Fall and Beyond fishing

Share info on fishing Champlain.
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Mike8484
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:10 am
Species: Trout

Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Mike8484 »

Hi all! So this is my first year owning a boat (1999 Lund Adventure Pro 17ft) and am not sure what to expect out of fall fishing on Champlain and even the possibility of frostbite fishing (although I probably won't my first year). Just curious what sort of things I'll have to do to keep fishing late in to fall that I won't usually have to worry about during the summer. No real target species in mind. If it has fins and tugs on my fishing line I am in. I don't have any zippered canvas enclosures or anything like that. I don't have any downriggers currently but am keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal. Any suggestions on that are appreciated. Any tips in general are greatly appreciated.

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Detritus
Posts: 379
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Detritus »

There's a lot you could do, but, what you need to do is surprisingly little. I would recommend not ruling frostbiting out just yet. It's not as extreme a sport as you might think.

Everybody always says it, and it's true. Safety first. Our model is basically:

1. Avoid going out on the water in double digit winds. The colder the temperatures, the less wind you want when you're out there.
2. Go out at the same time and area as other guys from this forum. Not hard, really, if you look at last winter's reports, there were LCU guys out
there every weekend just about. Last Year, the Country Angler was trolling in all 12 months.
3. Float Plan with someone at home. Check in an out with the other guys on the water on 68 when you arrive and depart the fishing area.
4. Avoid Solo fishing if you can.

There's mechanical backup things you can do, we carry a super fast alligator clip powered 12v bilge pump, empties a full 5 gallon bucket in about 7 seconds. This year Ill be adding an inflatable raft big enough for all of us on board. VHF, Cell phone chargers, waterproof phone, backup phone, 2 engines, main and kicker, etc, etc.

Then there's fishing gear.

If you don't want to buy downriggers, you'll need dipsey divers, or slide divers. Leadcore Rods. Those are basically the Gateway Drugs to the cold water species addiction. For less than $500, you could be running lures down where the fish are on 4 rods if you buy cheap stuff. After that, you'll be buying Downriggers, new electronics, and things you didn't even know you needed until you learned of their existance. But, it's all fun.

Then there's comfort Items.

Get a Grill that goes in a rod holder, or mount on your gunwale. Some days it's at least half of the fun. Look at Canvas, a heater, a way to defrost or defog your windshield.

I basically just scratched the surface here, once other guys see the thread, youll get all kinds of new Ideas. But, after Fall Sports, I bet the Country Angler will be splashing down in the Town Farm Bay area most weekends through January. Reelax, Digitroll, Dilly Worm, On The Job, Maybe Surprise, Instigator, and a whole pile of others will be out there too. In my experience, All you got to do to become one of the guys is show up and hang out. The're all great guys.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

Mike8484
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:10 am
Species: Trout

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Mike8484 »

Thanks for the thorough write up Digitroll! I appreciate it! Do you find that this forum is a bit more active during the winter months for meetups? I honestly was expecting more action on here during the summer but it seems work and fishing leaves little time for forum talk.

1. I am pretty fair weather boater due to my inexperience boating. I would imagine that my risk appetite would be even less during the colder months.
2. Is there a particular area that sees more traffic during the colder months? Inland sea? Town Farm Bay?
3. A float plan is always a great idea. I do an informal one with the wife at home but can see the value in checking in with other boaters on the water.
4. Due to my inexperience, solo boating is a no go currently and for the near future.
5. So I was looking in to radios and am still looking. I was thinking a portable radio as I am not very inclined to install a permanent one (even though I have heard they have much better reception). Any suggestions on a portable radio or do I really just need to bite the bullet and get a permanent one? I do have a main motor, kicker and trolling motor. What do you usually use as a backup phone?

So I've thought a lot about the trolling gear. I currently have a cannon track system but nothing on it. This summer I have been focusing on jigging for lake trout and it's been a hoot. I figure I could purchase trolling/leadcore rods and when I do upgrade to downriggers I could use the same rods. I'll have to look in to a canvas cover. Seems like that will be a rather large expense.

The one good thing I got going forward for me is that I show up...with snacks, a positive attitude, an eagerness to learn, and most importantly on time. Thanks again for the response I really appreciate it.

wishing you bent rods and singing reels

Mike

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Crayfish
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:47 am
Species: All of them
Location: Jericho, Vermont

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Crayfish »

Converse is the go to launch for frostbite fishing. It rarely freezes solid. IS freezes over. I’ll most likely be ice fishing for salmon out there at some point this winter.

Good luck!

Mike8484
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:10 am
Species: Trout

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Mike8484 »

Thanks for the heads up Crayfish! How is Converse as a launch during the winter? It's currently a tough launch for me due to low water all around the actual launch. I launched on a windy day and had to take an unplanned dip to drag my boat out of the mud 30 yards from the dock.

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Detritus
Posts: 379
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by Detritus »

I'm Detritus, Ron is Digitroll, haha.

Neoprene waders are always on our winter gear list as well, in case you need to do what you did. Usually not needed, but they're nice when you do.

Way more active. I think for different people there is different reasons. Myself, I bet we did 7-8 fishing trips in December and January, and neither of our big boats saw the water from the end of June, until this past weekend, as crazy as that sounds. But, family camping vacations are the reason for us.

I think in the summer there are also a ton of people who read this forum, but don't contribute to the reports, and there's a risk of areas getting overfished if lots of specifics were given. In the winter, it's a much smaller crowd that actually splashes the boat and uses what they've read and shared. That's why a lot of guys have quite a bit of vagueness to their location. I personally like that model in the summer, because they're giving you help, but, not doing it for you.

1. Admitting your inexperience and acknowledging what that means already puts you on a higher level of safety than any boater who thinks they've got nothing to worry about or learn in my book. That's a good thing Mike.

2. Town farm and the areas just north and south get the most traffic in the winter. It just happens to by my backyard.

3. The informal plan you do is all we do. "Launch at converse, fish Thompson's, whallon, maybe as far south as diamond island. Back home by 1". Pretty simple, but, that's all you need. I usually text her as well with the new area if we choose to deviate from the plan. The radio check in check out thing with the other guys on here is half safety, and half just fun hanging out with the boys. Or occasional girl. Some wives and girlfriends are kit there too. Few hardy kids like mine, and dilly worm's. I think truviking had some kids out too, as well as a couple others.

4. Nothing wrong with that, stuff can go sideways in an instant, and without at least one of my boys on the boat, I wouldn't either.

5. Fixed mount is 25 watt, handheld is a maximum of 6 watts, fcc rules. A fixed mount is good for the entire fishing area mentioned above, town farm, north, south, and more. A handheld might be a few miles, depending on unit and condition. Antenna height matters a lot for vhf. Fixed mount might be a little more expensive, but, worth it. If you can run a cordless drill, and crimp wires, you can install one. If you do go handheld, get a submersible model, that floats. I happen to have a personal cell, att, and a Verizon one from work. I'm just a little into expecting things to go bad, and like contingencies I guess. Sometimes too much depending on who you ask.

As for the trolling gear, I've got a bunch of Okuma rods, between $30 and $50 a piece, a couple eagle claws that were more expensive, but given to me, and a couple of Amazon mudville cast masters that I think we're $18 with a spinning reel. In all honesty, either the rod doesn't matter that much, or were not good enough fisherman to tell the difference. I heard somewhere go cheap on the rods and expensive on the reels if you have to choose one to give up. We did, and still do today. I happen to like Okuma cold water line counter size 30 reels. About $100 a piece. But, you can get decent ones for probably half that or less. If you have to choose between one of those, and three halfway decent ones, go with the three halfway decent ones. Two of the best fishermen I know personally use some of the oldest crummiest stuff you have ever seen, and they outfish me probably 3 to one. Every time out, haha. And they even tell me exactly what they're doing, using, and where.

The canvas thing is probably going to be your biggest challenge. If you buy one, or have it made, you are going to love it, but also might get divorced over the price. Homewreacker however, made his own that I saw on the dyp derby, and I thought it looked really good. Ask him about his.

If covid doesn't ramp back up again, lots of guys just meet up at the ramp and jump on each others boats as well. I'm sure that's an option for you as well.

Keep the questions coming, I'll keep answering them, even if what I'm telling you might be wrong, haha. But, if I am, there's guys on here who know what the real deal is. Crazy amount of knowledge on here, from all walks of life.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

cpmaple
Posts: 506
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 6:32 pm
Species: salmon,lakers and catfish
Location: crown point ny

Re: Fall and Beyond fishing

Post by cpmaple »

Mike8484,
Trust me when I say this radio for last season is a must. I was fishing early November one yr an lost my water pump. Was drifting in 190+ feet of water calling for help to get back to shore. Several other boats I could see in the area an a great gentleman responded from the south end of the lake to help an I was in snake den area. Reason I say a radio is because I was in a dead area of no cell service. This site is great to meet others an know for the most part who will be out that time of yr. I will never forget that day an very grateful that good people do still exist. Thanks once again to crazy Ivan for the tow that day.
Also we sit here chatting about fall/winter we should all take the same precautions in early spring when heading out.

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