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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Musky surface like crazy in freighter wakes but I haven't noticed an increase in bites.
I've thought many times about trolling Bucktails a little bit behind a slow moving freighter.
I get bit more jigging. Never tried casting. I do see surface activity but very very rarely have I ever confirmed they were musky.
 

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I saw a headless carcass last year floating down my river, and just this week saw another report. But I don't think it's from the head getting cut off by props (or even fishermen as has also been speculated). The skin on sturgeon is very tough, especially the belly. Last year I tried using the belly section of my slot fish for cut bait, and it took at least a full minute to work a single hook through it past the barb. It sure was a great finger workout. I think when one dies and eventually bloats up, the "neck" section of the fish behind the gills and in front of where the tough stomach skin starts is the weak spot and the fish will naturally split open there. Without a boney skeleton to help hold the head on, it will separate a lot easier than what you'd see with a boney fish. If it really were prop strikes, after handling several hundred sturgeon over the last few years, I'd expect to see some scaring from a light strike that wasn't enough to kill the fish, but I haven't. Also, I don't think all the fish have an agreement in place that they will all throw themselves into propellers so that their heads get cut off all in the exact same place. There would be dead fish cut more or less in half, or mangled noses, etc.
Not really disputing your observations... but just sharing my own...
The things you are describing as, "should see" - all have been seen by me.

I should clarify: my experience is with white sturgeon in either brackish or saltwater.

I've never been on The D, so can't compare the amount of traffic vs. the various bays in the San Francisco/Sacramento system. All I can say is there's a ton of freighter movement there & the hurt/dead sturgeon surface quite frequently and I've observed prop cuts in live fish as well.

It is a sort of constant debate thing - there are gosh darn Sea Lions all over where I'm from also. With the water (or lack thereof) conditions where I'm from, the delta region is becoming more saline, so crab & seals have begun to go up in the rivers. Point being stuff that's been bitten in half is pretty frequent also.

I think everyone is correct on this thread😄. The doobie fish & piss fish - well there's just something there. Same with getting skunked when some decides to bring a darn banana onto the boat😆.

But, in my experience and understanding how shark, sturgeon and other cartilageonous fish behave, I firmly believe oscillating things attract them.
 

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Not really disputing your observations... but just sharing my own...
The things you are describing as, "should see" - all have been seen by me.

I should clarify: my experience is with white sturgeon in either brackish or saltwater.

I've never been on The D, so can't compare the amount of traffic vs. the various bays in the San Francisco/Sacramento system. All I can say is there's a ton of freighter movement there & the hurt/dead sturgeon surface quite frequently and I've observed prop cuts in live fish as well.

It is a sort of constant debate thing - there are gosh darn Sea Lions all over where I'm from also. With the water (or lack thereof) conditions where I'm from, the delta region is becoming more saline, so crab & seals have begun to go up in the rivers. Point being stuff that's been bitten in half is pretty frequent also.

I think everyone is correct on this thread😄. The doobie fish & piss fish - well there's just something there. Same with getting skunked when some decides to bring a darn banana onto the boat😆.

But, in my experience and understanding how shark, sturgeon and other cartilageonous fish behave, I firmly believe oscillating things attract them.
Yeah, nobody is necessarily right or wrong. We just all try to fit a working model to match our observations, whether we know that's what we are doing or not. Muskie and pike like the propwash too, likely because it could mean disoriented batfish and an easy meal. Sharks are predators too, and larger white sturgeon can be predators while the smaller ones are mostly still scavengers. The lake sturgeon we have in our backyards are not predators, but scavengers feeding on what they find on the bottom. Some waters that means mostly invertebrates on the bottom or buried in the mud/sand. On other waters it could be sucking up vertebrates like crayfish or gobies.
 

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I agree on displacement, if your craft is drafting 20’ in 35’ fow, the fish are gettin the f outta the way.

Not an expert but I just cannot picture a sturgeon hanging out under a 1000 feet of vessel waiting to get sucked up by a prop, then somehow decapitated by a relatively slow-moving prop… 70 mph speed boats are a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Not really disputing your observations... but just sharing my own...
The things you are describing as, "should see" - all have been seen by me.

I should clarify: my experience is with white sturgeon in either brackish or saltwater.

I've never been on The D, so can't compare the amount of traffic vs. the various bays in the San Francisco/Sacramento system. All I can say is there's a ton of freighter movement there & the hurt/dead sturgeon surface quite frequently and I've observed prop cuts in live fish as well.

It is a sort of constant debate thing - there are gosh darn Sea Lions all over where I'm from also. With the water (or lack thereof) conditions where I'm from, the delta region is becoming more saline, so crab & seals have begun to go up in the rivers. Point being stuff that's been bitten in half is pretty frequent also.

I think everyone is correct on this thread😄. The doobie fish & piss fish - well there's just something there. Same with getting skunked when some decides to bring a darn banana onto the boat😆.

But, in my experience and understanding how shark, sturgeon and other cartilageonous fish behave, I firmly believe oscillating things attract them.
I kinda thought it can trigger feeding activity. Think stirring silt and getting the small fish fired up which can get the larger fish interested.
 

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Me, Musky a big no, I know others have caught them with a freighter next to them, but out of our over 700 from my log, only one hit casting with a freighter anywhere near us....I know because freighters became a pet peeve, early on, lol....I would love to hear from Bondy on this one !.....and I've never really recalled a lot of surface action in their wake....they supposedly have the most sensitive lateral line in freshwater fish, so I'd kinda think it would lean one way or the other & I'll say....nope they don't like it....ANNND it could just be our experience, lol....

Walleye, ehhh....I'm on the fence....

Perch ?....even when it's really slow and we're shallow, a ways off, you can usually still feel the draw from a freighter on your anchor lines, the boat will actually twist & get tugged some & we always get at least one bite, lol !....

This too for us....break out some Doritos & get a Musky trolling !....start eating a sandwich & ducks will come in....start taking a leak & a Perch will bite too....personally, I don't think freighters help at all....
 
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Always noticed freighters leave a mud trail on Erie going into the raisin…I say they definitely move fish…we’ve had large boats come full throttle pass us and the wake from their boat triggered bites..
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Me, Musky a big no, I know others have caught them with a freighter next to them, but out of our over 700 from my log, only one hit casting with a freighter anywhere near us....I know because freighters became a pet peeve, early on, lol....I would love to hear from Bondy on this one !.....and I've never really recalled a lot of surface action in their wake....they supposedly have the most sensitive lateral line in freshwater fish, so I'd kinda think it would lean one way or the other & I'll say....nope they don't like it....ANNND it could just be our experience, lol....

Walleye, ehhh....I'm on the fence....

Perch ?....even when it's really slow and we're shallow, a ways off, you can usually still feel the draw from a freighter on your anchor lines, the boat will actually twist & get tugged some & we always get at least one bite, lol !....

This too for us....break out some Doritos & get a Musky trolling !....start eating a sandwich & ducks will come in....start taking a leak & a Perch will bite too....personally, I don't think freighters help at all....
I'd be interested in what @Jon Bondy has to say as well. Though I'm not sure how much he fishes near the shipping channels. I have only noticed (or think I've noticed) fairly close by.
 

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Any one that whips for walleyes will tell you without a doubt that upbound Freighters will put fish in the box especially one that is heavily loaded.Down bound as Snortwheeze explained not so much....
 

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Any one that whips for walleyes will tell you without a doubt that upbound Freighters will put fish in the box especially one that is heavily loaded.Down bound as Snortwheeze explained not so much....
Yeah, I've only fished the St. Clair river once & that was with a guide, lol....seems to be fair amount of difference for the Detroit river....less current and a lot less Sturgeon for example....honest question as it just popped in my head....how many Musky are caught in the St. Clair river ? seems like I can't recall really hearing about that ?....small things change things in a big way, that we do not understand, even when we think we do, just saying....
 

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I'd be interested in what @Jon Bondy has to say as well. Though I'm not sure how much he fishes near the shipping channels. I have only noticed (or think I've noticed) fairly close by.
He developed the Bondy bait for jigging deep in the river, lol....but ya know that....probably spends most time in Ont. water which I can understand....but, yeah it would be a great observation from someone who spends so much time out there and is a keen observer....I'll give my (n)(n)(n) again, lol....
 
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
He developed the Bondy bait for jigging deep in the river, lol....but ya know that....probably spends most time in Ont. water which I can understand....but, yeah it would be a great observation from someone who spends so much time out there and is a keen observer....I'll give my (n)(n)(n) again, lol....
I have honestly never kept track of with freighter and without, just going by pics and video of catching them when I was recording. I'm sure I have caught more without, but that is most likely because there is one going by 5% of the time (just to throw a number out). So if it didn't matter, 5 out of 100 fish would be hooked with a freighter going by. And it sure "feels" like the ratio is closer than that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yeah, I've only fished the St. Clair river once & that was with a guide, lol....seems to be fair amount of difference for the Detroit river....less current and a lot less Sturgeon for example....honest question as it just popped in my head....how many Musky are caught in the St. Clair river ? seems like I can't recall really hearing about that ?....small things change things in a big way, that we do not understand, even when we think we do, just saying....
A good number of musky are caught up there, though I'm not sure I could put up a good comparison actual numbers wise.
 

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Yeah, I've only fished the St. Clair river once & that was with a guide, lol....seems to be fair amount of difference for the Detroit river....less current and a lot less Sturgeon for example....honest question as it just popped in my head....how many Musky are caught in the St. Clair river ? seems like I can't recall really hearing about that ?....small things change things in a big way, that we do not understand, even when we think we do, just saying....
You don't want them on a whipping rig as they destroy #11 Rapallas.Luckily the hooks are conjoined all 3 don't ask how i know...
 

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Looking for opinions.

Do freighters passing by trigger more bites?
Maybe and maybe not. Kinda depends on how big the freighter is, is it upbound or downbound, riding high or low, what color lure is being used or is it live bait on a hook. Really is an open ended question.

The biggest point being that whether the freight will trigger more bites ends up being in the mind of the fisherman. There are nightime wire-liners who say yes, the Walleye will swarm towards the stirred up muck on the bottom and there are those who say no because all the Walleye swim away.

All I could guarantee was that when it was slow fishing if I put everything away and got ready to go in everyone else on the river started pulling in fish and freighters did not matter.
 

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I have honestly never kept track of with freighter and without, just going by pics and video of catching them when I was recording. I'm sure I have caught more without, but that is most likely because there is one going by 5% of the time (just to throw a number out). So if it didn't matter, 5 out of 100 fish would be hooked with a freighter going by. And it sure "feels" like the ratio is closer than that!
Yeah, it might be impossible to come up with anything remotely "true" from personal exp....fishing again & TOO many variables....but 5% is a good # to ?, lol....but for our boat that would mean @ 35 Musky hooked, and it was one & one only.....I trolled 100% for years and freighters head on and coming up from behind/longer contact and not one fish, just saying....

With feeding "windows" short and that combined with freighters in that window :dizzy:....got a better chance at the lottery !....but if it did turn Musky on the bite, that would be easy to see, imo....love talking Musky & have not wet a line !!....

On a side note, read an interesting article in June In-Fishermen last night....Doug Stange, in 1993 they made a big aquarium for the mag. to get good pictures of fish for articles & had it for years, not anymore.....but it talks about species having some common characteristic's and also, different "personalities" of individual fish too, among other things....just observations from over all the years they did have the tank....it's an interesting read....
 
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North wind last nite in SCR pushing water faster made it hard to bounce bottom with a 2oz.while whipping.More than a "Walleye chop"and the only upbound freighter, some where in the 1,000ft range did not help us catch our last fish for a 3 man limit. I might add that i don't ever recall fishing in a N wind that was blowing any harder(gusts in the 40 mph range).That had an effect I'm sure...
 

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North wind last nite in SCR pushing water faster made it hard to bounce bottom with a 2oz.while whipping.More than a "Walleye chop"and the only upbound freighter, some where in the 1,000ft range did not help us catch our last fish for a 3 man limit. I might add that i don't ever recall fishing in a N wind that was blowing any harder(gusts in the 40 mph range).That had an effect I'm sure...
That wind was fierce 🤣
 
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