Are You Using Trolling Boards?

How many of you use trolling boards?

If you are there’s little doubt in my mind that you’re catching more fish.

The next question: If you’re not using trolling boards is it because you think it’s too much work to learn a new technique? Boards are extremely easy to use.

The last question: Have you used boards and abandoned them because your line slipped on the release, they came off and you had to chase them down, or they were worthless when you added some weight to the line and found they sunk? I guarantee that won’t happen anymore.

The reservoirs in South Dakota and the Great Lakes is where in-line trolling boards were perfected. Each angler could take a couple of rods and fish them efficiently. That’s why trolling boards are so valuable; to get your lures spread out and operating more effectively.

Boards also give me a chance to experiment. I can take a couple of different styles of baits and run them to see which action the fish prefer. I might throw a deep-diving Husky Jerk on one board, a Shad Rap on another, a Down Deep Rattlin’ Fat Rap on one, and on the last board I put a No. 11 floater with a one-ounce snap-weight.

Pretty soon you will notice the walleyes prefer one bait to another. Now it’s time to replace the lures with the one style that’s productive. You can even fine-tune the presentation even more by trying different colors.

If you’re not using trolling boards
is it because you think it’s too
much work to learn a new technique?
Boards are extremely easy to use
and you will catch more fish!

Let’s say the fish prefer a No. 9 Shad Rap. You would replace all the board lines with this size Shad Rap, but instead of the same color, you can make one a Firetiger, one a blue/white, one a chartreuse/white, and one a silver/red. Soon you will discover the walleyes relating to a particular color pattern. And then you can replace all the lures with that color patters.

But look out! What can happen when you do this is all the boards are bouncing because there’s fish on everyone. You’ll be laughing so hard you’ll have a tough time landing them all.

I like to use spinners on my boards as well. I won a PWT Lake Erie tournament using just this technique.

What I do is rig a few rods with spinners of different sizes and colors of blades. The first one I put out 120 feet and snap on a three-quarter ounce weight and feed out another 50 feet of line, snap on the board and run it out a ways.

Set up the next rod with a heavier weight or let out a little more line and get it out. Try different combinations of weight size and line distance until you discover the right equation. Also pay attention to what colors and sizes of blades are producing best.

The best line for boards is Fireline because it doesn’t stretch. This allows you the benefit of good hook penetration and the ability to see the boards bounce when you have a fish on.

The problem we’ve had in the past is the clips on every board that was on the market wouldn’t hold the thin-diameter line. That’s when I decided it was time to develop one that did.

The Mr. Walleye trolling board has a clip that will hold on even the smallest diameter Fireline. It’s a simple one-hand clip as well, so your partner can grab the board with one hand after you reel it in and pop the board loose with the other hand. It’s very fast.

And I’ve put a real good line holder on the back so if the board does pop loose on a big wave, it stays with the rig and you don’t have to pull all your lines in and go chase the board. Just reel it in and keep going.

One more brag. The board is buoyant enough to stay up even with a big weight on.

In Oahe you get on some pretty sharp breaks. With boards you can run one lure over the shallowest part of the structure, one lure on the transition line, and one or two lures out in the deeper water. Now that’s what I call straining structure.

And what about the suspended fish we find on most of the bodies of water we’re competing on? Without boards we wouldn’t be nearly so successful.

So we know that boards are tried and true when it comes to walleyes. Make sure you include them in your program this year.

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