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Fishing with Downriggers

Setting Up Your Boat with Downriggers for Trolling Fish


When you rig a boat for trolling, you will want it to provide you and your buddies with the most enjoyable fishing trips you could ask for. Here are some time proven trolling boat layouts. 
If you fish alone in a small tiller boat, mounting the downriggers at the transom is a practical choice. You can keep everything in easy reach, eliminating the need to get up and move around the boat. ( illustration 1 )

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If two or more people are fishing in a small tiller boat, try mounting the downriggers midship. Everybody can reach the downriggers and rods from either end of the boat. Pedestal mounts may be needed for the downriggers to clear the gunwales and swivel mounting bases will make for easier docking. ( illustration 2 )

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On larger console style boats, a pair of Big Jon Captain's Paks from Fishing and Hunting USA on swivel mounting bases are a popular arrangement. The swivel mounting base allows you to spread your lines wider when fishing and can be turned inline with the gunwales when the boat comes to the dock. ( illustration 3 )

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If your boat is large enough for a large fishing party, mount a pair of Big Jon Pro Sportsman downriggers at the transom and a pair of Big Jon Captain's Paks on swivel mounting bases futher forward on the gunwales. With this many lines in the water, your lure presentation will resemble a school of very attractive bait fish. ( illustration 4 )

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The same kind of presentation can be achieved by installing four Big Jon Captain's Paks on a removable transom bar. The whole downrigging system can be removed as one unit when your boat is to be use for other purposes. We know a freelance charter fisherman who does this locally. ( illustration 5 )

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When installing a planer rigger system, remember two important facts - First, the taller your mast is, the greater distance your planers will travel from the sides of your boat. And second, the further forward you mount your mast, the less distance your planers will travel behind your transom. Both points effect navagation and line control. ( illustration 6 )

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A popular method of mounting the planer mast is to use a pedestal seat mount. It fits Springfield Taperlock seat bases, that are common on most boats. The seat mount makes the mast easily removable for storage. ( illustration 7 )

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Two single reel planer masts mounted on the gunwales just behind the cabin or canopy top are popular for larger boats where the bow is not easily accessable. ( illustration 8 )

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Or you can upgrade your mast with a pair of electric planer reels. Big Jon electric reels come complete with remote switches and circuit breakers, so you can operate them from the cabin. ( illustration 9 )

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Plan your boat for comfort and safety. Having to much equipment, or having it located in the wrong place can hamper your ability to move around freely. Before mounting any equipment, get in your boat with your fishing buddies and discuss the best location for each piece of equipment. All equipment should be easily accessable to all fishermen. 

If you need help finding the gear to fit your needs or have any questions please call us at Fishing and Hunting USA. Have a great fishing day!

For questions or phone orders call 1-251-943-5585