Author Topic: Diary of a Madman Part II  (Read 8355 times)


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Diary of a Madman Part II
« on: February 20, 2008, 10:30:00 pm »
6D Fly / Squid Alterations

Further camera observations revealed the different types of lures and baits had a direct relationship to the length of time {if at all} the bait was in the kings mouth
While observations are ongoing this is what we have observed so far
? Plugs, Spoons ? The shortest time period in the Kings yap
? Fly?s - They seemed to hang on slightly longer, possibly just fractions of a second
? Squids ? Somewhat longer than flys . possibly the rubbery soft feel
? Meat ? Second longest. More natural, scented
? Mooched meat - The longest due to no meat head. Whole anchovy or cut bait
Slower speed of 1.0 MPH ? the kings followed the bait significantly langer before engulfing the bait.
? Whole Live Alewife- The best possible. Having snagged a few alewife with other lures the live alewife was immediately rigged West Coast style and set down. Hits by a mid sized kings were almost immediate on the few times this was tried.

Methods to Try to Improve Success

1. Fly?s ? In addition to the tricks listed above. We added a Berkley Gulp 2? Minnow Grub on the back hook. The colours that worked the best were the green chartreuse or the pearl white. Significant improvement in catch % by adding these scented grubs and changing out the hooks to Octopus singles.

2. Fly?s ? Deep water 125? +. We stayed away from huge glow fly?s using the Atommik Hammer fly with a glow white 2? twister tail on the rear hook. We have found that on some days to much flash or glow the kings will just follow and drift off. After switching colours to lessen the flash or glow especially in deep clear water the activity picked up again.

3. Scents ? On slow days The infamous Steelchaser will spray some God awful smelling scent on the fly?s. What brand of stench I don?t want to know and don?t really want to know. It sure does stink! Records indicate that to date that his spray has been mildly successful on those slow days.

4. Scents Continued ? We will often store old fly bodies, twister tails, short pieces of coloured yarn in a jar of mashed alewife parts. The idea (we hope) the items will absorb the alewife scent.

5. Scented Yarn ? These short pieces of scented coloured yarn can be added to any of your hard baits. Spoons or Plugs pass the yarn through the split ring and fasten with an overhand knot. On fly?s just an overhand knot on one of the hooks. When finished just cut the yarn off and apply another. It saves a alot of smelly tackle boxes by not spraying your baits.

? 6D Meat Alterations Continued
Another meat alteration is to enhance the flash of the meat. To achieve this we apply sparkles to the skin side of the strip. Location of the sparkles is a matter of choice. We found the tail section works. Apply some crazy glue to the area and sprinkle the sparkles. It dries in seconds.
The soaked yarn is a good alternative
kept in a jar or double baggie with the stench of choice keeps it away from your tackle
You can rinse off the spoon plug fly etc when done
as for the powerbaits I remove the grub after every useage and rince off the bait.
I prefer NOT to spray my flys or lures if possible
The scented yarn trick is from the mid seventies
has worked for over 30 years and counting

as for the alewife tail no real difference over grub
both work just fine the grubs soaked for some scent are easier to get then a supply of alewife tails

? 3B Abuse Your Balls!
When the kings were first stocked in the Bronte, bouncing bottom was a very productive method when they were laying on bottom. After several years of abusing my balls in this manner, they (my balls) started to develop unusual characteristics.
Bumps lumps and other forms of abuse were very pronounced. It would seem that these small imperfections imparted an unusual sound signature in the water. That one ball in particular became my prized possession. Day after day year after year that one cannonball out produced the entire rigger set. Change baits, move the balls around, it made no difference, that ball still was the go to ball. It had to be that sound signature. With that in mind we started to abuse my balls regularly trying to duplicate that shape and sound signature.

1. Using a hacksaw we made various small cuts across the face of a ball varying in depth from 1/8? to ?? deep. Further abuse of that ball the hacksaw pattern became a cross hatch design on the face. Result successful

2. Using the same hacksaw we performed the same crosshatch cuts on the sides of another ball but a more streamlined design. Result ? failure

3. From saltwater marlin fishing we tried the bubbler approach. 6 holes of ?? were drilled from the leading face of the ball at different directions from the middle to the outside edges at different angles, drilling right through the lead. At the beginning of the ?? holes, we reamed the hole partway through to 3/8? and the very front to ?? creating a conical opening. The kings loved this sound signature. NOTE: While filleting a salmon on board one day the entrails were in a bucket. My oldest son dropped this ball into the bucket by accident. Down she went guts and all ! Resulting in a good catch of kings that day.

Moral of the story regardless of the company you keep and the looks of bewilderment don?t be afraid to invent new ways to abuse your balls. The oddball gets their attention!
Lake Ontario - Clear Weather

Cold Water - King Techniques.

Clear weather kings -

A tough nut to crack.
Anglers have consistently fished temperature ranges from 55 to 50 degrees often being chased off the water by noon as the action slows during high light penetration periods of mid day.
Contrary to popular thinking kings LOVE COLD WATER! Temperatures in the 41 to 42 degree mark consistently out produce all other temperatures combined. This deep cold water program becomes even more essential during clear calm water conditions.
Experience shows that these active kings will move into warmer water to feed on Alewife their preferred prey. After early morning and late evening feeding sprees the king will head to deep cold water to await the next feed.

There are exceptions to the rule as always but as a rule of thumb Bright clear days fish DEEP! I mean DEEP!

I consistently run a line down at 75' plus, often in the 130? + depth range, often below the thermal bar into 39.5 degree water, during my steelhead excursions. I run the line with no stacker. When that designated rod releases I know it's a King.

Light Intensity

Light intensity and its penetration into the water column should be of prime importance. Water clarity has improved drastically in the last several years thanks to Zebra Mussels.
Time of day, light intensity and water conditions including turbidity and wave chop all must be taken in to account.
King salmon location (other than migrational or spawning patterns) in the vertical water column will reflect a combination of all these variables.

Mid day thunderstorms will clear the lake of fishermen, but those hardy enough to brave the adverse weather can often hit it big. Thunderstorms bring heavy seas and low light intensity which often triggers a feeding frenzy. During 99 one such storm came through Toronto and the boats scurried to port. We stayed as long as we could and landed several nice kings. The kings had moved over 40' in the water column and were feeding actively on the abundant alewife schools.

As soon as the storm subsided and the sun broke through the frenzy abated and out deep water program started to produce again. ( note during the feeding frenzy our warm water set at 55 degrees slightly below the bait schools started to produce and the boat/ball speed was increased to 3mph. When the sun broke clear the deep lines 105? to 125? started to move and boat speed was slowed to 1.6mph. water temp at 105? was 41 degrees and at 125? 39.5 degrees.)

Sorry the charts didn't print out

The chart clearly shows large kings on clear bright days overwhelmingly are caught from deep cold water below 44 degrees. Further records indicate that over 15 of these kings were caught over 75' deep in water temperatures hovering in the low 40's. Regardless of time of year or location!

Wind Effects

Heavy wind and choppy water diffuses the light spectrum and penetration is reduced. On bright clear days, in those heavy water conditions, low light intensity can be simulated and the chinook salmon will move up in the water column . Personally I leave one set-up in the cold deep zone but set others higher in the temperature band just under the schools of forage base.

The temperature chart indicates that 11 trophy kings were landed in water temperatures above 55 degrees less than 30' down. On further examination these 6 trophies were landed during extreme SW winds and wave chop of over 5'. Another variable to consider!

Low light intensity situations whether , its dawn or dusk, heavy seas, or poor water clarity, have produced excellent catches of large King salmon.

Heavy southwest winds along the Toronto-Scarborough dropoff have produced several derby winning kings from water temperatures ranging from 55 to over 64 degrees. These kings were caught suspended right in the middle of bait fish schools.

Time of Day!

Time of day has a tremendous effect on light intensity.
Most of our clear weather king salmon were caught before 9am and after 5pm. The kings were actively feeding during these periods. Mid day kings were almost to a tee caught in deep cold water with the exception of heavy seas. We concentrate our efforts during low light conditions at dawn and dusk fishing just below the Alewife schools, slightly cooler temperatures between 48 and 52 degrees. As light intensity increased we slowly move out deeper and lower the equipment either below 75' or water temperatures in the low 40's.

On occasion in the evening we have found as sunset approaches we will leave one rigger set deep and raise the other into temperature. Very often the last remaining deep rigger will be the most productive due to wary kings from excessive fishing pressure during the day.
Another trick for consistent big kings . Less noise/vibration after a heavy day of fishing will often be the ticket.

We will also target unfished water / structure, these areas will often hold kings as the will move latererly away from fishing pressure.

Lure Speed

Lure speed is dependant on water temperature. I prefer a speed of 1.6 to 2.0 MPH when fishing deep cold water. Slow wobbling actioned spoons and plugs work the best. Large Lymans and Tomic plugs with rattles are my preferred baits. Spoons range from Nasty Boy Magnums and NK Magnums to the silver plated blue/purple tape Damn Ugly.
The new glow spoons from Fishlander, Silver Streak and Moonshine have out performed all the traditional spoons from the late eighties.
Dodger and fly with a 8' lead and a pinned Jplug Lyman or Tomic stacked 5' above the dodger has produced quite well over the years. The kings are drawn to the action of the dodger and then veer and take the stacked JPlug

Warmer temperatures I increase the speed to over 2.2 to 2.5 MPH and use plugs Lymans, Tomics and Jplugs I generally pick locations away from the pack or fish on the edges. When fishing the edges of the pack fish deeper than the Fishing depth transmitted over the radio. Boat traffic will spook kings quickly and they will shut down just as fast! Often the kings will move deeper and out off the structure to escape the heavy boat traffic. Bottom bouncing your cannonballs will also work when they spook. but you will have to present the bait right in their face for results.

The key to clear water kings is to fish deep below 70' on those clear bright days. And don't stop there I've caught clear water kings as deep as 145' in 40 degree water!

Light is their enemy and the serious king angler must take that into account!

Yes water temperature and depth are factors in speed determination.
As well as bait type whether flasher fly, flasher meat, dodgers, spoons, plugs etc. In most selections of baits there are small tricks to ?adjust? any bait to run at a variety of different speeds. It takes a lot of time and effort to tune them, but it?s worth the effort.

Way back when we concentrated on NY brown trout the tackle box was segmented into speed categories. Each drawer of the box was labelled for the speed trolled. All lures would be tuned for optimum action at that particular speed. The speeds were broken down into every ? mph from 1.0 to 3 mph.
All lures that ran at the one speed would be marked with a marker to differentiate which drawer they belonged. That would save time adjusting the baits again.
When speed changes were warranted the entire set would be changed to the new speed selected and those lures from the corresponding drawer would be deployed.

Knowing the tuned speed of the baits deployed it became easy to send out the trigger bait that becomes the oddball with either a slow lazy action or the wild spinning model. No guessing.

Presently we usually troll quite slowly in cold (low 40?s) and deep water (120?+) from 1.0 to 2 mph.
For various reasons we slow the troll under these conditions
1. Cold water low 40?s the fish are negative and inactive- not very aggressive to the lure- The slow troll gives them time to mosey over and have a gander.
2. Slow troll allows the use of flasher/meat and better depth control with less blowback. We have found that our hook-ups were better with these slower speeds. Camera observations confirm that at these depths the slower troll will hold the king?s interest somewhat longer. A faster troll they tend to fade quickly.

When we fish the upper clines were fish (steelhead,kings) seem to be more actively feeding the speed increases to 2.2 to 3.5 mph. The standard speed that I would troll is 2.5 mph which is a GOOD compromise when fishing multiple temperature bands.

If we start to hit kings, deep and cold the game plan changes somewhat and a second line is deployed into the abyss, as in the vertical temperature spread we usually only fish 1 rod deep.

So in answer to your question we do both
we alter the speed to water conditions and tune the presention to the speed.
It may mean carrying a ton more tackle or spending time adjusting baits to the speed selected.

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John Whyte

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Re: Diary of a Madman Part II
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 01:08:56 pm »
I spend 250 days a year on the water and I still feel I'm missing Time on the Water.


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Re: Diary of a Madman Part II
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 05:50:15 am »
Is part 1 still online? Some very interesting topics in there