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lure speed/temp indicators


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I remember some talk about various lure speed and temp indicators a while ago. I've been looking around at various models such as Subtroll, Depth Raider, and Cannon. Which ones do some of you use/recommend? Anything in particular I should pay extra attention to? How valuable is having one in your arsenal? Is it worth the five bills to have?

Thanks!

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S’G’ – It’ll help eliminate out-of-temp water. They’re also great for down speed control. I run a Sub-T and “won’t leave home without itâ€. FWIW Moor should be having an on-line sale of parts in another month or so.(cable, probes etc - they don't sell entire unit online though)

Tip #1: Go to the online sites & read all that the manufacturers have to say about them before purchasing one. They have their manuals etc online.

Tip #2: Run cables direct to battery (through their own fuses) not through terminals or switches that other electronics use.

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I love the Sub Troll that I got 2 seasons ago. Never had a problem w/ it. Can't speak for the others cause I have never used them. I like it even in close during harbor patrol. We've passed by boats in the river going up the river and boats have passed us coming out of the river. It takes the guess work out the down speed. We were catching and they were fishing. I guess they didn't realize they were only moving at 1.? mph or 3.? mph.... I would recommend spending the money for one...

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I will probably be one of the few Captains and even Anglers against a Sub Troll, Depth Raider, Fish Hawk, etc. Personally, I only find them useful for finding down temperatures, when needed, once in awhile. We use a Fish Hawk and I think it has been in the water 10 times in the last 5 years??? Otherwise, a nice fish finder does the same job, plus much more. Fish where you mark them; they are there for a reason, no matter what the temperature may be. Personally, I would save the money and invest in an extremely good fish finder; as this is my number one tool.

We measure down speed by watching our Dipsy Diver rods, Downrigger Cables, and Planer Boards. It is very easy to determine what direction the current is coming out of by watching these 3 techniques and your SOG on your GPS and RPMs on your engine. Once the current direction is figured out, you can judge your speed by watching your cables, boards, and divers. Line the cables up with the stern of the boat and downrigger arm and you should be going either directly up-current or down-current. Then judge the speed of the current by the pull on the diver rods and this will tell you what direction the current is coming from. Usually, when a good direction is figured out, all planer boards will line up and run perfectly in a line. This is another indicator that you are traveling in a good direction. Most of the time, the best direction of travel is into the current and than 180 degrees opposite of that direction. I think direction of travel is way more important than speed. There is a lot of details into figuring out the perfect direction and speed. It takes a lot of practice and specific observations.

If interested, when I have more time, I can elaborate more on details with a specific post or article about determining the direction of travel and speed without using a down unit, or feel free to ask any other questions.

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I have to agree with Hitman, to the extent that using all the other indicators will help you determine the speed and direction of the current under most circumstances.

However I have been using a Sub-troll and would feel a little disadvantaged without it. It just makes it a little easier to concentrate on other things for me. If I have my mate steer the boat for a bit, I just tell him what speed to run. Or if the waves are large or not consistant, you still know what speed you are running at the balls.

Last year we had more than a few days when the watching the boards and dipseys alone may have sent us home empty handed. IMO Subtroll saved the day.

And many days when it seems like the fish have all but disappeared or the ones you do see on the ff screen won't bite, just getting a certain speed or temp will save the day.

I usually only use my fishfinder to find bottom depth, thermoclines, and look for the presence of baitfish schools. But that's just the way I do things. The more you fish, the more you'll develop your own techniques and strategies.

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Wow, very good input. Thanks; it is very much appreciated.

I did notice last year that often times the underwater currents would pull my lines to one side of the boat even if I was going either directly into or directly against the waves. It didn't take me too long to realize that was very productive!:o

My fishfinder does a pretty good job at marking the thermocline and baitfish schools. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to put off the lure speed/temp indicator upgrade for one more season in the interest of gaining another season of experience. There's plenty of upgrade goodies for me consider blowing cash on!:lol:

Do you vary your trolling speed based on going into the current versus going with the current? Sometimes it seems that while my gps speed stays the same, the rods dance alot more in one direction as opposed to another.

Once again, thank-you for the good input! :)

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That's correct on the direction of travel is extremely important, at least in my opinion. You will notice that you may get a lot more bites in one direction than another. That's why I believe direction of travel is the most important factor when fishing on Lake Michigan. If necessary, we will troll in one direction for an entire charter or tournament or whatever for 6 straight hours and never turn around. We may troll for 10-15 miles and then run back to port when we are finished, if we think that is the best troll and way to catch fish. We may also troll through a productive area for a few miles, pull lines, and run back to where we started and troll through the same productive area again; rather than trolling in a bad direction that is unproductive and not producing fish and consequently wasting time. You may have noticed that many of the best tournament fishermen do not like moving off of course or changing direction, if they don't have to, mainly because they find a specific direction that is producing fish and getting off course may mess up their entire spread, etc. Overall, in my opinion, I think the direction of travel is by far the most important factor in consistently being able to produce consistent numbers of fish day in and day out.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm gonna go a bit against the grain in this thread and say that in my opinion, down speed and temp are the single most important pieces to the trolling puzzle. Especially speed. There is no way to tell what your lures are doing down 120 ft. without knowing what the speed at the lure is. I suppose you can use a thumper rig to find your speed, but that is an in-exact science at best. With a good probe like the Moor Sub-Troll 900 like I have, you can dial in your down speed without any doubt. In my opinion, there's no need to troll in the same direction all day when you know your down speed. Got a good bite going at 2.25mph and just passed over a huge school of kings? Turn around and go back through them at 2.25mph again and again and again. Underwater currents are a huge issue on Lake Ontario, and I can tell you from experience that without my Moor, there are definitely times that I'd be WAY off on my down speed. There are multiple layers of current out there, and there are definitely times when my cables are blown way back by the upper most current, but my lures are only turning 1.5 mph at the ball due to a lower layer of current that is moving in a different direction. In that scenario, without my Moor, I'd be slowing down, when what I really need to be doing is speeding up!

For my money, a Sub-Troll is at least as important as a good fish finder. I have my Moor in the water all day, every day without fail.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will second BillyV for Lake Ontario, this lake is a different animal. I was amazed my first time out on all the variables I had to consider here!

However, If fishing Lake Michigan, I would make sure I had a good fish finder and a GPS. I cannot live without either.

You would be amazed how far you can get from a school after a double header or a big pig king.

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I have a Fish Hawk. Like Hit Man, I'm also tuned to the Rigger Cable angles, Dipsy Rod bends and SOG on the GPS. When the Kings are real active in August, it seems they like it a bit faster. We pull back on the throttle, when the canon balls start skipping on the surface. LMAO If I was to go strictly by the GPS I would try an hold 2.7 MPH SOG, fishing Kings in late Summer. I end up varying from that by the other factors mentioned above. If things are slow on the back of the boat, and our lures are in their face, I do something even if it's wrong. Sometimes we do a lot speed changing to entice the fish. The one thing I like about running boards and Dipsys, is what they tell you on the turns. Outside boards on a turn get hot speed up, and visa versa. Riggers react to the turns, but to a lesser degree.

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The down speed and temp monitors help accelerate the learning curve IMHO. Getting tuned in to blowback, bend in the diver rods and the action on a thumper rod takes some time - especially for the recreational fisherman. Admittedly - I only fished a few years without one and saw a fairly dramatic increase in the # of hookups after adding one. The key a lot of times is repeating the set up that works (lead, depth, angle & speed) and the down speed takes the "guesswork" out of it.

I definitely agree that temp a lot of times isn't all that important IF the fish are there and in feeding mode. A lot of times though finding the right temp or a temp break puts you on active fish.

As far as recommendations are concerned I would highly recommend the Depth Raider w/the Sub Troll second, $$$ is roughly the same. I personally like the large digital readout of the DR and the smaller display and probe vs. the sub-troll. I fish w/both (not on the same boat :no: ) and they are both quality units.

My two cents. DAN

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Anyone else besides Hitman running a Fish Hawk?

I used to, finally got too fed up with the numbers jumping around and lost all confdence in it. So I bought a Depth Raider last year and love it. Most of the guys I know have the Subtroll since Moor is local right here in Buffalo, NY and have fished on several boats with that unit and it is just as reliable (actually, the same technology as the Depth Raider, which Moor developed around 20 years ago) I just like the digital display over the analog, otherwise, they are both great units.

As the others have stated, maybe the unpredictable current situation is worse here on Lake Ontario (especially here on the west end with the Niagara river Outflow) but I would give up my graph before my down speed and temp.

Tim

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  • 4 weeks later...

Doesnt anyone own the cannon?We are going to purchase one these to for this year. I see the cannon has a light sensitivity sensor and tells you what exact depth your ball is at.I dont believe any of the other ones have those features and its 100 dollars cheaper.Id like to kno a lil about the cannons before i buy one so if anyone owns one of these hows it been working for you?Leaning towards the Cannons with the Fish Hawk a close second.

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Sea-Mac

I have fished on a couple boats with the Cannon Speed and Temp and they are nice. It seemed to me they worked better than the Fish Hawk, less trouble comminicating between the probe and screen than the fish hawks I have seen operating. Only down fall I can see is the Cannon has to be put on the same rigger all the time where as the Fish Hawk can be moved to what ever rigger you want it on. If you have any questions on the Fish Hawk shoot Matt(bluedevil) pm, he has one on his boat.

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I had a fish hawk for years. It did its job, although not well compared to the new technology. I am purchasing a Depth Raider thie week. I have a friend who ran one the last half of '06 and loved it compared to the fish hawk he used for years. The fish hawk probe it tiny comapared to the other companies which is nice for blowback purposes.

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You won't be disappointed Rich. Nothing but good to say about the unit, and the support. One tip: run the power lead from the unit directly to the battery. Not thru the existing wiring or fuse block at the helm. The Hawk did it's job for over 15 years, but it's nice to see a larger and accurate display that doesn't bounce all over as well as the ezz of installation.

Hank

L&M

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Hi all, after reading all of these posts I'm kinda stuck on a choice to get a refurbished display for my fishhawk (mines dead :mad:) I sent it in to be checked out and the processor is fried, so for me to get a refurbished one the cost is $170 bucks just for the display. Or $300 for a new up to date display, or $500 for a new everything. Anyone want to buy an extra probe for their fishhawk? I guess I need to go check some prices on the ones you guys use and posted about in here, I'm mostly using it for my speed at the ball.

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  • 3 months later...

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