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Thread: Downriggers vs. Divers?

  1. #1
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    Default Downriggers vs. Divers?

    We are going to Valdez in august to troll for silvers. I have never been there and was wondering if I will be ok with some divers or if I will get much better results with downriggers?

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    I think down riggers are always better than divers. You can eliminate the guessing game on your depth. I don't like divers personal thing, last year I used banana wieghts, long lined and used counter reels. I vary my speed weight size and how far I let the line out. Last years i picked them up with 5oz weight at 1.7mph(gps) and 220ft behind the boat. Trial and error, so this year I will use the same set-up. I do not currently have a boat, sold it when i moved to alaska, if I had my own boat I would have downriggers.

  3. #3

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    I use both, choosing one or the other depending on the situation. Downriggers are a PITA sometimes, and divers are a PITA sometimes. Basically if I'm looking for fewer hassles while fishing shallower or with lots of lines on the boat, I prefer divers. Especially if I'm putting the hooks less than 40 feet down.

    But not all divers are created equal. I won't let a Pink Lady or a Deep Six near my boat these days. I'm using Dipsey Divers, and love them. You can easily adjust them to shear away from the boat on either side so you can have a "spread" of them with no tendency to tangle on turns. Guests can learn quickly and easily to set their own, so you don't have to run downriggers and a boat. The magnum size really gets down, especially with the accessory plastic ring. Virtually 2:1 line-out versus depth.

    YOur choice, but even with downriggers on the boat, I'd have some Dipsey Divers along, too. If the silvers are showing on your fathometer less than 40 feet down and you've got a bunch of people on your boat, you may be glad you have them.

  4. #4

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    Much easier to catch fish with a downrigger than a diver.

  5. #5

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    I don't use any sort of diver at all. I don't think you can beat downriggers. They allow you to get your bait to the exact same depth each time which can be critical to catch fish. I've had numerous times when I've found fish in 100 ft. of water and the fish were feeding right on the bottom and think about the nightmare you'd have trying to get a diver down that deep, and without it dragging the bottom. A diver's depth will change with your speed and the current speed and currents can vary at different depths.

    But the one thing I really hate about divers is that when you get a fish on you get the extra drag of the diver to fight. Sure they flip down so there is supposedly less drag, but that's when the fish is coming directly toward you. When the fish makes a run laterally the diver creates drag. With a downrigger the line releases and you're only fighting the fish. To me that's a much more pleasurable experience.

    If I have to run lines without using my downriggers I just use banana sinkers just like MikeL said. They work just as well as a diver and create a lot less drag. I buy different weight sizes and vary what I use according to how deep I'm trying to get. Silvers a lot of times will feed right near the surface and often times a 1 oz. sinker will be all you'll need.

    Another nice thing about banana sinkers is if it looks as though mooching is producing fish better than trolling you're all set to mooch.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  6. #6

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    If the silvers are shallow, like at Pony Cove out of Seward, I won't use downriggers. They're a pain. I may use divers. Usually just mooch. Lots of times when I'm mooching with a banana weight (bright orange), it's when I move to a new spot at idle speed keeping my line in the water that I'll catch silvers.

  7. #7

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    When covering water in a spotty coho bite, nothing will outfish an 11" flasher. When they are thick and in a hot bite, yeah, you can mooch them up and not have to spend all day getting your limit. I can't get a diver to dive deep enough with an 11" flasher. I could get a 6" flasher down to 30ft with a diver, but it doesn't have the same fish attraction as an 11" flasher or #2 Abe&Al.

    My beef with divers are:

    You lose a lot of fish.
    Can't make tight turns
    Harder to navigate around floating/loose kelp. Get a big strand of kelp on your diver and you'll be messing with it for a good amount of time.

    And, if you are fishing in a fleet of boats, it's good to keep your gear right under the boat, not 200ft behind it.

  8. #8
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    If they are 20 feet deep or less, I like a Jet Diver. Deeper a down rigger. My problem is getting my wife or son to run the down riggers. The only think I don't like about the Jet Diver is you loose some of your fight with the fish. When silvers are hot, I like the Jet Diver best cause I can't run the down rigger fast enough.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default flasher color/size

    I seemed to have noticed last year in Valdez that small silver flashers were out fishing everything else......

    what colors and sizes do you prefor for coho?

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    When the fish are really in Valdez I just get right up next to shore and cast with orange or chartruese wiggle warts. Cast right up against shore. It is lots more fun than trolling.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I seemed to have noticed last year in Valdez that small silver flashers were out fishing everything else......

    what colors and sizes do you prefor for coho?
    I agree. I prefer just a 4", or possibly 6", silver or silver "prism" flasher, though at that size I guess they're called "dodgers" for some reason. I've got about 20 hours worth of underwater video that backs up my assertion. I've had tons of silvers actually think the dodger was bait and try to eat it, attacking it time after time. Check this one out: http://muttleycrewfishing.com/web_me...ng_herring.wmv. This gal makes a big mistake and actually ends up "flossing" herself.

    I've never found any reason to use an 11" flasher because silvers tend to school up, unlike kings, and if you run near or through a school they will see your offering and come to investigate what's going on. I've also got underwater video where you can see a whole school of silvers massing behind my herring with about a dozen or more fish visible in just the field of view of the camera, so the added attraction of an 11" flasher is unnecessary and adds a lot of drag when you hook into a fish.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  12. #12
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    what's a diver?
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    Member AkBillyBow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I agree. I prefer just a 4", or possibly 6", silver or silver "prism" flasher, though at that size I guess they're called "dodgers" for some reason. I've got about 20 hours worth of underwater video that backs up my assertion. I've had tons of silvers actually think the dodger was bait and try to eat it, attacking it time after time. Check this one out: http://muttleycrewfishing.com/web_me...ng_herring.wmv. This gal makes a big mistake and actually ends up "flossing" herself.

    I've never found any reason to use an 11" flasher because silvers tend to school up, unlike kings, and if you run near or through a school they will see your offering and come to investigate what's going on. I've also got underwater video where you can see a whole school of silvers massing behind my herring with about a dozen or more fish visible in just the field of view of the camera, so the added attraction of an 11" flasher is unnecessary and adds a lot of drag when you hook into a fish.


    Your underwater videos are awesome!!! That is a trick set-up you have. Can you provide more details about it? How deep can you run your camera? Does it require a light so you can see down there? Can you provide a brand name so I can research them?

    I think that would be a great set-up to have. How cool would it be to see what's happening beneath your bow!!

    Thanks for sharing and keep the videos coming!!! Great entertainment!!

    AkBillyBow
    2007 Glacier Bay Cat 2690 Coastal Runner, Twin Honda 150's

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkBillyBow View Post
    Your underwater videos are awesome!!! That is a trick set-up you have. Can you provide more details about it? How deep can you run your camera? Does it require a light so you can see down there? Can you provide a brand name so I can research them?

    I think that would be a great set-up to have. How cool would it be to see what's happening beneath your bow!!

    Thanks for sharing and keep the videos coming!!! Great entertainment!!

    AkBillyBow
    Unfortunately the system I use is made by a guy that went out of business shortly after I bought my cameras from him. He used to make systems for NOAA, but I guess he wasn't making enough money out of it.

    But, in answer to your questions, I've got 250 ft. of video cable on them, but the deepest I've ever taken them is around 100 ft. to view bottom dwellers such as halibut like my "Halibut, halibut, halibut" video (http://muttleycrewfishing.com/web_me...ingle_butt.wmv). I've got another one somewhere in my archives that I need to post. I'll try and dig it up and post it there.

    They have a lux rating (a rating of what lighting amount you need to get video---zero lux means you can see in total darkness) of close to zero, so it can "see" without having to use lights. Most of the shots you see are all at around 30 to 50 ft. down and there's plenty of ambient light at that depth to see just fine as you can see. It came with supplementary lights, but I've never needed them. Sometime this summer I'm going to do a little more experimenting with deeper depths to try and get some better halibut footage.

    The cameras themselves are about the size of a 16 oz. beer can and I rigged up a mounting system on my downrigger weight that lets me attach them to the weight, so it looks directly back at my bait or lure. I've got an "instructional" video that shows how I've got it rigged up and I'll have to post that one too. Thanks for reminding me.

    There are a number of companies out there that make them. Probably one that I might buy if I had to do it all over again would be a system that Walker Downriggers makes called the Strike Vision. The problem is it only works essentially with their "tournament" level downrigger, so you need to buy the downrigger along with the whole system. But if you don't have a downrigger and want to get yourself a set-up this would probably be the way to go. But it's relatively expensive.

    There also a company that makes a system that I might buy if I were to replace either of my cameras. Their website is: http://www.youseeitnow.com/index.html. I've never actually used any of their equipment, but it looks like decent stuff. It might be worth looking into if you want to set yourself up.

    And I am very happy to give anyone any sort of assistance they'd like to to get themselves up and running doing it. I'm not an "expert" at it, but I've been using my cameras for about 10 years or so, so I do have some experience with it. Anyone that's interested can PM me and I'll be happy to give you any assistance you might require.

    I've got a ton of footage with some incredible shots of stuff you'd never expect to see down there. I think my favorites are the birds feeding 40 ft. under the surface (need to post that one) and also the salmon shark following my herring (http://muttleycrewfishing.com/web_me...lmon_shark.wmv). That guy was actually eventually caught by the Huntress just a few weeks after I shot that video. It's pretty cool knowing there's a shark following along about 40 ft. down below your boat!

    It's certainly a lot of fun. The problem is I found this winter that kings seem to be really camera shy. I was using it at the beginning of "winter king season" and having a lot of fish swim up, look at my bait, and then just swim away. And all the while boats around me were catching fish. So after a while I stopped using my camera and started catching fish. Or I'd use the camera on one downrigger and no camera on the other and the other would outfish the camera side about 10 to 1. Seemed a bit too coincidental to me. So I stopped using it. But coho don't seem to be at all intimidated by it as you can see from my "Coho In The Camera" video: http://muttleycrewfishing.com/web_me...the_camera.wmv. That one is classic. I've got a few shots like that one, but that's one of the best.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  15. #15

    Default Good advice, let me offer one more thing :)

    You will get much better results with downriggers then divers in most waters. Muttley's post (Dave) pretty much sums it up, as do others. And I agree that sometimes it is best just to put all that technical stuff aside and mooch. It is both fun and highly effective if there are good numbers of silvers under the boat. But, one thing worth worth having on board that nobody has brought up is a well-tuned k-16 quikfish (chartreuse green is most people's favorite). In Seward, when the fish have lockjaw, there have been days when that is the only thing that consistently brings the fish in. And a big plus with those is that kings love them (few and far between in PWS), the silvers one catches on the k-16 are big as this is a big plug, the pinks don't really bite them, and no downriggers are required or needed to fish them. But truth be told, when the silvers are thick you really don't need anything special as they normally are very cooperative. I have caught a number of them on a bare hook just from the boat while baiting up the kids' rods for mooching.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post

    I've never found any reason to use an 11" flasher because silvers tend to school up, unlike kings, and if you run near or through a school they will see your offering and come to investigate what's going on. I've also got underwater video where you can see a whole school of silvers massing behind my herring with about a dozen or more fish visible in just the field of view of the camera, so the added attraction of an 11" flasher is unnecessary and adds a lot of drag when you hook into a fish.
    Get past your rookie season and you'll start to see things differently. When you are required to be on the water 7 days a week, even when the tides/fishing/weather is poor, then you'll remember 11" flasher when the fishing is tough.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Get past your rookie season and you'll start to see things differently. When you are required to be on the water 7 days a week, even when the tides/fishing/weather is poor, then you'll remember 11" flasher when the fishing is tough.
    What does rude comments like "Get past your rookie season" have to do with anything? That is really uncalled for. Everyone that is a guide has to start somewhere.

    I've been fishing Alaskan waters for 20 years now and have perfected techniques that work for me. And about 18 of those years were many, many days trolling for silvers in the distant reaches of Resurrection Bay. That's where my nickname "Coho Dave" comes from. I use 11" flashers for kings all the time. For silvers I find that 4" and 6" ones are much more productive than 11" ones and don't produce half the drag when you're fighting a fish. My post in this thread was meant to be informational for the person asking the question. I have spent many years of trial and error to figure out what works best for me and I use those methods religiously now.

    I suggest you "get past" your disdain for me and let the poster take your original comment and my comment for what they're worth and let them decide what THEY would like to do from that. You are being argumentative and I'm getting very tired of people trying to pick an argument with me and it is counterproductive to this thread.

    My underwater videos speak for themselves. In a lot of them I use either 4" or 6 " dodgers, and often times no dodger at all, and it sure seems to work. I've got hours and hours of video showing coho very willingly and voraciously hitting both my bait and the dodger. Maybe you could learn something from them yourself even with your years and years of infinite knowledge. I doubt what you just said about my "rookie year" has any merit in this thread so why even say it?
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    I can't see the videos for some reason. I've got an Aquaview which I'm sure is quite a step down from your equipment but is still lots of fun.

  19. #19
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    What does rude comments like "Get past your rookie season" have to do with anything? That is really uncalled for. Everyone that is a guide has to start somewhere.

    I've been fishing Alaskan waters for 20 years now and have perfected techniques that work for me. And about 18 of those years were many, many days trolling for silvers in the distant reaches of Resurrection Bay. That's where my nickname "Coho Dave" comes from. I use 11" flashers for kings all the time. For silvers I find that 4" and 6" ones are much more productive than 11" ones and don't produce half the drag when you're fighting a fish. My post in this thread was meant to be informational for the person asking the question. I have spent many years of trial and error to figure out what works best for me and I use those methods religiously now.



    I suggest you "get past" your disdain for me and let the poster take your original comment and my comment for what they're worth and let them decide what THEY would like to do from that. You are being argumentative and I'm getting very tired of people trying to pick an argument with me and it is counterproductive to this thread.

    My underwater videos speak for themselves. In a lot of them I use either 4" or 6 " dodgers, and often times no dodger at all, and it sure seems to work. I've got hours and hours of video showing coho very willingly and voraciously hitting both my bait and the dodger. Maybe you could learn something from them yourself even with your years and years of infinite knowledge. I doubt what you just said about my "rookie year" has any merit in this thread so why even say it?
    Not taking anyones sides, but everyone has an opinion on how they do things that work for them. This sight is to share that information and learn from one another. This childish behavior is really getting out of hand. If you don't like one another, block them out. The rest of us are getting sick of adults acting like 3 year olds.

  20. #20
    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    Muttley,

    Maybe I missed it, but how do you connect your camera to your down rigger? What do you do with the cable ( assuming it's a larger diameter then your downrigger cable, which makes more drag)?

    thanks. the videos are great.
    Boatless

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