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Beginners Trolling Setup Questions

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by TheDish, May 31, 2017.

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  1. TheDish

    TheDish

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    Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on trolling setup for walleye. I'm an avid fisherman but never have regularly targeted walleye (with the exception of river wading and a few Lake Erie Charters)

    I have a 14' Sylvan Classic Fisherman with a Honda 15 HP that I recently was given and fixed up. I'm just looking to hit inland lakes. I have very little experience running planer boards and other than flat lining for some perch I'm (embarrassingly) a little clueless, this is a new world for me.

    What's a basic trolling set up to employ? Where is a good starting point Rod and Reel wise and equipment? I've been reading into bottom bouncers, planer boards, or lead core line, inline sinkers etc. and not sure where to start. Thanks!
     
  2. Drake

    Drake

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    That makes two of us!
    Dave
     
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  3. RobGrassmid

    RobGrassmid

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    Hey guys welcome to Walleyes. If you have a full head of hair prepare to pull some out. What works one day may not the next. Trolling setups can be very specialized or as simple as tossing a line out the back of the boat. What I use is line counter reels, planet boards, inline weights, or snap weights, or bottom bouncers. The planer boards get the lures away from the boat and allow for several lines to be working at once. The line counter reels make it easy to duplicate how much line is out behind the planer boards when you find a depth that is working. You can use spinning rods and reels or bait caster rods and reels with great success also. Basic setup I would run a planer board on each side of the boat with what ever lures you choose. And then run a bottom bouncer off the front of the boat almost right under the boat. Of course that is for deeper water. Shallow water the bouncer may not be too effective if it's clear The boat will spook most fish. If you are trolling cranks you could forgo the bouncer and run a long line straight out the back. Hope this helps you get started. It's a ton of fun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. piketroller

    piketroller

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    For fishing out of a small boat like that, I would recommend spending this summer learning to fish a crawler harness behind a bottom bouncer using just a single rod in hand if you are fishing solo, and the same for any passengers. Figure out how to get the boat slowed down into the 1-1.2 mph range and have at it. Fish could be in 4-5 feet of water with developing weedbeds, or along deep weed edges, or rocky points, reefs, or any other structure in the lake. With rod in hand, you can feel when you are hitting structure, feel when you get weeds on the line that need to be cleaned off, and most importantly set the hook on light biters when you feel that slight tick. Multiple rod spreads are great for open water suspended fish, but you'll have more luck and learn a lot more fishing with the rod in hand when you are just starting out.
     
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  5. TheDish

    TheDish

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    I've been tying crawler harnesses and casting them with an inline sinker for a while - but the bottom bouncer is new to me. What is going to decide how heavy of a bottom bouncer to use? And I'm assuming speed will dictate the depth of the bait?
     
  6. piketroller

    piketroller

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    Rule of thumb is 1 oz for every 10 feet of depth. Speed and line size will affect this somewhat. If you are fishing weeds, a little lighter can help you go over the weeds instead getting buried in them. Also you don't need the huge number 4 or 5 blades that the open water guys use. I get more bites with number 2 and 3 blades.
     
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  7. TheDish

    TheDish

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    Awesome, this should be a good starting point. I've been looking into trolling rods and reels with depth counters, planer boards and rod holders - which wasn't agreeing with my budget lol. Hoping some used stuff pops up somewhere.


    How far behind the boat are you usually running the bottom bouncer?
     
  8. GrizzlyBear

    GrizzlyBear

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    Upwinding you....
    I just got set up this year. I've done a fair amount of fishing but just bought my own boat. I got the cheapest line counter combos Cabelas had. They were $70 each. If you're going to get planer boards, which I would, I tried several and for me nothing compares to the offshore boards with tattle flags. Very user friendly and they're $70/ pair at Franks so not too crazy.

    Most of the guys here use an app on their phone called precision trolling data. It will tell you at X speed with X amount of weight you will be running at X depth and you can change any of the variables. You can also google bottom bouncer dive chart and find info that way.

    If you don't want to spend the money on the app just let the bouncer out til it hits bottom then throw it in a rod holder. Take another rod and do the same but after it hits bottom let it come up to speed again and then let it out til it hits bottom a second time. That should put you right on bottom. Duplicate whichever method the fish seem to prefer.

    The more experienced guys here will probably chime in and add more but that should give you a start.
     
  9. piketroller

    piketroller

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    Grizz does exactly what I do for amount of line out. Free spool to bottom contact, let the boat speed pick the rig off the bottom, and free spool to the bottom again. A lot of people say your line should enter the water at 45 degrees, but this won't happen unless you are going 0.5 mph or slower. So at 1 mph it's closer to 30 degrees. If you let out too much line the bouncer won't work up and over the cover like it's supposed to and you'll get hung up more. Time on the water is the best teacher and once you are doing it right you'll start catching panfish, bass and whatever else is in the water. From there you just need to dial in where the walleye are, and start fishing in the right conditions for walleye to bite, like low light periods, overcast windy days, etc.

    For spending money on new gear, about $30 should get you enough harnesses and bouncers to get started. Use your most sensitive rod you have to be able to feel the bites (something you would bass fish with soft plastics works great), and put the rest of your funds to upgrading your sonar to something with side imaging. Being able to see where breaks, structure and weed lines are in relation to your boat is amazing for trolling and knowing how to steer your boat.
     
  10. herefishyfishyfishy

    herefishyfishyfishy

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    Sounds like you need a trip to northwoods! They have line counter rod and reel combos for 40bucks and they have good deals on planer boards. They will have everything your gonna need! But make sure you take enough money, i always over spend there!
     
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  11. TheDish

    TheDish

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    I've never been, but I don't need a good excuse to overspend on fishing stuff. Toss my fly rod in the truck, hit up some rivers and I've got myself a little weekend. Thanks for the tip
     
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  12. FishManDan

    FishManDan

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    I fish inland lakes as practice for the big water. I nearly always run 3 lines and it is a challenge alone which is part of the fun. Yes x2 on offshore boards. I do not fish one to each side as I found it too hard to watch and control. Typically fish a down rod bottom bouncer over the side and two planer boards out to the side. The idea is to follow the drop line with the down rod which will be easier to clear the weeds when ya pull it though. It is helpful to have a TM on the front of the boat with auto pilot to free up hands. Also on some days I will be trolling at tartget speed of 0.8 mph SOG. I have pulled nice walleye out from under skiers and Jet Skis blasting around the lake. When those guys are out I will run the planners close to the boat but they are so few of us doing this they will run though your boards. If you PM me your phone I will call ya when I have an open seat and show ya the ropes here in Livingston Co.

    The beauty is that you can catch some super bass and every other species this way.
     
  13. TheDish

    TheDish

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    Awesome. I grew up in Howell so I'm pretty familiar with most of the lakes out there. I'll shoot you a PM. Thanks for the offer
     
  14. Cpt.Chaos

    Cpt.Chaos

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    If you're just setting up your boat I'd recommend buying good gear. Don't fool around with cheap planer boards, Off-shore or Church (I prefer Off-shore)... the other boards are garbage. Frank's Great Outdoors runs a special on Off-shore boards, 2 boards with tattle flags for $69.99, no one can beat that price or quality.

    Same for rods and reels,rod holders, nets etc... the bargains you see for dirt cheap just won't last or perform nearly as good.

    A tip on setting up a trolling boat , you can never have enough rod holders. From running different set-ups to clearing rods to land a monster, you need to be versatile.
     
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  15. RichP

    RichP

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    At the risk of asking a stupid question, do you know if that $69.99 special they run include the full strike detection upgrade kit to fully make use of the flags, or is it just the board with the flag on the back?