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Dipsy Divers and Planer Boards on Lake Erie

Dipsy Divers and Planer Boards on Lake Erie Dipsy Divers and Planer Boards on Lake Erie
By Dave Adams

Each fishing system has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on fishing conditions, planer boards might out fish the Dipsy Diver one day, however the next day, every fish will be caught off of dipsies.

From personal experience, wood planer boards perform better than plastic. Plastic boards tend to ride behind the boat, while properly constructed (many anglers build their own) wood boards will cut through the water and ride next to the boat. The only disadvantage to wood over plastic is that wood boards can dive (actually go under water) if they hit a wave at the wrong angle. Modern plastic boards will not dive.

The difference between using a planer board and the dipsy is that the planer board allows the angler to present bait farther from the boat; thus a spoon, plug, or harness will appear near a walleye, not the boat. The dipsy, though very effective, is limited more to depth and color presentation than distance from the boat.

It's also important to note that even when the winds of Lake Erie create a moderate two to four foot chop - a planer board can be more of a bother than an asset. But the dipsy remains an effective tactic.

The certainty of fishing is that nothing is certain. Instead of choosing one system over the other - use both. With the clear waters of Lake Erie and lower walleye numbers, the correct presentation is a must. And by having a variety of options available, you will catch more fish.

Combining the Dipsy Diver with the planer board allows the angler to use the best of both - effective color presentation and a variety of depth coverage. The smaller size 0 dipsy is very effective when used off the planer boards.

I'm not aware of any book on planer board tactics. When you do decide to try the boards for the first time, pick a calm day - with a little practice you'll be catching fish.

My recommendation is the Big Jon planer system. Whether electric or manual they provide a high quality product that can be adapted for use on a mast, hard top, or side rails.

Good Fishing,
Capt. Dave Adams

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