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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was it nice to get back on the lake. This was our our first trip up to the lake for the fall season. The water tempature is 70 degrees and clear. We caught our bait in Clarksville and fished around the airport. We ended up with one keeper striper and three throwbacks. Budmand anded up with several throwbacks also. The trick today seamed to be 3-4 inch threadfin shad on flatlines with two #7 splitshots and twenty five pulls out or about 50 feet.
Hope this help someone.
We are sure luck to have a great lake to fish!
Crawdad
 

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I'm just wondering is there any real ryme or reason for the amount of pulls/feet back when freelining or with split shot rigs. If there is I would love to know because honestly I usually set my lines back a certain amount of pulls but I often wonder if I just pulled out maybe 5 more feet or less 5 ft would it really matter...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Flat lining

Well history has shown us that if you are consistent in the amount of pulls then your chance of knowing where your bait is running is a lot better. Think of it as if you where fishing down rods. If you see fish on the depth finder in twenty feet you want to fish twenty feet down. You don't want to just let line out and hope you are in twenty feet. So you would count ten pulls (about 2' per pull) to know that you are fishing twenty feet down. Normally when we start we will stager the distance in the flat lines that we are running and when you catch a striper we adjust all the rods to that same distance. This technique has worked for us and has proven itself time after time. When we start we will fish various ways, some rods with no split shot some with one, two or even three #7 split shot. If you keep up with how far back you fishing you can adjust all the rods to the right distance back and the same count of shot. We will normally run seven flatlines at one time.
As an example, today once we caught our first fish we adjusted all the rods to that condition and sure enough we ended up with a double header a few minutes later.
One last thing that we call the golden rule is: If you catch a fish turn around and run back through that same spot. If there was one chances are there are more.
Fall fishing is here!
Hope this helps someone catch some fish!
Crawdad
 

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The thing is, if you see a fish 20 ft down and say your running a line with 20 ft of line pulled out and your only using a #7 splitshot and say a cork. That bait wont be anywhere near 20 ft down so its tough to tell unless your using a heavy weight. If I were to guess I would think that bait would be somewhere around 1-8 ft down maybe 10 ft max. Because your pulling it and 1 #7 splitshot isnt really going to force that bait down. I think thats the biggest mystery to me.

So again heres another example. If I catch a fish on a line that has 20 ft out with a #7 SS, then I switch my other rods to that same setup, I really dont think the 2 setups will be at the same depths.Many factors I feel such as the friskyness of the bait of course being #1. But I guess it might tell ya where the fish are biting, I just wish there was a better way of knowing how deep you are with these setups.
 

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Freelining bait is one of the most productive ways to fish for stripers in the fall and winter.
As Crawdad states, stagger your lines. I start off with 30 feet then 40 then 50 and so on.
I rarely have to put out more than 60 feet to catch fish. I also put the split shot on all my lines. You should be in the strike zone.
It doesn't really matter to me about what depth I'm at as long as I am catching fish. Stripers can see a long way in clear water. Just make sure you have the baits above them.
If I can get a few large gizzards I'll put out a couple cork lines with no weight, and 20 to 30 ft. of line. Put this rig way back behind the boat. This setup has produced a lot of fish early in the morning for me.
When you first put out a frisky bait it will try to escape. When he gets tired he will settle down and be at the depth you expect him to be.
There is a ton of info on freelining and everyone has their own way that works for them. You just have to try different things to find out what is best.
Any member wanting to learn how I do it, just let me know and we could set a day to go out.

RamRod's Guide Service
M. Hall
919-622-2796
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess using the down rod example was not the best one to use. Like Ramrod says we catch more fish on flatlines than other technique in the fall and winter.
The hardest part of this is to remember what rod you have out at what distances. You need to be diligent in remembering. It has paid off for us so just give it a try for a few trips out and see if it works for you too. When we are out on the lake we like to talk to each other and if one of us catches a fish using a technique we will switch up and a lot of the time it pays off. Same with bait, sometimes its gizzard sometimes its herring and sometimes its threadfins. You just never know.
We have gone out with Ramrod when we where learning and I can tell you that the education that you will get is well worth it. You will not find a more knowledgeable striper fisherman. Give him a try.

“It not always about catching stripers, its about the hunt that makes it fun”

Crawdad
 

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I agree, I like to throw out a variety of depths and setups. I also believe changing your speed makes a huge difference at times. Theres been times I've caught fish going 1 mph and theres other times I will stop the trolling motor and almost sit still until my planerboards come towards the boat and caught fish this way also. The biggest thing I havent done alot of is switching my rigs to match once I catch a fish. I think my theory is 1 fish doesnt mean there all going to be in that exact same range, but then again stripers are much more of a schooling type of fish than say LMB. I seem to do pretty good on most trips on catching fish but like everybody else you can always get better.
 

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One trick to use is color coding your rods. I bought a pack of different color tape and it really helps me remember which rod is which.
 

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Ramrod, I remember a few years back when we were fishing close to you, and kept catching fish on that one back free line rod. I'll never forget what you said. You called it the wonder rod, because you wondered were the bait was..... LOL....

shaky
 

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freelining

It was my understanding the whole purpose of the freeline was to let the bait decide where to go. If you give him enough slack it will return to the depth he feels comfortable and the striper would detect his struggling to maintain that depth and pick him off. Is the key to the split shot to help the bait maintain the depth while pulling it along?

Shaky, It was nice meeting you and Gadget the other night. I finally put the handle and user name together!

I am really enjoying this thread. You fellas have a wealth of knowledge. I can't wait tho get back on the water to put some of it to use!
 

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Hey JBEE,

Enjoyed meeting you too. I am not sure about the weight thing. I think it just holds them down a little, or they will try and stay close to the top. All I know is that it works, and thats good enough for me. Looking forward to getting back up there soon. Really like seeing the breaking fish. Going to stick the bait tank in next time. See ya soon.

shaky
 
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