Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I bought my first fish hawk and was curious when fishing how to know when you in current. lets just say you are trolling at boat speed of 2.1 mph and the prob 50 feet down is 2.5. should the speed at the ball be faster than boat speed or opposite to catch fish?

PLEASE HELP.

thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faster at the ball means your ball is in some form of current against the top. Watch rigger and diver lines to see at what angle you are actually going through the down current at. But yes into current or higher speed at ball is generally best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks alot so not only looking at speed also look at how the left and right side of poles bend. basically should have them bending the same?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

faster on ball and all lines pulling straight is a good indicator that you are straight into current. faster and lines pulling to port means the current is quartering into you from starboard. slower at the ball means the down current is pushing the back off the ball quicker than the boat is travelling sog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

keep in mind that different presentations into the current whether it be quartering or straight on or hell with current may work on different days but as a very general rule of thumb finding current and nose in may be best to start with when getting the hang of it. This is just how I have learned it and may be completely different for other skippers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brett, If you're surface speed is from the Fish Hawk unit you are going to want to calibrate the surface speed to the probe. The way I did this was to wait for a very calm day and proceed as follows:

1. Start trolling at a consistent speed. I did this at about 2.5 mph.

2. Let the probe down only 2-3 ft on the rigger (until you get a reading from the probe to show up)

3. Wait for the numbers to stabilize on the Fish Hawk (both surface & probe).

4. Once stable, are the probe and surface speed the same?

5. If NOT, adjust the surface speed calibration on the Fish Hawk display until they are the same (or close)

6. Once calibrated (or they were the same to begin with) turn around 180 degrees

7. Wait for the numbers to stabilize on the Fish Hawk (both surface & probe).

8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 until you are happy with the results (closely matching speeds).

Now, if the calibration has been done, to read the unit lets go to your scenario:

Surface speed is 2.1 mph & downspeed is 2.5 mph

Now as to where the current is it can be hard to tell without actually being out on the water. There can be several scenarios:

(1) Surface current is pushing your boat in the trolling directing at 0.4 mph, and no current below

(2) There is no surface current, and the current below is traveling towards you at 0.4 mph

(3) Combination of surface current pushing your boat and the current below adding up to a 0.4 mph difference

(4) Both currents are flowing the same direction with different speeds.

Additional Notes:

You can often compare GPS speed to the help you determine the current conditions as well.

If want to get even more complicated you can calibrate the Fish Hawk speed to match GPS speed - but you have to make sure there is NO surface current.

Also remember if the downrigger lines aren't straight behind the boat the probe is not likely tracking straight either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!!!! JDH thank you so much really appreciate it and also BOSS HAWG.

I didnt know you had to calibrate it. when we wer fishing sunday it was going all over the board and was hard finding current

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With current its not so much the speed or speed separation as whether you are trolling into the current or not. Usually its better to troll into the current but when you have to troll with the current you may have to speed up to get the right action on your lures.

Actual speed at the ball you may need to vary a little until you get bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going directly into a current at the downrigger is usually best to catch fish but if the current is less than 1 mph, I have found it does not make a lot of difference. To keep lures running straight behind the boat it is also best to run into or with the current.

In any case, you want to use the down speed to determine how fast to run. The surface and/or GPS speed really has nothing to do with how fast the lure is running -- it is just a measurement to help you determine how much current you have below. Assuming you have calibrated the X4D surface and probe as outlined above, using the FishHawk readings to compare speeds is going to provide much better info as far as the speed of the current. If you catch a fish note the down speed and try to replicate it in whatever direction you are traveling.

A technique that works well to vary your speed and find out what the fish want relative to the current is to run an "S" pattern when trolling. The rods on the inside of the turn will run slower and the ones on the outside of the turn will run faster. So if you get hits on the outside rods, speed up around .2 mph on a "straight" troll. Hits on the inside rods... slow the boat by about .2 on the down speed. Generally the "S" turn pattern will not have a lot of effect on stern downrigger rods -- it will be the outdown riggers, divers and leadcore/coppers on boards that are sped up. The stern downriggers are close to the boat so they are the pivot point on the turns. The further a lure is from the boat, the faster it will be running on turns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're just going to have to experiment out on the water. Typically to bottom currents on Lake Michigan travel counterclockwise (Northish near Holland / Grand Haven) but they can vary significantly depending on wind conditions (is the Lake turning over or not?).

One thing to look for is if the downrigger cables are angled to the sides. This will give you the direction of any current you are fishing. Then you have to figure out which way is trolling with the current.

If you are confident in your Fish Hawk speeds and compare them to GPS speed you should be able to determine which direction the current is flowing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turning is also another way to tell if you are going into the current. The more you turn into the current the faster your down speed. As you turn out of the current your speed will drop. Typically its not more than a few tenths, and if there's not much current sometimes its difficult to tell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fishon,

I have been fishing for years with a fish hawk and still sometimes get confused about "which direction the current is coming from." With surface currents, sub-surface currents and bottom currents, there can be a lot of things going on. The two most significant tools we use to help us find the "current", is the speed at the cannonball and the Speed Over Ground or GPS Speed. While trying to keep the down speed or speed at the cannonball consistent, we look at the SOG or GPS speed while trolling different directions. If you want to troll into the current you want your down speed to be higher than your SOG or GPS speed. **As a general rule you want to be trolling in the direction where your SOG or GPS Speed is at its slowest while still keeping your down speed consistent** We are not big fans of trolling in a direction where our SOG or GPS speed is fast relative to our down speed.

This takes time and practice to understand and use, but there is no question that a decent understanding of this has put more fish in our box.

Notes:

By "Current" I mean the current at your target depth or cannonball depth not necessarily surface current or anything like that

Some days trolling into the current really matters and other days it does not

Your SOG or GPS speed and your down speed are likely not calibrated exact, but they are likely relative enough to get a good idea of fast and slow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you know I you are in a current or how to find one

It isn't really important to "find" a current. The bigger concern is that when you find predator and/or bait fish on the graph, you want to be able to identify the direction and speed of the current at their depth so that the lures can be run at a speed that optimizes the action of the lures.

This is where comparing the downspeed to the surface speed on the FishHawk is important to determine the speed of the current. In any case, you want to use the downspeed as the indicator of how fast to go -- assuming that you are fishing for fish at the depth of the probe.

Watching your downrigger cables and diver rods will tell you which direction the current is going -- which ever way the wire/line is going away from the side of the boat is the direction the current is going. If you are going on a straight line troll and the lines are all going straight out the back then you are either going directly into or with the current.

One way to think of a down current is what you need to do when walking on a moving sidewalk (like they have at many big airports). You are the lure and the moving sidewalk is the current. If you are standing (not walking) you will be moving at the same speed as the "current" at say 1.5 mph. If you want the lure to go 2.5 mph, you will have to start walking at 1.0 mph (1.5 + 1 = 2.5). On the other hand, lets say you are walking against the way the walkway is moving. If again the walkway/current is moving at 1.5 mph and you start walking at 1.5 mph you will stay in the same spot. To go 2.5 mph, you must walk at 1.5 mph (the current speed) + another 2.5 mph... so you must walk at 4 mph "surface" speed to get the 2.5 mph at the lure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried to calibrate it Saturday morning on pigeon lake and it kept on moving speeds on me. Went from 2.4 to 3.1 and couldn't keep it steady. Does the driver has to keep te boat perfectly straight or is that normal it moving speeds like that. After getting on the big lake it changes speeds a lot also at the ball and boat speed. People who have fosh Hawks do you have the same thing happen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also when I find a current were bottom speed is .4 faster I have it and stay straight then it's gone doesn't it stay the same for a while or what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen my X4 jumping around as you describe. It does vary a little .1 or .2 in most cases. To get a steady speed you do need to keep the boat straight or it will show different speeds when going different directions -- that is the main purpose of having the FH in the first place.

It is somewhat rare, but sometimes you can get erratic readings if you have a fishfinder with a low frequency 50 or 83 kHz transducer mounted nearby the FH transducer. Best is to have them mounted on opposite sides of the boat. I have a 8.5' beam boat and can get readings from the probe regardless of which downrigger I hook it to.

I would suggest contacting FishHawk (218-454-4760 or fill out the servide form at http://www.fishhawkelectronics.com/downrigger/service-center.htmlv if you continue to have issues. Treavor is great to work with and wants to have happy customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...