How to target the holdovers?

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Sideburns
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How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:23 pm

This month on the 27th is the annual Lake Wilderness trout derby, also opening for many western washington lakes. My daughters, wife and I have competed in this derby for many years, kind of a family tradition. We have trolled some years and powerbait fished others.... actually did better the years that we bait fished. Usually the wdfw stocks some triploids and jumbo trout, but this year, for the second year now, there will only be the smaller sized trout stocked in the lake.

So the million dollar question.... How does one target the holdover trout from previous years and try to avoid the little stocker trout? The derby competition is for largest trout by weight. The derby starts at midnight and ends around lunch time the following day. This lake is 66 acres and has a max depth of 35 ft. Ive already pulled the 60hp outboard off of the back of our 16ft lund for a little more room this year on this "No internal combustion engines" lake.

Where would you fish? What types of tackle would you use? Cast and retrieve? Troll? Float and jig? Shallow areas? Just curious, other than bragging rights, there is little more than novelty prizes up for grabs here. Any expert tactics?

-Sideburns



http://www.northwestfishingreports.com/ ... County.pdf
map of the lake
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Sideburns
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:32 pm

Thought I would post a little more here hoping to spur some interest. Only a week left!
Over the years, my biggest fish have come from powerbait fishing the bottom, from a boat. Near a steep drop that has a shallow bluff on one side and the deepest hole on the other. Last year we trolled plugs and spoons a lot. Mostly without attractors. Most all of those fish caught trolling were near the surface, although I did run a downrigger for a while. One interesting thing from last year was that we kept up sizing our plugs hoping for larger fish and somehow this seemed to have the opposite effect!
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The Quadfather
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by The Quadfather » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:53 pm

I don’t claim any expert advice at all, lol, but if I am going to baitfish, etc. I love just a juicy night crawler. I would target the deeper holes that you mentioned. If you can make some passes with the Humminbird, if you can mark anything, then I would post up with a slip float rig. See if you could literally hang that night crawler at the depth of something you marked on sonar. Hit that I-pilot to keep your positions.
I don’t use any wait just a slip float and night crawler.

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Sideburns
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:54 pm

Thanks for the idea, i have noticed that the freshly stocked trout seem to avoid the nightcrawler. This might be a good tactic to finding some more experienced, older fish. I'l give it a test run this week on another local recently stocked lake. Hopefully there are some holdover trout in lake 12 to use as guinea pigs. I've been testing some other theories out there over the last few days, but haven't found any of the larger older fish this year. Sometimes half the fish we catch in some of these south king county small lakes are 2-3 lb fish, sometimes we we cant find any sign of trout having survived from the previous season.

.....hmm wonder if I can inject glow in the dark pigment into a live nightcrawler?....
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by The Quadfather » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:49 am

https://www.amazon.com/Legend-LL101B-Wo ... B0084EFSDS

Watch the video, it’s kind of interesting.

https://youtu.be/hOfOmV8pMS8

If you got it 2-3 days prior to Saturday, you could be in the game. (-:

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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:12 am

I found a full container of radioactive looking cracked out worms at a boat launch a few years ago. They were definitely more active, but didn't seem very bright.

Sure is a lot easier than soldering all these wires, hearing aid batteries and led bulbs to these nightcrawlers! Lol!
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spokey9
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by spokey9 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:00 pm

If I was targeting holdovers, I think trolling 3in crankbaits that'll get down to 12 to 15ft range for the deeper parts of the lake or jointed rapalas in water less then 10ft would be my 1st choice. Sandshrimp smelly or krill smelly jelly will get those plugs smacked a lot more. Also if you see larger fish loosely schooled on the finder then jigging a kastmaster tipped with gulp maggots can be really effective as well. Twitching a black or olive marabou jig along the shoreline is good if the the fish are feeding shallow.Think submerged wood, above weed lines, or along the front of any pads starting to show.
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:25 am

I spent a few hours trying to test selective holdover catching theories on lake morton yesterday. I verified with some local lake front homeowners that there were definitely holdovers in the lake before the recent stocking. I did some dropshotting, jigging, trolling and bait soaking.

I couldnt keep the little guys off of the lines in the mid lake areas, trolling spinners plugs or dick nite spoons on the surface. Adding a big dodger in front still caught only little fish. Trolling deeper in the mid lake areas was less productive, but still collected nothing more than eager 10 inch stockers. Casting kastmasters and jigs midlake was fun, but caught the smallest fish consistently. Dragging and casting jigs and plugs at the end of docks along the steeper shorelines did get some possibly bigger unidentified strikes, so I returned to those areas with various small plastic worms and minnows on the dropshot. No love for the dropshot... I spent a lot of time throwing the dropshot around. Disappointed with how my dropshot theory panned out, I threw out a slip float with a lightly weighted 1/2 nightcrawler 10 feet down, and caught the only 2 larger 15 inch trout of the evening, near a steep sided bank, close to shore, 20 fow. I also tried a few other artificial offerings and mini jigs under the float to no avail. I moved around with the night crawler slip float for a while, but quickly limited with 3 more little fish using bait.

Take aways:
Holdovers like worms
freshly stocked fish move constantly, in schools, but seem to stay away from shore
the only larger fish caught were near shore
nightcrawlers work, but legally, I'll be done fishing quickly.
haven't given up on the near shore jigging and drop shotting.
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:39 am

spokey9 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:00 pm
If I was targeting holdovers, I think trolling 3in crankbaits that'll get down to 12 to 15ft range for the deeper parts of the lake or jointed rapalas in water less then 10ft would be my 1st choice. Sandshrimp smelly or krill smelly jelly will get those plugs smacked a lot more. Also if you see larger fish loosely schooled on the finder then jigging a kastmaster tipped with gulp maggots can be really effective as well. Twitching a black or olive marabou jig along the shoreline is good if the the fish are feeding shallow.Think submerged wood, above weed lines, or along the front of any pads starting to show.
spokey make it to arkansas yet?
The derby lake does have several submerged full sized fir trees pointed down one of the steep shorelines leading directly into the deepest 35 ft deep pool of the lake. Lots of other overhanging and submerged woody structure in that area too. What would one target those types of structure with? Shallow or deep?
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by spokey9 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:55 pm

I made it to Arkansas about a week ago but I've been too busy getting everything switched to AR from WA that I haven't had time to fish yet [blush]

A lipless crank would work running along those deeper trees but you'd probly need like 4lb mainline to keep from retrieving too far off the structure. Personally a 1/4 oz kastmaster with a single hook would be my choice, so I could bang off the wood if need be. For the overhangs in the shallow pitch and twitch a marabou jig.

The other "secret" I got only works if there's a lot of sculpins in the lake and that's drop shotting 2-3 inch goby shaped plastics. They can be a pain to find sometimes and if there's any bass nearby then you'll get a lot of them too. From my past experience though is most of the trout thgat have been in the water a seasin or 2 will be cruising weedlines and around wood looking for food while the fresh planters will be more oriented to water temp for the first couple weeks. If you have a fish finder, maybe spend an hour the day before just slowly cruising the lake and see what ya see.
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:51 pm

Lots of sculpins in the rocky areas of this lake. Also, last year was the first year Ive heard of (trapped some) invasive northern "virile" crawfish in the lake. Could be a ton by now. This stream fed lake also has a fair amount of largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish and a few wild cutthroat trout. This used to be a kokanee stocked lake, but like many nearby lakes, kokanee survival was poor. Weeds and algae blooms can be problems in the late summer, but the water is probably crystal clear this time of year. Thanks for the tips.

What do fishing prospects look like in arkansas? Good crappie fishery?
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by spokey9 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:24 pm

They look pretty good from what I'm seeing. I'm about 15 minutes from one of the best crappie lakes here and I'm within about the same drive to 5 different rivers that have good catfish, bass, and bluegill populations. I just need to get time to toss a line out ](*,) unfortunately I'm probly a month out from be able to since I start work as a rural postal carrier tomorrow #-o
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Re: How to target the holdovers?

Post by Sideburns » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:23 am

Trolled our hearts out. Got to the derby at about 4. Only holdovers we found were less than 2 lbs. After we entered them in the derby, we saw several 2 plus pound fish weighed. Oh well. We're waiting for the prizes at noon. Will report back later... Didn't bait fish at all. Didn't cast and receive as much as I had intended. Kids were content catching little fish.
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