A lot of anglers use planer boards for walleye fishing. When it comes to using a trolling device, anglers often feel overwhelmed. But if you want to learn a thing or two about modern walleye trolling setup, you will have to learn how to use planer boards. They may seem a bit intimidating at first glance, but you will learn them when you are comfortable using them. In this post, you will learn some important things about walleye fishing with planer boards.
What you need to know about planer boards
Fishermen find planer boards useful in places regular fishing methods do not work. These boards help you reach hard-to-reach places and cover more area. You will find them effective especially for trolling.
Fish sometimes rush to a safe place when the sound of an engine reaches them. For the fish, this is good. But for the fisherman trying to catch fish, this is not the ideal situation. It is hard to present bait in such a situation.
You might think that letting out the line may be the right solution to the problem. But you can cover only the area which is behind your boat. There is another problem of letting out more line. The bait may sink deeper. It depends on the rigging. And if the bait sinks deeper, it may get caught in weeds.
A planer board enables you to have control over how deep the bait goes. It enables you to send the bait up to 140 feet away from the boat. Controlling the depth is very easy. The line between the bait and the planer board can be easily increased or decreased. Just let the line out or reel it in.
When you let the line into the current or troll through the water, the planer board moves to the side. It ascends or descends like an airplane. Starboard planer boards and port planer boards work in slightly different ways. Walleye fishing with planer boards is fun, but it is still an underutilized method of fishing.
Advantages of using planer boards
Planer boards are highly useful for successful trolling. But what makes them so useful? There are a host of reasons for their effectiveness, but we are going to focus on the 3 main reasons.
1. They send your lines far from the boat
Depending on the state you live in, you will be allowed to use a certain number of trolling lines. For example, in Wisconsin, an angler is allowed to use three trolling lines. If you have another angler with you, together you will have 6 lines. A disaster can take place any time if 6 lines get twisted behind your boat.
This is perhaps the most notable advantage of walleye fishing with planer boards. They spread the lines in the perfect way and thus prevent the lines from getting knotted and twisted. A planer board can save you from this type of disaster.
2. Planer boards help you know when there is a bite
The boards remain uniformly on both sides of the boat. When a board is not uniform and falls behind other boards, you know that a fish has hit the line. The board falls back behind due to the weight of the fish.
Some planer boards come with an advanced feature known as tattle-flag system. When the line is hit by a fish, is cluttered with debris or gets snagged, the flag, which is spring-loaded, is pulled down. Thus planer boards increase your chances of catching more fish.
3. They make it easier to stagger the lines
If you want to find active walleye, you have to stagger the lines throughout the column of water. To send each line to a specific depth, you need to spread the lines. A planer board is designed in such a way that it allows you to set specific depths for your lines. This feature is very useful because you have to put the baits at different depths in different seasons.
If you are interested in walleye fishing with planer boards, don’t think the process is complicated. It is very easy to use the boards. To get your bet, you just have to release a certain amount of line. You should know how deep the bait goes and whether it is the right depth.
The right way to use them
First, you have to keep the boards to the main line and keep the bail until the lure runs to the right depth. Clip them on your board and release the lines until they are at the desired distance from the boat. The type of lure you are using should match the board.
For lighter lures you should choose smaller boards. They are also useful when your intended targets are light-biting walleyes. And if you want to use an all-around board, choose a mid-sized board. There is no model that can be used to do everything perfectly. That is why it is important to choose a model that can be used for most of your purposes.
Additionally, you should consider the rod and reel you are using. There is a lot of drag created when trolling at a couple miles per hour with not only a lure in tow, but also a planer board. This means you need the right type of rod for the job, a trolling rod.
More on planer boards
Planer boards are basically a trolling device, and they are basically used in shallow water. If you want to fish multiple lines, planer boards can help you do that. Most anglers who use planer boards prefer dual planer boards.
A dual planer board is made of two vertical runners, and they are set parallel to each other. Steel rods act as separators of the vertical runners. The mast has a reel and towline. You can easily adjust a certain distance between the boat and the planer board.
Your planer board should be positioned somewhere between 40 and 90 feet off the boat. You can use more space when fishing in calm waters. With a dual board, you will be able to use five lines on each side. Dual boards are really useful when fishing in rough water. But this type of planer board may not be the best choice for walleye fishing.
There are many reasons why walleye fishers prefer inline boards. The main reason is that an inline planer board works as an inline signaler. In this configuration, the fishing line is directly attached to the single ballasted board.
Another reason to use inline boards is that they are cheaper than dual planer boards. But in rough water, they tend to dip beneath the surface. That is why you have to keep them properly ballasted. When it comes to walleye fishing with planer boards, this is another important thing to consider.
Regardless of the type of planer board you are using, your weight should be positioned about 40 feet behind the planer. The lure should be allowed to go 40 feet past the weight. Consider using stick baits in spring. In warmer weather, use spinners and crawlers. You should always use a light tension release and snap weight.
There are many articles and online videos that can help you learn the right method of walleye fishing with planer boards. If you are serious about walleye fishing, planer boards will add a new dimension to your experience. We highly encourage you to give them a try.
If you still do not have any first-hand experience, you may find planer board fishing a bit intimidating. But once you understand how it works and how important precise depth control is, you will fall in love with planer boards. Planer boards can make walleye fishing a lot more enjoyable experience.
As always, good luck and happy fishing!