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Preferred body bait techniques.

527 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  STEINFISHSKI
On a tangent to Beaves thread, when you guys are pulling the body baits in the spring, do you prefer to use a bait that runs the desired depth without assistance, or do you prefer to put a lure where you need it by using downriggers and/or snap weights?

If you wanted to fish at 20ft down, would you rather use a bait that normally runs shallw, with enough drop weight to get it down to 20ft, or would you rather just use a bait that runs at 20ft on its own?

Starting to wonder if it is best to pick up husky jerks and a snap weight kit, or just get a good assortment of husky jerks and a good assortment of down deep husky jerks.
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I've used a number of approaches that have been successful. for Spring King's at Port Sanilac. I've had good luck with regular Husky Jerks off of planar boards in 20 fow, 100 ft back with with 1 oz snap weight on 1 board no snap weight with same lure on the other board, usually shore side. I use blue and chrome or black and chrome finish. In May when I'm fishing 35-45 fow, I'll switch the deep dive HJ's with snaps off the boards 1 1/2 oz. We also took a couple of 15 lb'rs in 2002 at Sanilac in this depth range with a regular HJ fished behind a dipsey. I used a regular black and chrome HJ this October on a downrigger setup to take a 9 lb Steel head in the St. Clair river, 60 ft off the ball , 22 ft down in 32 fow. In late spring we've used deep dive HJ's with no snap weights running about 150 ft back off the boards to take Steelhead from 6- 10 lb out of Sanilac in 100 fow, surface temps of about 60 F.

In short these are my favorite lures in April-May- although Black Chilly Willy SS was very hot too. June I'll keep a deep diver going off a board for Steelhead high up. I don't use them in July or August, but have not fished them hard then.

Good luck...Can't wait 'til April

Thanks to all the folks who shared their advice on this board. With all the advice and some hard won lessons on the water, this past season I finally felt like half-knew what the heck I was doing out there !

Merry Christmas and Peace in the New Year to all.

The Terminator
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I'll run stick baits mostly unweighted off the Roach in line boards, riggers, or dipseys. I use 2 kinds of baits shallow or deep runners. Smelt or Alewife imitations sizes and patterns.

In close during the spring I'm fishing most rods in the shallow water, in the top 15 fow, no matter how deep I'm fishing, as many fish can be found on or near the surface especially at low light periods. This time of year I like smaller baits trolled 1.0-1.5 mph. Natural colors in clear water, rattles and flourescents in stained water.

If the shallow baits dont produce, I'll switch colors, styles, or put on a deep runner. These baits have a different action and can be fished deeper by simply lengthening the lead. I like 75'-125' back with the shallow runners, and 15'-80' back with the deep runners.

If I want to get one deeper than that I put one on a rigger or dipsey diver. The slide divers would work well for this application because you can still use the longer leads.

Tips: A few (3, #7) splitshots 8-12" above the lip of the shallow runners helps them achieve a slightly deeper dive characteristic.

Replace the brass split rings for lip and hooks with stainless split rings for trolling the Great lakes. Also replace hooks with a stronger ones as some styles can straighten out easy especially when trolled catching salmonoids. Try to use similar sizes as not to dampen the action of the lure. Make sure you tie to a split ring, snap, or loop knot so the lure can swim freely as well.
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