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How Deep Are My Downriggers?

Fishing in and around the Great Lakes region including all tributaries and adjoining states.

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How Deep Are My Downriggers?

Postby Jim Blue Max Charters » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:41 pm

How Deep Are My Downriggers?

By Captain Jim Hirt
I received this e-mail recently and thought it was a good question that more anglers would be interested in. Should you have a question please e-mail me from my Website contact us page http://www.bluemaxcharters.com I will be pleased to answer. My charter season is done and I have time to talk.

Hi Jim,
My name is Brian I may have e-mailed you before, but I forget. Anyway, I just ordered some spoons from you. I personally have never fished spoons, we always fish plugs or cut plug herring for Lakers and Browns. I keep hearing that this is the best go to lure for most Lakers and browns in the great lakes, but not many people out here in Oregon really use them (with exception to apexes, and even that's far and few between).
What do you recommend for set back in the rigger and what is your typical speed? On your Magnum Reaper Spoons, what depth should I assume if I was to set back 300 feet trolling at 2 to 2.3 mph if I have the lure in the clip at say 40 feet? Would my lure be at 45 feet?
We typically go anywhere from 1.8 to 3.2 mph, depending on what's triggering the bite. You may think we're a little nutty for throwing the lure back 100 yards, but our lakes up here are VERY clear (at least the ones that hold the big fish) and as we target trophy browns mostly, and they're so wary, that's why.
Hello Brian:
I thank you for your spoon order. I have over 60 articles that should answer some of your questions. The http://www.badgertackle.com website has all my articles posted. Your question about downrigger setback and speed is rather complex. Your speed will vary for type of fish. Lake Trout like cold water and slow speed of 1.5 to 2.0 is always best. At slower speeds downrigger blowback is not too much of an issue. Blowback is the amount of loss to depth from the weight not hanging straight down when the boat is trolling. This is how I usually adjust for loss in depth. If you use a setback of 50 feet at 100 down the spoon will run at 90 feet or about a 10 percent loss. The variables here are weight of downrigger ball, direction speed of the water current and speed of the boat.
Here is the answer to your specific questions..
What do you recommend for set back in the rigger and what is your typical speed? On your Magnum Reaper Spoons, what depth should I assume if I was to set back 300 feet trolling at 2 to 2.3 mph if I have the lure in the clip at say 40 feet? Would my lure be at 45 feet?
This is how I would do it.
My set back is usually 50 feet
Day in day out my most productive speed is 1.8 measured at the ball. The Reaper Magnum Spoon will produce consistently between 1.0 to 2.8 MPH
The depth set as you described would be about 35 feet
This time of year I Have lots of availability for questions please call me.

. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2009, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.
[url=http://www.bluemaxcharters.com]Captain Jim Hirt
Image[/url]
Jim Blue Max Charters
First Mate
First Mate
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:27 am
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin

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