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Lake: Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Technique: vertical jigging

Post By: malty falcon      Posted: 5/12/2017 1:31:25 PM     Points: 4732    
Spent Wednesday night at Spinney, fishing a few hours Wednesday night scoping out where I wanted to focus on Thursday. Found 18-24 FOW holding fish all along north shore.
Thursday I was the first powerboat at 6:10 am! It was very calm, great boating conditions. I really wanted to catch em on midge flies, but 20' is really tough. I ended up using two rods, but the flies went mostly untouched. White tube jigs were the real deal, and almost every fish was caught on them. First photo is from a South Bay fish, 3/4" long red, segmented midge pupae. A few shrimp, a few damselfly nymphs, and a few smaller midge larvae. Also several water boatmen, still alive! I believe the midge larvae have the white at head. Later, I got a throat sample from North shore, and it was full of LARGE black midge larvae, but I couldn't get the trouts interested in large chironomids.
Tim joined me at 10, and we explored the lake, ending up back in 23' on North shore. I was having good success watching sonar, seeing most fish within a foot of the bottom. Tim was having trouble staying right on the bottom, so I gave him a larger jig head. Still, he had fewer bites. Finally I realized he had a swimming jig, with the hook eye at the very front. Since we were essentially vertical jigging, we switched his setup to the jigs in other photo, and Tim found some nice browns!
I didn't see much surface action either day, but the swallows were active intermittently. We saw lots of smaller midges flying around and a few Buffalo Midges, but couldn't find many fish eating them. Water was fairly stained on west and south sides of lake. North shore cleaner, but lotta green snot in the water, fouling my flies after 4-5 minutes.
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 5/12/2017 10:01:22 PM     Points: 1412    
Malty while reading your post I was thinking about a white balanced leech. Set up on a slip indicator. I only fly fish but I believe I could mimic the tube jigs action with this set up. Find fish holding set your depth. If it's calm pop the indicator a little to make that fly wiggle. Could work thanks. I2
 Reply by: catchem      Posted: 5/13/2017 10:06:46 AM     Points: 124    
I have found that the eye placement can be very important for vertical jigging, you want that jig to hang as close to horizontal as possible. One trick is to slide the knot around the eye and see which placement gives the best horizontal presentation. I like to use a knot that double wraps the eye, like a Trilene knot or a San Diego Jam knot, the double wrap helps it to stay in place longer.
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 5/13/2017 6:12:15 PM     Points: 1412    
Catch, if the leech balance is correct. Try a loop knot. I just fished Pyramid lake my guide used a loop for better movement. Works well. You jig it a little it rocks up and down then goes back to flat. @ 20' deep jigging and watching your indicator I had good success a couple years back.
 Reply by: skunkmaster      Posted: 5/14/2017 10:20:56 PM     Points: 1009    
Great report, and especially appreciate the throat pump intel. Those long red midge bodies look like larvae not pupae? Interesting re the boatmen as I was at a N Park lake Fri-Sat and caught all fish (13) on a size 12 boatmen pattern wading in shallower water with short strip retrieves. Only actual boatman I saw in the water was about a size 18 or 20, however. I throat pumped one fish and it had mostly sow bugs in it, which I did not expect. They were not scuds, but actual sow bugs. Am envious of you guys with the electronics for finding fish deep. Congrats on the success.
 Reply by: Wacokid57      Posted: 5/17/2017 11:13:19 AM     Points: 11    
I have read that fish in lakes sometimes key in so specifically on sow bugs that they rub their snouts raw grubbing them up from the bottom. I read this about Spinney years ago. i put some Ray Charles sow bug imitations in my flybox, but never had success. Gonna try that again.
 Reply by: Gwill      Posted: 5/17/2017 11:23:56 AM     Points: 2423    
nice report, thanks for sharing.
 Reply by: Wacokid57      Posted: 5/17/2017 11:40:36 AM     Points: 11    
Also, putting a good size split shot in the front of the tube jig as a spacer, then inserting the jig may result in a horizontal presentation. And when it drops it will spiral down. Works great ice fishing, and should be effective for soft water, as well.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 5/19/2017 3:41:55 PM     Points: 4732    

Ahh, THAT is a good idea! Anything to get horizontal!
 Reply by: JohnnyW      Posted: 5/20/2017 8:21:05 AM     Points: 627    
Excellent explanation there Malty. Quick question, do you really use tube jigs like the two big ones on the right fishing for Bows or was that just to make your point regarding eye location? Those look more like what one would use chasing deep water Lakers from my perspective.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 5/20/2017 9:31:52 AM     Points: 4732    
I probably won't use the largest one, 1/2 ounce, but certainly the 3/8 ounce one, depending on depth. The faster it gets to the bottom the better, especially if there is a breeze or good waves.

Also, the heavier the hook the better. I often use 12# line at Spinney, and sometimes bend lighter hooks.

Good luck out there!
 Reply by: sourdiesel      Posted: 5/24/2017 9:57:49 AM     Points: 32    
Slip bobber
 Reply by: Anteroman      Posted: 5/24/2017 1:08:51 PM     Points: 2483    
Midges are easier and they're hatching!!

Forget the jigs!

 Reply by: bigmack      Posted: 5/24/2017 7:37:23 PM     Points: 48    
Were u the guy in the white boat that was just killing them this weekend?

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