Lake Boat Speed for Lake Ontario trout and salmon fishing will be discussed here. As you well may know, there is no one size fits all trolling speed to generate bites. This holds true for both trout and salmon. Lake conditions also change, sometimes daily, dictating just how fast or slow you can troll. Taking into account the natural speed of the Lake currents and using them to your advantage is what this post is all about.
Natural Boat Speed
Have you ever noticed that on some days you can just set your throttle at idle or near idle, and keep a constant trolling speed with little to no effort or further adjustment? And at the speed you desire! I have, too! I call it “Lake Boat Speed“! On any given day, the lake currents will control the natural speed of your boat at or near idle. Some days it will be faster or slower than you would like. It can also be dependant directionally, too. I’ve been toying with this concept of Lake Boat Speed this past season and have had some success with it.
Adjusting To What’s Natural
It’s all well and good on the easy days when Lake currents let you troll effortlessly at your desired speed. But, how about on the days that it won’t ? Well, don’t fight it! Instead, adjust your spread to what the Lake Boat Speed is for that day and given conditions. For example, if the natural speed for that day is 2.8 mph and I was targeting salmon, spoons along with flashers and flies would be my go to. 2.8 mph is typically a very good default speed for those items to start with.
Seasonal Speed Changes
Seasonal speed changes do occur for trout and salmon. Typically, the earlier the season, the faster the fish like it! Brown trout speeds in the 2.4 to 2.6 range are productive. Salmon speeds in the 2.8 to 3.0 mph down speed range work for them. These are just staring points but are generally good ones for both species, respectfully. Just remember that these speeds are not carved in stone and may have to be adjusted as the day wears on. Lake currents, however, may not agree with letting you troll this way. Your Lake Boat Speed may be too fast or too slow.
Using trolling bags to slow the boat down to get to that effortless throttle position is OK to do, too! The key is to use the throttle as little as possible and still control the boat speed to where it’s natural for the presentation you’re after. On the contrary, if you’re too slow without bags, adjust the spread with spoon tuning or cutbait head tuning. Also, you can run on two motors if need be if you can’t get to were you want to be speed wise.
Troll With Two Motors
On really rough days with high winds and big waves, trolling with two motors will get the job done. In most cases on our boat “The Ace“, running on two motors adapts well to the Lake Boat Speed. Two engines in gear at idle are actually less noisy than one engine at higher rpms. There is less turbulance and boat noise to show up on the fishfinder as well.
The Gist Of It
My premise is that Lake Boat Speed when adapted to and applied, generates more bites. Think about it! How can putting down a spread that typically does best for you at 2.0 to 2.2 mph down speed when the Lake currents and/or wind will not let you troll any slower than 2.8mph, be good for you! It can’t! Conversely, if your spread runs best at 2.8 to 3.0 mph down speed and you can’t go faster than 2.0… Again, how can that be good for you?
Tune Your Spread
If you take anything away from this at all, it’s to work with what the Lake and Mother Nature throw at you. Adjust and or tune according to the natural or Lake Boat Speed for that given outing. The easier you can keep things on yourself, the better the results will be, most days!
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