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Tip #63 #63 Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #1

By Capt. Jim Hirt This article addresses a recent question asked by a reader of my articles. It will cover the basics in what you need for fishing tackle and proper boat set up. I will avoid as much as I can any brands of equipment and let you be the judge. As with all equipment quality and price go with the passion and budget you have for the sport. Finding a good heavy duty eighteen foot boat and motor should be no problem as there are many manufactures to choose from. Go with a brand name and do your homework. Make some contacts with the local salmon fishing club. This is invaluable information on one of the most important purchases in your quest for trophy salmon and trout. Be sure to ask several anglers how long they have owned their boat how often they fish and the lake conditions they fish in. It will give you an idea of the limitations of this vessel. The number of anglers they fish out of their boat is also good to know. I would like to approach what I call the minimum requirements and split it into two subjects. First we shall discuss hardware this covers electronics, downriggers and other items attached to the boat. A staple on every salmon boat is undoubtedly the downrigger. Two four foot manual units are all you need mounted one on each corner of the transom. Four foot will give you a better spread of tackle and avoid tangles. Mounting of this and all the hardware can be a rather daunting task. Some anglers like an aluminum board permanently mounted with the end result a very clean look of all necessary components. For first timers to salmon fishing and a cost saving use a 2x6 piece of outdoor lumber. Mounting is easy and you may reposition hardware at will until you come up with an efficient system. Some may disagree but in my opinion the fish locator is not the most important electronics on the boat. For this reason don't spend a wad of cash on one. A basic unit with enough power to operate at depths to three hundred feet is all you need. Find one with large numeric display of depth for easy reading in low light and when running at high speed. Mount this unit on the transom board for easy access to information, which is necessary in positioning downriggers and other tackle. Rod holders are a necessity. The number of them is relative to how many rods you intend to run. Downriggers usually come with two rod holders each and two additional heavy duty stand alone units will get by. Lets now talk about what is considered by many the most important electronics for producing fish. The speed and temperature gauge is a must have. By installing this gauge on the downrigger cable you will know the exact speed and temperature at your lure. I will offer what is now the best reliable tool for this purpose it is made by Depth Raider. These two factors for trolling for salmon are the most critical to presentation and catching fish. The best spoon at the wrong speed will not work. On the other hand twenty five years of salmon fishing has proven that most lures will catch fish when run correctly. Temperature of water your spoon is in will make the difference of a heavy cooler or the skunk. A marine radio in a hand held or permanently mount unit is a good way to get information on weather or where the other anglers are finding fish. It will also give you a way to call for help if needed. More on this subject in Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #2. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.