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Cobber

Don't own downriggers... alternative methods to pull deep plugs???

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Good morning FM'ers! I've been reading a lot about plugging being a hot ticket right now on a lot of the MN water.. but there lays my issue. I don't own downriggers and have attempted plugs in the deep water before with no results besides frustration. What would be the best options to achieve any type of success with plugs in deep water without dropping a few hundred bucks on riggers, or attempting to troll without riggers and having 300 yards of line out behind the boat?

I've tried to get creative but I havn't been able to come up with any decent ideas so far so any help would be great!

Thanks and Good luck on the water!

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Depending on how deep you are trying to get you could go with lead core line but that will require quite a bit of line out. You could also go with snap weights. Let out 50 feet of line and then clip on a snap weight and then let out another 50 feet. There are kits of snap weights you can get and the trolling bible gives some ideas of how deep it will go.

Another would be a 3 way rig with a 3 way 5 to 10 feet in front of the plug and a dropper on the 3 way with a egg sinker on it.

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Your best bet's and cheapest bet's without putting alot of money into equipment would to pick up a Cannon snap weight set. You can transform your medium/heavy rods into deep runners with adding weight. Your next best bet would be getting some dipsey divers. You can achieve depths of 50+ feet with only 100 feet of line out. Typical Leadcore set ups will get you down there, but you'll need to get larger reels with quicker pick-ups to really do it right, not to mention you'll be running 200-300 feet of line to get 40+ feet down.

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Dipsey divers, jet divers, snap weights or lead core would do it for you. Either way, you'll want a good level wind reel with a line counter and a trolling rod. For walleyes, I'd have 12lb test mono at a minimum. You can have your normal test leader. Good luck!

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Another way that I use is to buy a regular 2oz. "L" shaped bottom bouncer and add bullet weights to the tail end and then bend the wire end (to hold them on), making it 4oz or heavier depending on how much wire they have. Then add a 3-9ft leader followed by a floating rap or ssr.

You can cruise 2-2.5 mph in 30fow without emptying your spool to get down there smile

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Cobber, if you want the help to be as specific as possible, please tell people the depths you want to fish, the species you want to fish for, and the rods/reels/line you'll be using.

Lots of good tactics here for getting down there, but they'll stay general comments unless you can offer specifics. There are a TON of ways to get "deep" without downriggers, but "deep" means different things to different people, so help us help you better. smilesmile

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Steve Foss is correct, let us know what depths and the setups you will be using.

Cobber, Im guessing you are asking about LOW.?? If so with line counter reels, some deeper diving plugs and snap weights you should be covered.

One cheaper alternative if you dont have LC reels or lead core is to spool up a bait caster with fireline tracer braid. With the alternating colors, you can keep track of how much line is out. Another way, if you happen to have fireline crystal spooled up, is to use a magic marker to mark the line every 10' or so and you could keep track that way. For both of these you would want the precision trolling guide.

If you dont have any of that stuff, you could do the old standby of letting out line til you feel the plug ticking bottom and reel up a couple cranks. Good Luck!

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Thanks for the help guys- good point about being more specific. Yeah I'm thinking the south end of LOTW most likely, but Ive also been on a few other bodies of water that I havn't been able to really get down there without letting my entire spool out.

I have a 8' trolling rod with fireline, and I'm really not sure I guess the exact depths that I'll be fishing, maybe around 30-35' ? I can use about any plugs that someone may suggest on the big pond in this instance (for a trip next weekend). Thanks!!

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Also, you don't have to spend $200 on downriggers. I have a Cannon Mini Troll that I spend under $75 on paired with a 6 lb ball. Works well and I have caught some walleyes with it. I would like to use it more, but there are just too many ways to fish. I might put it back on the transom next weekend and give it a whirl.

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Small downriggers would work as well as leadcore and heavier snap weights but the best way to get down quick would be 10oz or better weights rigged on that fireline. A snubber behind the ball might help. Are you pulling cranks that deep? A dipsy might work if the fish aren't too spooky. The water is fairly clear there so you might want to use lead. Just make sure to figure the depth the lure dives to. Differing lead weights on rubber bands or heavy snap weights seems ideal. I hate leadcore but it has it's time and place. It's worth a try with cranks under 35'. If you have access to the precision trolling booklet or can buy it I recommend doing so. It'll get you in the zone quickly.

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A friend of one of my brothers has fished cranks deep for years by just using bottom bouncers. He gets the heaviest ones he can and fishes them about six or eight feet up the line from his cranks. He uses thin super line to get deeper and slows down his trolling speed. He's had reasonable success with his method on Walleyes.

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For those depths I'd use either the aforementioned heavy bottom bouncers or the old-fashioned three-way swivel, with a variety of bell sinkers to find out which weight is right for your trolling speed.

The thinner your superline, the less weight needed.

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Just some more 2 cents...

I try to troll with the lowest diameter mono I can get by with. Lower the diameter the better it will "slice" through the water - and the deeper it will allow the bait to go.

Also, if you use the fireline "no stretch" type of line back your

drag off a bit - cause if you are fast trolling you want a little give when the fish hammers the bait.

I also try to tie directly to the lure as ell - without a steel leader. I think it gives the bait better action and a deeper dive. You may lose a few but if you are trolling fast enough - you will get them to just grab the back hooks and that is what you want anyway - to try and avoid 2 sets of trebles and the back trebles being buried too deep if you ever want to catch and release...

Last, no one mentioned lure type. I find the longer thinner lures with the largest bills possible will get down a bit deeper and run truer at higher speeds...sometimes you just have to experiment with the right type of lure to find the one that works best...but some are definetely better than others. For example, I know some lures that are designed to go "20 feet" and I get a good 30 feet from them..and others that say "30 feet" and i fight to get them down to 20...

Good luck!

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3 way rig a 10 ounce or 1 pound weight. Less line out. You will need a rod that can handle it but it works great. If thats too much for ya then just get some 3 and 4 oz bottom bouncers and use those.

I would recomend beefing your fireline up to 14# at least if you do either.

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dipsy divers will get you down deep and also get you out to the sides of the boat so ur not right underneath. they only have a short snell after them though so it may be a lot for a fish to look at. slide divers are a similar concept but you can let out varying lengths of line behind it if the fish are finicky. they work almost like an underwater planer board because when a fish hits they slide down to the bait making landing fish easy to. both are good though because they get you deep and off to the sides. i prefer them over snap weights because they usually wont get hung up on the bottom to easily either.

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If your worried about spooking fish go to boards and snap or inline weights. I dont like dypsies for walleyes too often. Unless I have someone else in the boat and can run a longer leader.

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If your going for eyes on LOTW I go with the stealth approach.

your normal set up with power pro and deep diving taildancers will get you 28' at about 110-120 back. I know a guy up there that runns riggers off a 32' sportcraft boat and thats what he does and some of the larger fish come on that type of rig at

1.7-1.9 mph. perch and purpledecence are good colors. They have also taken fish on deep running reef runners as well.

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When using a 3-way rig, will the lure dive below the swivel?

depends on the lure type. a deep diver, yes it may and it will ruin the action. Use a stick bait similar to a original rap

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Originally Posted By: HarleyK50
When using a 3-way rig, will the lure dive below the swivel?

depends on the lure type. a deep diver, yes it may and it will ruin the action. Use a stick bait similar to a original rap

What about a number 12 X-rap or a number 4 hornet? Or standard lipped straight or jointed shad raps? I have never done this before, but will be trying it this weekend on rainy, and any wrong combinations I can eliminate ahead of time would be a big help.

Thanks

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