the majority no deeper than 30-40 feet, and others where we've been sitting over 70-80 ft. and hitting them suspended. I've never referenced this to time of year, however, it's just that that's where the fish seemed to be at that time.

I am a big fan of the 50-60 ft. range and feel the most confident on finding lakers at that depth. What I then concentrate on is finding the type of structure that is available between those depths. A large underwater point in 60 fow that sharply drops, a neckdown between an island and the main shoreline that drops to 50 fow...etc.

As far as being mobile, I like to punch a few holes and move around if the weather permits. If it's nasty like it's been for a couple weeks, I don't feel sitting in one spot is hurting me any. It's more of a mental thing to convince yourself that just because you haven't had much action doesn't mean you won't.

If I have smelt blips on the Vex, I just consider that a bonus. They roam too much to ever bother "looking" for them in my opinion.

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JustinG

Crappies are the best tasting freshwater fish and I am sure many will agree!!! grin.gif

Justin

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Fish&Fowl

Watch it now grin.gif

I would give crappie the best taste if it's been frozen and second best taste if fresh, but numero uno for fresh fish is LAKER without a doubt.

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Tom Linderholm

Less Filling vs. Great Taste grin.gif

Guys don't kid yourself, for freshwater I have to take sides with Mr. Coho Salmon himself. My opinion its a hands down winner.

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sachem longrifle

Quote:

Less Filling vs. Great Taste
grin.gif

Guys don't kid yourself, for freshwater I have to take sides with Mr. Coho Salmon himself. My opinion its a hands down winner.


agree

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Surface Tension

Depth,

I first look for an area I think might hold fish. Reefs, walls, humps and so one. In most cases theres a break. What I look for is where on that break does it flatten out a little, could be a bench or the bottom of that break or even the top of a reef or hump. Thats usually is where I start out, the depth isn't that important to me at that time.

If I'm not catching or marking fish I'll move, not to a new spot but to a different depth or transition area on that structure I'm on, could be deeper or could be shallower.

As STF said, if I'm on a spot I know to be productive, I'll wait it out because I have confidence in that spot. Being confident it a large part of the game. Still when you sit on a spot and its dead the mind starts working. You start second guessing, or at least start thinking of past experiences and what has and hasn't worked. Should or I move or shouldn't I. I'll change depth on the structure I'm on and can always come back.

Last weekend it seemed that once you got to 50 + ft you started marking smelt or more smelt anyway. So you have to look at the forage base and what its doing at that time.

Having said that not all lake trout lakes have smelt and even the the ones that do will offer other forage. You'd be surprised how shallow you can get lake.

So my best advice is to remember your past successes and failures on the ice because when things get slow the little voice in your head will be talking.

Move or stay, and you will have an idea of where, why, when.

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igotem

Quote:

Guys don't kid yourself, for freshwater I have to take sides with Mr. Coho Salmon himself. My opinion its a hands down winner.


Absolutely!!!!

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Ron Vroom

How do you determine you are marking smelt on a Vex? vs marking trout. Last weekend in Ontario, I caught a smelt on a jigging Rap which surpized me because the Rap was as big as the smelt.

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Steve Foss

Ron, it's more a matter of how the marks behave than it is of the color registered. If your small lure can show up yellow or green, a smelt right in the cone will show up red, like a laker.

Smelt tend to move in groups, however, so you you tend to get from three or four to many, many flickering lights on the vex when you've got smelt around, and, like lakers, that can be anywhere in the water column.

A laker generally shows up as a solid red band that moves quickly up the water column to your lure. While smelt will follow a lure up, they generally circle when they come and disappear from the Vex before reappearing at your lure. Not always, but usually. A laker that's already in the cone under your lure will come straight up almost all the time, so the red band doesn't disappear but rises right to your lure.

A laker red band also moves upward a lot faster than a smelt marking.

There are, of course, times when the lakers don't come in under the lure and rise but just enter the cone from the side right at lure level, and then you tend to see the barest flicker right about at lure level before you get a hit.

Hope that helps.

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Tom Linderholm

Similar to this? smirk.gif

CAAR0XEJ.jpg

STF is the man in the know on this subject.

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Ron Vroom

Exactly

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Ron Vroom

Steve, what you are saying and what I have experienced, kind of supports my theory that flashers are not as helpfull for laker fishing as with other species. Last weekend when I caught the smelt, I was in 70 feet of water and watched what I now believe to be smelt all day checking out the lure. I thought I was seeing lakers, but there seemed to be too many. At another location 3 of us were fishing in 35 feet of water, one partner (no flasher) about 25 yards away got one, another partner (no flasher) 25 yards in the other direction got 3 while I (in the middle) saw nothing on my vex except for one brief glimpse of red coming up from the bottom a split second before I got the one and only strike which I could not get a hook set on. With walleyes, crappies, and perch, I can darn near set my hook using the flasher, but it a far different story with lakers and when I think about it, the flasher does not really help catching northerns which cruize in now and then which I liken lakers to.

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Steve Foss

Quote:

Steve, what you are saying and what I have experienced, kind of supports my theory that flashers are not as helpfull for laker fishing as with other species. Last weekend when I caught the smelt, I was in 70 feet of water and watched what I now believe to be smelt all day checking out the lure. I thought I was seeing lakers, but there seemed to be too many. At another location 3 of us were fishing in 35 feet of water, one partner (no flasher) about 25 yards away got one, another partner (no flasher) 25 yards in the other direction got 3 while I (in the middle) saw nothing on my vex except for one brief glimpse of red coming up from the bottom a split second before I got the one and only strike which I could not get a hook set on. With walleyes, crappies, and perch, I can darn near set my hook using the flasher, but it a far different story with lakers and when I think about it, the flasher does not really help catching northerns which cruize in now and then which I liken lakers to.


Ron, I understand what you're saying, but your anecdotal report doesn't bear out my experience. For my level of laker enjoyment, the Vex goes a long way. And, over time, I believe one catches more lakers using electronics than without them.

There are many times I have a laker on the Vex that comes up for the lure, doesn't eat it and then I begin the cat and mouse game with the fish. Sometimes it eventually strikes, sometimes not, but without the Vex I don't even know a fish is in the vicinity unless it strikes. How the fish acts on the Vex also tells me whether the fish is hot or sluggish, so I can alter my approach accordingly.

That's not to say you NEED a Vex to catch lakers, or any other species. A Vex doesn't help with a tip-up and/or slip bobber, the most sluggish presentations that some days account for more fish of many species than jigging does. And there have been quite a few times I've been distracted and not looking at the Vex at all and just kept jigging on autopilot while I was opening a can of pop or looking out the window or something else and — Kawamm! — fish on.

But, day in and day out, I think it helps to use the Vex to see fish down there, identify them by their behavior and gauge that behavior to tailor my presentation. That's as true for lakers as for walleyes.

It also adds to the fun. Seeing that red band accelerating upward toward my lure gets the adrenaline pumping and fills me with anticipation, because I KNOW from its behavior that it's the most aggressive, hardest pulling fish through the ice in fresh water. Will it hit immediately? Will it circle in and out and stalk the bait like a shark, bumping it with its shoulder or slapping it with its tail? Will I toy with it for 15 minutes only to have it ultimately swim off and leave me scratching my head and wondering just who was toying with whom?

Without the Vex, you can't see it. If you can't see it, you don't know it's there. So for me, VEX spells "Very EXciting!"

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Surface Tension

I don't want to get into the Vex vs MarCum stuff here but if your using a MarCum you will have a large advantage in determining without the behavioral interpretation as to what your seeing smelt or Laker Trout.

Proper gain settings will help you out tremendously with any brand sonar. Your strongest signal within the cone angle is right where your lure sits, in the center of the cone angle directly below the ducer. Now we know that some lures because of their makeup in shape and size will reflect a signal back differently or should I say with a stronger return.

When you first plop your ducer in the hole your first concern is whats the depth. Next if it matters you can tell what bottom content, weeds, mud, gravel and boulders by using your gain.

Its time to send the lure down. Adjust the gain till you just BARELY mark the lure as yellow (or your weakest color). A MarCum can do that even in shallow water. If you have a Vex and need to use LP mode(supression) then do so.

At no time should your jig show up green or in a mid strength color when the jig is at rest.

Now when smelt come in they'll mark as yellow and maybe green (or your mid range color). Lake trout will mark as red when in the center of the cone then green and yellow on the outside of the cone angle.

So heres scenario, you see your jig then a yellow mark shows up. If its a lake trout it would have to be on the outside of your cone angle to mark as yellow. If its a smelt it'll stay yellow and maybe turn green. If that yellow or green mark hangs around you can bank on thats its a smelt, why because a lake trout won't campout on the outside of your cone angle, its going to come in or move off.

If that yellow mark turns green then red you know it s a lake trout and you know when its coming in and out of your cone angle by the changing colors. Theres one the advantages of having a superior sounder. So you know that laker is coming in and out. When it leaves that cone angle thats you que to get it back(cat& mouse game) by lifting your jig or taking it away to get it to strike. If things go as planned that trout will come back and you know that when the yellow mark shows, then green and then red.

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Ron Vroom

Steve and Frank, obviously you guys are not fishing today like me. This has been a most interesting conversation and I must concede that I would rather fish with my flasher than without. It makes me pay more attention when I see something going on down there and overall, I know I catch more fish with it than without. Frank, I will try turning my gain down as you suggest, because I know I tend to set it too high with my jig showing red, habits are hard to break. Frank, this is an aside, but since you live in Twig, I was wondering if you knew my in-laws, Ole and Agnes Roberg who ran 3-Lakes Inn north of Cotton til they died and it closed.

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yukon

last year was using a camera for the first time and saw a 4 lber take a jig, i think thout that was very exciting. It was also the only thing we saw

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Catfishunter

i don't think i would go fishing without the flasher, but i sure end up leaving the camra at home alot.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • seifjr
      As usual Curt, thanks for all the reports you provide to us folks that only get up to LOW 4-5 times/year.  Coming up again for the MEA weekend, fishing Thursday-Saturday.  Looks like Thursday's going to be nice with warmer temps and WSW winds.  If we get the heavy WNW winds on Saturday, is the LP area fishable.  Seems like the more west it is the comfort level goes up dramatically.  Bringing the kids this trip, so there not real big fans of the 4-5 footers if you know what I mean.  Hope to see ya Thursday, we'll be in a 2150 Lund and 18.5 Alumacraft. 
    • monstermoose78
      These fish came of the feeding flat.
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      I like finding aggressive crappies and those feeding flats normally have more aggressive crappies plus some big gills mixed in. 
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      This is great advice as well @monstermoose78. I will add that another reason crappies suspend over a deep basin is because of the plankton rising and dropping from and back to the mud basin below based on light levels.
    • PRO-V
      Got back yesterday from a week at my shack. Tough conditions. Lots of rain and over 6" of snow. My buddy and I saw 28 grouse and got 15. They were pretty wild and had to put the chase on alot of them. Got pretty wet running after them and snow falling on your head. Had to chainsaw our way out to the trucks thanks to the heavy wet snow.
    • Wanderer
      There are lots of options and they all work better for some than others for each individual situation.     I use a mix of single rod cases (hard tube with reel bag on the end), the Bunk box Rick has (works for my laker rods), and break down fly rod case that I custom cut the foam on to fit my in-lines.   Basically, make sure your rods aren’t too long for your house!  From there you could even build an insert into your tub and line it with foam.  Custom cut the interior to fit your rods your way.  Ever go the the Thorne Brothers potable mods gathering.  You could get some ideas there for sure!
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      I’m in for 2nd season also.  Looking forward to sharing a good hunt with both new and old friends.
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      Best offer 
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      I am hoping to get the boat out on the lake this Thursday. Looks like it is going to be in the upper 50's!
    • IceHawk
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