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Cle Elum Lake Report
Kittitas County, WA

Details

07/12/2019
71° - 75°
Trolling W/Downriggers
Mackinaw
None
Blue
Mostly Sunny
Spoons
Morning
61° - 65°
07/12/2019
2
1256

Took another shot at Mackinaw in Cle Elum Lake today. After the last trip, I replaced the wire on my downriggers with longer rolls of the new 200# braid and added larger downrigger balls. BIG mistake. It totally trashed the calibration of the line counters. They're off by as much as 30' now. It looks like the line counters don't actually count "line" as much as they count revolutions of the spool, and with more line on the spool, the counters are now very inaccurate. The downrigger now deploys more line per revolution than before, so I'm consistently banging the bottom when the line counter says I shouldn't be.

All that aside, it was a nice day on the lake. No wind, which was a huge change from last Saturday when it was so windy I couldn't justify leaving the boat launch. I trolled the spots I'd had such good luck at two weeks ago, with no hits. There weren't any marks on the sonar most of the day.
I finally targeted one suspended return on the sonar and immediately landed a small laker, but on the whole it was a pretty disappointing haul.


Comments

Mike Carey
7/13/2019 8:04:02 PM
I correlate what I'm seeing on my fish finder with what the DR says. Ultimately the point of the DR is to be able to return your lure to the same depth you had prior success at. If you think of it this way it won't bug you as much that it's off. If you're trolling 3.5mph for coho and have out 90 feet of DR line with a 15 pound ball, how deep are you? The fish finder will tell you for sure. On Cle Elum, you've already discovered, the secret to success is to bounce your ball off the bottom and come up a few feet, and do that periodically to re-establish the bottom. Keep at it, there's a 15 pound Cle Elum laker in your future!
MoonValley
7/13/2019 10:27:28 PM
I agree with what you're saying -- to a point. I think I need to unroll all the braid and re-roll it under more tension. As I used them throughout the day at various depths, the readings at the surface changed.

The other change is that now the auto-up and auto-stop features on the DR don't work... at all. They must use some sort of conductive processes, because respooling with the braid completely killed those capabilities.
rmrauscher
7/14/2019 12:20:37 PM
Man I love braid! Sounds like you got off to a rough start. Do you have the auto stop stoppers on the braid line? Are your counters zeroed out when dr ball just touching the water? Braid will tighten on the spool as you use it. Run it up and down a couple times. Exact depth will never be measured due to blow back. Not sure how heavy dr balls you are using but should prob be about 10lbs if you are fishing deep and the blowback on Cle Elum should be minimal due to slow speed. but like Mike said look at your fish finder and see where it at.
MoonValley
7/16/2019 12:03:49 PM
Thanks for your response. I'm using Cannon downriggers, and they have a contact on the spool for their "positive ion control", which is supposed to attract fish by sending a signal down the wire. I think that's also checking for the presence of wire on the spool. If that's the case, running braid will confuse it. I'm going to put wire back on one DR and see if that resolves the issues. If it does, I'll have some feedback for the good folks at Cannon...

The auto stoppers shouldn't cause the downrigger to not automatically wind the line. On the Cannons, if you push the toggle up, the spool continues to wind automatically until the ball is up. With the braid, I have to hold the switch in the up position the whole time to keep it winding. That gets tedious when you have 200+ feet of line out. I've always appreciated how I can grab the right, start fighting the fish, and let the DR take care of hauling the line up. I can't do that any longer.
MoonValley
7/16/2019 12:11:33 PM
I understand that the depth will always be impacted by forward progress. That should tend to make the line counter read HIGHER than the sonar, though. I'm hitting bottom with the DR balls sometimes as much as 30' feet early. That's what is so puzzling. The DR balls are 15# now.

What you said about the braid tightening on the spool with use makes sense. I'll run one DR with wire, and the other with braid, and see how things compare.
MoonValley
7/16/2019 8:08:12 PM
Should say "grab the rod", not "grab the right".
MoonValley
7/19/2019 9:46:36 AM
The official word from Cannon is that unless you're using stainless wire, the downrigger won't ground properly, and the auto-wind and soft-stop features won't work. So, I bought Cannon-brand stainless wire and a brand new Cannon-brand spool. SAME PROBLEM. I've been emailing back and forth with several folks from support at Cannon on the issue. I'm $100 deeper into this situation, with zero progress.
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Washington Guide Services

Phone: (509) 881-9052