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Hoffer

"poor mans downrigger"

16 posts in this topic

I am heading to Canada a little later this September. There are a few areas that we fish that we know hold some bigger Northerns that are in deeper water. We mark schools of whitefish on the depth finder and sometimes see them surfacing in the evenings. We are pretty sure there would be some good Northern action in this area - but how do we get a lure down 30 feet without a "downrigger". We just want to try a few trolling runs through this area with a lure - but dont want to invest in a downrigger. Has anyone had good luck with the "clip-on" type of weights?? How do you work them? I imagine tying on a swivel and then runing a lure behind that on a long leader with the weight clipped on just before the swivel?? Is this correct? Does anyone have a tried and true method for this? Also how long of a leader do you run? Any specific types of lures that seem to do well?? I was thinking just your typical larger size shad rap...any advice would be appreciated - and also where to find these clip-on weights - I dont recall seeing any of these in stores like Gander etc....but I probably wasnt specifically looking until now either. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Rapala DT 30. I have a Fish Seeker Diver that is VERY adjustable and used to use it for Rainbows. I had good intentions to use it this summer for walleye but didn't get to it, really think it may be worth looking into to.(pretty inexpensive)

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I,ve tried the wire style bottom bouncers 1-11/2 ounce for walleyes with raps at thirty feet of water with sucess or heavy bait walker style weights with a 5-8ft leader.

you could also try lead core line,I dont have experience in that stuff though. could also try dypsee divers . good luck.

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Its a simple rig called a "three way". You will need a fairly stout rod/reel combo. Then all you need is some three way swivels that are available at walmart or your local tackle store. A spool of floro or your favorite mono. Some HEAVY bell sinkers. Id recommend 4-8 oz.

Tie the three way to your main line. Tie a small piece of mono of 2-4 lb test less than your main line about 18" to the bell sinker and then to one of the other two loops on the three way swivel. Finally, on the thrid loop of the three way tie a piece of Mono about 4-6 feet long. Attach either a leader or snap swivel and then your favorite stick bait. I usually use original rapalas or minnow type imitation lures of that type. You should be able to get down to 35-50 feet with this type of rig. The heavier weights you use the eeasier it will be to get deeper with less line.

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I use 4 oz chain sinkers and run what ever length leader that I want off of the back. I have hung lures on the botom in sixty feet. Just buy a selection of different weights if you decide to do it.

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In a word ***** Dipsey Divers

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Dipsey Divers or Jet Divers, I find the Jet Divers take a little less stout of a line. You can get down to 30' fairly easy (i.e. a 10-15' Jet Diver and you can get a DT16 down to 30')

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Hoffer, here was my version of a "poor man's downrigger". Every bit of it is the honest truth. I had been trolling Lake Superior for a year and wanted to find a way to get deep like yourself where all those hooks were on my locator. My fishing partner (dad) called me over to his house one day. Said he had the perfect plan, and it was cheap! We took a hundred foot rope from the local hardware store and color coated every 10 feet so we would know how deep we were. We used a permanent magic marker for this. We then took a very large cinder block and tied it to the end. We then took the contraption to Two Harbors in early March and proceeded to hunt for them hooks. We used a rubber band for a release and spoons for lures. The first trip actually produced an 8 lb. lake trout. Although it was aweful hard to "handline" the thing up, it worked! Total bill for everything used for our new found rigger was around seven dollars. Money was spent on the rubber bands and rope. We already had the cinder block. Thats gettin' er done for cheap pal grin.gif BC

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I would at 1st try some snap weights. Then I would go leadcore. Next I would go Dypsie Diver then Jet Divers. You can also go with a 1# ball but I think 30' is easy to get to with a 2oz. snap weight and even a 1 if you can run that much line.

Some baits to try long lining are the Taildancers, Deep Diving Reefrunners and the deep rebels I cant remember the exact name and numbers though.

In Canada I used to fish a 2oz. bottom bouncer and a 6' leader and troll sticks and spoons and get lakers so thats another option but I like the snap weights better. Easier to net fish then but its tuff with 1 guy popping them off before realing in the fish. It can be done though. I would start out with the snap weights and go from there. Only draw back is the releases are spendy and wrap them if ya run Power Pro or Fireline. I like the 2-10 PP for eyes, its gets deeper quicker. For big Pike you may want to go bigger especially if they are BIG ones. I would also run a leader of course or you will get bit off. Good luck.

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If ya don't want to mess around with a bunch of weights, dipsys and such, just get some bomber 9As or Manns 30 pluses. I have stuck a 9A in the bottom in 41 FOW. If you look for them, there are quite a few sures that will hit 30 feet.

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I guess first, before you go exploring the deep with heavy weight make sure the fish are there.If your going to Canada in mid to late Sept, depending on where you go in Canada,those fish may well have moved.Im not sure what whitefish do but ciscos tend to move shallow in the fall.Im sure the pike will be moving with them.

As the other posters have said snap weights,leadcore,threeways,and jets or dipsys are the way to go.The length of the trolling passes your going to make will have an impact on what you want to use.Threeway trolling will get you into a strike zone fast,line counter reels are great for repeatability.You can use a variety of weights with threeways from 1oz to 1lb just make sure your rods are stout enough to handle heavy weights.Length of leaders is your choice,just dont makem so long that you cant get the fish to the net.Leadcore is another great choice for gettin deep,however if you havent used leadcore before it takes some time to get used to it.I am not real familiar with jet divers and dipsys but i know the guys that use them can get to a precise depth with different models of them.

Snap weights are also a good choice,but imo they are the least accurate for depth control.The biggest problem you face with maintaning a consistance depth, is your boat speed.Dial in the trolling speed and you can run your baits at the depth you choose regardless of what style crankbait you use.Good luck up there and let us know if you find the sows...........

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Thanks to all the FM posters with the excellent info. I really appreciate that! As far as lead core goes...do you have to buy a certain "pound test" like with mono - or is lead core - led core. I have never tried that, and I may spool that on my Muskie outfit and give it a try. I may also try the 3 way swivel method with a stouter 7 foot medium heavy rod. I think it would be more fun to catch the fish on a regular rod combo - rather than the bigger muskie outfit. If I went with the lead core - has anyone used a fluorocarbon leader - say 20 pound test tied directly to the lure. I was thinking of running the lead core then tieing on a swivel then attaching the flurocarbon leader - about 6 feet to the swivel and then tieing directly onto the lure. I was thinking the action might be better than tieing it onto a steel leader - I may run the risk of losing a few fish - but for instance we have switched to fluorocarbon leaders on our tipup rigs in the Winter rather than the steel leaders and havent noticed that we loose many fish to a cut line. Thanks again for the input and sugestions!

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We used heavy jigs in 50' to 80' of water when we were searching for lake trout in Canada. Ocassionally we would catch northerns and even walleyes at that depth. Locate the schools on your depth finder and drop your jig right above the fish. We used frozen shiners or fat heads on anywhere from a 1/2 oz jig to 1 oz depending on the wind conditions.

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The only difference in leadcore line weights is the dacron line surrounding the lead,I would say most people use 18 or 27 lb test.The fluorocarbon for leader material is what I use,I go with 12lb for walleye but have landed several musky and large flatheads without a breakoff....yet.Your leader length varies,but it would be a good idea to go at least from your hook keeper up the rod and back to the spool of your reel in length.Make sure you have a fairly soft tipped rod,you will be able to see vibrations from your crankbaits and it helps to absorb shock from a hit,leadcore doesnt stretch.............

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All of the above methods will work just fine, some are more technical than others and may require fine tuning. If it were me I'd run powerpro or fireline w/ the taildancer deep or reef runner deep divers, both will hit 30 feet without any extra hardware(preferably on linecounters for repeatability). Rapala also makes a new xrap deep that dives to 30 feet-it's got a big profile like a musky lure w/ a big lip for diving (they cost about 17$ but look like they'd be a good bet) Otherwise if you get on top of em try jigging natural colored swim baits or big bulldogs or better yet a liftoff rig w/ big live suckers. Man I'm jealous, post some pics of your gators and let us know what worked best! Good luck and tightlines!

redhooks

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Hello Hoffer!!!Welcome..........

im not sure if anyone mentioned the trollers bible.....very complete book with mega,mucho inforation on the art of trolling...hope this helps c63

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  • Posts

    • BartmanMN
      Where are all the Duck reports from the almighty Pelican?  Did all this rain fill the lake back up?  I haven't driven by at all.  I bet the crappies and gills are growing nicely.   Soon enough.
    • Big Kype
      Yep it is the 3 S's - I just don't think a lot of people are going to be grouse hunting with a shovel - but not a bad idea.
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      Thank you gentlemen.  I knew I'd get a quick answer!
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