February 04, 2014

Thoughts on Fishing

Recently, I've tried my hand a fishing and I guess I'm "hooked" having spent a lot of time fishing and well, not really catching.  I'm trying, on my own, to work my way through the basics and the different aspects of fishing.  While I could spend a couple of hundred bucks on a guide or a charter or otherwise learn from others, I'm thinking I will save that for later.  So, I'm essentially fishing the same area for the same fish week after week, testing different theories, changing just a few variables at a time in order to understand this thing.  To keep things simple, I've been focusing on boat trolling, with a downrigger.  I'm on a medium sized lake going after cutthroat trout.   This is where I fish:

Beautiful winter morning on the lake.

I've managed to increase my catch rate from zero to 1 so I'm not focusing on figuring out exactly what changed and what to build on.

So far, I've found that the following matters:

  • Speed of trolling (less than 2 mph per my Windows Phone).
  • Depth of trolling (20' seems to be the consistent)
  • Length of line out (currently playing with ~ 100')
  • Lure (rainbow colored Luhr Jensen Needlefish seems to be the winner)
  • Attractors (sticking with a Ford Fender)
Things that don't seem to matter:
  • Bait (no bait, powerbait, power worm, etc)
  • Noise (lure is 100' behind me, so no sense whispering)
  • Fish Finder (all times I've had a fish, I didn't see jack on the fish finder prior to the hit)
  • Treble, barbed or single hook.  I'm using single hook no barbs.  Haven't lost a fish yet.  My guess is the big to-do with barbed vs non-barbed is a philosophical thing.  Basically if the fish is on your hook, you got the fish.  If it's going to get away, it's going to get away.
Things I'm not sure of yet:
  • Length of leader from attractor to lure.
  • Time of day
Some observations:
  • Ford Fender creates a LOT of drag - makes it a chore to bring it up.
  • When there is a fish on, even a small one, you can really tell.  If you are wondering if there is a fish on, then there isn't one on.

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