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Basic equipment for fishing the deep waters of Lake Erie

Basic equipment for fishing the deep waters of Lake Erie Basic equipment for fishing the deep waters of Lake Erie
By Dave Adams

As a charter captain, I purchase a lot of fishing gear; perhaps, this explains why Bass Pro asked if I would like a private line. Not really, but the equipment that I do purchase must stand up to the riggers of commercial fishing, and it must be reasonably priced.

First, not only must you locate the second trench, which is 17 miles from Walnut Creek, you must navigate back to port after a day of fishing. Because the curvature of the earth allows you to see land for 10 miles (on a clear day), a compass is a must, and GPS is invaluable. I have tried three different GPS units, and my favorite is the Lowrance GlobalNav 310. This is a fixed unit that is easy to use and affordable.

Here are my other equipment choices based on quality and price:

Rods: Okuma - For the price and quality, they can't be beat.

Reels: Okuma 20DX (small reels for dipsys) Okuma 30DX (larger reels for downrigger - Excellent price and quality. Check them out at:

Downrigger: Cannon (manual) with extending boom. I prefer not to use electric models, not only is it something else to break, but electric downriggers are expensive.

Planer board mast and reels: Big Jon - No one makes a better mast or reel.

Radio: Uniden (non-scanner) - If you have no need for scan capabilities, this is the best for quality and price.

Fishfinder: Lowrance X65 - Again, you don't need to know what color eyes the fish have, just where they are and how deep the thermocline is - good price and quality. Don't forget to order temperature and speed sensor.

Trolling bag: - Walleye like it slow. Check out the article on trolling bags:

Line: Fireline 20 pound for dipsys, Berkley 30 pound XT for downriggers, and 12 pound stainless steel for boards lines. The line is the only thing between you and the fish - get the best.

Radar: JRC 1500 - With a 16-mile range, this unit will display a summer thunderstorm storm and allow you time to safely reach port. I spent a lot time researching this product - it is the best!!

Auto Pilot: Autohelm Sport Pilot - just like American Express, don't leave home without it. Besides, it drives better than any human and won't reach for a beverage while you're setting up gear. - VERY easy to install and priced right. I have 650 hours on mine, with no problems.

Good fishing,
Capt. Dave Adams

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