rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?

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rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?
rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?
rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?
November 23, 2017 4:40 pm EST
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rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?
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rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer?
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feralcat
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: rethinking small boat trolling -- 4 or 5 lines, and need a planer? Reply with quote

I'm more of a bottom fisherman, but would like to do more trolling this year in my 24' CC ("more" is starting to mean "some" given the conditions!!).

Typically I pull 4 lines: two outside lines on 'fish-stix' (which is sort of poor man's outrigger), and two on the transom: one short, and and one on a #1 planer. Running ballyhoo on all usually behind a blue-white or pink or green/yellow sea-witch.

It seems to work, in that I've generally caught dolphin, where some are to be caught. But I don't think I've ever had anything but a 'cuda on the planer. I suppose I could replace the 'hoo with a drone spoon on the planer, and increase the likelihood of a king, but I'm weird in that I'd just assume NOT catch kings: I'd like dolphin, blackfins, and wahoo...

Any thoughts on how I could improve or change up my spread? I just bought a cedar plug, so might try that too. The "fish-stix" don't get the outside lines that far from the center of the wake, which is why I've typically been running 3 lines on the surface, and one below.

thx!
  
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Bilzo
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the fish-stix are like outrovers - (in-line attachments with a keel that pull baits out to side)...we generally didn't have much luck with them. We did better once we sucked it up and got full on outriggers.

The planer does attract cudas, but I'd guess the reason you're getting more of those than the other stuff is because of where you're fishing. If you're circling over wrecks, that's what's going to happen.
  
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Wildlifer
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could prob get away with a shotgun way back as high up as you could get it. you are able to pull a ballyhoo on a #1 planer? I would say that our planer gets hit more times than all of the surface lines. I would get a bigger planer like a 10 or 16 and get that dialed in.

Outriggers are more than just spreading the baits out. They pull up on them providing the skipping action that can attract bites. They are worth the investment.
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feralcat
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Bilzo -- it's actually Fish Stixx: https://www.facebook.com/Fish-Stixx-276815142381992/

I wonder if they still sell them? I bought 'em in MHC -- they do seem to work but I'm sure 'real' outriggers work better.

@Wildlifer -- the planer I'm talking about is a small one -- the same size you'd use for Spanish. It runs the bait maybe 15' under? The ballyhoo seems to stay on just fine: why would you recommend going so much larger? And with what bait? Thx
  
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todobien
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plenty of fish besides kings will hit drones. I've caught everything from tuna to grouper on spoons behind planers and yes they do slay the kings. If can't pull a big planer like wildlifer mentions try a #3 or 4.  
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feralcat wrote:
@Bilzo -- it's actually Fish Stixx: https://www.facebook.com/Fish-Stixx-276815142381992/

I wonder if they still sell them? I bought 'em in MHC -- they do seem to work but I'm sure 'real' outriggers work better.

@Wildlifer -- the planer I'm talking about is a small one -- the same size you'd use for Spanish. It runs the bait maybe 15' under? The ballyhoo seems to stay on just fine: why would you recommend going so much larger? And with what bait? Thx


I'm a little surprised the planer will hold it without tripping.

Typically we target wahoo and blackfins around 180-200 feet of water around the break out of Wrightsville. Wahoo seem to prefer to hold in the middle of the water column, we frequently mark them at 80-100 before picking up a bite. Dragging a bait right in front them them works better than trying to entice them to the surface. I think the noise and vibration a planer of that size makes gets them to look too. A lot of times we will pick one up on the planer and slow down and circle to get the fish in, the outrigger will get hit after its had a chance to sink down 20' or so.

Another option is to pull a maurader, yo-zuri bonito, or stretch 30
  
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the rod/reel to handle a big planer (and a backing plate under your gunwale!) get it set up inline so you can get your bait further back and dont have to handline the fish in.
Flat line clip on your short?
Definitely add a Way Way Back, Cedar plug works good.
Trolling weight, inline or fixed? Trolling weight and drone is a good combo.

Mix up some lures, those little rubber chugger or jet heads run naked seem to do well for Mahi off your outriggers.
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So with a large planer, a dedicated rod? Or hand-line off the cleat? I've seem some pictures of then running the bait down with a separate rod with a swivel and rubber band, though this is sounding like more stuff underfoot in a small boat. But is this what you're talking about? You don't actually run the leader to the planer as you would for spanish, I'm guessing....

I love the Yozuri Crystal deep-divers, but have to troll those very, very slowly or else they become unset.

So maybe: 3 ballyhoo on seawitches, something (drone spoon?) on a planer, and a way-back cedar plug, which I can fish from the center launcher on the T-top. Hopefully, if I stagger a bit, I can avoid tangles.
  
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it when i hear "small boat" when talking 26ft or smaller. I had an 18ft cc that seen the stream and big rock more times than i can count. Always pulled 6 lines from it comfortably without tangles. 4 off transom...(port corner had a #3 planer, starboard corner had a #8 planer ran off the cleat, port middle on the transom was a wfb rod and starboard middle transom was in the prop wash. The next 2 rod holders ( one on each side of the boat) from the back corners had islanders and or seawitches.

I now have a 23ft walkaround that has seen its fair share of stream trips and will continue to see it. I pull 8 rods from it comfortably with NO OUTRIGGERS. Same setup as above but with 2 more rods. They are in rod holders clamped on to the bow rails about mid ways up the boat on each side. They are pointed upward around 30 degrees with the water. By having them pointing out and up, its almost like short outriggers. Never had a problem with tangles. Stager them right and you will have no problem adding more options to your spread.

As far as wahoo goes. You need to get deeper as mentioned above. Yes the can, have, and will continue to hit baits on or near the surface but for a more consistant bite your minimum size planer should be a #8. Your witches will catch tuna as well and definitely the cedar plug. But if its consistency your after or are specifically targeting tuna you need to invest in some fluorocarbon line. They can and generally are veey leader shy.
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feralcat wrote:
So with a large planer, a dedicated rod? Or hand-line off the cleat? I've seem some pictures of then running the bait down with a separate rod with a swivel and rubber band, though this is sounding like more stuff underfoot in a small boat. But is this what you're talking about? You don't actually run the leader to the planer as you would for spanish, I'm guessing....

I love the Yozuri Crystal deep-divers, but have to troll those very, very slowly or else they become unset.

So maybe: 3 ballyhoo on seawitches, something (drone spoon?) on a planer, and a way-back cedar plug, which I can fish from the center launcher on the T-top. Hopefully, if I stagger a bit, I can avoid tangles.


Invest in a dedicated planer rod with a bridal. Run 100 feet or so of line after the bridal. That's by far the least cluttered way to run it. A handline would be impossible to trip without stopping the boat. They a pulling something like 50lbs at the rod tip. It's not a cheap set up but it absolutely will get more bites.
  
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MarkA
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run my planer of corner cleat and use plastic shower curtain rings. Rubber band on your line, clip the ring around it and the planer line and send it down. Planer doesn't come up until we're done.
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suggest longer leader on planers offshore. I run a bridle with 100' of leader behind the planer.
Catch more fish n the planer than all other lines combined.
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feralcat
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx all. I had no idea what a 'bridle' meant, but did some searching, and think I understand: this lets you remove the planer from the line, when you reel up to it, right?

What kind of rod and reel is necessary to handle a #8 planer? Yikes.

I may start with the shower-curtain/cleat trick. At least that way I can use a rod I already have. How much line do you allow before attaching the rubber band? 50' or so? And typically what do you run down there? A drone spoon? Thx
  
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

feralcat wrote:
Thx all. I had no idea what a 'bridle' meant, but did some searching, and think I understand: this lets you remove the planer from the line, when you reel up to it, right?

What kind of rod and reel is necessary to handle a #8 planer? Yikes.

I may start with the shower-curtain/cleat trick. At least that way I can use a rod I already have. How much line do you allow before attaching the rubber band? 50' or so? And typically what do you run down there? A drone spoon? Thx


I've used a drone spoon, pirate plug/bwc rig with cigar minnow, naked hoo on a pin rig. I've caught something on all of them at one point or another. Usually drop back 75' or so. I'm not an expert by any means and started doing this since I don't have a big dedicated planer rod and wanted to run one of the big planers to get my baits down. It really works well. The downside is you do have to stop the boat if you want to get the planer in if you think it will be in the way bringing something in. Unless you're superman.
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

feralcat wrote:
Thx all. I had no idea what a 'bridle' meant, but did some searching, and think I understand: this lets you remove the planer from the line, when you reel up to it, right?

What kind of rod and reel is necessary to handle a #8 planer? Yikes.

I may start with the shower-curtain/cleat trick. At least that way I can use a rod I already have. How much line do you allow before attaching the rubber band? 50' or so? And typically what do you run down there? A drone spoon? Thx


Correct, the bridle is just 2 loops in the line. They can be dacron with dropper loops or simply 2 short sections of mono crimped to the leader to make 2 loops. The spacing of the loops is the most important part. You are basically just making a slack section in the line to allow the planer to trip. On the planer side you crimp on 2 clip with a short section of mono or wire.

A 50 sized reel half spooled with braid should be able to handle a #8

we pull sea witches behind ours, a chugger head behind one sounds odd but is has great action behind a planer.
  
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4HVkPB3egU&list=PLLJCxyQOBO9-wt5eWiSj18Yg7aqccVXBr

There's plenty more videos out there but here's a good one.
  
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4HVkPB3egU&list=PLLJCxyQOBO9-wt5eWiSj18Yg7aqccVXBr

There's plenty more videos out there but here's a good one.
  
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RyanY
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feral kitty. Are you in or near Wilmington?
We run a 19 foot boat and can pull 7 lines easily trolling offshore. We can mix and match too. Cleats, or a down rigger.
I like to think of it this way....
Going accross your beam with your spread is a good way to think but think fore and aft as well as top to bottom.

We run three off the t top back farther, then we can run four to five inside of that including a deep diving crank bait close, and a teaser back in the prop wash somewhere.
Throw in a deeper planer and make really fun...

Tight lines.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RyanY wrote:
Feral kitty. Are you in or near Wilmington?
We run a 19 foot boat and can pull 7 lines easily trolling offshore. [....]
Tight lines.


Thx! No, fish out of MHC.

I can't imagine wrestling with 7 lines, in a smaller boat. Isn't it chaos if you get a frisky critter, trying to clear all those lines? I'm just usually fishing with one other person....

Anyway, thanks all for the tips on the planer. That video clearly explains the bridle approach, which is completely new to me, despite many years of fishing. I think I have a big planer in my shed, but still tempted to buy 100' of 300lb mono (better option?) and tie it off of the stern cleat and try the rubberband and shower-hook deal, first, before buying a 5/0 rig, or larger.

I can see it being a pain in the *ss to retrieve the planer by hand: needing to stop and wait for a few moments, before hauling it in, and avoiding a big tangle, the next time I want to use it.
  
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy, I have a 26ft center console and ussually fish with one other person as well. I run two downriggers and a center line out long. If the fishing is good that's about all one person can handle while the other drives the boat. I ussually run #4 planers on the downriggers. 1 shallow - 1 deep, if you have wire, there's no issues in retrieving planer if needed, but why would you. You get a fish on one, you just drop or raise the other to the strike zone. If I want to put out a fourth rod, I ussually go off the side where I'm running the short downrigger, on that rod I may run a fish-witch on the top or with a trolling sinker. Just slow your turns. However, if the bite is on 3 lines out is enough for 2 people.
Just my 3 cents
  
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep on board 2 handlines with bungee cords if I need to run a planer or something off the cleats. You will find that paracord in the 150lb range works great for handline, just roll it up on a stick or get fancy if you wish, easier to store than 300lb mono. I have some handlines that are 20yrs old still reliable and strong. On the handlines if you need to go to a larger planer - no problem. That's the old way of fishing - and it still works. My buddy doesn't have downriggers and that's all we use is handlines on his boat. We still catch a lot of fish. The bungee cord helps absorb strike shock. Helps in not pulling the hook.  
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad the video helped! I have an 18 foot boat and I run a large planer on heavy mono like a lot of guys have mentioned. Use a bridle on a planer rod when fishing a friends larger boat. The planer rod always produces more fish than the others. Even drug up a nice gag near the 14 buoy last season. I've never used shower curtain rings but it makes sense that they would work. I use paperclips and light rubber bands. Paper clips are really cheap. If you have a good day you'll pull in your hand line with a stack of paper clips. There's plenty of threads on how to do it. It's old school, but works just fine. I'm sure if you ask someone here can send you a pic of how it works. I would show you my set up but I'm currently out of the states. I'm sure you can google or youtube it. Tight lines brother!  
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link with some tips and an image to help...

http://www.oldsaltytackle.com/techtips.html
  
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fish 6 on a 23 Parker. Port side: one flat line off the gunnel behind a teaser, one off an outrodder behind that. Starboard side: one planer, one in an outrodder behind that. One in the leaning post midway back in the center. One in the leaning post hooked to a roller trolled on a boat hook off the t top waayyy back. Rarely ever have a tangle.  
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I can't imagine wrestling with 7 lines, in a smaller boat. Isn't it chaos if you get a frisky critter, trying to clear all those lines? I'm just usually fishing with one other person....

That's what you call a good problem.

We could run up 9 on my buddy's 23' parker.

Long Rigger/Short Rigger/Flat line on both sides (6).
Prop wash (7)
Center Deep (8)
Way Way Back Center Rigger (9).

And sometimes we'd mix a dredge in on one corner.
Now to be honest - we would only do that on really nice days when there wasn't grass all over the place, but if you can get 9 lines out on a private 23'er, you're never going to get bored.
  
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilzo wrote:
Quote:
I can't imagine wrestling with 7 lines, in a smaller boat. Isn't it chaos if you get a frisky critter, trying to clear all those lines? I'm just usually fishing with one other person....

That's what you call a good problem.

We could run up 9 on my buddy's 23' parker.

Long Rigger/Short Rigger/Flat line on both sides (6).
Prop wash (7)
Center Deep (8)
Way Way Back Center Rigger (9).

And sometimes we'd mix a dredge in on one corner.
Now to be honest - we would only do that on really nice days when there wasn't grass all over the place, but if you can get 9 lines out on a private 23'er, you're never going to get bored.


I am out of breath just thinking about running 9 lines. Good Lord, ya'll must be right much younger than me!! lmao
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We usually drag 6 and sometimes 7. When I find the fish and they get going good we sometimes cut bac to 4.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sent you a pm feralcat
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question do you run your deeper items closer to the boat I asssume? If running let's say set of 5.

1 planer and 1 weighted close to boat 15-20

Then yozuri diver and heavy pirate plug. 40-60

Then top bait or light pirate plug 70-90 back ?

Just curious as currently I only run 3 lines but looking to run 5.
  
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will also add that a green machine set way way back, sometimes our 7th line, is a good idea. It may not get as much attention as the rest of the spread but about the time you forget its out there it gets destroyed. Usually the fish of the day too. A yozuri bonita fished the same way can produce similar results.
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