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I’m considering switching my set up over to big boards. Any thoughts as to the best set up, and perhaps where to find the gear? Are big boards better than the in-line planers? Is wire line the preferred set up when running them? I move my boat East to West as the season progresses.

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Port
We run wire out of Ashtabula come summer temps to get more lines down deep with big cranks.

And its easier to run multiple wire rods off of big boards.

But its not an either or, you can certainly run inline boards up until about the 4th of July, then break out the big boards and wire.

Karran's in Geneva is where you want to go to buy your gear.

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Im a from Lorain West fisherman, and I'm not into wire. So I'll give my best but I lack experience with wire.

If you fish Geneva and Ashtabula and fish with 4 or more people most of the time, big bds and wire may be a good option. Bigger boats and more fishermen = big bds, smaller boats and 3 or less fishermen = little bds in my opinion.

I don't have an opinion on which is best. Big boards can allow more lines, but little bds are quicker to deploy or knock down. And are not as restrictive to boat control.

Frankly if more depth is your desire, I'd suggest Dipsys.

If you could give me more info on locations, number of fishermen, and desired presentation, I could be of more help.

Thanks and please help me help you.
I fish Lorain May- June - most of July, then move the boat to Ashtabula and finish the season there. Usually 3-4 people. Boat is 35’. Most guys in the East are running big boards n wire. I’ve watched a few videos about them. Not clear if is a better set up then what I’m using now. I run 4 lines off of my outriggers using leadcore, then run 4 lines off my downrigger’s. Free line 1 rod off the back.
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fishin is fun
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We fish bula all summer
We use 2 dipsys early combined with trips on big boards
As the summer goes and fish get deeper 3 dipsys and wire on big boards
But at times fish are spooky early or not as many we run shorter wire on the boards and dipsys
Early season dipsys and down rigger's didnt produce last year so some days all trips or all wire
We run 250ft wire on the rods
We run triple big boards and either bungie pulley system white line or weed Wacker line
If you use weed Wacker line make sure you get the 8 inch Pulleys
Pm me if you want
We dock at bula
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Port, Karrans may be able to help you find the stuff (maybe used) if you decide to switch. I'd suggest going out with someone who uses this technique or setting up a learning charter with a captain who agrees to teach you the ins and outs.

Wire means long leads and lots of cranking. If we're covered up with undersized fish, which is a good possibility this yr, it may not be the best time to change.

To me probably the biggest down side to wire is the fact that you a committed to fishing deep and need a second set of rods if you want flexibility.

Other's here will be more help then I am, but I'm certain you'll get it figured out. Stephen Scott (Privateer) out of Geneva or Carpetbagger could either one a good contact for you.

Good luck and I wish I could be more helpful.
 

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I fish Lorain May- June - most of July, then move the boat to Ashtabula and finish the season there. Usually 3-4 people. Boat is 35’. Most guys in the East are running big boards n wire. I’ve watched a few videos about them. Not clear if is a better set up then what I’m using now. I run 4 lines off of my outriggers using leadcore, then run 4 lines off my downrigger’s. Free line 1 rod off the back.
Port
I'd start with 2 wires 1 on each outrigger all the way at the ends, you need a LOT of separation to avoid tangles, you do have long riggers so 1 on each should be ok, then run your down riggers and a dipsy program. Tuning your cranks for wire is very critical they must run perfectly straight. Once you get the hang of it with 2 then I'd consider going to big boards. If you ran only 2 dipsies per side and 1 wire and throw in a couple downrigger rods that should be plenty to keep you busy.

reelylivinsportfishing.com
 

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What do you recommend to keep the inside planner boards from crossing each other when turning? After turning sometimes that far planner will loop under one of those closer boards. Obviously the outside boards turn faster so there is no problem there. Do you think the tree type rod holders are more effective or it doesn't matter. I try and make the widest turn possible. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
What do you recommend to keep the inside planner boards from crossing each other when turning? After turning sometimes that far planner will loop under one of those closer boards. Obviously the outside boards turn faster so there is no problem there. Do you think the tree type rod holders are more effective or it doesn't matter. I try and make the widest turn possible. Thanks
Rod holders have nothing to do with the problem, and are a matter of personal preference, except that trees are not recommended for Dipsys. What happens is while turning as the bow swings past straight into the wind the turn is suddenly much tighter. The wind or breeze and waves are now accentuating or speeding up the turn. The outside line goes slack drops into the water and the inside board passes over the outside line.

To prevent this keep an eye on the rods and make sure all rods have some bend or set in them. A straight rod means slack line and potential problems. The solve the problem pay close attention to that point when the wind stops pushing on one side and starts pushing on the other. You usually must reverse the wheel turning slightly back into the wind to keep a nice open turn.

In short you need turns to be more uniform and open.

Hope this helps, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
HOW TO PROPPERLY TUNE REEFRUNNER LURES

Here's a repost of a question that comes up every year.

First make sure the rattles are free by wacking the lure against something hard. Then make sure the line tie loop and belly hook loop are inline with the center line of the lure. If they aren't make them straight. Sight down the length of the lure to accomplish this.

Now put the lure in the water at trolling speed off the side of the boat away from turbulence with about 10' of line out, If it pulls right we need to very slight correction to the left and visa versa. We do this by using the "tuneafish" tuner from Reefrunner or needle nose pliers. The hard part is this adjustment is so slight that if we feel the line tie loop move we've gone too far. Put just enough pressure on the loop that you think it may have moved and retest. Be careful not to over do because if you move that loop back and forth you weaken it and cause the lure to become one that will not stay in tune. So keep making tiny adjustments until the lure seems to pull straight.

The acid test is to let out 20 to 25' of line with the boat at trolling speed steadily crank the lure in. It should pull hard and come right to the rod tip. You may notice it kicking out both left and right. It should do so equally.

If not continue tuning and repeat the final test.

This sounds complicated because I've gone into great detail. If you could watch me do it, you'd see it's not all that tuff. After you do a few it will be no big deal.

Recheck after every fish because the net can knock them out of tune. To do this just put out 8' of line again in nonturbulent water and give the lure a study pull. It should dive straight down.

If the lure leaks and gets water in it, it is untunable. If the belly hook gets stuck on either side it obviously causes problems.

If you use a snap swivel to attach the lure it complicates the procedure. We use a #2 cross lock round bottom snap only.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Jim
Explain how swimbaits could be used for walleye when fishing erie.
The kind that have no bill and are jointed throughout? View attachment 479882
Full disclosure ... Never hadve had my hands on one of these.

This type lure has no bill and must be held down with either weights or a Dipsy. Jets or trips require speed to dive and I'm not sure that the multi-jointed lures will perform properly at that required speed.

Then too Dipsys require some speed to pull out and separate away from each other when running multiple Dipsys.

I don't have an answer for what that speed is but I'd guess it's slower then we normally run. I'm and "go as fast as the fish will allow" fisherman, want to cover ground and show the lures to as many fish as possible.

Therefore I'm thinking these lures would fit in best with harness guys. If I was playing with this thing I'd put it on the inside board with enough wt to make it the deepest presentation of the harness spread. Maybe even on a heavy bottom bouncer to try and keep it off the bottom.

Will they work? Will they catch fish? Heck yes. But I don't think they be world beaters because they'll require special adjustments.

My guess would be they'll be best for big bottom hugging fish at slow speeds.
 

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Thanks Jim for answering our questions again this year.Can you tell us what some of your "hot" lures and colors were this season.From early cranks to what you were running off your dipsies later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
There is information available on temperatures and dissolved oxygen at different depths in an animated over time format. Do you ever use that information when looking for bigger eyes during summer months?

No I don't. But I seldom set up without spending some time checking the general area for the better fish and/or bait marks. My assumption being the fish that will bite aren't going to be where they are uncomfortable, be that oxygen levels, temp, bait or some other factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks Jim for answering our questions again this year.Can you tell us what some of your "hot" lures and colors were this season.From early cranks to what you were running off your dipsies later.
Colors seemed a bit different this yr, Some of the old standbys didn't do as good as expected. Many days a hot color would cool off and some other color would catch fire. Seemed like white based colors were good from spring through May, and then chromes like huff daddy, or IB frozen were good in the late summer. We caught on chartrues and pink In the fall as well as purple and green. But good old chartrues as best on a few fall trips.

Spoon wise blue berry muffin was probably my best. But nascar, Kavorkian, and mixed vegies Olson stood out at times.

This is a hard question because I don't keep records, but that's a start.
 

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Colors seemed a bit different this yr, Some of the old standbys didn't do as good as expected. Many days a hot color would cool off and some other color would catch fire. Seemed like white based colors were good from spring through May, and then chromes like huff daddy, or IB frozen were good in the late summer. We caught on chartrues and pink In the fall as well as purple and green. But good old chartrues as best on a few fall trips.

Spoon wise blue berry muffin was probably my best. But nascar, Kavorkian, and mixed vegies Olson stood out at times.

This is a hard question because I don't keep records, but that's a start.
Gin & Tonic bandit did well also as did my old faithful purple demon small spoon. And we hardly got anything on shallow cranks behind the Dipsys it was mostly small spoons.
 

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How do you rig your planner boards so they release and go the the center of the boat to bring in the fish? It seems the outside board when reeling in a smaller fish will always head toward that next planner in line and create a tangle. Thanks
 

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Rod holders have nothing to do with the problem, and are a matter of personal preference, except that trees are not recommended for Dipsys. What happens is while turning as the bow swings past straight into the wind the turn is suddenly much tighter. The wind or breeze and waves are now accentuating or speeding up the turn. The outside line goes slack drops into the water and the inside board passes over the outside line.

To prevent this keep an eye on the rods and make sure all rods have some bend or set in them. A straight rod means slack line and potential problems. The solve the problem pay close attention to that point when the wind stops pushing on one side and starts pushing on the other. You usually must reverse the wheel turning slightly back into the wind to keep a nice open turn.

In short you need turns to be more uniform and open.

Hope this helps, good luck.
And if you can, try not to turn into the wind and waves. Turn with them. If you have to turn into the wind pick up your your speed to maintain headway.
 

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How do you rig your planner boards so they release and go the the center of the boat to bring in the fish? It seems the outside board when reeling in a smaller fish will always head toward that next planner in line and create a tangle. Thanks
OR19 (no pin) on the front. OR16 (with the pin) on the back. Line goes behind pin on OR16. Twist the line 4 or 5 times & clip the twists into the OR19 with the loop facing forward & a bit of slack between the pins so the board runs naturally. To release the board to bring it in, give it a sharp pop. Board will swing in behind the boat but don’t crank till it is behind the boat or you will snag inside line. You may need to adjust tension on the OR19 if you get false releases in waves. Pads on those OR19’s will wear and need to be replaced after a while. False releases are the clue.
 
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