Winter Mountain Trout Trolling - Page 3
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Thread: Winter Mountain Trout Trolling

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    I think that Fontana is starting to silt-in enough to reduce it's volume significantly. It's discharge water has been getting warmer in the last decade. I can't imagine any other reason for this development. More sand and less water in the depths near the dam.
    I'm going to disagree with you a bit on this. Considering where the gates are located for the infeed and the full depth of the lake at that end the volume of water won't be impacted that that large of a degree...in my opinion. The bigger issue to me is mild weather and sunny days keeping the lake temps warm. Saying that, I'm about ready to head back to Watauga. We learned a lot up there last year and hope to bring in something bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artisanthe View Post

    The distance between those two lengths of conduit going into the depths is about 10' and a great place to tie off if night fishing. If my memory is correct the depth there is in the 120'-130' range when in normal summer range.

    Shea

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  3. #32
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    Forgot to add that if you fished Fontana and were happy then you should fish the next two lakes down. Last years tournament on Cheoah (it was an outlier of a day) showed the potential that lake has. Calderwood, being even further downstream gets even less pressure and has, to me, an even greater potential to produce the occasional double digit trout. This time of year you can troll the surface down to 15' feet and catch a variety of trout in either lake. We run the riggers just deep enough at times to get the lures below the surface and have plenty of action.

    Troutgirl, I've monkeyed around and cobbled up a different style of release that I've seen on the coast but not anywhere else. When I see you out and about I want to give you one to try. It's a modified Black's downrigger release. Scott, you're welcome to one too as you been giving with not only your spoons but your time doing the tourneys.

    Shea
    Troutgirl likes this.


  4. #33
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    [QUOTE=morewood;1222747]I'm going to disagree with you a bit on this. Considering where the gates are located for the infeed and the full depth of the lake at that end the volume of water won't be impacted that that large of a degree...in my opinion. The bigger issue to me is mild weather and sunny days keeping the lake temps warm. Saying that, I'm about ready to head back to Watauga. We learned a lot up there last year and hope to bring in something bigger.....


    I'm sure that weather is a factor. I don't think that Fontana is as deep at the dam as it used to be. I think that Fontana is losing the very deepest pocket of water at the dam, the most insulated, way down pocket of water. I think that loss of the very coldest water is an on-going thing. The lake is now about 75 years old. Most of TVA's lakes have silt issues. The lakes downstream from Fontana are also gradually silting in too. Calderwood used to be 10-15 deeper at the dam. Chilhowee Lake has gotten steadily shallower. After the 70's flood that damaged Fontana Dam, it was amazing how many huge, new sandbars were formed downstream in Cheoah Lake. Most of 'em washed down gradually but other high water events have since done their share of sculpting. I witnessed Fontana's tubes spew out water as chocolate as is possible once in the 70's and again in the 80's. Silt is on the move in the Little T. Floods really move it.

    Do you know about Porter's Bend Dam that makes Lake Emory upstream from Fontana Lake? It's slowed down the silt movement into Fontana some. It's nearly completely silted-in. The generator long ago ceased working because of silt. I'm not sure if the gates still work. In any case, during a flood, I'm certain that the dam gets over-topped with flow and some silt gets to leave at those times.

    TVA has made Fort Loudoun and Douglas Dams 4 feet higher to increase storage space if absolutely necessary during flood events. This is to compensate for how silted-in both lakes have become. They don't lower Fort Loudoun Lake as far down for winter as they used to. It used to be 7 feet, now it's 4.5 feet. They have to have 9 feet for the biggest barges. During the drought a few years back when Douglas Lake hit record low levels, parts of the lake looked like a sandy dessert with a river running through it. The French Broad River was commonly called The Big Muddy, several generations back, before TVA.

    I concur that weather is a factor but not so long ago, Fontana's release was much colder. The little lakes downstream were colder too. Besides weather and silt, I can't imagine any other important factors.

    Good hunting at Watauga. I'd try up the Roan Creek arm. Till the water warms, there's Trout up there till the water warms considerably. Rainbows spawn up there and then gradually spread back out and Lakers lurk up there too in winter. Rainbows are delicious and nutritious. There's always fish around the dam but there's very few Rainbows in the lower lake this time of year. The recent rains have probably driven most of the Rainbows out of the creeks. The spawn must be over. The water must be getting warmer, too warm for spawning. I hope I can go soon to either Chilhowee or Watauga...or both! It needs to dry up for me to get my boat out of it's winter resting place.

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  6. #34
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    Oh, I've been using the Pro Release I got from Angler West. I doubt I'll ever use clip type ones ever again. The one I'm using has a single adjustment screw. It has a swing out piece that you wrap the line around a few times and then tuck it in the release body. The little arm pops out, releasing the line, when pulled upon.

  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    Oh, I've been using the Pro Release I got from Angler West. I doubt I'll ever use clip type ones ever again. The one I'm using has a single adjustment screw. It has a swing out piece that you wrap the line around a few times and then tuck it in the release body. The little arm pops out, releasing the line, when pulled upon.
    If they have tournaments again this year Id like to look at that. Not real happy with the Scotty releases I have been using


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  8. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by loganwayne View Post
    If they have tournaments again this year I’d like to look at that. Not real happy with the Scotty releases I have been using


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    They're only $20. Go to Angler West's .com and look at it. It comes in 4 colors. I got black. If you're using those Scotty clips, I hate them too. They might be OK if every fish was big. I always had trouble with small and medium sized fish not pulling open even the smaller size Scotty clip. There's a video demo.
    loganwayne likes this.


  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by morewood View Post
    Forgot to add that if you fished Fontana and were happy then you should fish the next two lakes down. Last years tournament on Cheoah (it was an outlier of a day) showed the potential that lake has. Calderwood, being even further downstream gets even less pressure and has, to me, an even greater potential to produce the occasional double digit trout. This time of year you can troll the surface down to 15' feet and catch a variety of trout in either lake. We run the riggers just deep enough at times to get the lures below the surface and have plenty of action.

    Troutgirl, I've monkeyed around and cobbled up a different style of release that I've seen on the coast but not anywhere else. When I see you out and about I want to give you one to try. It's a modified Black's downrigger release. Scott, you're welcome to one too as you been giving with not only your spoons but your time doing the tourneys.

    Shea
    I might try it but the Pro Release has been good for me the past two years. I tried a bunch of brands before finding one I could adjust easily. I have some expensive releases sitting around in emergency reserve if I'm desperate.

  10. #38
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    Hi folks

    Has anyone used the Chamberlain release. I love them. Two adjustments--can be set for real light biters and never have a rod pop w/o a bite. If you haven't, they are worth a look--$20 also

    good fishing

    coach

  11. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RI RORYL View Post
    Hi folks

    Has anyone used the Chamberlain release. I love them. Two adjustments--can be set for real light biters and never have a rod pop w/o a bite. If you haven't, they are worth a look--$20 also

    good fishing



    coach
    I have one sitting in the boat. I've never been able to adjust it to my satisfaction. I've missed a heck of a lot of strikes trying. I watched the videos and even called the company for help. I gave up on it.

  12. #40
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    Im definitely going to be looking for something new. One of the decent bows we caught at Calderwood didnt set the release off and the same thing happened on santeetlah. Both fish were over a pound and the one on santeetlah was probably pushing 2lbs. I could understand a 8-12 not setting one off but those are decent sized fish around here


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  13. #41
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    will buy anyone's chamberlains--$15 incl shipping

    have a good weekend

    coach

  14. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RI RORYL View Post
    will buy anyone's chamberlains--$15 incl shipping

    have a good weekend

    coach
    Next time I'm over at my sister's house, where my boat is, I'll go grab mine out of the side pocket. I think I still have a stacker device and instructions in a plastic bag. I can see why you'd like two or more. Adjustments are hard and I'd want to have several adjusted for different sized fish. I was thinking that before I gave up on mine. I went back to the small Scotty clip for awhile. Then I found the Pro Release at Angler West whilst looking for hoochie parts. By my second trip with it, I felt I had it adjusted purr-fectly. With mono line I wrap it around the little release arm five times and three times for braid. There's a single adjustment screw that even I, who has very little mechanical inclination, can operate successfully.

    My Chamberlain is wasting away. You might as well have it. I'll P.M. you when I round it up.

  15. #43
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    I have a couple Chamberlains, they're nice, but very finicky. The ones I've modified have one adjustment, it's a slider on two arms. The closer to the release end it's heavier, slide it the other way and it's easier.



    I added an arm and line to attach it to the downrigger.

    Shea

    PS-While the scotty releases are a pain to judge release tension, they are stupid simple.

  16. #44
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    I've often thought of adding a Downrigger to my boat.....but, I just haven't found the need. I can troll, hoochies, spoons and Rapalas down to 60 ft with a very simple rig I came up with. I use either 12 lb Lead Core or 15 lb Braid. I use a simple Luhr Jensen red plastic rudder....and attach a snap swivel to the bottom loop. This allows me to add/change weights to the rig. I use from a half ounce up to three ounces. I prefer pencil weights. I can get down to 60 ft....at 1.5 mph.....with 125 ft of line out. I have tested it by dragging it over 60 ft humps to be sure I'm getting to that depth.

    I can cover from 5-60 ft with this rig and change it in a minute. I've eliminated Dipsey Divers entirely. You can get the rudders at Jann's and many other places. I use a flasher right behind it....and about 4 -10 ft of Fluoro....depending on the bait I'm trolling. I use long leaders with Rapalas and some Spoons. I go short for Hoochies. The rig has been Very productive and I feel like I have it dialed in now. I'll be heading back up soon. Cheers!....D

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  17. #45
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    yes that rig works
    but its fun to fight fish with out any weight
    --however your rig has caught a lot of fish in the northeast and Canada

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