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Thread: Trolling Speed Indicator's

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    Question Trolling Speed Indicator's

    I was wondering how many of you use a trolling speed indicator other than your GPS. I know that sometimes your going against the current and the gps will register one thing - but the lures are working the current - which is a whole different deal. Are the temp-speed indicators for the depthfinders accurate enough? What brands have you found to be the best ?

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Red face troll speed

    when i am trying to get the "perfect" troll speed i rely heavily on the angle of my downrigger cable.
    a good way to check this is to find the "right" speed ( i like between 1.8 and 2.2 kts) in slack water, and mark your cable angle against something on your boat.
    an oldtimer i learned a lot from would always watch the bubbles running down the cable, he said they should go 8"-10" before coming up.
    often on big tides here, especially around the bluffs, my gear is where i want it but the boat is going nowhere. then it is time to find an eddy or rip where you are covering some ground, or maybe drift and jig for rockfish until the current slacks up.
    my waterspeed indicator has been busted for some time, and i have caught plenty of fish despite that.
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    an oldtimer i learned a lot from would always watch the bubbles running down the cable, he said they should go 8"-10" before coming up.

    I use this method also, as well as the sound of the cables vibrating.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Angle of down rigger and bubbles on the down rigger to.
    Watch other boats. If they are going fast/slower then you and picking up fish and you are not, I will adjust to there speed.
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    Gary Keller
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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    The "angle of the dangle" tells you everything when trolling. It lets you know just how much "push" you are putting on your baits.

    Speed over ground is irrelevant in terms of giving your presentation the proper action (which is determined entirely by the "push" of water against your baits). Speed over ground is most relevant in terms of the number of fish your bait will encounter. The other factor where speed is important is keeping your baits away from slow swimming nuisance fish.

    For instance in my backyard estuary fishery, the bay is loaded with sharks, but they are lazy slow swimming fish. Keep the bait moving at 2 knots or better and the likelihood of hooking sharks diminishes immensely. Slow down to under 1.5 knots and the likelihood of shark bites increases exponentially. For example you are trolling in 0.8 knots of current. You want to put 2 knots of "push" on the baits. Going one direction you will be trolling at 1.2 knots. Going the other direction, you will be trolling 2.8 knots. I know at 1.2 knots speed over ground, I'm gonna be burning a ton of bait and a whole lot of salmon leaders.

    Whenever possible go WITH the prevailing current.... you will cover far more ground and present your perfectly swimming baits to the maximum amount of fish. The more fish see your bait, the higher the odds one of them might be a biter.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default The problem with the angle...

    I used to use the angle method years ago. The problem is that if you are trying to make two knots over the bottom and are fishing in area with 2 knots of current..... the angle will look perfect and you will not be moving forward at all. Conversly when you turn around and go down current you will be screaming at 4 knots over the bottom to get the wire angle to look like the "two knot angle".

    One solution is to get a "paddle wheel" speed indicator, which will give you your boats speed through the water. This begins to address the problem of keeping a steady speed regardless of the current. notice, I said begins as it does not tell you either the speed or the actual depth of your downrigger balls.

    Ever notice that you always get bites when you turn the boat? Well that is a function of changing the speed of the downrigger balls. The ball on the inboard side of the turn slows and the ball on the outside of the turn speeds up like a water skiier racing the boat. Pay attention next year and see which rod keeps getting bit when are turning ( it is usually the same one) If it is the outside rod speed up your trolling speed and if it is the inside one slow down.
    There are also sensors that you can put on your balls ( downrigger balls) that will measure speed, depth and temp at the downriggers. These are actually the ticket if you want to take your salmon trolling to the next level and catch fish when everyone is not.

    I just gave you guys so of the goods on salmon trolling. Especially winter kings.
    I have an article by northern California king salmon legend Bob Franko that I will ask Bob and David if we can post it on this site. It goes way beyond this but everything the man says works up here.

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    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post

    There are also sensors that you can put on your balls ( downrigger balls) that will measure speed, depth and temp at the downriggers.
    Glad you clarified that. It could have been painful

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Link to Franko article on Downriggers

    Here is a link to the finer points of downrigger fishing from a true master.

    http://www.coastsidefishingclub.com/?q=node/4


    You may have to cut and paste this. It has some great information in it.

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Just watch the bait(s) as they're deployed to be sure they've got the correct action. As has already been pointed out, direction of travel (relevant to current) and location along the rip or beach will have a dramatic effect on water speed... check baits for freshness and action early and often - If I'm running 4 - 6 sets of gear at a time, I hardly ever rest. By the time the last line is deployed, it's very near time to check the first one.

    As for trolling speed, if the mythical 1.8-2 knots is the "sweet spot", then why do commercial trollers have so much success at 3+ knots?

    Last year, when everyone was having so much trouble catching cohos here, I started picking them up on smaller baits (2-3" C3 flies) trolled at nearly 6 knots... I couldn't tell if we were fishing for salmon or albacore!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    We used to run streamers bouncing just outside of the wave triangle at high speeds (o/a 6-7 knots) and the silvers loved it. Drag set to click once or twice when the streamers caught some water. That way the silvers could hit, run and then we would set the hook.

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