Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Fishing Forum
      Lake Trout and bait balls...     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1562)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 03:32PM
I often troll for lakers and I always have a depth finder. I occasionally see bait balls at about 40-60 feet deep in 70-100 feet of water. Sometimes, i get strikes as my lure goes over the bait ball.

But... What about jigging? This spring, I saw a ball at 40 feet. I dropped a blue Heddon Sonar down and jigged it hard. I immediately got a good strike. The fish stayed on for a while but then broke my line. I stayed in the area and tried to repeat the strike without luck.

Do folks stop and fish bait balls? If so, how do you do it?

Heddon
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Frankie_Paull
distinguished member (189)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 04:33PM
Mad_Angler: "I often troll for lakers and I always have a depth finder. I occasionally see bait balls at about 40-60 feet deep in 70-100 feet of water. Sometimes, i get strikes as my lure goes over the bait ball.

But... What about jigging? This spring, I saw a ball at 40 feet. I dropped a blue Heddon Sonar down and jigged it hard. I immediately got a good strike. The fish stayed on for a while but then broke my line. I stayed in the area and tried to repeat the strike without luck.

Do folks stop and fish bait balls? If so, how do you do it?

Heddon "I always wondered this myself. My first question is how do you stay on top of them ? Sorry to just add me questions than answers on this topic.
thegildedgopher
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/05/2018 11:49AM
I'm no expert, but in my opinion you want to be jigging the 10 foot area directly under the bottom of the thermocline. The bait is at the BOTTOM of the thermocline, so I don't think jigging above the bait balls makes logical sense?

You can usually see the thermocline on a good sonar, but it's not really necessary. The thermocline is around 35-45 feet in the warm months. The bottom of the thermocline is extremely rich in plankton, so the bait fish are feeding at the bottom reaches of the thermocline. And where are the trout hanging out? Probably in the 10 feet of water column directly below that.

If you're jigging on top of the bait ball, and the trout are hanging out below the bait ball, it seems unrealistic to expect the trout to come up thru the school of prey to attack an artificial bait. You might get a hit now and then, but doesn't seem like an efficient way to fish to me.

Frankie_Paull: "I always wondered this myself. My first question is how do you stay on top of them ? Sorry to just add me questions than answers on this topic. "

If you're asking in terms of boat control, keeping the boat "on top" of a specific position, that's pretty tough to do without a bow-mount trolling motor with spot lock. But it shouldn't be necessary to stay in one specific spot.

More important that staying on a single GPS position, you want to keep your line vertical when jigging. Not the easiest in a canoe depending on conditions?

If you're asking how to keep your bait at a specific depth -- 1.) Line counter reels. OR 2.) Metered line. OR 3.) Tie a bobber stop at a target depth on your line.
Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1562)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/07/2018 09:46AM
thegildedgopher: "I'm no expert, but in my opinion you want to be jigging the 10 foot area directly under the bottom of the thermocline. The bait is at the BOTTOM of the thermocline, so I don't think jigging above the bait balls makes logical sense?...
"


Ok. So I see a bait ball at 40 feet in 80 feet of water. Would this work?
- Drop my lure to the bottom. Jig it hard (3-5 foot raises) for a few minutes.
- Crank the lure up about 10 feet, repeat the jigging.
- Crank the lure up another 10 feet, repeat
- Keep going until the lure is back at the surface

With my sonar and good drift, I can see the lure below the boat. That should help the depth control and see if anything is interested in the bait.
A1t2o
distinguished member(532)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/07/2018 12:38PM

end quote
thegildedgopher
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/07/2018 03:36PM
Mad_Angler: "thegildedgopher: "I'm no expert, but in my opinion you want to be jigging the 10 foot area directly under the bottom of the thermocline. The bait is at the BOTTOM of the thermocline, so I don't think jigging above the bait balls makes logical sense?...
"



Ok. So I see a bait ball at 40 feet in 80 feet of water. Would this work?
- Drop my lure to the bottom. Jig it hard (3-5 foot raises) for a few minutes.
- Crank the lure up about 10 feet, repeat the jigging.
- Crank the lure up another 10 feet, repeat
- Keep going until the lure is back at the surface


With my sonar and good drift, I can see the lure below the boat. That should help the depth control and see if anything is interested in the bait."


Will it work? Well, we both know it COULD, doesn't mean it WILL ;-) It's a logical approach, though I'd spend more time focused in the zone just below the 'cline as a rule.
lundojam
distinguished member(2260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 12:07AM
bobber stops at 50 foot intervals would help you stay in touch with where you are at.
Selfsuffi
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 08:25AM
Thank you for sharing the information. I have seen this before and tried without any real strong luck. Just an occasional hit. I was always tried to match depth of the bait ball and troll or jig through it. It makes perfect sense to fish it below but I was always fearful of getting below eye level of the target fish below the bait ball. Sounds like depth control is very key.
carmike
distinguished member(1391)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 09:13AM
I jig lake trout all the time without a depth finder. I start at the bottom, rip it a few times, reel up about 10 feet or so, rip it a few more times, reel up about 10 feet, etc. I assume we randomly float over or neat bait, so that might be why it works.

So....I'd imagine it would work well to fish the specific bait balls you see. It works without seeing them. :)
thegildedgopher
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2018 10:42AM
lundojam: "bobber stops at 50 foot intervals would help you stay in touch with where you are at."

Check out this stuff next time you need to re-spool. Works killer for trolling as well, no line counter reel necessary.

 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next