Planer boards bring walleyesAs we move farther into the summer months, fishing patterns change. If you want to catch fish, you’ll need to alter your fishing techniques. When it comes to catching summer walleyes, pulling planer boards is a technique that will enable you to catch more walleyes now and through the rest of the open water season.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the midwest, The Jamestown Sun
As we move farther into the summer months, fishing patterns change. If you want to catch fish, you’ll need to alter your fishing techniques. When it comes to catching summer walleyes, pulling planer boards is a technique that will enable you to catch more walleyes now and through the rest of the open water season.
Walleyes do different things in different bodies of water in the summer. In some lakes and rivers they’ll be tightly schooled on small pieces of structure. When they’re tightly schooled, a live bait rig or jig presentation will be productive.
On other lakes and reservoirs, walleyes will often be spread out, and they’ll suspend off the bottom more often than you may think. When the walleyes are spread out, or when they’re suspended, planer boards will be a tool that will help you catch more fish.
Planer boards are about a foot long and six inches tall. They easily attach to your line and take your bait out to the side of the boat. They get your bait away from the boat, which makes it easy to get multiple lines in the water. Also, getting the bait away from the boat makes it less likely that your boat will spook walleyes that are close to the surface of the water.
Off Shore Tackle makes the best planer boards. They run straight and are easy to use. Accessories like Tattle Flags and Snapper releases make it possible to customize a planer board that will be perfect for your exact needs. The original OR12 boards are what most anglers use, but the new Mini Planer Board is a great alternative if you want to use lighter tackle.
Spinner rigs are great behind planer boards. Northland’s Baitfish-Image Spinner Harnesses are extremely popular and effective. These rigs are usually tipped with a live crawler or a Gulp! or PowerBait crawler. The artificial crawlers do a great job, and they last much longer than the real thing. The blades on these rigs are “special” and do an outstanding job of getting the fish to bite.
It’s important to put your bait where the fish are. This requires some thought when they’re suspended. You need to use enough weight to get the bait to where the fish are, but you don’t want the bait below the fish. A little above them is where you want the bait to be. Here’s how you do that.
We’re going to be trolling. Put your spinner rig in the water, and let out about 50 feet of line. Clip a half ounce Off Shore snap-weight to the line. Let out another 50 feet of line. Attach the board to the line and let out enough line to get the board out to where you want it. Repeat the process with another line, but use a heavier snap weight. This will enable you to probe a different depth. The fish will probably respond most favorably to a particular weight, because that weight is getting your spinner to the level where the fish are running. Once you get the right weight figured out, you can fine-tune your presentation, and when you start fine-tuning you’ll be on your way to catching even more fish.
Planer boards will put more fish in the boat for you. Find out for yourself in the next few weeks.
Watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on WalleyeCentral.com in the video section and on MyOutdoorTv.com.