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Jim HirtCaptain Jim Hirt is an outdoor writer for several publications and numerous websites. He is a Master Guide with a rich lifetime of fishing and backcountry experiences rivaled by few. Jim Hirt's full bio and more articles

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Planner Boards For Salmon Fishing

Current Rating: 3.05 / 1,239 rates      

Planner Boards For Salmon Fishing Planner Boards For Salmon Fishing
By Jim Hirt

By Captain Jim Hirt

The tool you need and must have for spring salmon fishing is Church Planner boards. There is no simpler and more productive presentation for any time you target fish in the top 25 feet of water. Allow me to explain the how and wow of this tool for spring.

Getting Started Basic Rods and Reels

To start let's cover the basics for one person fishing out of a small boat. In the state of Wisconsin on Lake Michigan we are allowed three rods per person. You could buy three rods although I believe when fishing alone or even with one other person more tackle means more expense and not necessarily more enjoyment or fish on. In recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. Clean presentations offered a good distance from the boat would take more and bigger fish and that is where planer boards are the right tool. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off

The Correct Rod Adds To Success

Purchase two 8-foot medium action trolling or downrigger rods for board fishing. They will give you all the versatility and power you need throughout the season. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $30 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for a quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. Reels that will hold 300 yards of 20-pound test has the capacity for all mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. A slightly more expensive but worth while option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Seaguar Invizx will put more fish in the cooler. This is one of the most basic combos for anytime fishing for salmon and trout on Lake Michigan.

Clean Rigging for Spooky Surface Fish

Spring in Milwaukee Wisconsin provides world class action on Lake and Brown trout, with the other species available but not as active. Most of my charter trips limit out in spring. Browns and Lakers, this time of year, will come on similar presentation with a preference to different lures. I set up 90% of my lines on planer boards working the top fifteen feet of water. The remaining 10% of my lines are on diving planers or downriggers for deeper fish. The lake will be very cold, well below the preferred temperature of your target fish. I fish the surface down to fifteen feet with planer Boards. My first choice is Church Walleye Boards. I find it easier to run a small board on each line rather than a large board with releases on the towline. I do feel it is important to run all the same type to get a presentation that is easy and productive. On all my rods in spring, I run a 20 pound test monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Starting out this way I will have the rods loaded with the correct line for most presentations through out the season. In spring fishing the clear surface water leaves you with a visibility factor to consider, and smaller crank baits do not run well on heavier test lines. I will explain rod set up in the next article The new Badger Tackle Vulcan glow in the dark lures sold at http://www.badgertackle.com are an excellent option for first light or stained water board fishing. They are offering a buy 4 get 1 free at this time.

Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved. Good luck Captain Jim

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