Guys, I’ve always wondered about those stripers that run up from the depths to look at the downrigger weights. I seen fish on my graph run up from well below the downrigger weight, sometime more than 100 feet, just to look at it and go right back down. I thought it might be cool to try and video this as well as hook up with a fish during one of those times when the fish are feeding on a school of bait and there is a lot of action with a good sized school of fish. I have also run the weight through huge schools of bluebacks and shad and I’m anxious to see if I can video that. That’s why I created the Downrigger Cam. My wife gave me a GoPro Hero for Xmas so if I loose this baby in the trees there will be trouble at the Cast Away household. Stay tuned next week for more info and hopefully some good videos with the camera. Here are a couple on the design and low drag testing at the Cast Away Testing facility.
Well guys, We’re pretty deep into the trolling season and I’ve had a blast so far. I’ve been able to get on the water more this summer than summers in the past. The stripers on the south end of the lake have been around in big numbers and I’ve learned a lot from all of these fishing trips. Here are a few observations that have made this summer more productive for me:
1. The use of flourocarbon for my leaders have made a big difference. More specifically, I’ve been using Bass Pro XPS flourocarbon in 17lb and 20lb. I use the 17lb on the downrigger rigs and 20lb on the leadcore rigs. I’ve compared my 20lb Big Game to the flouro several times this year and the flouro out produced the mono by more than 3 to 1. A good 30-40 foot flouro leader makes all the difference, but it’s more costly than mono.
2. Tackle selections have been very important. I’ve been running several different jigs and trying to outsmart these fish when they get leary of the leadcore and a certain jig. I’ve had good luck with a 6 inch pearl w/blue highlights shad body on a 2 ounce shad head in the same pearl w/blue highlights. That combination has become my go to bait for these summer stripers. I’m convinced that this profile resembles a large Blueback Herring and that’s what the bigger stripers are keying on. It’s a no brainer with this jig, everytime we’ve put it on we’ve caught fish. When the fish get weary of the shad bait, I put on a 2 ounce bucktail troller to give them something different and it usually fools them for another hook up or two.
3. Getting the baits to the right area to get bit. It changes from year to year but this year the 30-35 range has been the most productive this year. I’ve been using 2 ounce and heavier jig heads to get the bait lower. Another tactic that has been successful is loading my Diawa 57lc with 12 colors of leadcore. Cortland sells a 200 yd spool of 27lb leadcore and my 57’s will hold 12 colors so I’ve been able to work the baits deeper running more colors. There are good fish to be caught trolling your baits deeper but it comes with a cost. There are a lot of trees in Lanier so I’ve been working the river channel and some deep flats with the longer leadcore to keep from hanging it in the trees.
4. In my opinion you have to train yourself to think 100 yards behind the boat to be a successful troller. If you can’t get your baits over or through the fish it’s probably not going to work well. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your baits in line with the fish you mark and know where your baits are in relation to your graph. On my graph it’s pretty easy. When I’m trolling over water 100 ft deep or deeper the range of my screen on my graph is around 100 yards from right to left when scrolling. That means when the fish get to the end of the scrolling screen on my graph, my baits should be close to running through or over the fish I marked. If I keep my boat in a straight line, I can just about call when a fish is going to hit the jig. To me that is pretty cool to be able to anticipate a strike.
Those are a few tips and crib notes to help with your trolling this summer. Here are a few videos of some recent trips: