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Tip #84 #84 Planer Boards As Your Primary Trolling Tool.

Planer Boards As Your Primary Trolling Tool.

By Captain Jim Hirt

Water in our ecosystem has gone from low visibility to extremely clear. With this change of environment the angler must evolve in his presentation to produce consistently. This article will talk you through a very effective way to meet these demands for sunny conditions with spooky fish.

Hello all: I consider it a privilege to be a member of your fishing community and pass on ideas and knowledge to everyone. Most of my articles talk about products which I believe will make you a better angler. Some I sell and some I find of a quality level worth my endorsement. My goal is to always serve the community and enrich your fishing experience.

Now is the time to move to the next generation of presentations. If you find yourself behind the pack when it comes to putting fish in the cooler, a system of planer boards will improve your learning curve.

Allow me to outline and give details of several options in planer board fishing. This will provide some ideas you may want try in the upcoming season. I highly recommend them.

Equipment for getting started

While there is some expenses involved the rewards will be great. Initially two boards will get you going. Expect to pay between $25 and $35 each for individual board with many more or less expensive choices. I will give details on my first choice and then offer some others.

There was a time when long lines with weight were the standard for getting the baits well behind the boat. This is a system of inline weight attached to the line about four feet ahead of the bait. By changing the weight size you will raise or lower the spoon or bait in the water column.

The function of a planer board is to increase your odds by moving the bait off to the side of the boat. By presenting lures outside of the boat’s path in undisturbed water you will find them more likely to bite. Each board is made in a way that when trolled behind the boat it will move to left or right of your travel path. Some boards, like the Church Tackle TX 22, are reversible allowing you to run them left or right.

Rigging is simple. After you have let out the line to the distance you would like, attach the board with the clip provided by the manufacturer. Once the board is attached lower the board into the water allowing it to run off to the side of the boat. When the fish strikes you may do one of two things. Do not release the board just reel the board to the rod tip and hand release it. Then finish reeling in your fish. A second option is to release the board, which slides down the line toward the inline weight and stops. The board is reeled in with the fish and the fish is netted.

Up to now we have talked about individual boards that go on each line. You can also go with a large board towed on each side of the boat pulled by a heavy monofilament line. The line is let out the same as before and then attached with a release to the heavy mono line to the large board. As you let out additional line the release will slide down the mono toward the board. You may stop the release any time along the way to the large board. When the fish strikes the line pulls free of the release and the fish is reeled in. Then the line is reset and attached to tow line again. The draw back of this system is it requires a tall mast to pull the large boards and is not transferable boat to boat. The advantage to individual boards is less cost and I find them more efficient in setting line and cranking in fish when on a hot bite.

Good Luck! 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© 2010, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved