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Because I'm too cheap to buy a downrigger

jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
edited June 2009 in The Fishing Hole!
I mainly drift fish. But some days, the wind is such that the boat is really moving too fast to get the line down easily.

I've never done much trolling. Too much $$ to get the gear properly, and honestly I catch enough drift fishing that I have fish all winter.

Incidentally, we're talking walleye on lake erie.

But going back to the idea of a fast moving boat... enough weight to get the lure down in a 20 mph wind is going to make fishing miserable (nothing like a half pound sinker on your line- this will also stop all but the most aggressive fish from even striking) so here is my idea.

A downrigger is essentially just a big crank with a line and heavy weight at the end of it, yes? And so far as it goes, the crank is just there to make life easier. But I can pull a boat anchor up hand over hand, I think an 8 pound downrigger ball is no problem.

So what I propose is to just tie the ball off to a cleat and lower it by hand. I will even be cheaper and cast my own downrigger ball, or rig something up otherwise. I will by a proper release though. Heck, as long as there's a swivel on it and a wire or thin rope, it's doing its job. And if I have to pull it up hand over hand a few times, so what?

So how far do you run your lure behind the 'downrigger'?


  • steamingutpilesteamingutpile Member Posts: 65 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Simple cheap solution to drifting to fast. Get a 5gal bucket put a bunch of 1" holes in the bottom cut two holes opposite each other 2" from top run a good sturdy rope throgh them and hang off back of boat. I used to fish eastwern end of lake Erie from Sturgeon Pt to Hamburg.
  • dcso3009dcso3009 Member Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As far as a release goes a rubber band will work. You just have to replace it every strike. Otherwise Blacks releases are good, Offshore are good. There are also some cheaper ones out there, but I would stick to the above mentioned or get the rubber bands.
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