Drifting with down riggers?

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by Mocathunter, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Mocathunter

    Mocathunter New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    I really want to buy a couple downriggers sets and try them out. Have any of you fellas used them while drifting the river. I know it is cheaper to drift with poles, but I just really want to use those downriggers and see how they work out. Let me know if you all have any experience, or if you know someone who has.
     
  2. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I've been wanting to set up a couple myself also Sean. I think they would be a great tool for suspended blues. The current is so fast in my area that I wouldnt even have to drift, just merely set the right depth. I'll probably get a couple of them a little later this year. I'll let you know how they turn out.
     

  3. Mocathunter

    Mocathunter New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    Let me know how it turns out. I picked up another boat the other day, and I'm gonna rig it up specifically for fishing with downriggers. So we will have to compare notes, and see how they work out.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I like the idea of outriggers for drifting.
    With 15 foot outriggers you could drift 35 -38 feet of water at one time.
    3 rods per outrigger and 2-4 across the back of the boat.
    Possibly depending on the setup run additional rods along the sides of the boat.

    It could create a maze and ideally the setup would require a T-top with rocket launchers to keep everything straight.
    Watching the mates on A sportfish charter work the lines is like watching a ballet.
    You can instantly tell the difference between those that can and can not dance. Its a dance worth learning if you can cover 38 feet of water on one drift.
    The biggest problem is overcoming the price. A good outrigger setup is expensive. $600 on up.
    You could get a cheapo outfit with less reach in the $200-$400 dollar range.
     
  5. Mocathunter

    Mocathunter New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    I'm going to start with 2 quality rigs, figured I would end up dumping about $1500 to get set up right. If they work out like I think they will; then I will probably add 2 more. You are right about covering that much water with 4 lines though; it is definately an art to be learned.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Couldn't you do just about the same thing with a few planer boards?

    All you really want is to spread your baits over a wider portion of the water, right? A downrigger would be good for getting your bait out a specific distance *and* to a specific depth, but the depth you really want is "on the bottom" across a constantly changing depth. How would a downrigger accomplish that?

    I don't know of anybody who can consistently catch suspended blues so I'm not convinced there's any value in trying to target them with a downrigger. But spreading your baits with planer boards certainly seems like it'd be worth trying. Suppose the question is whether the planer boards are big enough to stay put while dragging your bait and sinker across the bottom.
     
  7. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I have been intrested in the plane boards too Marty. We troll crank baits a lot for Walleye and run 4 rods off the back and 1 on each side up in the front. My thinking is I want to spred out a couple of lines to cover a wider path. Plan to try a left and a right to see how they will work. I would think they would work just as well drifting for cats.
     
  8. Mocathunter

    Mocathunter New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    "I don't know of anybody who can consistently catch suspended blues"

    That phrase sums it up exactly, just because there isn't anyone catching suspended blues consistently, doesn't mean it can't be done. I have the funds, and am willing to spend some time experimenting. If we all conceded to being content with status quo, then fishing would become boring; with no room for improvement. Just because someone hasn't mastered the art of nailing suspended fish, doesn't mean it can't be done. It is the stubborn jarhead in me that refuses to except the fact that all catfishing techniques have already been perfected.
     
  9. Fishking

    Fishking Member

    Messages:
    306
    State:
    KC, MO
    Name:
    Andrew

    Couldn't have said it better.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Well, certainly don't let me talk you out of trying the downriggers! If you've got the time and money, do some investigation and let us know how it comes out. You might become the pioneer of a whole new trend in catfishing.
     
  11. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    I read this last week and thought about it several times....

    I used riggers quite a bit in northern Michigan for lakers and salmon. My 2 cents is that you are begging for a problem here. I will explain...

    If you were fishing very deep river systems (like coastal estuaries) for walleye or salmon, maybe that is a good idea. But we are talking about 10-20 foot deep rivers, with volatile depth levels, sporadic holes, and rivers filled with gear-killing branches/chains/boats/tires/waterlines/etc. I think that after you invest your $400+ in downriggers, you will find that the loss of canon balls and the hassle of snagging a $200+ rigger and $20 ball in 7 mile current on a log (at night) will make you frustrated. Tangles happen many times to experienced fisherman on sand-bottom big-water with no debris on the FF. I am sure it will happen way too often in a river for the practice to become a regular technique

    I would encourage you to think about dipsy's instead, or better yet, do like the Lake Erie walleye scene and use removable clamp weights on 40-70' lines. It is cheaper and just as accurate. A third, but less desirable option is to do like the Northern Lake Michigan walleye scene and use lead core line on hooked bait (less desirable in that you have to put more line out, and this equates to less control and more snags on river debris).

    The above is likely the reason why the practice of down rigging for cats is not common.

    Let me know if you buy riggers and try out your idea.. I am interested to know if I am right or not. Also, I would like to be the first to bid on your slightly used pair of downriggers (after you are disappointed both in the uselessness of riggers on a river, and in the distance between Missouri and Lake Trout water). I already have some cannon balls and wire to replace your frayed ends.


    :)

    Good luck, I give you points for being creative through.

    CP
     
  12. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    Chris is correct, many problems you will have. I have downriggers and have caught catfish on them but it's really not the way for rivers. You really need deep water and clean bottom for the investment to pay. I use mine for catching bass to eat. Yes, I eat bass and big one at that. Bass are a sunfish and ment to be an eating fish.
     
  13. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    Fishman,

    I think you may have just killed (and grilled) someone's sacred cow.

    I dont do it often, but a 2lb. coldwater smallmouth makes a fine meal. It tastes great, and you feel just a bit evil for doing it.

    CP
     
  14. Mocathunter

    Mocathunter New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    Thanks for the tips chris, I will look into the dipsy's. I primarily wanted them for two specific stretches of river. One place runs 40'-52' for quite a stretch, and I have never seen anyone else fish it, most people blow right past it, I don't think they know it's there. I have 2 other spots that are very similar and just a tad shallower. I do believe it will be a challenge to try, and costly probably also, depending on the numbers of times I hang up; which will be inevitable. I go to Canada twice a year, so if it doesn't work out, I can put them to use on lakers. So don't hold your breathe on a used pair.:big_smile:
     
  15. Mountain Cur

    Mountain Cur New Member

    Messages:
    171
    State:
    Missouri, Warsaw
    I think I'm getting in this conversation about a week late, but I have to ask. What is considered a "suspended" blue??????

    Jug fisher"persons" consistantly catch suspended blues...........Drift fisherpersons consistantly catch blues (anyway we do)......and we fish suspended bait.

    The down rigger out/rigger setup WILL WORK ask any "Salmon" fisherman. I've noticed lately there are more crappie fishermen using these setups.

    We've caught several blues, flatheads, whites bass/Hybrids, drum, buffalo and gar while trolling for walleye along the submerged river channel on Truman using planer boards......The principle of planner boards is the same no matter what fish you pursue............. The next question is HOW MUCH do you want to spend????????? That's the part that hurts......good rigs are expensive and until you develop your technique plan on replacing most of the first planer boards and down rigger weights the first couple of months. Buy ALL the quick releases, break away or quick detach items available, they are cheaper than the "riggers."

    You'll never know until you try, but I'm betting it will work.
     
  16. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,033
    State:
    Indy
    Name:
    Eric
    I'm getting ready to buy a down rigger just for fishing the deep holes behind the dams on the Ohio. I'll get hung up here and there, but I can't figure out how to bet my bait straight down in that type of current without putting a huge weight on, so I feel the downrigger is my only option. Any other suggestions bros? I have never looked at the clamp on weights, how do they work? Happy fishing!
     
  17. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    Best way to get tips on this is to try some of the Lake Michigan post sites. baydenoc.com is a good one.

    Basically, you put out 75" of line total. About 30' along the way, you clip on a few ounces. There is some paper or a book that tells how deep stuff runs with this system. I think you get it with the weights.

    Gander Mtn used to sell the clip ons. I am sure you can get them at Bass Pro too. They are yellow (I think made by the same company that makes the yellow bird in line planer boards). Oh, maybe it is "Off Shore Tackle". One or the other, I may be getting my planer board companies mixed up.

    CP