Harness lengths and blade sizes for the river

Discussion in 'Detroit River and Lake Erie' started by Slimshady, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Slimshady

    Slimshady

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    I tried pulling harnesses in the river last night and we only got 8 keepers, a few dinks, and lots of other junk. We were using pretty long leaders on our harnesses (4 feet) and were having issues with them getting tangled and all twisted up, so I shortened most of them to around 3 feet or less and that seemed to help. We were using a snap-swivel off the back of the BB, but they were still getting all twisted. I haven't really seen that before. Also, the smaller blades seemed to do better than the bigger blades, which is the opposite of what we usually see on Erie. The wind was blowing somewhat up-current, which was making it really tough. It was supposed to be W, which would have been a crosswind, but it was more SW. I generally want the wind to be down-current or slightly across, otherwise, I haven't had much success doing that.

    I was wondering what others have experienced when pulling harnesses in the river. Lead length, blade size, and wind directions.
     
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  2. Hot Bite

    Hot Bite

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    I have settled on 42 inches of Torpedo Superior flourocarbon. #5 and #6 blades. I of course tie mine with a Torpedo snap swivel on them because I cut all the junky brass swivels off my bouncers. I still have one that I have been running every trip that is 24 inches and it catches fish or I would take it off !
     

  3. Slimshady

    Slimshady

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    Thanks. Yes, I was thinking about trying some ball-bearing swivels in addition to the crappy ones that come with the BBs. I also thought about tieing some with a small swivel about a foot above the blade, just in case the main one gets clogged with moss.
     
  4. plumbdaworld

    plumbdaworld

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    i put 2 swivels on mine it helps
     
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  5. sureshot006

    sureshot006 Staff Member Mods

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    I use 3-4' and havent noticed any real difference in catch rate. #5 blades. 4 oz bouncer with mono, 3 oz with braid. Been getting limits in about an hour. Purples and pinks with a brass back.

    As far as wind... I think wind blowing co-current is worst. It's harder to steer and go the right speed because the wind easily pushes you too fast. I stay around 2.4-2.5 gps speed.

    Decent swivels make a difference. I have one on the bouncer and one on the harness. One of them the cheapie that comes with the bouncer and one ball bearing. It helps but not perfect.
     
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  6. wingster51

    wingster51

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    We use #4 blades, 17lb test, and a single size 4 bait keeper hook. We slide 3oz pencil sinker on main line and then ball bearing swivel. 24 to 30 inches for length. We have not had any tangles since changing to ball bearing swivels. we let out enough line to tick bottom. We lost a lot of bb's when we used them. We also only use plastics or gulp crawlers.
     
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  7. Sharkbait11

    Sharkbait11

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    agree with using 2 quality swivels
     
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  8. Bruce William

    Bruce William Premium Member

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    40" leaders but I had some that were 24" that did good. The key was #3 glow blades for me they outproduced the spread 5:1 over the past 4 weeks. South wind was tough. Believe it or not green crawlers punched a ticket faster than regular worms. They are messy. But I don't have carpet. LOL. Go get them Slim there still there!
     
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  9. kisherfisher

    kisherfisher

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    Smaller blades in the river current, larger in Erie with no current and you control the speed.
     
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  10. Shlack

    Shlack

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    Relatively new to pulling BB in the river, but have done it a few times recently with variable success catching fish, but no twisted harnesses.

    I tied harnesses with 20 lb abrazx fluorocarbon, they are around 40-50 inches in length, two #2 octopus hooks, eight 6 mm beads, dutch fork quick change clevis, one more bead, then finished it with VMC size 6 rolling swivel (this is not a ball bearing swivel, but it seems to work well, size 6 is rated for ~56lbs which is overkill, but the swivels are small in size relative to their rating, and for now it seems to be working). I have been running both size 4 and 5 Colorado blades with this setup and haven't had any issues with line twist, at least not over 3 trips trolling 4 rods with this set up. I have been using heavier BB, 3 oz and 6 oz. I attach the VMC swivel the crappy snap swivels the BB came with.

    No real comment about wind other than too much stinks! Dead calm isn't great either. Give me light and variable, enough to keep the bugs away and to cool it down a little.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  11. Hot Bite

    Hot Bite

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    with the torpedo swivels just the snap swivels are so good that you don't need a ball bearing one for this application. I only run tha ball bearing ones when trolling spoons. I think the 20 pound flourocarbon helps also. My harnessess last many trips at least five or 6...probably more.
     
  12. milanmark

    milanmark Premium Member

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    What? I thought you only jigged! LOL
     
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  13. sureshot006

    sureshot006 Staff Member Mods

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    I dont always troll harnesses, but when I do, it's because its more entertaining for my son :)
     
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  14. Shlack

    Shlack

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    That is kind of why I started doing it as well. It is a lot easier to troll than to jig with a wife plus 6 year old twins. After jigging for many years you forget how technical it can be. Feeling the bottom and then having the patience to bounce a jig off the bottom over and over and over is a bit much for the wife/kids.

    With trolling I can select most of the variables: location, speed, depth, contour, weight size etc, then we can all pick our favorite colors. Seems to work well.
     
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  15. sureshot006

    sureshot006 Staff Member Mods

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    Exactly. With trolling I can set the autopilot and just watch my kid and rods. I just gotta listen to him at the fish finder... "catch that one!"
     
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