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These methods are a team work event, plus someone has to run the boat .
To start with, for rods I like to use 8' med. to med. heavy action rod.
These rods need to be setting upright, not horizontal like dipsy rods.
The key here is a rod that has a good butt and mid section strength but a light tip.
The reason for this is when you fish Lake Erie or an inland lake and you get into the waves the rod can handle the waves better and it doesn't put so much stress on your rod holders.
The long length also helps keep the line from the rod to the board up out of the water so you do not get a bow in it.
Onto the boards themselves, I personally run 4 TX 22 Church boards and 4 Offshores.
The TX 22's will pull out to the sides harder, therefore allowing more spread.
I use them in front of the Offshores naturally for the longer lines.
The new TX-22 sets upright without forward motion which gives it the ability to troll extremely slow without restricting performance at higher speeds.
Flouresecent red flag is included makes the board easy to see and folds down when not in use for easy storage.
It is reversible and can be used on either side of the boat, simple to assemble and simple to use.
Adjustable clip holds new superlines yet releases with one hand .
Great in cold weather and easy on the fingers not like some other boards.
Church tackles other fine features that were incorporated into this board
It's coated with a material NASA uses in the space shuttle program.
The clip holds the new, ultra thin, slippery braids and fused lines (like Berkley FireLine) that are popular for trolling. No need to double wrap
The clip is easy to remove in cold weather. No heavy spring needed
Board can be removed with just one hand while fighting a fish.
A spring-loaded retaining pin holds the line in a grooveat the rear of the board.
Just pull the pin with one hand when removing the board.
Never go back after a board again. If clip comes off board just slides back to swivel set ahead of the lure
An adjustable keel weight keeps the nose of the board tracking in the water even when using deep-diving plugs or heavy weights.
Closed-cell foam flotation absorbs no water.
The board's catamaran shape minimizes diving and flying when trolling upwind or hitting a large wave at higher speeds. If the board does dive, a side fin on the rear of the board immediately planes the board back to the surface.
Made in USA of non-corrosive materials suitable for saltwater use.
I do not run any flags or objects that obtrude above the board at night.
Night time boards have no Tattle Flags up.
For night fishing I like to eliminate anything that might possibly cause an unnecessary tangle.
The basic principle behind the flag is if you catch a smaller fish or weed the flag will drop back slightly or wiggle.
Larger fish just pull the whole flag down and sometimes pull the board back.
I like to run at least 4 boards on each side so I can get a relationship of where they are all riding at, that way if one drops back or is running different, I'll know from the other boards.
Some people like to run fireline, power pro and other super braids with boards and have had no real problems with them if they are set up correctly.
I will only run Mono on boards.
Why? This is explained in my crank tutorial and will be in a minute.
The main thing here for other boards is you want to use the red squeeze clips which are for the braided line.
Sometimes you have to double the line thru the clips to reduce the chance of the line slipping out of the clips on other boards.
You don't have to do any of this with the TX 22's.
With the tattle flags you need to remember to leave an extra amount of line between the two clips so that the rear clip can be pulled back which pulls back the flag.
Daytime boards for Erie are also set up with Tattle Flags, you can also put on the Snapper Releases to hold the Fireline (just the front one), this eliminates the wrapping.
Okay hopefully you are still with me! Next is how to land fish or be able to run 4 or more boards at a time.
Okay the easy one first, inside board just reel it in till the board is near the rod tip.
Lift the board up out of the water and giving no slack line remove the clips, do not snap the line when releasing, this is a two person event.
Drop the board into the boat, and proceed to fight fish.
This will take some getting used to!
Do not jerk on boards or try to reel them in to fast or else you stand the chance of having your line pull out of the clips!
The hardest one to do is the outside board.
First you should have to reel up the inside board some to give the longer outside board clearance to come in. Possibly until you get used to this you may have to bring it almost all the way in.
Once the board is up to the boat lift it and set the board into the back of the boat and lay the rod down. Your lure will still be in the water.
Now go about reeling in the outside board and fighting your fish as usual, but keep the rod and fish towards the side of the boat so it doesn't tangle with your other line.
After you have landed your fish, pick up the rod that was the inside rod and place the board in the water and let it out. This will now be your outside rod placed in your forward rod holder Or, you can let the rod you caught the fish on straight out the back floating the board in a free spool position until clear of other rods and then lock it down and put back in the original holder.
It sounds very complicated but once you've done it a few times it will be easy.
To go on a charter once or with someone experienced with these procedures will save you a lot of hassle.
There is no one right way to clear lines.
Traffic, weather, direction relative to wind, size of the hooked fish, other boats, all enter into it.
One trick that I use most of the time is to turn the boat away from the fish 15 or 20 degrees.
This creates more space behind the inside board, and maximizes the separation, while still allowing the other lines to keep on fishing.
It's all a matter of experience and what is comfortable for you and your boat.
In-line board rods need to be rated for up to 8 - 17 # line or 10 - 20 # line.
They need to have a soft readable tip with a strong butt and mid section.
I like 8 to 8-1/2' rods. If you are going to run superbraids longer and softer rods will help reduce the number of rip offs.
The most important thing about rods is that all the board rods should be the same rod (same length and same action). This is very beneficial in learning how to read your rods, and eliminates much confusion.
At least have all the rods on each side identical.
It really is important.
The same thing is true about Dipsy rods. They should all be alike.
Some guys like & need telescoping rods to fit in their rod lockers, and I've seen some quite nice ones but they are typically a few more bucks.
Diawa and Okuma make board rods of various lengths in the 25 to 35 dollar range and those do a fine job.
Inland or big water board rods do a lot of work, and are loaded constantly.
Take your time and make sure you get what you want.
Fairly close guide spacing indicates a well designed rod.
And medium action down rigger rods make nice board rods.
I'd spend a bit less on rods and a bit more on reels, You'll be happier in the long run.
Snap weights as opposed to longer drop lengths:
Snap weights give the added benefit of vertical swim to you lures.
The closer the wt is to the lure the more radical that vertical swim.
Vertical swim is one of the best triggers, and is almost always of benefit.
The vertical swim I referred to is the up and down movement of the crank or harness that occurs when speed is added (up) or taken away (down).
This change in speed can be slight steering corrections, throttle adjustments, turns, changes in direction, or purposeful zig-zagging.
Boards maximize this effect because they can surge or sag in the waves, and because of the off to the side condition, that causes a kind of crack the whip effect.
A following walleye detects this change in depth and thinks the prey he is tracking is about to escape, so he attacks.
Lines straight out the back of the boat would minimize this effect but the added weight would improve separation between the lures.
(The lines with the weights should be the deepest lines and on the inside of shallower lines, to minimize tangles.)
How much depth you add depends on your speed, and your placement of the weight.
At 2 mph you'll add about 6-8' per ounce of wt.
At 1 mph (spinner speed) you'll add 16 to 20' of depth when placing the wt 50' ahead of the lure and putting 50' of line between the wt and the board or rod tip.
The harder the lure pulls the less the added depth, but even with hard pulling deep cranks like Reef Runners or Power Dive Minnows, you still get some added depth.
Big boards are best suited for running 6 or more lines, at speeds over 1.7.
They do better than in-lines in rough water, and with hard pulling presentations.
(like heavy weights, larger Jets or small Dipsys)
In-lines shine at slower speeds (cold water Spring & late Fall or harnesses), 4 lines being fished, and in more crowded situations (Like Cleveland night fishing).
With in-lines you can put a lure back to the outside after a catch. With big boards the lure that just caught becomes the inside. (Not a huge deal but it can be important in certain situations)
50-50 weight method= On a 1 ounce inline at 1mph what ever your lead length is it will be half of that example if you let out 30ft of line before you clip on the board then your depth would be 15 ft.
Is there much better success when trolling crankbaits with mono when compared to using braided line?
Do you think this was because of mono's stretch?
Also, when running mono, do you use a fluorocarbon leader or just connect directly to the mono?
It has everything to do with the mono's stretch.
Mono stretches from 25-30 %.
Even the pull of the lure puts some stretch into the mono.
When a curious following walleye comes up behind the mono lure and nudges it or pushes on it, the stretch in the line allows the wobble of the lure to continue in a natural way.
When the same walleye nudges or pushes on a superbraid lure, the lack of stretch causes the lure stop wobbling and perhaps flip over and in general act very unnaturally, causing the fish to lose interest.
pro Mark Brumbaugh also commented on his belief that mono will often get you more hook-ups when running harnesses.
We never use leaders when running cranks. A simple cross-lok round bottom snap about 5/8ths of an inch, and a tuned lure is all you need.
Some crankbaits have more of a rolling action when trolled and some wobble more side-to-side. Is there a time or place to use one style over the other?
I thought I read somewhere roll is more important than wobble for walleye. To me the rolling action cranks seem similar to spoons in the way they flash color.
If you want more on Crank Baits go to the See the Crank Tutorial.
More than 90% of fish are lost at the net/boat.
Netting needs to be a coordinated effort between the guy with the rod & the netter.
The guy with the rod needs to keep the fish coming.
Don't stop reeling when you think the fish is close enough to net.
Reaching for a fish with the net is the best way to loose them.
The netter needs to wait until he can assuredly put the fishes head on the bottom of the net, and make one dipping motion, securing the catch.
Walleyes are notorious for making one last dive at the boat. Be ready for them to do that. I've fished with excellent fishermen who back their drags off in anticipation of this maneuver. I wouldn't suggest that, but being ready to react and give the fish 4-6' of travel (with pressure still applied), will save many rip offs and/or break offs.
All these comments are universal to all presentations.
Dragging harnesses, or any trolling technique.
What you want to do is not shock the fish by varying the pressure applied.
Every pressure change scares the fish and causes panic.
Keep them as coming at a steady pressure and you'll loose very few.
NO rod pumping.
1 ounce for every 10 ft is at 1mph which should get you around a 45 degree angle with your line.
Snap weights are so speed dependent that I think the 33 % is only an estimate at 2 mph. We troll faster than that 90% of the time, and are around 2.7 more often than not in warm water (over 65 degrees).
The closer to the lure the snap weight is, the more immediate and radical it's effect. We run them at 6' a lot, and we run the same wt. on all rods on that side, to minimize tangles. Our estimate for added depth is 1' for every 1/4 oz of wt. and we don't run heavier than 2 oz very often, but we aren't in 75 feet of water either.
Snap weights create a lot of vertical swim on a lure, and like Dipsys create a situation where you know your lure working in a range of depths (like +5' & -5') from your target depth.
This is an attempt to give guys some info on the differences between mono and superbraids on planer board rods.
Mono is the easiest to use because the stretch is there that cushions the fish, it's more forgiving and frankly requires less skill to put the fish in the boat.
It coordinates best with precision trolling, and is less expensive.
Superbraids give you the ability to read the rod tip for weeds, the finer ones provide increased depth and action, but they are tricky, requiring less drag pressure, and most would advise the use of longer softer rods to reduce rip offs.
But it goes further than that. With big boards the superbraids catch a lot more wind then mono, and this can easily lead to problems.
As you set lines and allow the line to slide down the tow line, going down wind the bag that the wind blows into your line can get so big that it drops down into the water, and wraps under the tow line. If you don't notice this and set additional lines you'll end up having to pull the board to untangle the lines.
In addition when fishing downwind, the bag in the set lines can too close to the towline allowing loose clips to catch them and again wrap them up on the tow line, again requiring you to pull the board.
This late summer and early fall, out of Lorain, Captain Rich Stedky on his charter boat ran braid (30/8 PowerPr0) on one side and mono (12# Big Game) on the other for 6 weeks, pulling cranks (mostly Reef Runners).
He kept tabs on the catch and the mono outfished the braid just over 3 to 1.
After much thought, his only explanation has to do again with the stretch.
He noticed that most of the braid line fish were hooked right in the very tip of the nose, while at the same time, the mono fish would have the lures much deeper.
His thought is that the fish come in from behind to check out the lures, and nudge the lures with their mouth.<br>
When they push on the braid line lures, the lures stop wobbling and collapse (very unnaturally), and the fish, if not hooked, swims away.
When the fish does the exact same thing to the mono lures, the stretch in the mono is there and allows the lure to continue to wobble and act more naturally, so the walleye continues it's attack, taking the lure deeper.
Please understand, I have no axe to grind, and it makes no difference to me what line you use, but these are just some of the reasons I only use braid for Dipsys or when there is some benefit to be gained. Oh, and on all my perch or jigging rods!
Crank Bait Tutorial
Inline Board Tutorial
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