: Best way to reel in outside planer boards without tangling?
12-17-2002, 10:34 PM
Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm thinking of trying to run three boards per side, at times, in open water next summer. Which brings up the question, which is relevant for two boards as well, how do you bring in the outside board with fish-on or when fouled without tangling with the inside one(s)?
With two boards, I usually free spool the inside one to get it out of the way, move it into the outside position, and reel in the outside board (which is now the inside board). I rarely tangle up, but it seems this would get pretty complicated with three boards out there. So whats the best way you all have found? Will I have to reel in the inside boards first? If I can figure this out, its not to late to put another set of Offshores on my Christmas list. Thanks.
12-18-2002, 05:11 AM
As you do with the two boards, I do with three boards. That is if I'm not in a turn, or a big fish hasn't pulled the board to the back and center over the other two lines.
If this occurs, I just let the outside board sit for a sec or two, while I reel the two inside boards up a bit, and then reel in the outside board right around the back of the other two..depending on how much line is out on the inside baits.
Most times though, I'm able to freespool the two inside boards back together, at the same time, while I reel in the outside board. The middle and inside board then become the outside and middle boards. The outside board becomes the inside board after I put it back out.
The hardest part is remembering which depth your crankbaits are at when you start shuffling them around.
It's never going to be the same everytime, so you just have to get used to working with them to figure out which way works best in any given situation. Running three boards is just plain fun. It gives you more to do, and gives you more to experiment with.
Organization is the key to success...;-)
Give it a try, I think you'll like it.
12-18-2002, 05:43 AM
Juls gave a pretty good description of two ways this is done. There was also a pretty good article in a recent Walleye Insider, written by Mark Martin, that went in depth on 2 and 3 board (side) set-ups and steps to handle a fish on any of the boards.
12-18-2002, 07:29 AM
No offense. But I never knew there was a problem with running 3 In-Lines on one side. But now that you mention it, another bud of mine said he couldn't figuire out how I did it as well. If the outside board has to come in, I'll let it drop back a ways from the other two and simply skip it in. Buy holding the rod tip as high as I can, I give it little lifts/hops out of the water, while at the same time retrieving it. It almost never seems to tangle the others, even if all three are set at the same running lengths.
12-18-2002, 07:57 AM
If you don't have the article toolman mentioned I realized it is sitting right next to me.
Juls method is great if you want to leave the lines out to the side. The one Martin describes has the boards being re-positioned around the boat and will put the lines in closer proximity to the boat.
If you have a fax, I can send you a copy.
Let me know,
12-18-2002, 08:36 AM
Like Juls said simply drop the two inside lines back by hitting the freespool, remember to leave the clicker on so that you don't get too much slack line. Both boards will drop back at the same rate. Reel the fish to the boat in front of the two inside lines. This will work for most average sized walleye. When you get a larger fish on the outside board you can usually drop the middle board but may have to reel in the inside board.
I always run my spread in the same pattern. Outside lines are set to run high in the water column (short lead). Middle board will cover the mid depths (medium lead). The inside board will always be the deepest running bait with the longest lead. I like to always keep each rod in the same position even after landing a fish on the outside board. This way I always know where each bait is running. To replace the outside board (shortest lead) after catching a fish simply drop the board strait behind the boat until you feel that there is enough line out to clear the other lines, then engage the reel. The board will fly to the side clearing behind the other lines. Remember, the outside line is always run the highest in the water column so it should not tangle with the other, deeper running, baits.
This set up works great for running crank baits but is a bit more difficult when using snap weights or bottom bouncers at slow speeds.
Hope this helps...Good luck
12-18-2002, 09:35 AM
I do that too, when I'm running one really high. I'll let it out far enough to go back around the two inside boards and set it back up as the outside board. My "high" one is always on the outside board as you described.
I was speaking in general, when you have three lures running close to a certain depth, but not neccessarily the exact same depth.
There is a lot to learn using boards, and trying to tell someone how to do it in a message board post is difficult. ;-)
12-18-2002, 11:27 AM
A number of years ago, the only rainbows you caught on Lake Michigan were in the top 10-15 feet of water. Running spoons shallow was the only way to catch them and I often fished with 4 boards on each side.
Now that was a riot. Some of the time you were going to be tangled, but I felt like all those baits together is what attracted the fish in the first place. So I felt like it was worth the extra effort to retie.
I would do the same as Juls, and it normally worked. However, I have a question for Juls. How can I keep a big Salmon from swimming side to side and tangling all 8 of my boards together!?
12-18-2002, 12:14 PM
I have the same problem fishing the boards for Striper. They run just like big Salmon. All I tell my clients is fight the fish and don't worry about the lines. Most of the time we have no problems and when we do, oh well, that's fishing.
We have had a real circus when we have had 3 of six boards go and you are fighting 3 fish in a 6 line spread. I love those kind of problems because I usually get to bring in a fish myself. :)
12-18-2002, 03:29 PM
I would do the same as Juls, and it normally worked.
>However, I have a question for Juls. How can I keep a big
>Salmon from swimming side to side and tangling all 8 of my
Salmon just arn't right in the head don'tcha know. It's definately easier with walleye!
p.s. (Disclaimer: I was just funning..I don't carry guns in the boat!)
12-18-2002, 04:59 PM
I guess I'll have to hint to Santa (my wife) that another set of Offshores would be a great gift to find under the tree. Thanks to all who replied. Seems that three boards might not be so bad to manage after all. None of my friends use more than two, so you have given me quite a bit of encouragement. Mexico, I haven't seen Martins article and would love to read it. I'll e-mail my fax to you.
Was also wondering how much separation everyone prefers between boards? Like most, I run different depths and lead lengths until I find a pattern. I keep the boards pretty close together so they're easier to read, which means about 20-30 feet or so. Don't have much problem, so far as I'm careful on turns. However, when running same depths and long leads with three boards, I'm thinking I'll need more space. How much is enough?
12-19-2002, 04:30 AM
How far out is a matter of personal preference, but more a reflection of the fishing crowds on any given day. Fishing in a pack with boards way out can be a hassle - more of a game of chicken than anything else. In general, we run ours out maybe 30-40 feet apart (with the outside board 100 feet out) when running two per side - tighten them up if you're running three per side, or in a pack.
12-19-2002, 07:05 AM
My rule of thumb is the higher up the bait is the further out it goes. If it's calm, clear and little traffic, they go out further. The rougher it is the further in they come. I like keeping them all in line so it's easier to detect small fish or weeds.
12-19-2002, 08:23 AM
I heard someone say they ran their boards in another zip code. Sometimes binoculars would be handy.
12-22-2002, 05:03 AM
Excellent techniques they all work! Now throw some high winds and 3-4 chop in the picture
Great point. I probably have as much experience in bad conditions as anyone because I'm not smart enough (or at least I didn't used to be) to stay in when conditions are marginal.
As the ideal conditiond deteriorate, you start simplifing your presentation. If it gets really nasty, you end up doing only what conditions will permit. Some holds true for bringing in a catch. This can mean clearing inside lines, because you just don't want to take a chance on causing the problem of a tangle.
In the NAWA out of Toledo in '96 we were fishing in 5 - 7' waves, with 30 - 35 mph increasing winds. We ran the troughs with 2 boards on the upwind side, 1 flat line with a low rod angle straight out the back,& 1 flat line on a longer rod high rod angle (shallower plug). The wind blew the higher line out and away from the inside line and our only problem was boat control while netting.
When the winds went to 40 plus and the waves built to 8' plus, we decided, we just couldn't do this any more and started the slow trip in.
With experience you soon learn what will work and what to stay away from. Those 45 minute tangles are great teachers of what not to try again.
12-22-2002, 10:07 AM
Jim's right , when the wind kicks up its time to re-think . It's a good time to stow the inside boards & throw out a couple Slide divers set on 4-6 . You can use the same leads & strategies you would with the boards but it eliminates the up & down movement of the boards , which can be a little too much action at times . Saved the day more than once for us .