Canadian Canoe Routes

Deep trout gear
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Author:  Garry [ May 17th, 2002, 9:57 am ]
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I'm planning a trip into Algonquin this August and would like to do some laker and spec fishing. I expect they will be deep and all my gear is shallow ultralight spinning style for spring. I expect to have to get my tackle down 50 feet deep or more depending on the lake and will be self propelled in my canoe - no motor.
What works best to reach summer trout ie reel,line and rod combinations?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Garry on 2002-05-17 11:00 ]</font>

Author:  Guest [ May 17th, 2002, 11:28 am ]
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Gary short of using lead core line I think your best bet would be a snap on weight/release system. These weights are attached to your mainline after letting out the disired trooling length of line. Then a very small release is attached to the line. As you let out more line the lead weight takes your lure down to a much deeper depth. When the fish stike the release pops and the weight slides down the line to the lure. They are available at most specialty tackle shops and come in various sizes.

Author:  deabreu [ May 17th, 2002, 1:12 pm ]
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Scotty sells a portable Downrigger - The LakeTroller - which I use in the park for summer lakers. It is light (Except for the 4 lb Lead ball that I bring.) other people bring a sack and throw a local rock in it.

The benefit of this over the slip weights is that when a fish strikes the line releases and the weight is not on your line when you bing in the fish. You are also not going to lose your heavy slip sinkers in the event of snagging on the bottom.


Author:  dboles [ May 18th, 2002, 8:59 pm ]
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Jig for them like a Newf! Boyo!
Put on a heavy spoon or a lead headed jig,let it sink to the bottom reel it in a foot or so then yank it a foot or two , let the lure sink-repeat if necessary!

Author:  FritzA [ May 20th, 2002, 8:00 am ]
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There are a variety of small plastic disks that will take your lure down to a variety of different depths depending on how you set it. On a Quetico trip last year, my dad was the only one with one of these. The rest of us toyed with jigging spoons and jigs and trolling with a lot of lead. He caught as many lakers as the rest of us put together.

Author:  Frankr [ May 20th, 2002, 9:35 am ]
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Unless you are in a spectacular fishery, deep water trolling is a low percentage operation by canoe. Deep water trolling, in my opinion, is better suited for motorized boats. It is just too much work to paddle the long distances necessary to effectively search for fish.

But . . . I've had some success with bottom bouncing sinkers and a floating minnow plug. The Gapen baitwalker and the Lindy "No-Snagg" are great. Both companies have web sites that explain how to use the product, which are generally available thru Cabelas or Bass Pro. For 50 feet I'd recommend a 1 even 2 oz sinker, a stout pool at least 6 feet long and about 12 lb test. You may pick up more walleyes than trout.

Author:  ghommes [ May 20th, 2002, 2:43 pm ]
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Trolling a flutter spoon about three feet behind two or three ounces of keel sinkers works well for lakers in summer. Deep diving plugs can work, too, unless the fish are very deep. Even then, however, they often will come up quite a distance to nab the lure.

Author:  Chard [ May 21st, 2002, 7:23 am ]
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As mentioned by FritzA, the round discs, properly called "Dipsy Divers" by Luhr Jenson, are what we've been using for years. They come in several sizes, select the smallest, and can be set to run to the left, centre or right of the canoe to avoid spooking fish. Loosen off the tension screw to detect light bites and you're set.

Another alternative is the "Pink Lady", again by Luhr Jenson. The advantage of this type is that unlike the "Dipsy", which has to be brought in to be reset in the event of a strike or snag, the "Pink Lady" just needs a bit of slack to reset. It also runs a bit deeper, but only straight down the centre.

An ideal setup would be one of the new no-stretch braided or fused lines from the rod to the diver and then a 5'-8' mono leader attached to the diver (8lbs). Drag a floating minnnow (read Rapala) through the depths and you're in business. Spoons are ok, but they sink when the canoe stops and are more likely to snag.

Because there is a fair bit of drag, I have a cast aluminum screw-on rod-holder that I fasten to my thwart on my paddling side for extended trolling. A rod carefully place by your feet also works fine and is easier to get at.

Using snap weights attached to the main line, as has been mentioned, is also a good way to go. Tie a barrel swivel a few feet above the lure to prevent the snapweight from sliding all the way to the fish where it's leverage will make the hooks easier to throw.

You can be extremely accurate in depth with these systems after some experimentation and a knowledge of how much line you have out and how fast you're travelling.

Another alternative is the bottom walkers used on the walleye circuit. Dragged along the bottom with a floating minnow bait will get you into the zone, but the likelihood of snagging has made this a last choice for me. With practice and total concentration (read bow paddler) it should be very effective.

I'm a devoted Rapala-man. I've caught 90% of my fish on thse great baits, but that's just probably because I use them 90% of the time. The long gold/black, silver/black or the yellow/silver have always been my favorites. Big spoons are also good. Cleos or Williams are good choices. Finish off with a touch of fish atractant and go. Does it help? Well, it was the only difference between a buddy and myself and I caught more fish. Doesn't hurt!

Finally, as I have mentioned in other posts, if you are serious about going fishing from a canoe, not just canoeing with a rod hoping for a fish, then a fishfinder is VERY VERY helpful. I have one and while I don't go searching for individual fish like the bass and salmon boys do, I do use it to keep a constant eye on the depth. I'm always amazed when I paddle over a familar lakes with a sonar. Waters that I had guessed to be 100' deep may be only 15' and vis-a-versa. New portable fishfinders are small and reasonably light as well. It's very rewarding to develop an understanding of the bottom on your favorite lakes, both for interest sakes and for the fish it helps you catch.

One note however... I must admit that using a sonar takes away somewhat from the overall experience I'm looking for when I go canoeing. Every moment spent staring at a little monitor is a moment that could have been better spent soaking in the wind, clouds and shorelines. Before long you may find yourself looking at it every few seconds, only to check the depth of course, but all too often nonetheless. If you use a canoe to catch lakers, then yes a sonar is the way to go, especially on unfamilar lakes. If you go canoeing and hope for fish, settle back and enjoy the day, eventually you just might be lucky enough to feel a tug on your line.

Hope this helps...


Author:  Garry [ May 21st, 2002, 5:27 pm ]
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Great info everyone, thanks!
Any suggestions on reel and rod? I imagine a level winder is best ( I think I have an Abu Garcia somewhere in the garage) but what about the rod? Is there a rod that is better for bush travel (durable and short)?

Author:  deabreu [ May 21st, 2002, 7:50 pm ]
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Rod and reel choice really depends on the preferred method. One of the benefits of downrigging is I can use my 5' Ultralight spinning outfit with 6lb test. Other deep water methods require a more substantial Rod and reel combo.

Author:  normhead [ May 22nd, 2002, 1:22 pm ]
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I used to use a trolling rod jammed into the back of my canoe , with a couple canon balls on the end. You take the kids out for a paddle and sometimes you catch something. I used a heavy 20 lb cotton line, or was it 50, it was heavy anyway. If your canon ball is big enough, you can see it on your fish finder. A big help if you want to tempt a fish with a morsel. I never did it but a friend of mine used to do it all the time.

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