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View Full Version : Trolling a nightcrawler w/flasher



smokie
05-19-2009, 02:59 PM
Never tried it.
What's the common setup?
Distance from flasher to hook?
Hook size?
Full or half crawler?
Run the hook once thru the head and let it drag straight back?

Phishinfool2
05-19-2009, 03:27 PM
Flashers or a Dodger can be a deadly combination. Remember it all can vary from lake to lake, day to day, Season to Season. For me the typical setup is as follows Line to a snap swivel, to the Flasher head, to the leader, the leader can vary from 16" to 36", I run about 24/28" to 30/34". As far as the worm, it can depend on the lake and the temperament of the fish, I have run full worms, Half worms, beat up worms, etc.
Sometimes with my favorite lake you have to have a perfect worm or no action, sometimes as Seon can attest, we could just drag a hook and have strikes galore.

As far as the hook, I use one ahhhh yay big, Depends also on the lake and conditions. I don't recall my hook size, just know where it is in the tackle box.

In most waters you will want to troll about as slow as you can.

Setting out a medium size set of flashers approximately 100' to 120' back will drop the flashers about 15' to 18' down. Some fishers like to drag even up to 175' back.

Just play with it and you will figure it out, not to mention you will get lots of advice from the peeps here.

Jimbo

auburnfisher
05-19-2009, 03:30 PM
This has become my favorite technique this year. Still a rookie, but I've found a method that has really been working... use seps tear drop flashers in watermelon color (it has a rudder followed by 3 tear drop shape blades- each blade is about the size of a 50 cent coin). You can connect this flasher right to a snap swivel on your main line. After the flasher, tie on a leader of 4 or 6 lb. test (I use 4#) about 2' long. Then tie on a bait hook in size 8 (experiment with different size/types of hooks). Thread 1/2 a mini crawler on the hook so that it is straight- it should completely cover the entire hook plus the crawler should have a "tail" below the hook about 1/2" or 1" long. Again, the crawler should be straight. It will still spin a bit, but not so much that it will tangle the leader. No extra weight is needed. Just let out 100' or so of line and troll VERY slowly. That's it! Just put the rod in a holder and enjoy the scenery. Don't set the hook too quickly. Just wait until the rod bounces 4 or 5 times so you know he has the hook in him and just reel in. Have fun!

shake-n-bake
05-19-2009, 03:45 PM
Did real good at Almanor last week with 1/2 a crawler behind a large dodger and 24 inch leader, the color of the dodger didn't seem to matter this trip. A truly deadly combo for the browns we were catching the largest was just over 3 lbs.

atavuss
05-19-2009, 04:00 PM
anyone try the fake Berkeley power worm instead of a real worm behind flashers? seems the fake worm would hold onto the hook longer............

Another_Mike
05-19-2009, 04:04 PM
Pay attention to Auburnfisher about letting it bounce a few times to set the hook, I will go as far as stripping line to let them get a better bite when the bite is "soft" that day.....and yes, slow trolling speeds.


The only other thing I can add is use a worm needle for ease of hook threading.

Good luck.....

johnbfishin
05-19-2009, 04:20 PM
This is right up my alley, I cut my eye teeth trolling crawlers behind flashers and dodgers. They will work and you can kick some butt using them. These guys pretty much have it covered so I don't have much to add except keep a sharp eye on the lines. A missed strike and you may not be fishing anymore.
That's really the only reason I got away from using crawlers, I'll still use them now and then but for the most part I like to relax a little more these days and listen for the drag......oh, do I hear a fish? ;)

In my pre-down rigger days I'd use a 1/2- 3/4oz sinker and just hold the pole while trolling. Cutting the power now and then to let it drop then pick it up again. With all that weight and drag back there it was pretty cool to feel even a 12" trout slam the crawler......after that you won't feel much unless it's packing some weight.

NRJohn
05-19-2009, 06:54 PM
I like a Sepss watermelon dodger with about a 12" leader. 18" tops. Have done really well with it.

tbruski
05-19-2009, 07:09 PM
I use a Sep's dodger with a crawler also. We also use Ike-Con Rigged P-Wee Trout Worms. You can get them from Cabelas. We use minnow (brown) and orange. They have outfished the natural crawler 2 to 1 somedays. They have 2 hooks the trailing hook is very effective. Here is the description from Cabelas.
With a simple cast and slow retrieve, this lure creates a natural spiral rotation, enticing trout, crappies and bluegill to strike. A built-in trailer hook will catch those sluggish fish biting the tail. Made of durable, fade-resistant plastisol. The raspberry scent is proven to mask human smell when touching the lure prior to use. Per 3.
Size: 2".
Bruski

Jetspray
05-19-2009, 07:15 PM
Flasher setups are good as was stated before. I used them in conjunction with lead core for years. Trolling along the shore, varying depths by letting out more or less color. Make sure you troll with slow S turns and when you do turn you will have a falling leaf which gets strikes as well. Remember to put on the FUFU Juice (scent), that helps the worm do it's stuff. You can also use grubs and plastic worms they come in handy on hot days.....Jetspray

hammerdog
05-20-2009, 08:32 AM
I use Berkley Powerbait trout attractant potion on my crawlers....i don't know if it helps or not, but i don't think it hurts and it might even mask the scent from my hands, oils, sunscreen scent, etc......

nhbfishin
05-20-2009, 10:11 AM
ALL GOOD ADVISE DONT FORGET COW BELLS AND FORD FENDERS IF THE DODGERS AREN'T WORKING.

BigBow_Stalker
05-20-2009, 12:36 PM
Pay attention to Auburnfisher about letting it bounce a few times to set the hook...

Excellent advise to share with someone using a flasher/dodger with a worm for the first time. It's an absolute must if you want fish in the boat. The first time I trolled with a dodger and worm, I lost a few fish trying to set the hook when I saw the strike. When I have used them, trout tend to nibble at them like they do when bank fishing with bait. Ya gotta wait until they swallow it or take it in good before the hook is set. Good luck!

auburnfisher
05-20-2009, 12:44 PM
Wow bruski! based on your recommendation, I just bought ike-con rigged p-wee trout worms. hard to believe these would out-fish real crawlers to i'm going to give 'em a try. thanks for the advice. while i was at it, i purchased mustad "slow death" hooks. the shanks are bent so the crawler makes a slow spin behind dodger or flasher. i thought it was a gimic, but a total stranger gave me one to try at Lake Davis last weekend and my strike/land ratio did increase. another bit of advice based on trial/error.... if a trout hits but doesn't stick, keep it out there for a minute to see if he hits again. If nothing happens after a little while, check your bait because the trout probably bit off the trailing 1/2" of crawler. my hook-up ratio goes WAY down without that 1/2" or so trailing behind the hook.

dave_in_el_dorado
05-20-2009, 12:49 PM
sorry if i missed it, but i didnt see threaded worms mentioned.

i like to use a worm threader, put the worm on straight all the way up the line past hook and leave the head of worm no more than an about an inch below the hook. if the bite seems light, thread worm all the way on.........this will reduce the number of missed hits by alot IME.. i'll also slather it up w/ some scents. favorites include kokanee, trophy trout, krill and shrimp, garlic.......

stonesfan
05-20-2009, 02:25 PM
anyone try the fake Berkeley power worm instead of a real worm behind flashers? *

I use them all the time, no fuss, no muss, They are Great...........
and besides, when was the last time you dug up an Orange Worm...

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

Never
05-20-2009, 04:20 PM
I've been meaning to try a 2 hook rig to keep worm from sliding down and bunching up.

Another_Mike
05-20-2009, 04:23 PM
sorry if i missed it, but i didnt see threaded worms mentioned.

i like to use a worm threader, put the worm on straight all the way up the line past hook and leave the head of worm no more than an about an inch below the hook. *if the bite seems light, thread worm all the way on.........this will reduce the number of missed hits by alot IME.. *i'll also slather it up w/ some scents. *favorites include kokanee, trophy trout, krill and shrimp, garlic.......

I mentioned it briefly....and yep, this is the way to do it to avoid those missed hits or short strikes. Very deadly method.

On the flipside, if you are catch and releasing....don't use worms....not many lip hooked non bleeders with this method.

tbruski
05-20-2009, 04:46 PM
Wow bruski! based on your recommendation, I just bought ike-con rigged p-wee trout worms. hard to believe these would out-fish real crawlers to i'm going to give 'em a try. thanks for the advice. while i was at it, i purchased mustad "slow death" hooks. the shanks are bent so the crawler makes a slow spin behind dodger or flasher. i thought it was a gimic, but a total stranger gave me one to try at Lake Davis last weekend and my strike/land ratio did increase. another bit of advice based on trial/error.... if a trout hits but doesn't stick, keep it out there for a minute to see if he hits again. If nothing happens after a little while, check your bait because the trout probably bit off the trailing 1/2" of crawler. my hook-up ratio goes WAY down without that 1/2" or so trailing behind the hook.
The only problem I had with the slow death hooks are some incredible line twists even with all the different swivels available.
Bruski

Chadzilla
05-20-2009, 05:56 PM
sorry if i missed it, but i didnt see threaded worms mentioned. i like to use a worm threader, put the worm on straight all the way up the line past hook and leave the head of worm no more than an about an inch below the hook. *if the bite seems light, thread worm all the way on.........this will reduce the number of missed hits by alot IME.
When the bite is tough and the lures in my box are not bringing in as much action as I'd like, a switch to a dodger/flasher with worm combo seems to work great. I exculsively use a fully threaded crawler like Dave mentioned with the "head" just covering the end of the hook. However, after reading some of these posts I may rig a crawler straight to see if there is a difference.

ricky66
05-20-2009, 06:28 PM
i use a ford fender silver or a silver or orange herring dodger with half of a crawler. i just got some of those peewee worms from cabelas, but i haven't tried them yet. sounds like they work well. we got out about 100 feet to get 20-25 feet down, but we troll slow at about 1 mph, works even on the worst days.

Nor_Cal_Dale
05-20-2009, 06:53 PM
Well Guys here is my take on it after using Dodgers all last summer. I like the Seps Sidekick much better than the dodger. Does the same syle wiggle with a lot less drag on line and rod etc. I use light tackle and like to see everything that is going on. They come in tons of colors etc at Wal Mart too at about 6 bucks each.

Don't forget to try a Wolley Bugger behind if they are not hitting on worms. They work great for Trout!

* Happy Trolling
* Dale:o

northriver18
05-23-2009, 09:50 PM
I have been doing this for 20 years. My fave is a Sep's Chrome prizm dodger with about an 18" leader (4-8lb). The hook may suprise some of you, but I use a No 1 long shank worm hook. I use a half a large (12 to box) crawler and prefer the tail half. Thread by hand. With practice you can do this easier than with a threader. Broken end first past the eye onto line and leave the hook curve and point exposed, crawler flat, with about 1/2 to1 inch trailing. It will track flat with less spin this way. Tail will flutter. The reason for all of this is I get less swallowing of the bait and better lip hook sets as the fish seem to strike more midway on the worm and self hook. Agree with the troll slow idea and have caught fish to 6lbs doing this. Used to do a wind drift at Melones in a certain pattern and so slow the line entered the water at a 45 deg angle with about 120-150 ft out. Sometimes as slow as .4 or.5 and would hook up over a hilltop that was about 100ft down.

M

kokanee slow
05-24-2009, 05:53 AM
Excellent thread guys, thanks for the terrific methods revealed.

Jetspray
05-24-2009, 06:06 AM
I use scent dispensers in line above the flasher set up on a doubble swivel setup. The dispenser is supposed to spin as it moves through the water coloum but it sticks when the line gets gummed up so a swivel on each end helps. I buy them at Sportsmans Warehouse they are clear plastic which comes apart to put in the FUFU juice (scent). For the trailer hook I use the Mack's doubble wammy type or I thread the single hook with a worm threader......Jetspray

waterdog
05-24-2009, 08:24 AM
Lots of good info here. Only thing I'd add is keep your worm no more than 18" from the dodger or flasher. The dodger especially gives your worm action (a worm trolled on a hook has no action) and the further back from the dodger or flashers the less action it will have. I run mine from 12" to 18" with great success. Also Carp Spit *scent by procure works very well since it is basically *night crawler scent. As far as dodgers I start with silver , gold or rainbow colored. For flashers you can't beat Sep's micro flashers. I also like Sep's side kicks and sling blades.
Waterdog :)

BIGSAC7
05-25-2009, 02:45 PM
sorry if i missed it, but i didnt see threaded worms mentioned.

i like to use a worm threader, put the worm on straight all the way up the line past hook and leave the head of worm no more than an about an inch below the hook. *if the bite seems light, thread worm all the way on.........this will reduce the number of missed hits by alot IME.. *i'll also slather it up w/ some scents. *favorites include kokanee, trophy trout, krill and shrimp, garlic.......

I mentioned it briefly....and yep, this is the way to do it to avoid those missed hits or short strikes. Very deadly method.

On the flipside, if you are catch and releasing....don't use worms....not many lip hooked non bleeders with this method.



Also try backing the drag way down. It allows the fish to take the worm a little more because they do not feel the tension until they have taken it deeper. Once you get the fish, hold your rod tip up and tighten the drag. This has been a great method for catching fish that are light on the bite!

Good Luck to all and hope you have a great Memorial Day!

random hookups
05-25-2009, 03:08 PM
I fished using a threaded worm on a long shank worm hook behind flashers/dodgers all weekend and couldn't keep the kokanee of my line. I keep the worm 16'' behind the dodger, a little further behind flashers.

troutjl
06-01-2009, 10:18 AM
don't forget a snubber so you do not pull the hook out of the fishes mouth.

NorCal2500HD
06-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Some real good info here, gonna head over to walmart and see if I can get some flashers or something. Just got a little aluminum boat and started trolling last week.......

auburnfisher
06-01-2009, 10:50 AM
I fished fuller yesterday and tested 1/2 crawler behind watermelon flashers vs. p-wee/ike pre-threaded plastic trout worm from cabelas (see posts above for exact name). i caught trout on both set-ups, but many more on the watermelon flasher 1/2 crawler combo.

ixlatall
06-01-2009, 11:43 PM
I still like the added feeling of some sort of wedding ring or othe rig after the flashers or dodgers.

zbone
06-02-2009, 10:50 AM
Good post! *I don't have a lot of trolling experience, but I do enjoy this technique. *I instinctively rig the crawlers very similar to how northriver18 mentioned above and get similar hook sets (easy to catch and release). *I also like Sep's Sidekicks with light tackle.

SO, I have a couple questions for you all. *When fishing in water with kokanee and trout, what would be a good scent to use? *I'm guessing krill? *Also, has anyone tried adding a piece of corn in front of the crawler???

Jetspray
06-02-2009, 03:50 PM
Zbone I use gels or scent dispensers in front of the flashers. Gels tend to stick longer if you use the krill scent. I have trophy trout, nightcrawler, Gulp sprays as well......Jetspray

big_willy
06-03-2009, 12:52 PM
My buddy and I have been fishing with crawlers in Nor. Cal for over 40 years using Gil Hoolies. The leader is about 18" with a thin, poined piece of metal about 3" long on one end, and a treble hook on the other. You run the metal piece through a half a night crawler, slide it down the leader, and cover the hook shank. We hook this up behind a dodger with lead core. We used to lose a lot of fish trolling crawlers on a single hook, but since this leader is actually running through the bait, you almost always get your fish in the boat. They're not made any more, but we rig our own. Good luck.

ot
06-03-2009, 01:08 PM
So you don't have to use a downrigger with flashers or dodgers as specified in previous posts? So when do you need to use a downrigger with flashers or dodgers?

Thanks.

OT

big_willy
06-03-2009, 01:17 PM
We rarely use a downrigger. Maybe at Bucks by the dam for macs. Lead core works just fine for us. We primarlly fish Bucks, Almanor, Davis and up until a several years ago, Little Grass. That was the first lake we tried the worm threaders and we killed them. One year bows 2-3lbs, then browns up to 5lbs, and the biggest coho we've ever caught. Probably 2-3 lbs. The first time we tried Little Grass (1980), we had double hook ups all day. But prior to the worm threaders (Gil Hoolies) we lost more than we boated. We probably have 8 full tackle boxes between us, but it's alway crawlers that work best. You can use some trout scent for good measure.

nhbfishin
06-03-2009, 01:18 PM
Use a down rigger when the fish are deep. Or use lead core line. If the fish are up higher I don't use either.

Jetspray
06-03-2009, 01:35 PM
Downriggers can be used anytime to hold your presentation at a relatively level depth. Most others are guess work because of boat speed, thickness and length of the line/setup, amount of weight, lure/dodger/flasher drag, etc. etc. I like all of the choices and have them on board......Jetspray

auburnfisher
06-03-2009, 02:09 PM
90% of the time i use no downrigger with flasher/crawler set-up. trolled slowly, i'm down in the 15' - 20' depth which is cool pretty much the whole year where I fish (foothills and higher). i'll have to look up that Gil Hoolies thing. i boat maybe 1/2 of the strikes i get trolling crawlers behind flashers.

auburnfisher
06-03-2009, 02:18 PM
gil hoolie... do you have a picture of a gil hoolie? sounds interesting.

big_willy
06-03-2009, 05:14 PM
I'll upload a pic tomorrow. There is another way you can make them. I'll describe with the pics. The actual "Gil Hoolie" I'm sure is a patent, so no one can sell them. The principle behind it however, is pretty basic. I only use "Gil Hoolie" as a tribute for the hundreds of trout I've caught on it. There was also a "Bobby Deen" that was similar. The whole idea is to have the crawler threaded on the leader so the fish can't just nip it off.

Zebco Kid
06-03-2009, 06:49 PM
Smokie,

It's my #1 go to strategy for Trout.

Vances Silver Dodger
18" behind dodger
#2 Gamakatsu (sp?)
Nightcrawler threaded.

You won't be dissapointed.

DG

Capt.Ken
06-04-2009, 10:09 AM
Flashers trailing a night crawler is a great combination. *We have had great success trolling our flashers with just a night crawler or one of our wormharnesses tipped with a crawler. *This is an old time method that alot of guys have gotten away from, but is still very productive, sometimes more so than using dodgers. *Sometime the fish like the big flash of big flashers, our curved blade flashers, which is similar to the old doc sheltons, is great because of the greater vibrations it produces. *there are also micro flashers available that don't but as much drag on the rod, that work well but not as well as the bigger flashers.
check out our fishing tips page http://www.kenscustomtackle.com/fishtips.html*for some good all around information.
Capt. Ken

Zebco Kid
06-04-2009, 01:11 PM
As long as we're on nightcrawlers. Nothing better than a fish on a naked nightcrawler off a downrigger. Just you and the fish. Add some light light, and you just might have an extra fun challenge.

DG

Mackattack
06-04-2009, 07:46 PM
So you don't have to use a downrigger with flashers or dodgers as specified in previous posts? *So when do you need to use a downrigger with flashers or dodgers? *

Thanks.

OT

The key to success without down riggers is early or late. After the sun hits the water do some bait soaking either shore or anchored or drifting. Also jiging the bottom can be deadly at times.A pic of a Caples mack caught jigging and the jig used.http://i35.tinypic.com/2q2ltur.jpghttp://i33.tinypic.com/2r6co3m.jpg

*Mackattack

Jetspray
06-05-2009, 03:08 AM
That is true Mackattack there are other methods. The timing on many lakes is important as well. However, trolling is more productive simply because you are moving through many concentrations of fish at various depths and areas. Flashers/dodgers bring fish to you more often than simple lure setups. Any attractive add on works the same, including scent.......Jetspray

red_perception
06-06-2009, 03:48 PM
Wow, definitely some great info guys! In Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake and Donner live minnows from the same lake are allowed and also a deadly bait to use behind both dodgers and flashers. I prefer flashers to dodgers in the shallows cuz of the weight. I tend to hang bottom alot more using dodgers. Seps micros are by far my favorite. I run a 3 foot leader of 4 pound flouro behind the flashers and <18" for the dodgers. Sidekicks preferable to standard dodgers. Another option I have tried is small Rapalas in place of a live minnow or crawler. Stickbaits for dodgers and jointed for flashers. ****ALSO CHECK OUT MARK WIZA'S ARTICLES HERE ON THE SNIFFER ;) **** *Oh yeah, I take off the rudder and snaps to minimize my presentations in Tahoe's ultra clear water ;)Start by tying the leader on with a polomar knot, then tie to the main line using the same knot pulling the whole leader through then tie a polomar to the hook. SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW TROOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL"N Good luck, Eric ;)

hotdog
06-06-2009, 05:48 PM
Here's another trick that I didn't see mentioned. Unless I'm toplining, I always use downriggers. If I'm fishing 20' or deeper, I'll clip a flasher right to the ball and set my worm/lure above it and even with the back end. Trout will circle the flashers until they find my offering.

James ><<>>