Gone Fishin’ Recent Posts
March 28, 2013
Fishing Tips: Downriggers Key to Big-Water Trolling - 0
Some things last longer than others. A gallon of milk may last a few weeks and a fashion trend a few months. But the sportfishing industry has kept downriggers relevant for nearly 100 years. Advancements in technology and changing water conditions (an effect of the Zebra mussel invasion) have caused ’riggers to take a back seat to other tactics, such as leadcore and copper line or drop weights. But now riggers are making a dramatic comeback—and not just in the Great Lakes.
They’re gaining fans in many parts of the country, especially among big-lake walleye fishermen in the Midwest who troll in order to cut the huge bodies of water they fish down to a more manageable size. Downriggers remain the best way to troll lures and other baits at specific depths and can give you a major tactical advantage over fish, whether they are hugging a thermocline or the bottom. And with just a couple of simple tweaks to your salmon or walleye big-water trolling setup, you can run lures right to their mouths.
2. Bounce the Ball
3. Fish Their Living Room
At the same time, these probes allow you to see what your speed is at the ball. Advanced skippers often refer to this as “set and drift” when plotting a course. Although you might think that your lure is always traveling at the same speed as the boat, current can affect its velocity. The speed at the surface and that at 30 feet down are often different. The probe attached to a rigger ball can instantly tell you if you need to speed up or slow down to achieve your desired lure speed. Even more important, it will allow you to run your lures at the same speed no matter what direction you troll in. This is especially helpful when you turn around to go back over the water you were just trolling in.
4. Bet on the Bottom
Longlining crankbaits, trolling with leadcore line, and employing bottom bouncers are popular tactics, but the best is to control-fish the bottom with downriggers. This allows you to troll a shallow stickbait or spinner rig, for example, with very little line out and no worry of hanging up. With riggers, you have the ability to raise and lower all of your lures to within a few feet of the bottom quickly by just reading your depthfinder and making adjustments. It’s just more efficient when you have bottom-oriented fish.