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Midwestern boat fishing Help: A beginner of all beginners (PLEASE READ WHOLE POST)

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Midwestern boat fishing Help: A beginner of all beginners (PLEASE READ WHOLE POST)

Old 06-11-2019, 12:26 PM
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Question Midwestern boat fishing Help: A beginner of all beginners (PLEASE READ WHOLE POST)

Not exactly sure how to go about starting this post. Basically, I'm 20 years old, and I just bought my first boat. I saved up some money and bought it as a reward for finishing the school year so I can do some fishing over the summer. I've spent my whole life fishing from the bank, and I like to think I'm pretty good at that. I've been on guided trips that were on boats, and I've had friends take me out on their boats, but I personally don't really know anything about fishing from a boat. The boat I bought is a 1973 MonArk Marauder (good luck finding any pictures or info other than that) with a 3.0 Mercruiser 140HP on the back. It's basically a bass boat with an i/o motor (strange, I know). Anyways, I live in Kansas, more specifically Wichita. This means that there are no natural lakes around me, but plenty of manmade ones. The problem with this is that the lakes aren't very deep. To my knowledge, none of the lakes around me (Cheney, El Dorado, Afton, Wellington, Winfield, Marion, there's actually quite a few) get deeper than probably 40 feet at most. Maybe 60. I would be very surprised to find out anything deeper than that, but most of the spots on the lake are 30 feet deep or less. There's also a surprising variety of fish to catch here: black bass, crappies, white bass, wipers, walleye, saugeye, sauger, and all kinds of catfish. Alas, I have probably fished from a boat less than 15 times my whole life, with two of those being guided trips on Lake Texoma and Lake Michigan. So, I know absolutely nothing about fishing from a boat. I understand the concepts, and bass fishing is something I know I can figure out on my own. Things that I know nothing about are trolling and jigging. Without getting into a long story, the passing of my grandfather (who had a boat that was inoperable since I was born. He did a ton of fishing and trolling before I was born, just never with me) left me with a large variety of trolling baits. Hot n' tots, thin-fins, walleye spinners, striper baits, etc. Like I mentioned, I've done a TON of bank fishing. Interestingly enough, I've never caught a walleye. Since I bought my boat, and came into possession of a bunch of trolling baits (many of which renowned as fantastic walleye baits), my goal is to learn how to fish for walleyes, and how to troll in general. I'm beginning to understand the variables (speed, line length, light weight/diameter, rod length, etc) regarding lure depths, although I still feel kind of lost as to where to start as far as trolling goes. I still haven't actually had my boat out (should be coming along sometime this weekend), but the only trolling I've experienced on my own includes picking a lure at random, letting line out at random, and going a speed that "feels okay". Yes, that has caught fish, but I know there's more rhyme and reason to it than that. I was too young to care on our Texoma trip, and I don't know how much learning to fish the great lakes might help me in Kansas where everything is 30ft deep. I'm in the process of getting rods/reels together, but I would like to find some guidance as to where I should start. My boat does have a 45lb trolling motor on the bow, although I've never actually been with anyone who used it for trolling. The boat also has a really dinky depthfinder on it that off the top of my head, I couldn't even tell you the name of. The guy I bought the boat from said "It won't really find you fish, but it will do an okay job at telling you how deep the water is". So I'm also in the market for a cheap fishfinder/depthfinder that might help me out. So far, I've decided I'm going to buy (as money allows me to):

Daiwa accuDepth Reel size 17

Daiwa RG Walleye 7'6" Medium-Heavy Fast Action Rods

As far as line, I have no idea. I personally have always thought that walleye fishing required heavier line. Somewhere in the 12-15lb range. However, the precision trolling app only shows data on the lures I have for 10lb line, so I feel a little lost there. I'm mainly trying for walleye here, but I'm going to be fishing for whatever I can get. I figure if I pick a species, go after it, and learn the techniques, switching to a different species shouldn't be too terribly hard of a challenge.

I know what I'm asking for is something to be learned over the course of a lifetime, but I don't have anyone to teach me and no idea where to begin ("Maybe try in the lake"). I've never owned a boat, never made a boat fishing venture with any sort of gameplan, and I've never caught walleye, so I'm as beginner as beginner can get on methods for what I'm after. I'm not new to fishing, just from fishing from a boat. I understand the concept but have never used (other than Lake Michigan) planar boards or downriggers (I will neither buy nor need in Kansas I don't think). I also don't really understand leadcore (I feel like that's fishing line with a weighted core for sinking? Not sure exactly). Any help I can get would be appreciated. Thanks in advance to whatever replies I get!
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:56 PM
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Go into a tackle shop and ask some questions. If someone your age works there, invite them to go fishing with you. Those guys like to fish.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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One thing I always did when moving was to fins the best "local" fishing publication or forum. Here it's Georgia Outdoor News. Up north it is In Fisherman and some local mags. Get online and search for some forums in your area, so you can ask locals questions and find fishing buddies.

As for what to troll around, walleye like rocky points, so that's a good place to start. In the very early spring, they will run up the creeks or rivers connected to the lake. After the spawn, move out to main lake points and flats, then down by the damn in the summer months. Don't put all your eggs in the trolling basket - live bait like herring and nightcrawlers are deadly on walleye.

Y'all are having a bad zebra mussle problem out there, so be sure to drain and dry everything (livewells, bilge, etc.) when leaving a lake before going to a different one.

Kansas Fishing
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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We always backtrolled with an Ambassadeur 5500 and ten pound line or an Orvis 200 with eight pound line. Scallen is right on the money to where to find them. It's not rocket science, as much as the writers want you to believe. Trolling with live minnows outperforms casting Shad Raps or #11 Rapalas parallel to the shoreline. Of course this was before downriggers. Caught a ton of fish one summer using this method. When we fished for pike, we used the same rigs and added 9" wire leaders. Same lures + #16 Dardevles.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:04 PM
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The about advise about clean, drain and dry after each trip is spot on. Not sure on KS regs but many neighboring states can issue a ticket for not removing the drain plug before leaving the ramp area.
I'm in Nebraska but fish similar lakes. Don't get caught up on needing to be in 30'+ water. Most of my walleye trolling is in 4-15'. It sounds like you have a decent selection of lures, that's good. Hot n tots are good, sometimes they need tuned to run straight.. I'm a rapala fanatic myself, shad raps and pretty much every thing else.
Assuming your locater doesn't have mapping? There are some really good apps (navionics) lakes maps, very key IMO. 14# fireline is as heavy of line as I use, often 6-10#. I'd get a lure retriever too or you'll be replacing crankbaits on a regular basis.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:07 PM
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On another note,
I’d spend some time learning how to maintain and captain your boat.
fishing knowledge ain’t gonna mean squat if you’re having engine trouble.
Get the boat, spend a little time getting used to running it and learn what it will take to keep it running reliably, then figure out what you want to do with it .
north coast is online now  

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