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Fishing Downriggers 101

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  • Fishing Downriggers 101

    Fishing Downriggers 101

    By Wisconsin fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
    Now is the time to think about changes to make you more productive this season. There are many ways to go on this subject. Over the next several articles I will try to cover topics like rigging, tackle and presentation. My goal is to provide information, which should lead to more fish and less slow fishing. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at Fishing Articles Fishing Reports Jim Hirt

    Let’s get started with rigging.

    This is a very large topic that needs to be broken down into smaller subjects. Downriggers are a good place to start. This is one of the most basic of presentations and yet is very easy to get confused about. The use of this tool is limited only by your imagination. For every method I write about here some of you know dozens of other ways to work a downrigger.

    Basic downriggers

    The basic concept is a wire line with a weight on one end with a release to hold a lure at a given depth. The other end is a spool or wheel to hold the wire and facilitate the raising or lowering of the weight. Downriggers are made in manual or electric. There are many brands out in the market place and I think they are all good.

    Electric and manual options

    The high-speed electrics will give you an advantage when you are on a hot bite. For the average fisherman manuals will get the job done. There are all kinds of additional features you can add to your downrigger. An important one is temperature at the ball to tell you when your lure is in the temp for your target. This can also be added to any downrigger later. Cameras to watch lure action and the attitude of the fish. All the extras may or may not get you more fish depending on your ability to interpret the information provided.

    Setup and tune up

    Basic set up is to let out your fishing spoon behind the boat and attach it to the weight. The way you attach it has everything to do with how many fish you will put in the boat. I have tried most of the different styles of releases. I like the Blacks release with the clip to attach the weight as one unit. The Blacks releases are completely adjustable to set the hook when the fish bites and never tangle or wear the line.

    Weight selection is also important

    Things to consider are size, shape, construction and color. For my corner downriggers a flat weight called a pancake with a large adjustable fin is the way to go. When the fin is correctly tuned it will spread your presentation and avoid tangles. For the two inside downriggers I prefer a weight that tracks well and looks like a fish.

    How heavy?

    I use 10-12 pound weights when fishing deep over 100 feet and go to 8 pounds for shallow presentation. Attach the weight to the cable with a Clincher. This plastic termination for the end of the cable allow you to attach a snap for the ball without crimps. The clincher or similar types will save cable fatigue and lost downrigger weights. I will finish on this subject in the next article.

    Buy Four And Get One Free

    Badger Tackle has a promotion for a free spoon. Call me anytime to help with your spoon selection. If you would like to try the hottest spoons for salmon and trout for shore anglers or trolling and jigging in 2011 go to Fishing Spoons Fishing Lures & Fishing Tackle Home Page Good luck. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at Charter Fishing Milwaukee Wisconsin with Blue Max Charters on Lake Michigan Copyright© 2012, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  • #2
    There you go again Jim,talking about ball temperature and tackle presentation,pure filth.


    • #3
      Originally posted by maverboy View Post
      There you go again Jim,talking about ball temperature and tackle presentation,pure filth.
      Know what you mean MB. Iv'e had posts edited for less.
      The man's a raving perv.
      On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.


      • #4
        And dont forget his blatant use of the word spoon!

        I know what you are talking about Jim, you dirty boy.

        Post colitis cuddles indeed. We don't do that in the Uk, we just turn over, break wind, and go to sleep.

        Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.