Different Tactics For MacDonald
  |  First Published: May 2005

Lake MacDonald has been up and down during March and April – good one day and difficult the next! As usual, those who put in the time reap the rewards, while the others can be heard whinging for days to come.

Even trollers have been doing it tough recently. The usually reliable creek bed has been repaying their efforts only intermittently. This means that trolling addicts need to try a few different tactics.

Those extra deep minnow lures can be used to good effect elsewhere, with the only possible problem being the dreaded cabomba weed. Therefore clear areas, preferably adjacent to weed beds, are prime casting spots. The vast area outside Borer Creek is one such place, as is the deep run commonly referred to as Rusty’s Run. This productive area is a little further away from the major ramps than most easily fished areas and well worth the visit!

Local advice may be required for the uninitiated but the following directions may help. The two major ramps are in the main body of the lake. From these ramps, head down the lake (due south) to the three ways. As the name suggests, there are three options upon arrival. Turn left into Fry’s Run and at the end of this occasionally productive run, turn right into Rusty’s.

Rusty’s begins as a rather benign looking stretch of water punctuated by rafts of lilies and vast areas colonized by cabomba weed. Casts in every direction are worthwhile. Spinnerbaits and beetlespin type lures are worth casting into the cabomba edges, allowing for a free fall according to the depth, and then a slow retrieve back to the boat.

Small minnow lures, particularly in purple or green, are a good tool for casting to the many lily rafts. Employ a slow, stop-start retrieve, but keep the lure low in the water column. Don’t allow it to rise too far as you would in jack or barra country.

The further into Rusty’s you get, the deeper and more defined it becomes. Casting those extra deep minnows along the channel can be productive. Work them down to a good depth, perhaps two thirds of the way to the bottom. Then slow the retrieve and bring the lure back to the boat slowly, concentrating on keeping the lure moving erratically.

The weed edges are well defined along Rusty’s and they hold good fish. Try spinnerbaits (white is a good starter), smaller versions of these annoying bladed American inventions or perhaps one of the many sinking bibless rattlers. Allowing the lure to sink down the weed face will pull strikes, as will a slow rolling retrieve when you just can’t wait any longer!

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