Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

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troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:41 pm

Dilly Worm wrote:nice salmon and thanks for the info !

FishUSA is still taking orders and shipping, and I just ordered a Helsinki Shad Rap from them after reading your reports...

Yesterday was my first on open water this year, started at Button Bay and rowed around the bay then up the VT shore into North Harbor then doubled back. no wind and completely calm. Water was very clear for this area and temp was steady 36.6 except around 38.6+ in Button Bay. Tried jr thundersticks on planer w/ 1 color lead, plus speedy shiner at various depths on the other line. Saw a few of what looked like bait clouds down around 40-60' plus occasional bigger marks which i tried chasing with the speedy shiner. Only saw 1 other boat and zero fish.

It was great to get out and back on water after a week stuck in the house... can't wait to try again and hope for better results !

I've never tried lead. It seems like a good, old-school method!

How fast do you troll in that boat?

I'm still not decided on whether the Shad Rap is actually a good salmon lure, or if the ones I've caught on it were just in an aggressive mood. But I'm 100% sure the browns like it! And it works at slow or fast speeds, which is nice in our situation.

Do you ever stop trolling, and cast instead? Sometimes I catch salmon that way, if I have an idea of where they are. Like if I see them jumping, or if I find a warm pocket of water that seems likely. Or if I just need a rest from paddling :lol: I usually try to have one of my rods rigged with a castable lure. The shad rap casts a little. But my top casting lures are the 3/8oz rainbow Kroc and the Fishy1 Casting Honeybee (both those were introduced to me by the master caster Fishy1).
troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:51 pm

Reelax wrote:1st Keelers Salmon of the year and it was a jumper!!! Hmmm I was thinking Keelers today? Thanks for the report Troutcrazy.. Love reading your updates and the discussions on lures.. Some days a salmon will hit a beer can lid if they are in a feeding frenzy.. Those are great days to have a rod in your hand... Those shad raps seem to be a very versatile lure, a white one hammered a snook for me a few years ago in florida...

Fish on!


Oh man, between your snook talk and fishy1's FB pics, I'm yearning for some FL saltwater. Which is a little silly because this is my favorite time of year on Champlain! Tomorrow's looking good-- I've got a good idea for a new spot in a North wind.
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Dilly Worm
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby Dilly Worm » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:05 am

troutcrazy wrote:I've never tried lead. It seems like a good, old-school method!

How fast do you troll in that boat?

I'm still not decided on whether the Shad Rap is actually a good salmon lure, or if the ones I've caught on it were just in an aggressive mood. But I'm 100% sure the browns like it! And it works at slow or fast speeds, which is nice in our situation.

Do you ever stop trolling, and cast instead?


I troll around 1.5 to 2 mph for lakers or 2.5 to 3 for salmon using a GPS to check speed. Adirondack-style rowboats are efficient and actually its uncomfortably slow to row 2 mph or less unless there's enough drag (planer board and flashers help).

I've sometimes stopped and cast w/ a spinning rod in the shallows for bass, pike, etc. when the coldwater fish aren't cooperating, but haven't tried casting for salmon before... sounds like a good idea and will try soon ! here's the setup i was using Saturday:
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I do not exaggerate when I talk about fishing - I underestimate, like I say "just one more cast honey, then I'll come home" !
Keep Calm and... Fish On !
troutcrazy
Posts: 328
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Species: crappie, trout, salmon, perch

Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:03 pm

Dilly Worm wrote:
I troll around 1.5 to 2 mph for lakers or 2.5 to 3 for salmon using a GPS to check speed. Adirondack-style rowboats are efficient and actually its uncomfortably slow to row 2 mph or less unless there's enough drag (planer board and flashers help).

I've sometimes stopped and cast w/ a spinning rod in the shallows for bass, pike, etc. when the coldwater fish aren't cooperating, but haven't tried casting for salmon before... sounds like a good idea and will try soon ! here's the setup i was using Saturday:


Those Adirondack boats are nice! Haha sometimes I forget to go slow, too!
troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:38 pm

Three days with no skunk! I might have to change the title of the thread!
I needed a rest from the kayak so I figured I'd stick to shore. I headed south to try a couple smaller lakes for crappies, where I've had luck in the past with the "ice out" bite. No luck at the first pond. At the second pond I caught a couple bluegills, and then I saw a bigger fish come up and take my jig, which was under a bobber. It turned out to be a rainbow trout! Freshly stocked, I'm sure-- they stock big ones in that pond. Probably 17 or 19 inches. Not my cup of tea (put-and-take) but a little exciting anyway. It bit an "electric chicken" Bobby Garland Baby Shad on a 16th oz jig head. I often catch spring rainbow trout on them when I'm fishing for crappies in certain lakes. I've caught lakers and salmon on them, too!

Since I was south already, I headed across the bridge to try the NY side of Champlain. I did a bunch of walking and poking around, casting from different spots. Nothing bit in the spot where I had consistent luck last spring. On my way back to the car, after the sun had warmed things, I hooked into an athletic fish. ZZZZZZZZ! And it leapt! Steelhead! The first I've ever caught, casting. (I did troll one up on a diver in deep water once but it wasn't the same). Probably 18 inches, but boy is it a different fish than the tame hatchery rainbow from earlier in the day! One of the best fish I've caught, even if not the biggest. Clean release, no problem. Lucky for the steelhead, I still have smoked salmon from the other day.

The photo doesn't do it justice. It was magnificent and sleek.
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Ahhspray
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby Ahhspray » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:26 pm

great report and story. Thanks
1978 18' Starcraft SuperSport(White & Green) w/1978 Merc 80hp & 1978 Merc 7.5hp kicker - For fishing w/son.
1981 26' SeaRay Sundancer(Yellow) "Happy Hours" - For "fishing" :D (when I can convince wife and all kids to go).
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the_doctor
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby the_doctor » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:19 pm

Great thread. Troutcrazy you are killing it! Thanks for all the info.
tmcaul
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby tmcaul » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:07 pm

Kayak fishing = built-in social distancing.

Great report. Keep after all those species.
Tom
"Tyee, Too"
18' Lund
troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:30 am

1/1/2020
Here are a lot of words for "didn't catch anything".

I headed north to try a new spot. It was a promising-looking beach, sheltered from the north wind, with a small creek flowing into it. It was a little too shallow; casting from shore I could only get about 5 feet of water. I eventually put in the kayak. The water close to shore was about 40 degrees. Farther out it was closer to 38 degrees.

I'm trying to figure out a program of s-curve and zigzag geometry, along with setback length, that will create maximum distance between the path of my kayak and the path of the lures. It's tricky to figure out, because I can't quite get my head around the curve of the line caused by water resistance, as the boat turns. This is going to take some research and experimentation.

No fish were caught by the beach. I paddled/pedaled south to another fishy-looking feature, and no fish were caught. Didn't want to venture too far because I was expecting big wind. The wind picked up as I trolled back to the beach. Nothing bit, despite the "salmon chop". I car-topped the kayak and headed to Keeler, but by the time I arrived the wind was too big and waves were beating the shore.

Standing on shore looking out over the water, I saw a bald eagle struggling with a big, silvery fish. A gull harassed it, and it dropped the fish into the water. It was one of those brief moments that leave you wondering if you were dreaming or if it was real.
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Crayfish
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby Crayfish » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:34 pm

Nice going, TC! You are catching some nice fish! I wouldn't worry about getting the lure out of the path of the kayak too much, personally. I've had salmon rip the line out of my hands when letting the lure out, within 10' of the boat!

I added lead core to our arsenal last year and it has caught quite a few fish for us. This time of year we typically run small stick baits off the boards (Rapala Husky Jerks, Challengers, Pins minnows, etc) and spoons off the 1 or 2 colors of lead. This setup caught several salmon last spring, as well as some nice browns on Lake O.

Keep up the great work!
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Greenhorn
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby Greenhorn » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm

I agree with Crayfish. I boated 4 salmon last weekend in fairly shallow water (13-18 ft) The first one came on a in-line planer board and I was using a Yo-zuri Pin minnow in rainbow trout color. I had a 100 ft setback and no weight on the line. The next three came from my down rigger- down 10 ft and 12 feet back; Green and white spoon with green and silver flash on the ball. So, at just 10 feet down, the salmon didn't care there was a boat just a few feet above them.
troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:41 pm

Crayfish wrote:I wouldn't worry about getting the lure out of the path of the kayak too much, personally.

Greenhorn wrote:I agree with Crayfish.


I'm not worried TOO much :) I do catch fish just cruising around. But I also think my catch rate should be a lot higher, considering how much I fish.

The s-curve isn't my invention. It's something I read about, researching tactics for shallow spring browns.

I've seen fish spook under my kayak in 10'. I'm not sure, but I think that the Mirage Drive on my kayak (penguin flippers under the boat) bothers fish more than regular paddling. It DEFINITELY bothers spawning crappies more than my old canoe.

And more than once I've gotten advice to use planer boards to keep the lure away from the boat.

I think it's part of the puzzle. I'm also going to use regular old 6 lb mono line for a while.
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Dilly Worm
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby Dilly Worm » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:50 pm

Troutcrazy, this morning I used the new Helsinki Shad Rap that I got based on your posts. Today was its maiden voyage trolling behind the Adirondack rowboat. It only took about 5 minutes for it to hook a feisty laker, so I like it, thanks for the info !

It was on 1 color of lead behind an in-line planer board. I'd been using a silver/black jr Thunderstick with no hits before changing to the Shad Rap. Also picked up a bigger laker w/ a 1/6-oz silver/purple speedy shiner on 3 colors lead. Both lakers actually jumped when they got close to the boat, or they managed to get their bodies halfway out of the water anyway.

Unfortunately I was out of time when the Shad Rap hooked its fish, so I will look forward to seeing what it catches the next time... hoping for a salmon soon
I do not exaggerate when I talk about fishing - I underestimate, like I say "just one more cast honey, then I'll come home" !
Keep Calm and... Fish On !
troutcrazy
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:21 pm
Species: crappie, trout, salmon, perch

Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:42 pm

Dilly Worm wrote:Troutcrazy, this morning I used the new Helsinki Shad Rap that I got based on your posts....

That's great! Oddly enough, I've been catching nothing but big pickerel on it the last few days. And I've broken a hook twice getting it out! (it's hard to handle a big toothy pickerel in the kayak)
troutcrazy
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Re: Mostly fishless kayak report, multi-day

Postby troutcrazy » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:35 pm

A brief overview of the last week or so:
Keelers, Sandbar, Shelburne Bay, Town Farm, and a new spot. Yeah, I'm 90% unemployed right now so I might as well make the best of it.

I've been out mostly in the afternoon or evening, and have only managed to catch several large pickerel.

I tried longlining with 6lb mono, and I remembered how much I hate it. Note to self: don't do that. But since I'm almost out of fluoro leader material-- and with slow shipping it feels as scarce as toilet paper-- I'm using long 6lb mono leaders now, with braid mainline.

4/7/2020
Today was different. I headed south to fish some smaller water for crappies, hoping that the shallows were heating up enough to draw them in. I stopped to check a ramp patch on the way but they were just poking up and I didn't feel like digging them up yet. I fished two different lakes but the crappies weren't in the shallows yet. Water temp was only 47-49. I wouldn't be surprised if they were in the shallows by the end of the day. I think last year I found them there in the low 50's.

So... since I'd already driven south, I crossed the bridge to spend the afternoon on Champlain. I really wanted a brown. I fished the shoreline of the bay for a couple hours. I caught another big pickerel on the shad rap. No, thanks. Nothing in the spots that usually seem to produce, near shore. None of the other boats took more than one pass, so I figured they weren't having luck either. Across the bay, there was a big flock of birds being very active. I decided paddle over and see what the fuss was about. Halfway there, in 20-30 fow, I start marking dense baitfish. So I put on a 2-oz snap weight to take me down 15-20'. I saw a big solid mark on the fishfinder, and a few seconds later I hooked up. It was heavy! I had a moment of worry about my 6 lb leader, and I reached to adjust the drag but then the fish ran fast and hard pulling drag and I thought better of it. I managed to keep the pressure on this time, despite the snap weight. It really wanted to stay down, and I half expected to see a big pike on the line. But I sure was excited to see the big spots on this thing. Big brown! I kept it. I swear it shrank two inches because when I got it home it only measured 22". A tie for my PB.

So far this spring I've caught lakers, salmon, a steelhead, and now a brown! All I have to do now is catch a whitefish, and I'll be satisfied.
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