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I've got one I've been thinkin about with the fall tournaments. What tips do you have for finding the bigger class of fish and do you think there in schools together, by themselves, or mixed in with the common fish.

All fall we caught 6 to 8 pound fish but they were pretty much all identical. When looking for the big fish should you leave the active fish you are on.

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Here's another one. Would be a short lesson but good. Use and Rigging with florocarbon - leaders, knots and why florocarbon matters. When is it a game changer and when can you do without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've got one I've been thinkin about with the fall tournaments. What tips do you have for finding the bigger class of fish and do you think there in schools together, by themselves, or mixed in with the common fish.

All fall we caught 6 to 8 pound fish but they were pretty much all identical. When looking for the big fish should you leave the active fish you are on.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe the oversized fish do run together and we've caught 2 back to back often enough to confirm that to me. I'm talking daytime open water trolling. But I also believe that these bigger fish are spooky and skidish. Catch a couple of them and the school is blown out. That school may only be 12 or 15 fish.

This is not true at night in shallow water, or in cold water when your jigging deep. That's a different situation.

Thanks for the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's another one. Would be a short lesson but good. Use and Rigging with florocarbon - leaders, knots and why florocarbon matters. When is it a game changer and when can you do without it.
The best use of true fluorocarbon leader material is for leaders. I have made harnesses with it too but it's pretty pricey for that and 20# big game works fine for harnesses. I honestly have one dipsy rod that has had the same 20# flouro leader material leader on it for 3 yrs. The stuff is unbelievable. Keep the knots out and I'm not sure how long it will last.

Knots are important because the flouro is stiff enough that you can very easily overheat the line while drawing down a knot. I use the polamar knot but you must keep it neat and draw it down slow while it is soaking wet.

Thanks for the question.
 

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I am keeping my boat in Lorain this year and will be taking it up in mid April, I normally don't get up till June and fish with Dipsys and spoons, what should I be using from April till June.

Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am keeping my boat in Lorain this year and will be taking it up in mid April, I normally don't get up till June and fish with Dipsys and spoons, what should I be using from April till June.

Thanks in advance
April is early for Lorain. The migrating walleyes coming from the spawning grounds west normally show up in mid May but there are local fish to be had. Crank baits (deep diving) like Reefrunners, Bandits, Flkcker minnows,Bay rats and others are generally considered best until the first young of the yr shad start showing up. Around mid June.

If you're going to do serious fishing in April and early May you'd be better off starting around Port Clinton or Catawba Island. Then moving over to Lorain.

Good luck and thanks for the question.
 

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Jim: How about your choices for snaps vs snap swivels for cranks, spoons and harnesses and the reasons why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jim: How about your choices for snaps vs snap swivels for cranks, spoons and harnesses and the reasons why?
For cranks I'd suggest a size 2 sampo ball bearing round bottom snap swivel. We actually use a size 2 dual lock snap only but we have tons of experience tuning lures and reading rods and boards which minimizes the probability of twisted up lines. Well tuned lures don't need a swivel, and swivels do make tuning more difficult, but most preferr a swivel. An in line swivel or a leader with a snap only at the lure and a snap swivel on the other end solves the problem, but the added knots are potential problems.

Leaders for Dipsys or Jets I'd suggest a snap only at the lure and a Sampo ball bearing snap swivel on the other end. Leader length is a personal preference. We fish mostly from Cleveland West and use a 6' leader for everything, but further East longer leaders are the norm.

We like fairly heavy pound test leaders (20-25# test), and 100% fluorocarbon leader material is best because it is stiffer and resists twisting.

For harnesses again I'd go with heavier mono around 20# test especially if your using larger Colorado blades. And I'd use a sampo ball bearing snap swivel on both ends of your leader. You can't be too safe.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question.
 

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Jim: Any suggestions on when the best time to use smaller Cranks or to have to downsize your blades on harnesses to be more productive? It seems a lot in the summer when guys are struggling using the normal deep diving baits, that switching to a smaller bait sometimes may be more productive. Maybe a change in weather or current? If you do change to smaller baits, do you change any other type of your presentation, like speed? Thanks in advance for your reply and all your help through the years with these seminars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jim: Any suggestions on when the best time to use smaller Cranks or to have to downsize your blades on harnesses to be more productive? It seems a lot in the summer when guys are struggling using the normal deep diving baits, that switching to a smaller bait sometimes may be more productive. Maybe a change in weather or current? If you do change to smaller baits, do you change any other type of your presentation, like speed? Thanks in advance for your reply and all your help through the years with these seminars.
There are times when the walleyes are seeking out smaller prey. The most obvious situation is a hatch of shad or pin minnows. Mid to late May when we've learned the spoons are turning on (water temps around 50) is a prime example. Shad grow fast and it's not long before they are 2-3"s and like popcorn or potatoe chips for the walleyes. Small spoons, smaller cranks, j 7 or j 9 Rapalas and tiny little cranks produce well.

The problem can be little lures catch little fish. This has been the case the last few yrs because of the good walleye hatches we've had. Weather or current changes relocate the bait, barometric pressure can change the activity level of the fish, it's a continuously changing situation. We need to adapt and be willing to pull lines and run.

Speed is something that I never set and forget. I'm constantly adjusting speed and trying to find out how fast I can go and still catch. While watching the set in the rods and the boards to adjust to currents.

This may very well be another yr when there is an abundance of under sized hungry walleyes. 1 yr old fish 7-12" long that are seemingly everywhere. Hopefully the 22-24" walleyes will continue to be the main part of our catches, with enough 26-28"ers to keep it interesting .

I hope I answered your question. It's not a simple one. Good luck.
 

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The best use of true fluorocarbon leader material is for leaders. I have made harnesses with it too but it's pretty pricey for that and 20# big game works fine for harnesses. I honestly have one dipsy rod that has had the same 20# flouro leader material leader on it for 3 yrs. The stuff is unbelievable. Keep the knots out and I'm not sure how long it will last.

Knots are important because the flouro is stiff enough that you can very easily overheat the line while drawing down a knot. I use the polamar knot but you must keep it neat and draw it down slow while it is soaking wet.

Thanks for the question.
I use 20lb fluorocarbon for harnesses. At higher speeds (2.5 mph) the stiffness of the fluoro stops twisting especially with Colorado blades. Folks say that Colorado blades will blow out at that speed - but I have not had that happen using Fluoro...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I should have started with this but as always, anyone can respond to any question, so long as there is no negativity. You are welcome to answer directly or add to any discussion.

As I say in all my live seminars, the only bad question is the one that doesn't get asked.
 

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I’m considering switching my set up over to big boards. Any thoughts as to the best set up, and perhaps where to find the gear? Are big boards better than the in-line planers? Is wire line the preferred set up when running them? I move my boat East to West as the season progresses.

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Jim,
setting the mood.
Wasn't marking many fish.
Out of Ashtabula in mid June
Hot sunny day 1pm mid 80's air temp
Water temp mid 70's
Caught our fish on trip 40s at 25ft back big boards little spoons
All big and most 24-28 inches
?
What the heck were they eating up that high in the middle of the day?

Everyone said I'm crazy to fish like that...

BTW. It was a fluke on the setting is how I found them
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I’m considering switching my set up over to big boards. Any thoughts as to the best set up, and perhaps where to find the gear? Are big boards better than the in-line planers? Is wire line the preferred set up when running them? I move my boat East to West as the season progresses.

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Im a from Lorain West fisherman, and I'm not into wire. So I'll give my best but I lack experience with wire.

If you fish Geneva and Ashtabula and fish with 4 or more people most of the time, big bds and wire may be a good option. Bigger boats and more fishermen = big bds, smaller boats and 3 or less fishermen = little bds in my opinion.

I don't have an opinion on which is best. Big boards can allow more lines, but little bds are quicker to deploy or knock down. And are not as restrictive to boat control.

Frankly if more depth is your desire, I'd suggest Dipsys.

If you could give me more info on locations, number of fishermen, and desired presentation, I could be of more help.

Thanks and please help me help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jim,
setting the mood.
Wasn't marking many fish.
Out of Ashtabula in mid June
Hot sunny day 1pm mid 80's air temp
Water temp mid 70's
Caught our fish on trip 40s at 25ft back big boards little spoons
All big and most 24-28 inches
?
What the heck were they eating up that high in the middle of the day?

Everyone said I'm crazy to fish like that...

BTW. It was a fluke on the setting is how I found them
They were probably on either young of the year shad or big shiners. You weren't marking them because they were shying away from the boat. Since you did good on little spoons I'd guess yoy shad.

In warm water the only way to find high fish is to look for them with high presentations, or have a fancy side scanning sonar.

We should all try high way more then we do.

Thanks for the input.
 
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