: handlining

03-17-2002, 08:06 PM
Whenever I try to view the "art and Science of handline fishing by Alex Vitek at lakesidefishingshop.com , it says I don't have permission to view it on my server. I understand that there would be some instruction on the finer points of this technique at the Lake St.Clair walleye assoc. mtg. on the 20th, but I live 3 hours away and can not attend. I am a die hard jig fisherman, but have purchased a couple of Kachman handline reels, wieghts, plugs, and shanks for the upcoming season on the Detroit and St.Clair Rivers. I hope to be able to up my odds when the water is dirty and when the sun goes down.
Any Help?
Also at the risk of sounding stupid I have another question. The reels I purchased have a heavy dacron line instead of coated wire. Will this work or should I change it to wire? If so what is the method for changing it, etc.?

the legend
03-17-2002, 10:04 PM
Can't get it to work either?????If you figure it out let me know!!!!

the legend
03-17-2002, 10:33 PM
Hey there kodiak have you seen this article on handlining,


03-17-2002, 11:28 PM
kodiac: if you decide to read the article and still have some questions feel free to holler at me or just post em here. jigman@mhtc.net. I'm sure some of the regulars that are also experienced at this will also jump in. As far as the line, if it was me, yes I would replace it with the coated wire. Some people prefere to run the uncoated as it does have it's benifits. But if your just starting out the coated is more forgiving to the hands. Tim - Hutch - Hutchison

03-18-2002, 06:49 PM
Hutch and "The Legend",
Thanks for the info. Hutch, your acticle was very informative and I believe will help me greatly during this springs run. I have trolled with heavier wieghts with good results in the past, but boy did my arm get tired of holding that rod! The handliners seemed to be much more relaxed at the sport than me, so I am going to give it a try. Thanks again!

the legend
03-18-2002, 07:18 PM
Kodiak, did you ever figure out how to get access to the handlinin' web page??????

Keith Krych
03-18-2002, 07:35 PM
I wrote this article a couple of years ago. I hope it can answer some of yopur questions

Good Fishing
Keith Krych #372

Wire-lining seems to be unique to the St. Clair and Detroit rivers. It developed because of the swift currents in these rivers.

These rivers can move along at 5 to 10 miles an hour or better, and are 40 to 80 feet deep.

One of the nicest things about wire-lining is a basic small boat is all you need to start fishing.
Small 12 to 16 foot boats are preferred by old “river rats” because of their maneuverability.

Wire is used because it cuts the water more efficiently than any other material.

The only mechanical device needed is the trolling reel. This is a spring loaded spool designed to hold up to 300 yards of 60lb wire.

This type of reel allows the wire to be played out and when released is automatically rewound onto the reel.

Mount the reel as close to the front of the boat as possible and on the gunnel.

The fisherman sits in the stern of the boat near the gunnel controlling the trolling motor.

You keep the wire in your hand at all times because of the constantly changing bottom structure of the rivers.

I wear a rubber coated cloth glove. This prevents the wire cutting my hand, and the rubber glove makes holding onto the wire much easier.

As you troll up river you pull some wire in or let some more out as you go over the boulders and holes in the river.

In addition to the wire line, you also need a shank, and sinker.

Sinkers very in weight from 1lb to 2lbs depending on depth of water you are fishing and the current.

Shanks are 30lb test wire 3 to 6 feet long with multiple clevises to attach leaders to. At the end of the shank is another snap swivel for the sinker.

Usually, the clevises are located every 6 inches on the shank. The leaders that will be used will fasten to the shank using these clevises.

The clevises are there to allow for a choice of spacing for the leaders.

Leaders are 5 to 40 feet in length, and are made of 20# test mono.

I use 40 foot leaders, 20 foot leaders, and 6 foot leaders on a 6 foot shank.

I tie a snap swivel on one end of the leader to attach to the shank, and a plane cross lock snap on the other end to attach to the lure.

The longer the leader the higher up on the shank it is placed.

The 40 footer is placed near the top of the shank, the 20 footer in the middle, and the 6 footer near the bottom.

In early spring the preferred lures are small rapalas, #5, #7, and #9’s.

Other small minnow imitating lures like baby thunder sticks also work well.

As the water warms in the spring the baits change to small spoons, then to flat fish, then to locally made baits called woblers and McGinties.

Crawler harnesses can also be used in the summer.

Pencil plugs are used for night fishing. Pencil plugs are smelt imitating lures that are locally made in a rainbow of colors.

To start fishing you select one of your lures and snap it onto the straight snap end of the 40 foot leader. Toss it over the edge of the boat and play the leader out till the snap-swivel end is in your hand.

Fasten the snap swivel to one of the top two clevises on the shank.

Put the leader over the shoulder on the opposite side that you fishing from and select another lure.

Place this lure on the end of the 20 foot leader, play it out and snap the swivel end onto a clevis approximately 15 to 20 inches below the first one.

Bring the 40 footer back from the shoulder and lower everything over the side and into the water.

As you lower the wire line, hold onto the 40 foot leader for a few seconds to keep the two leaders from tangling.

When the sinker hits bottom lift the line up just a few inches and the fishing has started.

Lower the wire line occasionally to keep contact with the bottom but do not drag the sinker or it will hang up.

The fisherman should be keeping contact with the bottom because he or she has to lower line when going down drop-offs, sand bars or the edges of shipping channels, and bringing up line when on the other side.

Attention should be placed on the feel because as experience is gained it is easy to tell when weeds and other debris has been snagged.

The real key to success is boat control.

The fisherman should slip the boat across the current at a 45 degree angle to thoroughly cover the bottom structure.

At the end of a slip gently turn the boat back the other way. Practice will keep the lines from getting tangles.

When a fish is on the wire it suddenly feels different. It is either tugging or there is the feeling of having picked up a dead weight.

It is most important to keep tension on the fish. Slowly and steadily bring the line up allowing the wire to automatically rewind onto the reel.

When the top of the shank is seen, it will be easy to tell which leader the fish is on.

If the 20 footer has the fish on, leave the 40 foot leader in the water but put the line over your shoulder, and slowly pull the fish in hand over hand, like you were ice fishing using a tip-up.

If the fish is on the 40 foot leader, pull in the 20 foot leader, the shank, and the sinker into the boat.

Now, the long leader can be pulled in using the same steady slow pull. Let the line fall onto the floor.

After the fish is landed drop the rig down to the bottom again. There maybe a school of walleye around and the whole process will be repeated within minutes.

03-18-2002, 09:24 PM
when handling i have found that to save the skin on your hands it is best to use a batting glove or a golfers glove since the steel line will not cut that.