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GTB Ciscoes Sep 19, 2020 6:31 am #29015

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I met up with Lance Valentine, pro-staffer for Polar Kraft boats to get a ride in his 20 foot Kodiak model for a future GLA report. Neither of us had ever been to the east bay previously so with no more idea of what or where than "go a bit south from the launch site and fish off a dock with two flags flying," off we went.

We found a sharp break from 60 to 110 feet and the bottom was covered with what looked like lake trout marks. So we tried jigging for them. A couple bumps, but no solid bumps.

Lance hooked up (first fish for his new boat) and reeled up a dandy whitefish. We were using big jigs so hooking with a small mouthed whitefish was more luck than skill.

The cisco population in Grand Traverse Bay is supposed to be massive so I switched to a really small jigging spoon. I wasn't sure if I could even get it to the depths, even with 8 pound braid. I got it down there and in about five minutes hooked something but it got off about half way up. Several minutes later I stuck another one and it stayed pinned. In the clear water it looked very silvery as it neared the surface, with a blue sheen similar to a spring coho. It was a cisco about the size of a spring coho - perhaps 2+ pounds. Very scrappy all the way to the net. Really getting into a bunch of them would be a blast.

I caught a second one before we called it quits. We needed to get offshore and do some additional tests in bigger seas and meet up with another boat for some photos.

There was a strong thermocline at about 70 feet and all the fish marks were under that. I would guess after the fall overturn the ciscoes would move higher in the water column and be much easier to jig. The other boat trolled for lakers over deeper water and caught some ciscoes on small spoons and spin n glows. Makes one wonder what would have resulted if they'd had a couple of mini-spoons down deep.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience; actually, one I can cross off my bucket list.

BTW - the Polar Kraft Kodiak is an awesome aluminum boat. It has a deeper vee than most and the vee goes the length of the hull and doesn't much flatten out at the stern like most fish n ski models. I won't say it's a match to a heavier, glass boat like mine, but I used to have a 21' Sylvan and the Kodiak had a remarkable ride compared to that one.

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GTB Ciscoes Sep 28, 2020 8:49 pm #29079

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I talked to Lance a couple of years ago, as he came to Quincy Mi. After talking to him, and comparing boats, I picked a smaller PolarKraft 166 Frontier as my new boat. It has as much fishable area as my old (1983 Sylvan) and is built very well. It is big enough to take out on Lake Michigan, but small enough to fish many of the smaller lakes. I am looking to take it over to New Buffalo this coming month, (contingent on the weather) to try for jigging lakers on the reef. I want to see if I can watch them with the Panoptix .

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