big board help.....

Discussion in 'Tackle Talk' started by murphy426, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. I just bought this boat this year and got a big john mast and boards. i usually would just drift fish for walleys but i wanted to try this out. Any suggestions on how the heck you use these things or would someone come out and show me? i always put in at edgewater. I had the biggest mess today and just need alittle help before i chuck this stuff in the lake. thanks!
  2. Don't give up my friend, they can be VERY productive when nothing else is working. Give me 30 minutes to show you and you'll fall in love with them!! Send me a pm with a contact # and we'll talk. Steve,

  3. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    just ran big boards the other day and im almost sold on them. if you think your going to get rid of them, dont throw them in the lake, i will take them off your hands:p . i have a feeling if you get used to them, you'll love em.
  4. Gju42486

    Gju42486 Banned

    murphy, shoot me a pm. Ill go for a ride and show you what i know. I am no expert by any means nor do i claim to be. I got ezbite hooked on them and i think you will like them as well, just takes time and patience. I will show you what i know if you would like- i have been using them for the last 7 years or so.


  5. thanks guys appreciate it.
  6. jennis9

    jennis9 Fish against the fish...

    love to get an update on your progress?

    we're in the same position, hate the inlines and have a mast and boards but only have a vague idea on how to use them. we have a set of willies, rivieras, a home made pair and a boat. trying to figure it out. let me know if its worth it:G
  7. By all means...if you have the gear already in your possession....RUN 'EM!!

    Here's a few tips I've learned over the last 3 years while running a big board program with my buddy Little Dandy out of Toledo Beach...

    You can purchase large "snubbers" to attach to the eye-bolts on the sides of the boards. These snubbers are made out of rubber and do a very nice job of absorbing the shock of waves when they hit the boards. They run anywhere from 12-24" long. I think Mike uses 18" on his boards. Attach your towline to the snubber..then the snubber to the board.

    There are many things which will dictate how far out you run your boards from the boat. Boat traffic, number of lines, wave conditions, etc. etc. We typically run 'em out about 100' or so...and we normally run 3-4 lines per side. When deploying the board, pull off about 6-8' of towline from the reel and then toss the board away from the boat. This gets it out of the wake of the boat, preventing things like eye-bolts banging against the boat and such. Use the crank to deploy..slowly reeling backwards until you get it where you want it. If you don't have flags for your boards, buy a set. This makes it easy for other boats to see your boards on the troll.

    The angle at which the towline runs from the reel (mounted to the boat/mast/etc) is crucial in order to deploy lines/lures. Get the reels as high as you possibly can to allow the clips to slide easily down the line. Keep the reels in a position that allows the towline to be grabbed easily via boat-hook or hand. There are a lot of different releases on the market today, but many use plastic clothes hangers, a shower curtain ring, and a #16-32 rubber band. We use shower curtain rings and Offshore OR-10 pinch pads (yellow). Like I said..many different ways to skin a cat...find what fits your wallet and preference.

    Realize that with a big board program, all of the lines on each side of the boat are going to have to be run at nearly the same distance back off the towline. Doing otherwise will result in tangles. You will need to purchase linecounter reels, or measure how much line comes off each reel per pass of the levelwind to ensure that your lures/presentations are running the same distance back. Counting passes gets tedious...I would suggest linecounters if at all possible. You can run mini-discs, jets, inline weights, cranks, leadcore, etc. etc. off the towline. A must for this type of fishing is having either a copy of Precision Trolling Big Water edition on board, or at a very minimum a copy of the dive charts for jets, mini-discs, etc. Mike runs either cranks or mini-discs off his towlines.

    Set your rod holders in a vertical position. Deploy the first line out the back of the boat to the desired distance. Engage clicker. Grabbing the line at the rod-tip, put the rod in the rod holder, clip (or half hitch if using rubber bands) the release on the line, then put the shower curtain ring on the towline (large loop end on the towline). With the reel in free spool with clicker on, pull off line from the reel. The clip will slide down the towline into position. The line farthest away from the boat should be connected to the rod that is in the forward (towards the bow) most rod holder on that side. Repeat as necessary for the other lines on each side of the boat, maintaining about 20' of separation on the towline between clips (this is where linecounters come in VERY handy). Each line that you set closer to the boat goes in a rod holder that is closer to the stern. When finished, you should have a slight bend in the rod closest to the stern, and then as you move forward, each rod will have less of a bend.

    Now...on to catching fish...

    You HAVE to know the depth at which each presentation is running to give yourself a chance at catching fish. With the mini-discs, we know that 60' back is about 15' we'll set all of the lines at the same distance back, understanding that the closer to the boat lines will be running a bit higher in the water column, as there is more line out of the water off the towline (angle of the towline). Watch the rod tips for a rod that gets "out of position"...this indicates that you are either pulling a small fish, or have picked up weeds on the line. When this happens, remove the rod from the holder and place one hand around the reel seat, and with the rod-tip held high, smack the butt of the rod with your other hand. This will free the line from the release. Walleyes/sheephead will typically pop the line out of the release (at least the current fish we are catching do) on their own. FISH ON!....

    Say the 3rd line down the towline gets hit and releases. Grab the rod and quickly crank up the slack, making sure that once the line tightens...YOU STOP CRANKING. This is a vital step...reason being is that if you just crank in the'll drag it right into the other two lines that are still running closer to the boat. Once tight on the fish, hold the rod tip up and allow the hooked fish to drift back behind and beyond the other lines. On larger fish, this will happen quickly..but with white bass and such, it may take a few seconds. Once clear....bring 'em in...

    Now to re-set...

    Rod #3 was hit, so you need to re-position rods 1 & 2. Move them forward (into rod holders 2 and 3) one spot and then put the reels in free-spool (clickers on). Pull off line to get the clips in position again. Deploy the rod that just took a fish in the same manner as described above and place in rod holder #1...and you are back fishing again.

    We typically will start one side of the boat 20' shorter than the other. A good way to keep this straight is to remember "Port is short"...i.e. port side back 70 and starboard side is 90'. If everyone on the boat can remember that port is should avoid tangles.

    You'll need a lot of clips. Mike has over 100 on the boat. If you run out...just pull an entire side and reel in a board to retrieve clips. When pulling an entire side to do this...pull the closest rods to the boat first, so that you don't have to wait for them to clear anything (i.e. just crank 'em in).

    A good practice to get into is to always remember to put the clickers on a reel that is in a rod-holder. Free-spooling accidents are NOT pretty....

    Pay attention to which rods are getting hit on the towline. If the lines farther away from the boat are getting hit, you may want to increase the distance back from the towline that you are running to give all of your baits a chance. DO NOT attempt to "feather" the distance back off the towline over 4 different rods...this complicates the matter...and will get you tangles.

    Keep in mind that you are pulling 4 lines off to each side of the boat and are basically covering a 75-100 yard wide swath through the water. When you decide to so SLOWLY and GRADUALLY....especially when running longer leads (i.e. 80-100' back) off the towline.

    When done properly, there is no better way to troll for walleyes on Lake Erie (especially the shallow W. Basin) than a big-board program. We typically run 7' leaders off the mini-discs to walleye-sized spoons and troll anywhere from 2.2-2.8mph.

    Hope that helps..
    Toxic likes this.
  8. jennis9

    jennis9 Fish against the fish...

    Great reply, thanks for all of the instructions. I know it's going to make a difference in our setup when we start fine tuning.

    We went out and tried our new mast with the riviera boards last friday - and only ran one line each side because we didn't want to get tangles. Now I see the logic behind the short/port and keeping all lines the same distance back. Saturday we managed to get one board on its way under the boat, but caught it before it made a mess... what a difference a few adjustments are going to make in using your tips.

    Looking forward to trying out the otter and the willey boards to see how they handle differently. We also have a second mast that we have remastered into a telescoping mast to get it a bit higher. Not sure which setup is going to be our favorite yet - we don't want to try too many things at once.

    I made about 100 clips from curtain hooks and clothes pins. They work well - we actually caught a few fish on the rigs.

    So we must be off to a good start. We'll let you know how it works out.
  9. jennis9

    jennis9 Fish against the fish...

    murphy - how is it working out for you?
  10. I've fished on boats that ran Otter boats and I was not impressed. Wait until one fills with water.

  11. SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Scourge of Hoover

    Great info. here, thanks!
  12. good, so far...tell you again after tonight...