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Return to Lindon 3-20-18

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Return to Lindon 3-20-18
I hit Lindon (Utah Lake) exactly one week ago. Water temps were about 5 degrees warmer then...50 vs 45 today. That and a cool breeze made me wonder if I shoulda stood in bed instead of trying to get in another trip ahead of the next Mama Nature hissy fit. The bottom line on my sonar looked like a mountain range as I bobbed up and down in the swells.

Air temp was 36 when I launched about 8ish. Cloudy and cool. Didn't get even a sniff casting plastics around the channel entrance rocks. Headed out into deeper water, dragging bait on two rods...one minnow "fly-lined"...another on a new "Gorilla Flig". Figured I would go for contest cats today and not even worry about whities or wallies.

By 8:30 I was a long ways out from the channel entrance and had gotten no love. I was past the 5' depth and approaching 6'. Then it began. First cat was a decent 22 incher. Ten minutes later I caught one that looked about the same size as a "cookie cutter" kitty from Willard. Game on.

I had brought a package of about 15 LHBE minnows, a couple of white bass fillets and a package of carp cutlets. Figured I would have more than enough bait for the slow fish of March. I almost figured wrong. By a little after noon I was down to one strip of white bass meat and two small pieces of carp meat. Ran out of minnows. And that was a good thing.

Had one rod rigged with a plain hook for the fly-lined minnows and two rods rigged with fligs (floating jigs). Caught cats on both colors I tried. One was white with 3 red spots. The other was the old tried and true fire tiger. The kitties liked them with minnows, white bass and carp cutlets. Very democratic today. I even caught a couple of white bass on those big fligs with mega meat on them.

Almost all fish were way off shore...in water between 5 and six feet. But I did get a couple on the way back in...in less than 5 feet. If the weather ever warms up there will be more fish in shallower water.

As I kicked back in...after netting about a dozen feisty kitties...I was chanting "Got ta stretch my string on the first day of spring". Biggest of the day might have been 25 inches. Several two footers. That should be enough to hold me until I can get down and catch some of those 30 inch plus fish that BLK has been staking out for me.



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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
I should of followed my gut and and came up that way. I asked my wife the other day if she knew how to get to the linden harbor since I havenít been there yet and I keep thinking one day Iím going to go and see TD out there. Iím happy to hear you had a successful and eventful day. Those pesky fish are picky over their 1í of difference in depth but teaches me it may not seem like much to me but to action on the water it can be the world. Great to hear you used all your bait makes for an exciting day.



Respect the fish!
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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Hey Pat I wondered if you were out yesterday. As I drove past Willard I thought it looked like a Pat fish day. Guess I guessed right, but the wrong location. Sounds like you had a great day. Thanks for the report I love catching up on your day. One of these days I'll put up the ice auger and get the toon licensed. Probably about time to change seasons. ill see what I can do about getting ready so I can join ya again sometime before the farming kicks in. Later J
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Re: [Mooseman75] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
"Those pesky fish are picky over their 1í of difference in depth but teaches me it may not seem like much to me but to action on the water it can be the world."

Since Utah Lake is so shallow, you wouldn't think a small difference in depth would make so much difference. And you would think that with all the fish in the lake, that at least some of them would act differently.

But over the years I have had many trips where the "magic depth" might be in a very narrow range. On other trips I have been able to find fish from very shallow to several feet deeper. But that is usually during times of warmer water. When the water is cold...or after a big storm...the fish are more likely to be all together in deeper water. And once you find them you will do better if you stay in the "zone".

If you spend some time with that CD/book you got on Utah Lake, you will find maps and instructions on how to get to all the better fishing venues.

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Re: [SkunkedAgain] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Both last week and this week I toyed with the idea of giving Willard another shot at me. But Utah Lake won out. Glad it did.

It will probably be about mid April before I get back up there. But once the fish start waking up I will spend a lot of time on Willard. And you are always welcome to join me. Let me know when you can temporarily remove the ball and chain from your left leg and we will make a play date.

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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
I'll get my stuff ready and by April I hope to be able to join you for a float... See ya then... J
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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Looks like a great day of catching even if the water and air have cooled a bit. Glad to see you got out.
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Re: [fish_fear_me2] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Fun, fun. But after I found the water colder and the "breeze" different than the forecast (first time ever) I almost just bagged it. Glad I didn't. Turned out to be a bananner day.

Have you been getting out at all?

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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Thanks for another stellar report on a great morning at the lake! About how big are those "gorilla fligs" and how much weight are you using with them? I have picked up several items over the winter to try similar presentations and I can't wait to try them out.

I hope to get out soon, if the wind is below 15 knots!
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Re: [Piscophilic] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
I am attaching a pic of the ones I made up recently.
The hooks are 4/0 and the floating heads are large enough to float a pretty good sized piece of fish flesh. I have been making and using smaller ones for quite a few years. But based on past experience with fishing "corkies" and other bait floats for larger cats I decided to try some larger ones.

If you watch many TV fishing shows you will see a few on fishing for large cats in big rivers...and below dams in the fast tailwaters. A lot of those guys actually use a fairly large brightly colored float between their heavy sinkers and the baited hooks. The float both help keep the bait up out of the rocks and add some visual appeal. Cats are a lot more visual than most people think.

Most of the weights I use come from my spinner body molds. I make them in 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 oz. sizes...with and without wire as in the pics. They have a hole down through the center so I can use them like sliding egg sinkers. You can use any kind of weight you want...sliding or not.

I also use my "hanger shot" sinkers...lengths of clothes hanger wire with a loop on one end. They do not snag as much on rocks or weeds.

I have been rigging mostly with a slip sinker, but based upon my experiences with catfish I really don't think much finesse is needed. As hard as they usually take the flig/bait rig you could use a six ounce weight tied directly to the line and the strike would still register. I seldom use more than 1/4 oz. and on most strikes the rod bends down and line comes off the drag on the reel. A couple of hits yesterday...while the rod was in a holder...almost turned my tube around. And a high percentage of the hits turned into fish. Not nearly as much guess work and missed strikes as when dragging bait only.

I know you are a believer in fishing bling beads. These fligs are like BIG bling beads. Lots of visual attraction. I had planned to sample you on a few on our next meetup. Thinking about suggesting a "Gorilla Floatilla" to BLK and other interested parties on Friday the 30th.

image/jpeg WEIGHTS.jpg (201 KB)
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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Well if in any other profession you were wrong as often as the weather man you would get fired. It does look like they got this weekend right, at least right enough to keep me from fishing in 30 mph winds
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Re: [fish_fear_me2] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
WIMP.

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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Once again, thank you kindly for all the great information! I had picked up a batch of assorted spin n glo's on e-bay last year. Being a 3rd generation Oregon native they give me sort of a comfort feeling.

I've been trying out different sizes and colors, but a lot of them are big, compared to a bling bead. I won't be as "shy" about using the bigger ones after seeing your report.

That is interesting about the strikes being generally more aggressive than bait alone. I wonder if that is because they are coming "up" to get and don't want it to get away or if the color causes a more angry type hit. Does that mean you don't usually use a line release when fishing fligs? That might be a better approach when I have young uns in the boat.

I just looked at the calendar and I can make something work on or near the 30th. Keep me posted.
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Re: [Piscophilic] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
I too learned about steelhead floating spin lures in Oregon, Washington and northern CA. Brought some with me to Utah and have caught both walleyes and cats on them. And on a recent TV fishing show in Canada the guys were using the winged Spin-N-Glows for walleye...slow trolling crawler harness style.

I used corkies ahead of a bait hook, for fishing minnows for walleyes when I first got back to Utah about 2005. I caught walleyes, white bass and catfish on just about any color I tried. Again...just a big floating bling bead. That is what promped me to start making and using more fligs.

One of the big positive differences I have discovered about fligs is that the rigging...with the hook pointing downward while floating above the bottom...is that they act almost like circle hooks. Almost all the fish are hooked in the corner of the mouth.

When I fish them I usually do not have much line trailing out behind me...zero slack line...instant connection when you get bit. And with those sharp Matzuo hooks there is a very high percentage of the fish that hook themselves. Yes, that should help when fishing with kids. You just have to pay close attention because you go bendo quick and with a closed bail you can lose an unsecured rod easily.

I do believe that having something colorful slightly up off the bottom DOES make for more aggressive strikes. Cats will rise a surprising distance up to take a bait or lure and their natural instinct is to get back down to their comfort zone...near the bottom...as quickly as possible after attacking their prey.

I also fish below a bobber at times...especially when fishing over hungry rocks (Bird Island?). I almost always use a "bobberhead jig" below the bobber. The ones I use most are made with "shad dart" heads and then flattened vertically...to present a wider profile (more visibility). These dart heads are also weight balanced to produce almost a horizontal hold...as prized in ice fishing.

Like the fligs, I have found fishing bobberhead jigs under a float to be especially effective during cold water times. You can fish an area more slowly and allow cold-slowed fish time to move up to the bait and take a chomp. Early in November one year, at Lincoln Beach, I was fishing bobberheads and a half minnow about 5 feet under a bobber in 7 feet of water. The bobber would slowly stand up then slowly sink below the surface. The first time it happened I thought I had found a rock hump. But when I pulled to free it, it pulled back. For the next few hours the bites were slow to come, but they came a lot better than I did by dragging bait on the bottom. I caught several cool cats over 24 inches after blanking the earlier part of the day.

When the fish are active I don't believe you could use a lure/bait combo too big for them. In Utah Lake the cats "eat big". Even a "small" 5 pound cat may have a 10-12 inch whole white bass in its innards. That is a lot bigger than anything I present...even on the bigger fligs.

We can firm up plans by midweek next week. But the current forecast for Friday the 30th looks good. Now Mama Nature has time to make some changes.

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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Yep thats me
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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
great report!
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Re: [TubeDude] Return to Lindon 3-20-18 In reply to
Thank you very much for all the tips. I e been trying to figure UL out and just havenít been as successful as Iíd like. Sure weíve caught fish, but what you e shares makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing.