Trolling Spread With Downrigger - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default Trolling Spread With Downrigger

I have never fished a downrigger much and would like any tips I could get. If you are pulling a typical blue water lure spread would it be wise to run a bait on a downrigger below the short or long corner? What kind of bait would you put on down rigger, cedar plug, stick bait, jet head skirt, flat/slanted face skirted lure?

If you are pulling a dead bait spread, would you do same as above, or would only run dead bait on downrigger with dead bait spread?

I have been told it is always wise to put a live bait on downrigger if you are trolling live baits. Is this correct?
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

i personally would not try it. gonna slow you way down, and is a sure thing to cross up other lines. use your down rigger when you find a nice weed line. drag your spread by a couple of times then pull them in and drop a hardtail on the downrigger about 60ft and hold on.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

I also like to troll a live bait off a downrigger but you have to troll slower speeds with live bait and in return you really have to decide whether you are going to pull live baits or a dead bait/artificial spread.

My favorite lure on a downrigger is a black/red or black/purple ilander with a horse ballyhoo rigged on #9 singlestrand wire. We usually pull only one downrigger bait in our spread but you could use 2. I set the bait back about 50 ft. behind the ball and then deploy about 75ft. of cable. At about 7-8 knots the bait will be about 25-30 ft. down or so.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

with a typical spread (iislanders, molcrafts, etc) it would slow you down too much to have the other lures run correctly. if you wanna get soemthing down use a heavy trolling weight. we use downriggersa lot whenyou're marking tuna around the floaters and the current is too strong to chunk and/or the sharks are thick. send down ballyhoo or bridled livies to the depth the fish are marking and bump troll. as tunapopper said, let at LEAST 50' of line out before clipping on- it will give the bait/lure a more natural appearance as opposed to running 10' behind a big lead ball.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

My favorite lure on a downrigger is a black/red or black/purple ilander with a horse ballyhoo rigged on #9 singlestrand wire. We usually pull only one downrigger bait in our spread but you could use 2. I set the bait back about 50 ft. behind the ball and then deploy about 75ft. of cable. At about 7-8 knots the bait will be about 25-30 ft. down or so.[/quote]



never thought about this.... have to give it a try. i bet the hooters rape that black/red
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

Thanks for the responses.

I have only fished a downrigger with live bait and I know you only bump troll live baits, and typically pull dead bait slower than lures. So what is the maximum speed that you would pull a downrigger bait, islander/ballyhoo combo?
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

I wouldn't and don't pull it more than about 7-8 knots although I've heard of people going faster. It isn't as practical at higher speeds and you have to let out a lot more cable on the downrigger to get to any kind of depth. 7 knots is about right and you can still pull other baits with it.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #8
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

Quote:
www.fishing (5/6/2009)Had 2 downriggers and only thing ever caught on it was big kings.Use Inline trolling weights or planers.Im sure if you was specifically targeting just wahoo than it would be fine to troll slower speeds with live baits but you will cover less ground so you need to pick your areas wisely.
The king problem can be especially true around the nipple. We pull artificials on them only when we are targeting wahoo. At 7-8 knots or so you can still cover a fair amount of ground and the angles on your downrigger lines aren't too bad to where you're still getting your baits a decent depth and tanglesaren'tmuch of a problem.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #9
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

Thanks for the relpies.

I am not thinking of targeting wahoo, more of thinking of throwing a deep bait in the billfish spread. What do you think, stupid idea?
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default RE: Trolling Spread With Downrigger

A lot of good fishing strategies were probably once thought of as stupid ideas. I've heard of anglers in central america having great luck livebaiting both black and blue marlin using live baits off downriggers and plenty of blues and whites have been caught on live hardtails intended for tuna off downriggers here in the gulf. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work well in the gulf.
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