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Offline rocketball

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early season landlocks
« on: February 23, 2012, 01:42:17 AM »
I have never targeted landlocks but my cousin has a camp on a lake where they have stocked landlocks. Can anyone give me some heads up on what lures to use, and how to fish these landlocks? Is it best to target them as soon as Ice out or wait a week or two.

thanks


Offline ipop

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 04:02:06 PM »
land lochs are mostly early season fish, by the end of june the bite is done.

they have a bit of a soft mouth, so using a fast tips and soft rods make it easier. some just troll flies, very similar to black salmon fishing, using streamers and running out either about 100' of line and backing or running short behind the boat in the prop wash if you are running a motor.

i use spinner and worm or small/med cranks for them. like for flies, i run out a lot of line, so you either have to play out more as you paddle using the spinner and worm or a suspending crank, or just play out a lot of line on a floating crank before you start trolling. they seem to be more interested in a change of speed than any particular trolling speed. they do like to hit very close to shore and structure at the beginning of the season, finding them where you would expect smallies is common. i zig zag a lot while trolling for them (i'm often looking for lake trout or browns at the same time) and one very productive method is to paddle almost a digital pattern. this gets me running along shore for about 60 yrds, then out at a right angle for 60 to 100 yrds, then strait back into shore to repeat the proccess. this last takes a lot of paddling, but it's a go-to if they are slow on the bite, like trolling a bass worm for smallies.
crank size would be 2-4.5" and use about a size 2 spinner, dble, gold worked best for me.

they like a lot of wave action, so some of the worst kayak conditions are some of the best times to fish for them. i race to the lake for land lochs if there is a nice 2-4 foot breaking waves running on it. it is a little tricky landing them in these conditions! lol!
supper time is often productive for them, although they will hit almost any time of the day.

my biggest land loch was caught targeting brookies just up from the stream mouth, as far as i could run my kayak. at 36" he was 9" bigger than my next largest land loch and i consider myself very lucky to have landed it. he hit spinner and worm hard, went down into the shallow pool, then launched up. i could tell he was going to jump, so when he did i just flipped him mid air over my kayak and into the 2" of water in the flooded bush to my shore side. i didn't have a scale with me but the  measurement blew me away. it was the 8th land loch i had caught that day, and all the other were between 13 and 18". i released that fish (way beyond legal size limit to keep) and caught a few, considerably smaller, brookiies there, and landed another fair size land loch (22") on the way back. up untill that 36", i would have been impressed with that 22". this was a little odd, since you mostly catch the smaller land lochs around stream mouths.
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Offline rocketball

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 07:06:06 PM »
thanks for the reply Ipop...I was hoping you would reply because i remember u talking about them last yr. My plan is to spend 2 days at the camp the first or second week after the ice goes out in the lake. I'll be in my kayak of course. Hopefully I'll get a couple. The lake is also stocked with brookies and the lake is hard to get to. There are only 3 camps on the lake and no public access so there is very little fishing pressure.

Offline ipop

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 10:02:22 PM »
 i have a rod & reel set up just for them, an abu garcia 6`. the parabolic style rod helps a lot, my buddy uses an ugly stick for them. i run 8 to 12lb mono for them, and i will admit to buying special line just for them...and getting very frustrated with the fancy line and sticking it in my ice fishing shelve, never to be used in soft water again. lol, i was looking for a thin, stretchy line and ended up with thin and kinky.

take a handfull of spinners and cranks. if you are doing it right in early season, you should lose some to shore structure. try a long shanked hook, like a carlisle or use a trailing hook when running spinner and worm.

because you end up trolling with so much line out, the fight is fantastic! of course you lose some but i find my hook up rate goes up so much with more line out i end up landing way more land lochs.

i got my first nantuckett sleigh ride in a kayak from a sizeable land loch salmon, and i`ve been addicted to them ever since. 8)
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Offline rocketball

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 11:33:41 PM »
awsome info. the lake i will be fishing is fairly small and would only be a 3km paddle around the whole lake. Widest point about 1/2 km so if the landlocks are biting it shouldnt be too hard to pinpoint where they are hopefully.

i would prefer to cast for them but if trolling works better I guess I'll troll instead

Offline ipop

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 03:12:08 PM »
they are a shy fish, often following for a long ways. for numbers, trolling is the way to go, for size, it has more to do with the area, although i did cast for that 36"monster.
for casting, try the stream mouth(s) and any foam. long gentle casts when you can. i would first cast to and around the foam, then go hide in it to cast out from there.

for colors, a lot of people use orange florescents, and i will use some orange lures, but i get at least as many on silver, gold, yellow/purple and any smelt pattern. people swear by a white dressed tail for the cranks too, but i have found it reduces the action so much, i catch fewer with the dressed tail.

are you going to try fly fishing for them or spinners and cranks? i have a short list of flys for them if you need it.
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Offline rocketball

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 12:54:03 PM »
i am not sure...I would like to try the fly rod out so i can troll some streamers but i'll mainly be uding the spinning gear i would imagine. Sounds like LLS will take a wide variety of lures and a lot of which I already have. Your info should help me out signifcantly. There is a small brook that runs into the lake, and then there is a small water way that leads into a second lake. Hoping to be able to get up into the waterway as well.

Offline Transplant

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 01:20:43 PM »
I caught a landlock once. My only advice though is to wedge a horseshoe firmly into your arse and hope for the best. That's pretty much how I did it. :)

I was hunting striped bass at the time. Caught it trolling a long way off the kayak, using a 4" black/silver Rapala minnow. Caught it on a flat between deep water and a shallow bay. Fought like a streamlined bag of wet noodles, I ws quite disappointed actually. Good luck!
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Offline stroover

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 10:57:08 AM »
So Rocketball, can I come too?   ::)

Offline rocketball

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 12:16:14 PM »
JC, I'll see what i can do  8)

Offline stroover

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 01:58:27 PM »
You da MAN!!! :D

Offline ipop

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 01:07:30 AM »
my abu garcia rod i use for land lochs got broken over the winter :'(< for now i`ll have to use an ugly stick for them.
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Offline JeffGoudreau

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2012, 02:18:46 PM »
land lochs are mostly early season fish, by the end of june the bite is done.
Get yourself a downrigger and you dont have to stress about the shallow bite being done. A little lake troller and some spoons and you can fish any salmonoid species all year long. The fish dont just disappear or stop feeding. You just arent going to hook them in the upper levels of the lake and thats why I believe this comment is being made. a 3 lb ball on the rigger and a finder that helps you see the bait and fish would be all you need.

Offline ipop

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2012, 11:26:47 PM »
for land lochs it`s not that they stop eating, although it`s close. they are atlantic salmon and atlantics do stop feeding at different times of the year, most noteabley in the fall and winter. the bite doesn't stop completely, it turns into a reaction bite instead. slinkies, black salmon that have over wintered up the rivers, are vorasous in spring because they have just started feeding after a winter of being on a diet living off their fat, lol, often going down to half and even a quarter of their normal weight.

 two things change at the end of june for them. the first is, if there are smallies in the lake, the smallies will push the land lochs out of the shallows and shore line area. this also happens with brook trout but to a lesser effect. this makes them a lot harder to find. as Jeff said, the lake troll will help in this, but i bet i'll be slaming brown trout and hybrids way more often. land lochs also have a fairly soft mouth, which means the down rigger release will have to be set very light. tricky!
 the second factor is they change what they are targeting, going from very active, greedy fish and worm eaters too picky fly and very very small fish eaters. in the fall they make a good fish to target with a fly rod but most of the province closes just when that bite turns on, so it`s more of an incedental catch while targeting smallies (which have a later season). when the rules were different it was common to deer hunt and fly fish land lochs on the same day.

so yes, you can catch them later, they are just harder to find and to convince to hit, changing from 9 land lochs a day to 1 every 2 weeks.  i still get them when targeting browns and hybrids but mostly land undersize fish after spring.

one thing i left out that clearly can effect catch numbers, is other fishers. in a lot of places, land lochs are basicly a put and take fishery, with a lot of fish taken from the water before summer gets going. depending on the lake, this is balanced a bit by the fairly complex rules for them - diferent minimum sizes depending where you are fishing, a slot where they have to be taged with an atlanic salmon tag, and yet one more size that is release only. i know a lot of people will not fish for them because of the increased odds of having a bad conversation with a warden (the wardens haunt the main land loch areas in spring here, and sadly it's nothing to see several people get fined in a day)
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Offline rocketball

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Re: early season landlocks
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 06:40:17 AM »
Ipop, do u know anything about the lakes being opened up to fish the 15th of april this year? I heard a rumor that this was the case this year. i checked online but they have put up the 2012 regs yet and i have bought my liscence for this year.

Thanks for the extra info guys. The lake we are fishing has no smallies, or other species to worry about. Just brookies and LLS and there is no public access to the lake and only 3 camps on the lake. So chances are we will have the lake to ourselves  ;D


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