How Trolling With Planer Boards Works: A Complete Guide

Trolling with planer boards may seem like a complex technique, but once you understand the basics, it’s actually quite straightforward. So, how does trolling with planer boards work? Well, it’s a method that allows you to cover a larger area of water and target specific depths while fishing. By using planer boards, which are simply boards that are attached to your fishing line, you can spread out your bait or lures horizontally, making it more enticing to fish. As you troll along, the planer boards glide on the water’s surface, keeping your lines away from the boat and increasing your chances of a successful catch. Let’s dive deeper into the mechanics of this ingenious angling tactic.

How Trolling with Planer Boards Works: A Complete Guide

How Does Trolling with Planer Boards Work?

Trolling with planer boards is a popular fishing technique that allows anglers to cover a wider area and target specific depths more effectively. This method is especially useful when fishing for species like walleye, salmon, trout, or muskie that tend to spread out or stay at certain depths. By understanding how trolling with planer boards works, you can improve your chances of success on your next fishing trip.

1. What Are Planer Boards?

Planer boards are devices that are attached to a fishing line and used to spread out multiple lines while trolling. They are usually made of plastic or wood and feature a clip or release mechanism that holds the fishing line securely. Planer boards are designed to glide through the water, moving away from the boat and taking the fishing lines with them. This allows anglers to cover a larger area and avoid tangling lines.

2. Attaching Planer Boards

To set up planer boards, you first need to attach them to your fishing line. Here’s how:

  • Slide the fishing line through the hole or clip on the planer board.
  • Secure the line with a small rubber band or snap swivel.
  • Release enough line so that the planer board is at the desired distance from the boat.

Repeat this process for each planer board you want to use, spreading them out evenly on both sides of the boat.

3. Trolling Speed and Direction

The trolling speed and direction play crucial roles in trolling with planer boards. The speed at which you move the boat will determine the depth at which your lures or baits will run. Most anglers aim for a speed between 1.5 to 3.5 miles per hour, but it can vary depending on the species you’re targeting.

The direction in which you troll is also important. If you’re fishing along a shoreline or a structure, it’s beneficial to troll parallel to it. This way, you can cover the desired area more effectively. However, if you’re aiming to target fish in open water, trolling in a straight line can help cover a larger area.

4. Using Different Types of Planer Boards

There are different types of planer boards available, each with its own advantages and applications. Here are some common types:

a) Inline Planer Boards

Inline planer boards are the most basic and commonly used type. They are attached to the fishing line and glide through the water as you troll. They work well for most trolling situations and are relatively easy to use.

b) Tattle Flags

Tattle flags are specialized planer boards that feature a flag mechanism that rises when a fish strikes. This visual indicator helps anglers identify when they have a bite, even if the planer board doesn’t move significantly.

c) Side-Planers

Side-planers are larger planer boards designed to be used in rougher water conditions or when targeting bigger fish. They provide extra stability and can handle heavier lines and lures.

5. Adjusting Depth and Spread

One of the advantages of trolling with planer boards is the ability to adjust the depth and spread of your lines. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Attach different lures or baits to each planer board to target different depths or increase your chances of attracting fish.
  • Adjust the length of line between the planer board and the lure to control the depth. Longer lines will result in deeper running lures, while shorter lines will keep them closer to the surface.
  • Experiment with the distance between planer boards to find the optimal spread for the species you’re targeting. A wider spread can cover more area, while a narrower spread may be necessary in certain conditions.

6. Monitoring and Maintaining Planer Boards

While trolling with planer boards, it’s essential to monitor their position and make any necessary adjustments. Here are some tips for monitoring and maintaining your planer boards:

  • Periodically check the position of the planer boards to ensure they are running properly.
  • If a planer board isn’t running correctly, it may be tangled or have excess weeds. Reel it in, clean it, and reset it.
  • Consider using planer board releases that have adjustable tension settings. These can help prevent false releases caused by waves or lure action.
  • Pay attention to the planer board’s movements. If it suddenly stops or starts behaving differently, it could be an indication of a fish striking.

7. Additional Tips for Trolling with Planer Boards

To enhance your success when trolling with planer boards, keep these additional tips in mind:

  • Experiment with different lures, bait colors, and sizes to find what works best for your target species.
  • Consider using planer boards with built-in lights for low-light conditions or nighttime fishing.
  • Pay attention to the weather and water conditions. Factors like wind, current, and water temperature can affect the success of trolling with planer boards.
  • Stay patient and persistent. Trolling with planer boards may require some trial and error before finding the right combination that attracts fish.

By understanding the principles behind trolling with planer boards and implementing the tips mentioned above, you can improve your chances of a successful fishing trip. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this technique can add excitement and increase your catch rate. So, get out on the water, set up your planer boards, and enjoy the thrill of trolling for your favorite fish!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does trolling with planer boards work?

Trolling with planer boards is a technique used in fishing to cover a larger area of water and increase the chances of catching fish. The planer boards are attached to the fishing line and are designed to pull the bait or lure away from the boat. This creates a wider spread, allowing anglers to cover more ground. The boards are able to go out to the side and stay afloat, dragging the fishing line and bait with them. This method is particularly effective when fishing in waters with a lot of structure or cover, as it allows the bait to be presented in a more natural and enticing manner.

What are the benefits of trolling with planer boards?

Trolling with planer boards offers several advantages for fishermen. Firstly, it allows the angler to cover a larger area of water, increasing the chances of encountering fish. Secondly, the planer boards enable the baits or lures to be presented at different depths and distances from the boat, expanding the potential catch zone. Additionally, using planer boards reduces the chances of spooking fish due to the distance between the boat and the bait. This technique is especially effective when targeting schools of fish or when fishing in areas with heavy boat traffic.

How do you rig planer boards for trolling?

To rig planer boards for trolling, start by attaching the release clips to the fishing line between the planer board and the weight or lure. The release clips are designed to hold the line securely but also release it when a fish strikes. Attach the planer board to the line by sliding it onto the fishing line and then securing it in place with a rubber band or a specialized release clip. Make sure the planer board is positioned properly on the line to achieve the desired spread. Adjust the distance between the planer board and the weight or lure according to the depth you want to target. Finally, let out the desired amount of line and start trolling at your preferred speed.

What types of fish can be caught using planer boards?

Trolling with planer boards can be a successful technique for catching a variety of fish species. Whether you are targeting walleye, salmon, trout, musky, or even freshwater or saltwater gamefish, planer boards can be effective. The versatility of this technique allows anglers to adapt to different fishing conditions and maximize their chances of catching fish across various environments. It is important to note that the choice of bait or lure and the trolling speed may vary depending on the specific fish species you are targeting.

What are some tips for trolling with planer boards?

When trolling with planer boards, it is essential to pay attention to a few key tips. Firstly, make sure to match your trolling speed to the species you are targeting and the conditions you are fishing in. Adjusting the speed can help optimize the presentation of the bait or lure. Secondly, experiment with different colors, sizes, and types of baits or lures to find what works best for the fish you are targeting. Lastly, be mindful of the depth at which you want to fish and adjust the distance between the planer board and the weight or lure accordingly. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success when trolling with planer boards.

Final Thoughts

Trolling with planer boards is an effective fishing technique that allows anglers to cover a larger area of water and increase their chances of catching fish. By using planer boards, fishing lines can be spread out and controlled at varying depths and distances from the boat. This method enables the bait or lures to be presented in a more natural and enticing manner, enticing fish to strike. Planer boards work by using the water’s current to carry the line and bait away from the boat, creating a wider fishing zone. When properly executed, trolling with planer boards can significantly enhance the fishing experience and increase the likelihood of a successful catch. So, next time you hit the water, consider incorporating planer boards into your trolling arsenal for an improved fishing adventure.

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