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bsmith95610
04-06-2009, 09:07 AM
I have a small aluminum fishing boat but do not have a downrigger setup. I do have a cheap depth finder though. Is it possible to fish for trout without a downrigger? If so what is the best way to do this? I normally go out to either Folsom, Collins, Camp Far West, Pardee, or other lakes in the Sacramento area. Any help would be appreciated.

egg
04-06-2009, 12:45 PM
the best thing to do, is start toplining some rapalas. do the basics and keep it simple. letting your line out about 150 feet, and just focus on setting your trolling speed. i am particularlly fond of lake camanche. watching this board is well worth time spent. there are some very serious dudes here that know how to pull in fish, and are more than willing to help. don't be embarrased to ask, if so, send them a private pm. ;)

twoelk48
04-06-2009, 01:02 PM
Don't be afraid to make your own downriggers or buy some used mannuals to get started. YOu would be suprised some of the homemade ones I ahve seen guys using that are fairly inexpensive and work. My couple of sets were homemade. Kent

916towerguy
04-06-2009, 05:09 PM
Right now you can get away with toplining but as the water warms up you will need a way to go deeper. Downriggers are one option you can find some pretty cheap used on craigslist. Another route would be to use something like a deep six or lead core line. Like it was said above ask questions here and you will get answers.

direct
04-06-2009, 07:56 PM
leadcore line thats the cheapest. try putting it out 2- 4 colors key is what there are using and where. p.s. keep tab on what where and when.

Captain Compassion
04-06-2009, 08:10 PM
I agree about lead core. It can be very effective at depths up to 35 feet.


CC

Athlete24
04-06-2009, 08:33 PM
I'll second lead core line as a very economic option. *Get a simple pen trolling reel and maybe a 7 foot ugly stick medium power rod. *Spooling on some lead core only costs $15 i think. *Just tie on the leader line of your choice and you are set. *The nice thing about downriggers is that you can get very precise with your depths. The manual crank downriggers actually work quite well. Make sure your boat will go slow enough if you are going to troll flashers or dodgers. *I know a 25 hp motor going as slow as possible still might be too fast.

Mr_Ed
04-06-2009, 09:09 PM
If you don't want a big reel and the hassle of leadcore line..........

you can always add a bananna trolling weight to get down.
A 1/2 oz all the way to a 2 oz will work trolling blades or dodgers
for trout.

Pink ladys and deep six units some times unsnap or will not release
which is a pain................

Just depends on if you want an X-Lite setup or a bunch of weight and pull on your rod.

Bartender
04-06-2009, 09:22 PM
I'm with you Mr_Ed ;)

GH

worble
04-07-2009, 06:11 AM
Go and buy a Scotty lake troller or a cannon lake troller they are pretty cheap and work very well. I always troll with one rod on the downrigger and one on top. The cannon will have a line counter on it but the scotty 1071 does not have a line counter. Now you have to ask what do I use to troll with? and this will start a whole new thread. Just get out and fish and try everything you can think of and have fun. trolling is a great way to fish. [smiley=fishhead.gif]

Skippy
04-07-2009, 09:16 AM
I have a small aluminum fishing boat but do not have a downrigger setup. *I do have a cheap depth finder though. *Is it possible to fish for trout without a downrigger? *If so what is the best way to do this? *I normally go out to either Folsom, Collins, Camp Far West, Pardee, or other lakes in the Sacramento area. *Any help would be appreciated.

I'm also in the same boat (no pun intended) as I'm trolling without downriggers. *I've been using, with some success, a similar setup as found here http://www.ontariowalleye.ca/lake.htm.

I just change the weight depending on how deep I want to get. *I also add a dodger between the three way swivel and the lure.

Like I said, this has been working for me, but the drawback is you're reeling in a fair amount of weight along with your fish.

I've yet to try leadcore, but I believe I do want to give that a shot in the future. *I have tried jet divers, and they've worked too, but they really create a lot of drag both while trolling and when fighting the fish. *Also, unless you find a jet diver where you can adjust the depth, you have to swap them out to adjust how deep you're fishing.

But, like others have said, if you can find some downriggers that fit your budget, they're the best way to go.

-Skippy

ajaxfishing
04-07-2009, 10:06 AM
Another thing to think about is following the trout up the mountain. By this is I mean, as spring arrives in the higher elevations, I start leaving the lower lakes and fishing the smaller cold-water lakes along Highway 88. My favorite is Silver Lake; fortunately it's only 45 minutes from my house. I usually can troll there almost all summer long without using a downrigger, especially if I get there early in the morning. Later in the morning when the sun is on the water, I might have to add some weight to get down to where the fish are, or I just anchor and bait fish. Hope this helps.

bsmith95610
04-07-2009, 10:12 AM
Should I also buy a line counter so I can tell how much line I have out?

Skippy
04-07-2009, 10:36 AM
Should I also buy a line counter so I can tell how much line I have out? *
It probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

I use the "pull" method where you pull approximately a foot off the reel at a time until you've reached the desired distance and then I mark the line on the reel so the next time I just let it out until I've reached that mark. *Then you can adjust either to run less or more line out by reeling in or letting more out.

But a line counter would be easier.

-Skippy

Captain Compassion
04-07-2009, 10:43 AM
Another thing to think about is following the trout up the mountain.
Don't say these things. We want to keep the flatlanders in the flat lands. ;) ;D ::) J/K You are correct sir. If you want Silver Macks you might need a little weight.

CC

bsmith95610
04-07-2009, 10:50 AM
One more question then I will leave you all alone. I am going to try trolling for trout and striper. Is it possible to use the same line & reel? I know from bank fishing they would be different setups but I wasn't sure if for trolling if I could get something that might work for both.

Skippy
04-08-2009, 11:07 AM
One more question then I will leave you all alone. *I am going to try trolling for trout and striper. *Is it possible to use the same line & reel? *I know from bank fishing they would be different setups but I wasn't sure if for trolling if I could get something that might work for both.
Sure, it can be done (one rod/reel for both), but it's not desirable.

If you get a light rod/reel setup it will be nice for trout, but hook into a good sized striper and things could get interesting.

If you get a heavier setup for stripers, then reeling in an average trout won't be much fun.

If you get something in the middle, it will work but won't be ideal for either species.

I guess if money is an issue, then try and get something as light as possible for stripers, then use it for trout too, but if you can swing it, get two setups.

-Skippy

GDRETIREDCOP
04-08-2009, 11:59 AM
you can always use what i call my "poor mans "down rigger. I bought a downrigger release, and added about 2 or 3 ounces of weghts to it. then i let out the line as far back as i wanted. attach the release to the line, then let it go down how far you want. when you get a fish, reel it in to the release, take the release off, then play the fish. It really works well, and i used i ;) ;)t a lot before i got my downriggers. My boat is a little 14 ft with a 15 hp johnson, and it gets me where i want to go.

richard

fshnhunt
04-08-2009, 02:44 PM
I also used banana weights with success before downriggers. I also counted out the number of pulls when letting out then I would put a small piece of paper under the line on my spool so if I hook up I just let the line out to the piece of paper again. :)

Fish_R_Us
04-08-2009, 03:22 PM
We've used Dave Davis and Ford Fender Trolling blades with a 2-5 oz lead weight attached to the red plastic planer (located before the metal blades) with sucess. A rubber snubber is used between the end of the flashers and the leader (4' to 8' leader) going to the lure/bait. The rig is a little heavy, however used carefully, will be able to get down to the kokes (up to 3 lbs.) during the summer. You need to troll slowly, and adjust for light drag on the reel. Instead of counting line pulls, we slowly let out line by counting the reel handle revolutions, the ratio is usually around 3:1 (reel rev's vs. handle rev's). Normal trolling depth is usually 40-80 (handle rev's) to get down deep. This is no way, a replacement for a downrigger setup, however if you just want to mess around, give it a try.

bsmith95610
04-21-2009, 03:21 PM
I went trolling twice last week with no success. I was trolling with a 15hp motor on a 14 foot aluminum boat. I might have been going to fast but I'm not sure since I don't have a speedometer. Would I be better off trolling with an old electric trolling motor that I use for bass fishing? I wasn't sure if that would be to slow?

billfisher
04-21-2009, 03:55 PM
I went trolling twice last week with no success. *I was trolling with a 15hp motor on a 14 foot aluminum boat. *I might have been going to fast but I'm not sure since I don't have a speedometer. *Would I be better off trolling with an old electric trolling motor that I use for bass fishing? *I wasn't sure if that would be to slow?

With your boat and outboard there is a very good chance you were trolling a bit faster than you wanted to be unless your engine idles at a very low rpm. For a small aluminum boat I would definitely troll with the electric motor unless the wind was too strong for good control. Folks also do things to slow down there trolling speeds with bigger engines such as dragging 5 gallon buckets behind the boat or adding a trolling plate to the engine. But in general, especially this early in the year, I'd say you want to slow it down.

johnbfishin
04-21-2009, 05:16 PM
I can almost guarantee you were going too fast for anything other than top lining rapalas.
I started with a 14' Gregor and a 15hp motor. I did get an electric but unless you have access to charging them it's pretty much a one day trip.
Anyway, how I overcame the speed factor using the 15hp was by cutting two strips of plywood about 3' long that would slide through the handles that are on the stern of small Gregors. I drilled a series of hole in the plywood strips and used lag screws to adjust the depth the wood went into the water and thereby adjusting my speed. It is a pain but it worked and allowed me to go on 2-4 day trips and not have to worry about batteries and all that goes with them.

FISHIN_BUDDY
04-22-2009, 08:33 AM
I have a similar set up: 14ft aluminum, no downriggers and a electric trolling motor so all the info posted so far is very helpful - Thank You.

I also have a ff that shows my boat speed via gps. So in a lake with no current or wind I would think its pretty accurate.

Question: What is the ideal speed in mph for trolling rapalas (count-downs or divers) without downriggers. I trolled Amador last weekend with some success but i think its more luck than skill so far.

Thanks.

baileyrj
04-22-2009, 09:16 AM
Ditto a lot of the previous comments. I'm a trolling newbie myself and got started with two manual Canon downriggers that actually work great in my opinion and were about $100 each. You can also make your own deep trolling rig very inexpensively with three way swivels and larger weight. Here is a diagram and instructions or Google "three way swivel trolling rig."

http://www.hiddenriverlodge.com/lake.htm

Also, Bass Pro Shops has an article on using the three way swivel rig here or search "using the three way rig" on their site in the outdoor site library section:

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?mode=article&objectID=30287&storeId=10151&c atalogId=10001&langId=-1

Leadcore is a good start and agree with the others that 2-4 colors out usually works pretty well until it gets hot in the summer as it does here in the promised land otherwise known as the San Joaquin Valley when the fish go much deeper. Two things you must remember with leadcore however (I'll probably take some ribbing here and I am being a hypocrite since I use it) but it isnt the most enviornmentally friendly or safe equipment. I'm actually ordering some of the eco friendly stuff but I digress. The other issue with the leadcore type lines is that you can only get so deep with it since the "push" against it from the water and forward motion actually carries it upward much like airflow under a wing causing lift.

You really might consider the manual downriggers as they are inexpensive, easy to install/move and get the job job down to about 100 feet. No question you're going to hook up more if you can hit them high (top lining) and low (downriggers). I wouldnt listen to much about getting tired from cranking them. A guy in the shop where I bought mine thought I was crazy and commented "see how you like them when you're cranking them up by hand from the bottom over and over." Ive had no problems and rather like a little exercise. Aside from that...whoever said fishing wasnt work!

Hope this helps.