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.
1. Tone It Down**
Riggers can be stealthy, but oddly enough, it is a perceived lack of stealth that made many anglers quit using them. The steady hum of downrigger cables, which can either lull you to sleep on a hot summer's day or make you want to rip your hair out, is one fish-spooking culprit that can be easily eliminated. Increasingly, anglers are replacing cable with 80- to 150-pound-test braid to carry the weights down. This gets rid of the hum and is much less visible to spooky fish.