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Farley

Planer Boards

Question

Farley

I did a search but didnt find the info I was looking for. One thing I cant figure out is when you are runing planer boards with say a rapala, how do you know when you have a bite? Does the board run differently? If you use flags do they dip down when you get a bite? And also how do you hook up with the fish, do you set the hook hard or do you just let the rod load up and just keep tension on the line.

Obviously, I've never used boards but I just got my copy of "Precision Trolling" and have already gone through my whole tackle box comparing the charts to my lures, and have a new rod and line counter picked out. I generally have 3-6 other people in my boat on opener up at Kab so it would be nice to spread out the lines a little. Also I've run into situations where we go in shallow and mark fish but every pass they go deeper so that tells me the boat spooks the fish, I would love to troll by in the deeper water and let the boards drag the raps in shallower on those spots. Needless to say I'm pumped to give this a try.

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balsa

Hi Farley,

I troll with boards alot. The boards I run have tattle flags on them so when you get a bite the flag will go down. You can set the flags for different tensions for pulling cranks or spinners. When trolling crank baits let the rod and the board set the hook. Just leave it in the rod holder. When pulling spinners and crawlers they will not always hit it like a crank you may have to wait a little bit to make sure you are hooked up.

A big key is when you are unhooking the board make sure you have the tension on the fish yet. Then real the line to the tip of the rod. With your new line counters make sure you calibrate them. What I do is fill the spool almost full the lay a 100 foot tape out then pull the line out of you reel to see how close you are you may have to put more on or take some off.

Good luck Balsa

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PerchJerker

Good answers, balsa.

You might want to check the Walleye Forum, I think there's been a thread or two about planer boards in there in the last few months.

The boards will run differently when you have fish on them, they will sag back, run deeper in the water, and tend to move behind the boat. It might take a while to get a knack at reading the boards, but you'll figure it out. A big fish may even take them under, like a bobber grin.gif

Tattle flags are very helpful, they'll help identify small fish, weeds, baits hitting the bottom, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone dragging a small perch or striper or something like that behind a board, skipping over the top of the water, while the guys in the boat have no idea what's going on with their bait grin.gif

I see you mention using them at Kab on the opener. That's probably not an ideal time or place. The fish up there on opener will probably be on shorelines and points (in concentrated spots) and on a live bait bite ...... not an ideal trolling situation, especially with a board spread.

Planer boards work great for open water trolling (not something you're likely to be doing on kab on the opener) and work great for contour trolling ..... the problem at Kab is the breaks are up and down and in and out like crazy, and you won't be able to keep your baits in a productive strike zone. The close in baits are likely to be getting hung up in shallow water, and the outside baits are likely to be pulling suspended through deep water where there aren't likely to be walleyes. Probably not a very productive way to fish that lake on the opener.

When I was learning how to run boards I made a lot of trips to Lake Pepin. For one thing, you can use two lines per angler there. For another thing, there's tons of fish there on the shoreline, and the contours are pretty easy to stay on (excluding the occasional wing dam or point). We'd run one board right up one shore, run another board in close to it, and maybe even run a 3rd board on the shore side of the boat. It was fun and a great way to learn about boards. We caught walleyes, saugers, stripers, pike, smallies, channel cats, and the occasional slab crappie doing that.

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Farley

Thanks for the info guys,

 Originally Posted By: PerchJerker

I see you mention using them at Kab on the opener. That's probably not an ideal time or place. The fish up there on opener will probably be on shorelines and points (in concentrated spots) and on a live bait bite ...... not an ideal trolling situation, especially with a board spread.

Yeah, that thought did cross my mind. We definatly wont go all out on the planer boards, we catch the majority of the fish every year on livebait rigs and jigging. In fact I cant remember ever catching them on anything else. LAst year we had 6 guys in the boat and I barley fished, just manuvered the boat. This year I would like to kick my line out to the side a little more. Also, what I kind of want to try (I kind of went into detail on my first post) is something I read about in the last walleye insider, they were talking about running planers off one side of the boat, attacking a point from the deeper water and run the planers in shallower. By shallower I mean 10-14 feet since we usually fish in around 18 unless we are jigging. There is a point in particular it seems like whenever there are fish on it we kick them off once we go over with the boat. I know they are up there feeding. So my plan is to keep an eye on that spot from wherever we are fishing on a given day and if no one has been on it, we'll run some planers over it, with either cranks or live bait with snap weights, and just see what happens.

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PerchJerker

I understand what you're getting at about using the boards to get your baits in shallower. But unless it's a long point, where you can have a long trolling run, you'll probably spend more time getting your lines set and turning around, etc. than you'll spend with your baits near the fish.

It sounds to me like a better situation for casting jigs/minnows, or using slip bobbers.

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dirtking

 Originally Posted By: Farley
Last year we had 6 guys in the boat and I barley fished

Farley – be careful, with that many guys in a boat the Canadians will be watching you. They'll be thinking you are a boat full of refugees coming across

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