Trolling Santeetlah 6 May 2019
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Thread: Trolling Santeetlah 6 May 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Trolling Santeetlah 6 May 2019

    My brother and I arrived at Cheoh Point Ramp on Santeetlah Lake about 7 a.m. and had lines in the water by 7:20 a.m. It was a promising start. It took only a few minutes to get a strike on the downrigger spoon but it didn't result in a hook-up. It took about an hour to get another strike on the downrigger spoon but this time I pulled in a plump 17.5" Rainbow. Then, it seems the fish went back to bed. About noon we pulled in lines and went for a boat ride to explore the lake. Then we put the boat on the trailer and drove to Robbinsville and got fries and Frosties at Wendy's and some more sunscreen at Walgreen.

    We started fishing again about 2:30 p.m. We started right at the dam and started up lake. It took about a half-hour for my brother to catch a nice 16" Rainbow on a Dipsy Diver spoon. About 15 minutes later, the other Dipsy Diver spoon was hit very hard. I thought it was gonna be another 2 pound Rainbow, but no. It was a 16" White Bass. About 20 minutes later my brother caught a small Rainbow on a Worm Burner with a crawler. Not all that long after that, there was a tiny strike on a Dipsy Diver spoon. I reeled in a tiny Rainbow that might have been 8 inches long. It didn't look injured and got a quick release. We trolled about another 40 minutes to no avail and called it quits.

    All the flooding and high water has delayed spawning including baitfish. We never saw a bunch of fish on sonar. We only saw one small bait pod that was shallow. There were many massive bait pods at 80 feet and below. They must be tiny just born minnows filter feeding till it's time to rise up the water column. It was hard fishing to boat 5 fish. The surface water was 67.5 degrees in the morn and shot up to 71 by late afternoon. All the fish stuck in the 20-40 foot range. Sitting out on the lake beats staying home even when the fish are difficult. It was nice day at the lake!


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  3. #2
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    Great report and sounds like a great day.

    I am heading to northern NH and Rangeley lake in western Maine on may 30th for Landlocked Atlantics and all Trout species.
    Ice-out is expected to be around the 13th so we'll hit it at a great time. We will be Trolling with sewn smelt and spoons and crawler harnesses for Brookies (some are 4lbs plus)

    Can not wait for this annual trek to the homeland

    good fishin

    ri rory

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RI RORYL View Post
    Great report and sounds like a great day.

    I am heading to northern NH and Rangeley lake in western Maine on may 30th for Landlocked Atlantics.....

    That's the only kind of Salmon that I've caught. On a family vacation, back in the 1960's, our car broke down in New Hampshire. We stayed at a motel on a lake for 4 days whilst our vehicle was repaired. The first evening, I started casting a spinner and it only took a few casts to catch a 20" Salmon. That fish jumped a bunch of times before I got it on the bank. I was sky high! I had 3 more days to catch another one. I threw that spinner till my shoulder hurt but never caught another one. I made so many casts that I snagged a Bullhead Catfish in the back. That's the only other fish I caught.

    Have fun with the Salmon. By the time you're done, Santeetlah will be ready for your return. The fishing is gonna pick up soon as the baitfish mature and all of the bigger fish are done with Spawn-a-palooza.... Strikes were hard to come by for us.

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  6. #4
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    It's been a tough bite since the middle of February, for me anyway. I have been getting a lot more action lately by running larger baits. Flasher / fly combo on the downriggers, full size Michigan stingers on dipsys. At this time last year they were practically jumping in the boat. I'm sure they'll come around soon.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexagenia View Post
    It's been a tough bite since the middle of February, for me anyway. I have been getting a lot more action lately by running larger baits. Flasher / fly combo on the downriggers, full size Michigan stingers on dipsys. At this time last year they were practically jumping in the boat. I'm sure they'll come around soon.
    What happened to all the Browns we caught last year? Have you caught any? Full sized Michigan Stinger spoons sounds like a Brown bait in Santeetlah. I put on a Nantahala Nailer NH3 spoon which is around 3 inches long for the last hour the other day. My hope was to nail a Brown or a big Rainbow. No strikes did it get.

    I've fished hoochies behind flashers in Chilhowee and Calderwood quite a bit. What kind of fly do you put behind flashers? I fished some sort of big trolling fly at Watauga but never got a strike on it. I've tried Salmom/Steelhead hoochies at Watauga too. I got no result on them either.
    FISHER87 likes this.


  8. #6
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    "What happened to all the Browns we caught last year? Have you caught any? Full sized Michigan Stinger spoons sounds like a Brown bait in Santeetlah.

    What kind of fly do you put behind flashers?

    I was just thinking about those browns yesterday. It was funny to have caught so many near cheoah point for a week, then the school moved to the power lines near the marina for a week, now they seem to be gone. I caught one around 20 inches last year, then the rest were cookie cutter 12" fish...almost like everything stocked in Santeetlah Creek made it to the lake and schooled up. I have not caught a brown since last fall.

    I use peanut flies behind the flashers. They are simple, effective, cheap, and I don't have to tie them. I get a lot of action on muddler minnows as well, tied with a bunch of extra maribou and crystal flash, but hook up more on the peanut fly (trebel hook).

    It's almost time for the summer crowd invasion, I'm hoping things pick up in the next few weeks before lake traffic picks up.
    FISHER87, and Troutgirl like this.


  9. #7
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    I think that I briefly saw peanut flies on some fishing show. I think they were going for Lakers....??? I remember 'em looking like a wad of somethin' on a hook. I think there was a smile type or propeller type blades that were ahead of these peanut flies. I'll google peanut flies and check 'em out.

    Muddler Minnows I know well. I fished with 'em occasionally when I used to fly fish. I know that larger, toothy Trout would wear those out after several uses.

    Maybe the Browns will show up in the lower lake when all the bait I saw grows some and comes up...???

  10. #8
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    I looked up Peanut Flies. The thing I remember must have been a Trolling Peanut. They were using it in Lake Superior for Lakers. So, I have 2 Peanut type flies. I tried one in Watauga one day but didn't get a hit. Mine are made with plastic "foil" strips. They're Salmon/Steelhead size. I changed the leader that came with them to lighter line. I saw a guy tying his own Peanut Flies and one looked like a Muddler Minnow and the other resembled a Wooly Worm nymph fly. I presume you're making these flies. Most of the Peanut and Trolling Flies look like Cousin It on a treble hook.... ....I saw one that had a single hook and a treble hook as a trailer. If they hit your Peanut Flies, hoochies ought to be a decent substitute...? I have a big variety of hoochies. Most of 'em are Kokanee Hoochies that I bought, but I've made some hoochies using larger skirts. I need to try some hoochies in Santeetlah, again....it's been a while since I pulled one there.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    I looked up Peanut Flies. The thing I remember must have been a Trolling Peanut. They were using it in Lake Superior for Lakers. So, I have 2 Peanut type flies. I tried one in Watauga one day but didn't get a hit. Mine are made with plastic "foil" strips. They're Salmon/Steelhead size. I changed the leader that came with them to lighter line. I saw a guy tying his own Peanut Flies and one looked like a Muddler Minnow and the other resembled a Wooly Worm nymph fly. I presume you're making these flies. Most of the Peanut and Trolling Flies look like Cousin It on a treble hook.... <img src="https://www.ncangler.com/forums/images/smilies_vb3/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" /> ....I saw one that had a single hook and a treble hook as a trailer. If they hit your Peanut Flies, hoochies ought to be a decent substitute...? I have a big variety of hoochies. Most of 'em are Kokanee Hoochies that I bought, but I've made some hoochies using larger skirts. I need to try some hoochies in Santeetlah, again....it's been a while since I pulled one there.
    I use peanut flies because that's what Ive always used fishing the great lakes. After looking up hoochies, they actually look like a tastier option. "Cousin It" is a pretty good description.
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  12. #10
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    I'd recommend Kokanee sized hoochies for Rainbows. I like the Crystal Basin Wiggle Hoochies. They have a wiggle lip like a plug and they've way out-fished the hoochies without wiggle lips for me. You can make your own hoochies too. I've started making them. I've made a few Salmon/Steelhead sized ones to try in Watauga. I think that the Kokanee hoochies are all 1 7/8 inch skirts...??? I have some that are a little over 2 inches long that I've made. I only have 2 colors as that size is hard to find. You can make a crawler rig with 'em too. Mack's makes wiggle hoochies too, but theirs have shorter skirts, mostly.

    The Crystal Basin colors that have fished best for me are: Purple Splatter, Blue / White, Green Splatter, Green Spot Glow, Wild Child, and Pink White Glow.

    When I try hoochies in Santeetlah again, I'm gonna try bigger flashers than I've used in Chilhowee and the top end of Calderwood. The water is deeper and darker in the lower end of Santeetlah. I'm gonna start out with a Sling Blade....and maybe purple or pink on the hoochie, or both colors combined.

  13. #11
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    try tandem streamer's like we troll for landlocks in the northeast. It's hard to beat a black ghost marabou 18'' behind a 6'' dodger.
    lakers love them. troll 1.3-1.8--bright tandems will be attractive to the rainbows like superviser, red gray ghost, maynard marvel

    years ago--2000ish--first time I trolled Watuaga, we caught our lakers on dodgers and flies in late may--i believe we caught 5-6 in 3 days up to 5-6 lbs and twice as many rainbows up to 3-4 lbs.

    good luck

    check out Paul's bait rigs for easy place to order streamers or kittery trading post

  14. #12
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    I ordered two of the tandem streamers at Kittery.....and a pair of the smelt spoons. I have a wide variety of flashers to try with the flies. If I don't have any 6 inch flashers, I have plenty of 4-5.5 inch flashers.

    I went to Watauga yesterday and caught and released Lakers. I kept a 21 & 22 inch ones for tonight's dinner. They liked spoons and plugs....

  15. #13
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    Hexy, here's some hoochies I made. The first green one I made as a crawler harness. Notice that I use beads to space the hooks back some. The red one is a larger Steelhead/Salmon skirt. The wiggle lip is larger. I cut the skirt back some to make the lure a bit smaller. The box is a Lindy Rigger Kit which is made for Walleye rigs.....
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  16. #14
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    Here's some commercial Hoochies I've bought. The flasher in the first picture is a Father Murphy. It's worked real well in Chilhowee and Calderwood. The pink one has a Smile Blade. I fished that one and a similar green one in Chilhowee once but never got a strike on 'em. They're better for Kokanee, apparently. The last one is one of my favorite Crystal Basin colors, Purple Splatter.


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  17. #15
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    i like herring dodgers in front of flies and hoochies--4 inch or 6'' --they impart a real lifelike action

    i also like lake clear wabblers with a nitecrawler 12'' behind or a gulp minnow or nitecrawler

    good luck

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