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Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. #14126884 09/12/21 12:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
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K
K5RCD Offline OP
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I have a pair of manual downriggers on my 15ft. Boston Whaler, which I use for Kingfish trolling at the Port A jetties and near offshore. I would like to do some fishing with them on Calaveras and Braunig. I'm not interested in black bass or catfishing, nor in jigging or casting, or live or dead bait fishing, just downrigging. What months, and which of those lakes are best for Reds and Hybrid Stripers? Are there some months when downrigger trolling is just a waste of time? I am guessing that rattletraps, gold or silver spoons, and jig heads with a curly tail would be the best baits to start with. Does that sound about right?

Thanks.

Re: Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. [Re: K5RCD] #14127305 09/12/21 01:12 PM
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Jimbo Online Content
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I'm no downrigging expert by any means, but I've fished there for years, and it seems there are folks downrigging year around.
The best months seem to be spring, summer, and fall, which most of the time the seasons run together so it's whatever the flavor is during those months.
Your baits should all work for the reds, so all you have to do is fall in line with all the guides and weekend anglers.
I say fall in line and that's not a joke, as you will have plenty of company, and crossing lines and fights isn't an exaggeration.
Oh, and this applies to both lakes so you should be fine, good luck!


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Re: Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. [Re: Jimbo] #14127706 09/12/21 10:20 PM
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banker-always fishing Online Content
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
I'm no downrigging expert by any means, but I've fished there for years, and it seems there are folks downrigging year around.
The best months seem to be spring, summer, and fall, which most of the time the seasons run together so it's whatever the flavor is during those months.
Your baits should all work for the reds, so all you have to do is fall in line with all the guides and weekend anglers.
I say fall in line and that's not a joke, as you will have plenty of company, and crossing lines and fights isn't an exaggeration.
Oh, and this applies to both lakes so you should be fine, good luck!




Plus #1. I would add that the Reds are most active during the spring, summer, and early fall! thumb


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Re: Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. [Re: K5RCD] #14141052 09/25/21 10:09 PM
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I've used downriggers there, didn't catch anything. I've done good on reds though dragging a crankbait.

Re: Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. [Re: K5RCD] #14141220 09/26/21 12:55 AM
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I used to fish with downriggers on Cal and Braunig a LOT. Pro Tip #1 — Go during the week if you can, but if you can’t you can’t. Still go.

Some of the very best time is coming up. October is a great downrigging month on these lakes. I would run 10 to 12 pound mono with #12 or #13 gold or silver Pet Spoons or the smaller Johnson Minnow. Guys also do great on 3 inch soft body jig type baits. Run different baits and don’t be afraid to change up. But seriously if you drag just about anything through an ACTIVE school they are going to take a shot at it. Sometimes they can be finicky though. I have used rattle traps at times with success but the spoons are much easier to control depth on as the run pretty flat behind the ball.

I would run the bait around 25-30 feet behind the boat. Not very far back. I would fish the breaks where a 10-12 foot flat or point would fall off into deeper water. You keep an eye constantly on the sonar for depth. What you want to do is follow the contour of the bottom with the downrigger ball. Lower the ball till it hits bottom and then bring it up a foot or so. Try to keep the ball about a foot or two from the bottom. You want that bait to follow that break on down into the deeper water. If you have a sonar with GPS contour mapping that will be a big help for you to find these type of structures. Also, if you have side scan run that constantly at 100 feet on each side. These schools of big ‘ol reds show up well on side scan and you can often change your boat path to intersect the school. Don’t forget to follow the slope back up as well. You will be frequently adjusting your depth but that’s what you have to do to win. I would say that in the fall most of my fish would come from 10 to 15 feet, mostly near breaks. If it was a deep break I would follow it all the way down. Another tip. No need to get out there before 10 AM. You can go earlier to get oriented but generally the action doesn’t start before then.

Good luck !


Last edited by doctorxring; 09/26/21 01:05 AM.

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Re: Downrigger Fishing Calaveras and Braunig. [Re: K5RCD] #14142582 09/27/21 02:52 PM
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I used to fish for redfish using DD22 on 2 downriggers and 2 free lines out the back. Had much success when reds were in Tradinghouse. Big fish was 40 inch but caught many 35s


If you use DD22 be sure to upgrade the hooks to 4x

Last edited by Z71; 09/27/21 02:58 PM. Reason: Hook upgrade

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