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Milkdud

New to downrigging

9 posts in this topic

I just installed two downriggers on my boat and I am really looking forward to my first trip up to Lake of the Woods with them however I have a few questions. I have been downrigging out of launches before so I know somewhat how to use the downriggers but I am not that knowledgeable about trolling speed, types of crankbaits, tension settings on the release, and how far back behind the ball to put the crankbaits. Any help would be great, I plan to come up this weekend and give it a shot.

Thanks!

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I run anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 mph when trolling midsummer. Baits that work for me are #5&7 shadraps, purpledescent, firetiger, fire perch, goldfish, and gold/black. Also the new #6 deep diving X-raps worked great for me early and I know they will work behind lead. Also a good big fish bait for me has been a 24 size gold Rebel jointed fastrac minnow. Hard to find but they work for me. I usually run #7 Shad raps and fastracs 20' back which puts them about 5' below the ball. Some run them closer, others farther I'm sure, but you need to know how much line is out to determine your true depth. Dredging up mud with your bait will get you nowhere. Ocasionally I will run a smaller Firetiger /gold crocodile spoon 50' back. Sometimes they really like the spoons. Clear days mainly for me. As far as tension, as loose as you can without the lure pulling free while at speed. You have to watch your rod constantly to detect some of the smaller fish or you may drag them a ways. You will see the strike but the line won't release. Hope this helps a little

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Speed can vary from 1.5 to 3.5 depending on the day.

You can use any size crank bait but one of the plus's of

riggin is that you can use smaller baits. #5 shad raps

and similar sized anything are just the ticket.

It is important to have your crankbait "tuned" so that

it runs as true as possible behind the ball. When you

pull the bait thru the water is should not dart to one

side or the other. This can be a pain but it is pretty

important.

You dont need to let out much line behind the ball. With

a shallow diving bait I let out 20 to 25 feet, with deeper

divers 10 to 15 feet. I am sure the charter captains who

run 6 riggers started this to avoid tangles and it seems

to work fine.

As far a tension on the release you need to play with this

a bit. Check your baits every 5 minutes or so when you

first start, if you are dragging smaller fish loosen up the

release, if you keep having trips on no fish tighten them

up some.

The first half hour trolling is the worst, then things start

to work a little better. The trick is not to break too much

stuff in the first half hour.

Good luck, I think it will be a good weekend to start.

One more thing, if you can, troll WITH the wind, Muuuuuch

nicer deal

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Try those Walker releases. I know they have them at Riverside and work very good. Cant go wrong.

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Milkdud, Todd and Curt are giving you good advice. Tough to top SR's but you may wanna bring some TD7's along, That Hot Chub was way hot behind the ball yesterday. Your timing is good as the weather looks good, may be kind of on the hot side though? Them Walters are turning on bigtime the past coupla days....They like nice weather too!

Icemeister whats up man? Was that you I saw SE of the rock on Saturday afternoon?

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Norm, were you trolling that same area you caught those big ones last summer? Heading up today and staying til next Sat.

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Nope, we pulled a 27 and a 27.5 on that spot about 5.5 miles straight N of there. Wind picked up around 6ish and we pulled a thirty off that "P" buoy about a mile NE from last years honey run.

Why can't I catch them girls on tourney day Todd???

What kind of boat you sportin this summer anyhows?

E me iffin you get the chance.

Norm

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Hey Fiskey you may have seen me there saturday the weekend after the fourth but that was the last time i was out. We did good there too. Started out of RP in the mornin, went out kinda NW of Arnesens to troll but the waves were big(4-5foot) and didnt have anyone that could control the boat while i set stuff. probably woulda been good. So we turned around and went about half way in and the waves were only about 3 feet there. Threw out a drift sock and bam first fish was almost 26 inches, just a little west of the rock. got a few more eaters driftin between there and GR reef. When it got calm we fished close up to the rock to the west and south and got a few more. As the day went on the wind died down and the sand flies came out like mad till we couldnt take it anymore. Went for a swim, headed in and ate. Think we had 7 fish. Im goin out this weeknd probably RainyRiver Sat and RP Sat evenin and or sunday. Wish i could find that hotchub TD. Cabelas was sold out last time i was there. Blue TD works, that and Lil ripper in purple demon. Lotta hogs on that purple.

On another note Curt mentioned goin with the wind. I agree- I always do much better trolling with the waves. Always thought it was just cause i get more speed (trollin motor`s whimpy), but last summer i was out in someones boat and we trolled fast, about 5 mph. on the way trolling to the east we were against the waves and caught a couple. Turned around and trolled back almost the same path going west(with the waves) and slaughtered em. Huge waves that day too(I even got sick). Much too big for my boat. Anyhow im a firm believer of goin with the waves. Good luck out there.

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The white offshore releases work decent. I use them on Lake Superior when trolling spoons or cranks but they trip constantly when trolling dodgers. They are a light tension release.

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