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79josh81

Learning to troll salmon on Lake Michigan

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Hey everyone, new member here. So lately I decided to get into trolling Lake Michigan for salmon. I’ve been a fisherman my whole life from fishing small inland lakes from a boat to wading rivers for bass and northern. I currently have a deep v 18’ boat with rod holders but no downriggers yet. I’ve learned to use dipsy’s so far but would like to get into planer boards for my outside lines using 27# 5 and 7 color lead core with planer boards. I’ve never used planer boards or leadcore for that matter.

What size planer boards (brand and model) would work with 5 and 7 color leadcore for salmon on Lake Michigan? And what type boards would be best for a beginner (one with a tattle flag, w/o flag, ease of operation....etc)? Thanks in advance.

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Welcome.

I like the Church walleye boards.  No tattle flags.  I don't like them to release when the fish hits either - because if its set that way sometimes the waves release them.

I'm sure there's more good options out there too.

 

What ports are you going to be fishing?

 

 

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Mostly Sheboygan port. Will the church walleye boards work with the weight of 5 and 7 color leadcore? Is there a certain model number board made by Church that they are? 

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Church walley boards are fine for 5 and 7 colors. They struggle with 10 colors, but as long as it's not real choppy they work. I use an offshore OR-19 release that I set to not release. Lots of guys use the church lockjaw release the same way. Reel the board in to the boat, take the board off, then fight the fish without the board.

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5 & 7 colors will work.  I use the same clips that come with the board.  I also tie in a 10 ft section of mono behind the leadcore to clip the board to.  Then I use 300 yds of braid behind that.

Longer sections of leadcore work better with bigger boards.  I find the Church TX44 boards a little overkill, but I haven't tried any other options.

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17 hours ago, TyeeII said:

Church walley boards are fine for 5 and 7 colors. They struggle with 10 colors, but as long as it's not real choppy they work. I use an offshore OR-19 release that I set to not release. Lots of guys use the church lockjaw release the same way. Reel the board in to the boat, take the board off, then fight the fish without the board.

Thanks for the advice. My plan is 5 and 7 color maximum right now so I should be good then.

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14 hours ago, jdh said:

5 & 7 colors will work.  I use the same clips that come with the board.  I also tie in a 10 ft section of mono behind the leadcore to clip the board to.  Then I use 300 yds of braid behind that.

Longer sections of leadcore work better with bigger boards.  I find the Church TX44 boards a little overkill, but I haven't tried any other options.

Sounds good. Why don’t you just clip right to the braid? I’m finding that some guys do and some don’t.

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Braid is abrasive and tends to eat up the releases.  Also, the releases will fray the braid over time.  I like 30 lb to 40 lb mono to clip the board too because its "sticky" and stretches.  Kind of like a shock absorber in the system.

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Are you tying all of the lines together or using a swivel anywhere in between all of the different lines?

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I've done both.  I prefer to use a small spro barrel swivel between the mono and braid and then use a uni-to-uni knot to connect the leadcore and mono.  A lot of people use the Willis knot for the leadcore but I'm not a fan.

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I like the improved Albright knot for line to line. Hey how would I go about tying lead core line to a flasher? What knot or what’s the technique? I know I will lose some depth of the lead core with having a flasher but need some advice on what knot to use. Basically I want to run a set of planer boards with lead core and a flasher/fly combo shallow.

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You don't tie the leadcore directly to the bait, you tie a leader on the end of the leadcore, and then a snap swivel to the end of the leader. I use 30' of  20# flourocarbon leader for flashers, tied with a willis knot. Never had an issue with the willis knot, but a double uni knot works great too for both mono/flouro or braid tied to leadcore (after removing a few inches of lead from it's sheath), especially with micro leadcore that is too thin to make a willis knot.

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15 minutes ago, TyeeII said:

You don't tie the leadcore directly to the bait, you tie a leader on the end of the leadcore, and then a snap swivel to the end of the leader. I use 30' of  20# flourocarbon leader for flashers, tied with a willis knot. Never had an issue with the willis knot, but a double uni knot works great too for both mono/flouro or braid tied to leadcore (after removing a few inches of lead from it's sheath), especially with micro leadcore that is too thin to make a willis knot.

Ok that makes sense. I’m a little confused with the flashers I bought though. They’re pro troll flashers. Why do they have a snap swivel on the tail of the flasher with the snap facing toward the rear leader for the fly? If anything wouldn’t you want the snap swivel tied to your leader and then you’d connect that to the tail swivel of your flasher? It just seems backwards to me.

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The snap on the back is to hook the fly leader to (you tie a loop in the fly leader).  See if you can't browse through the gallery on this site.  There are some good pictures of how flashers are set up.

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57 minutes ago, jdh said:

The snap on the back is to hook the fly leader to (you tie a loop in the fly leader).  See if you can't browse through the gallery on this site.  There are some good pictures of how flashers are set up.

Thanks for the guidance man. A loop makes total sense now. Regular casting fishing (which is what I’ve done my whole life) doesn’t have a lot of instances where you’re tying a loop for a snap swivel.

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Your best bet would be to find someone in your area to take you on a trip because you will learn a lot more techniques that you can apply or attend a salmon seminar in the winter....you may save money as well and decide you want to run copper with planers. Copper out fishing leadcore 6-1 so far this year....good luck 

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I use standard Off Shore boards but change the release to an R18 and I use a snap swivel in the. back release. I pull full core and 300’  copper w/ no problems.

My friend uses Church Walleye boards and I was surprised that they work so well for full core and 300’ copper. But, he did move the weights all the way back to help them track better.

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Never had any problems pulling 10 color behind a Church Walleye board.  I adjust the weigh fully forward.  Then I turn the forward clip 180 degrees so the open clip end faces the board.  I put the line in the clip so it is behind the clip post and between the clip and the board.  Never comes off and never flips over on me even in rough waters.

Agree with JDH.  Put a length of 40 lb. test between braid backer and lead core to clip the board to the line.

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Standard Orange walleye boards work fine for all lengths of lead and copper. I use 300 feet of copper and they work fine. Move the weight forward to the #2 position. Keep all your boards the same. Buy them at Northwoods (cheapest). Use a rubber band at the back, slip knotted to the line and then fed into the pin ewith the backing line to keep it from sliding down toward the fish if ithe board releases. I tighten up the the board's release to the max tightness and use braid (40-50#) as backing to give you a lot of line (smaller diameter  than monofilament) after the core just in case you hook up a big fish that takes a lot of line.  If you encounter a really rough day, just route the line behind the board's release so that it is impossible to release. If your reel doesn't come with a peg on the spool, put about 50 feet of monofilament on it first before the braid. Braid is so slick, it can spin on the spool. Monofilament will keep that from happening. 95% of my knots are palomar. It's the best as proven by knot wars on YouTube. As for tying line to the leadcore, I remove 2 inches of lead from the end. I then put a loose, simple knot in the leadcore. I move this loose knot up about 3-4" from the end. I then take the monofilament or braid end and insert it into the leadcore without the lead about 1.5". I use a sewing needle to help with the braided line. Use a good pair of nail clippers to cut the end of the monofilament before inserting.  This makes insertion a lot easier. Once you have the 2 together,  (2" of braided should be sticking out the side of the core casing, move the loose knot over to tighten on both lines. Wet and pull hard. I add a double knot on the end of the braided and work it back inside the core casing. This keeps it from slipping through knot.  When reeling in your board, point your rod tip down, close to the water, this makes the board skip over water toward you and not dive under.  One more hint/trick. To maximize backing, load up a spare identical reel backwards (leader 50 feet, lead core and then the backing).  Fill the reel as much as it can handle and then reel it onto the reel that you want it on. Since a 20, 30 or 40 pound salmon will test everything in that system, you don't want to get spooled and loose a big fish just because you don't have enough line on the reel. 

Good luck and tight lines.

Joe

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