ND Salmon Trollers & Ridgeback Rattlers
Written by Greg Houtteman   
Friday, 24 December 2004 09:51

They had 27 guys go, trailered 9 boats, 2 spouses went also. Boats ranged 19-21 ft. Round trip was from Devils Lake to Fergus Falls, MN. Nice salmon trip story while most of use are shoveling snow.

Just got back from fishing the Bailey's Harbor, WI area. We started fishing Sunday and had planned to fish all week. But after three days of awesome fishing, we had all the fish we needed. We never fished later than noon. We used a ombination of presentations. Our best presentations were a one pound ball set up with Opti Dodgers and flies, a wire dipsey set up using a firetiger dipsey, chartruese snubber with a 6ft lead and blue jackal spoon in the early morning and switching to a 4 ft. lead with smoke opti dodger with black cracked dice tape on one side and a purple taco blue dolphin fly later in the day, and the awesome ridgeback rattler with a silver/glow opti dodger with a glow purple taco fly in the early morning and switching to a glitter auqua howie fly with chartruese beads once the light came up.

We tried this same set up on regular balls and sharks. We even ran one on each side. But the rattler caught at least 5 fish to every one fish that was caught on the downriggers. It worked especially well for us later in the day 9am - 12am when it started slowing down on the other presentations. We ran the ridgebacks from 40 - 70 feet with 65 being the norm for us (83-107 feet of water). Even though we came home today, our rattlers are still out working. Some of the others in our group didn't do quite as well. So, they're using them the next couple days. After hearing about our success on them, they asked if they could borrow them. I'm sure they'll be ordering some soon. This was my first trip to Lake Michigan and we had a blast.

Even though we have very little experience salmon fishing, we did great. We kept 14 the first day, 12 the second, and 12 the third. The ones we kept were all 18-20+ pounds. We also caught about eight to a dozen smaller ones that we threw back each day. We also lost at least 10-15 big fish each day. I re-tied my flies each day and I noticed the trebles I was using had a bit smaller gap than the originals that were on the Purple Taco flies. I then noticed that with the original hooks we had really nice sets in the upper jaw/lip. The replacement hooks resulted in not as good of a hook set. I'll be better prepared next time!!!

Once again thanks for the rattlers!!! They were the one thing we'd read about that lived up to all the hype.

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