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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
another question...........if trolling by yourself, what is the best approach when you get a fish on? my boat is a 1972 and not equipped with all kinds of technological gear. everytime i get a fish on, i've tried something different. i've tried putting the boat in neutral, but then i drift and my other line goes astray, and today, i caught my prop.......how fun!!!!! (and my reward was a sheepshead!!!) lost my first flubber, dipsy and lure. now i've left one thing in the lake for every walleye i've taken out.... i've tried leaving it in forward, but always end up with my other line all messed up. i've tried attaching a bungee to the steering wheel, which works oh about 40% of the time. is it just an experience thing? if so, i guess i'll just have to put in the time. yes, i am willing to make that sacrifice. once again, for this newbie, any advice would be appriciated...
 

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the Susan Lucci of OGF
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when trolling by myself i NEVER net anything (good thing i dont catch 10pound walleye;) ) just keep the boat in forward at trolling speed, reel the dipsy all the way to the rod tip and do the old bass pro flip into the boat. if i do get a big fish on i will pop it in neutral and net it, the other line will sink down and just hang there or lay on the bottom. using shorter leaders (5 feet or less) seems to help also. its been important for me to just take my time landing the fish. its not too hard once you do it a few times:D until you get a double, then all bets are off. you will lose fish when trolling alone, my goal is to not lose tackle. hope this helps. im no expert, it just how i do it. good luck and STAY OUT OF THE PROP..LOL
 

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ezbite pretty much said it all. I bring the fish up the middle of the stern, long net handle short leaderss 4/5ft leave boat in gear .wear your life vest ,
 

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The Inferior Fisherman
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Troll with the wind, the boat won't turn as much. Also a pair of trolling bags will help keep the boat on course.
 

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All good advise so far.
I fish alot by myself, and you get a confort level of dealing with the situation, by learning over time.
Ist thing that comes to mind is pay more attention to the boat & lines than the fish. Be quick to make little steering adjustments to keep things pulling and straightend out. Stand near the wheel, so you can conveniently reach down and make that slight correction. Study pressure and minimal shocks to the fish is what keeps them hooked up.
I was prefishing for an early tournament on Erie one April when the breeze pcked up, and the fish wanted the into the waves presentation. The wind & waves got to a point that you just couldn't handle a fish and the boat, into them, so with every bite, I'd make a big slow turn down wind before touching the rod. It would take at least 5 minutes to do the turn, at the slow speed I was pulling boards. But I never lost a fish.
Also, by yourself with only 2 lines I find it easier and more convenient to run both lines on one side. Then if you want to go to neutral, just make sure the lines are on the upwind side, and the boat will drift away from trouble. (assuming you're pulling in-line boards)
 

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Some good suggestions here. I think a lot also depends on the boat design. Mine is an open, side console 16'. Pretty much standing at the water level. If its reasonable flat, I will pull the rod and stand next to the steering wheel using my hip to steady the wheel and keep the boat running straight. When reeling the fish, I will always make small course corrections while keep the rod tip high and loaded to keep pressure on the fish.

Bumpy days I always stay seated, face back of boat while reeling, and reach behind me to adjust steering. I prefer fishing away from packs so I have some leaway in my course.

When its net time, I sit or kneel and make a quick drag, net, lift and drop into the bottom of the boat. Course correction is next.

It's hard to use neutral/with wind if you're pulling things that sink. Dipsys go down, spoons pick up zebras.....and you have to reset that line.

Someone said it, pay more attention to the course than to the fish with little adjustments. I try to make myself wear a jacket especially on bumpy days.

Good luck.
 

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When I'm trolling by myself I will only use Jets, and go to nuetral to fight fish while going downwind. If the boat turns, the jets float and will rise keeping your other line off the bottom, and out of the prop, and everything will be fine.
 

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I always troll with the waves on the back of the boat,easier for me. You're fighting a losing battle trying to troll against the waves. Is your motor turning tension screw tight enough so when you let go of the wheel it doesn't move, if not tighen it a little. Hope this helps.
 

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walcat....can you explain more on where that "screw" adjustment is located. I am still learning and not familiar with it.

I've got a 40 Hp Johnson outboard with a side console.....if that tells ya anything.

Thanks.
 

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Look on the housing coming down from the top of the motor. Mine is on the left side looking from the back of the motor. Snug it very little it doesn't take much,test by turning the motor and you can feel the difference. If not sure stop at a dealer and ask . I'm sure they will help you. Good fishing.
 

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To go with what Kevin said I use inline boards.And have fished extensively by myself.I always try to troll downwind.I will bump the motor in and out of gear if it is a medium sized fish, with big fish I will go neutral once the board is removed and keep the net close by.On the smaller fish I just keep going and lift them on board.If I am running spinners with keel weights I try to use enough weight so that I don't have to let out more line than the depth that I am fishing.:T :B :D
 

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FishBum
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Find some more friends! I'm just kidding. Personally, I will not chance fishing alone on Lake Erie, period. If I cannot find someone to go, which is very rare, I opt to fish on a later date. There are many negative factors involved in this situation and #1 happens to be safety. I'm a die hard fisherman, but its just not worth it to me. Just my two sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thank you all for your input, i will be trying on sunday again. will try all suggestions. hopefully i will get that many hookups. as for fishing on lake erie alone, i don't really see it as a problem. i am very careful about selecting times that are ok, especially in a 16 ft bowrider. besides, i grew up on the east coast and my grandfather used to take me out 20-25 miles in the ocean with a 65 hp motor in a 14 ft bowrider. didn't realize the gravity of the situation until i got my own boat.
if anyone else out there is out in the morning, or works 2nd shift send me a message and we can work together.
 
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