When it comes to freshwater fishing, few experiences can rival the thrill of salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. The combination of picturesque landscapes, abundant salmon populations, and the strategic use of planer boards creates a perfect recipe for an exciting angling adventure. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of planer boards and uncover why they are a valuable tool for any salmon angler on Lake Michigan.
Understanding Planer Boards
Planer boards are specialized devices used in trolling, a fishing technique commonly employed in large bodies of water like Lake Michigan. These boards are designed to spread out fishing lines and keep them away from the boat, creating a wider fishing area and reducing the chances of spooking fish. They consist of a mast, a flag, and a keel, which work together to ensure optimal performance.
Benefits of Planer Boards in Salmon Fishing
Using planer boards offers several advantages in salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. They allow anglers to cover a larger expanse of water, effectively increasing the chances of encountering active salmon. By spreading out multiple lines, fishermen can target different depths and distances from the boat, presenting bait in a more appealing manner. They also help in reducing line tangles. With the lateral positioning of the lines, they are less likely to cross over one another, reducing the risk of knots and the frustrating task of untangling lines.
Another benefit is that planer boards provide visual cues to detect fish strikes. When a fish strikes the bait, the pressure on the line causes the flag on the board to pop up, signaling a potential catch. This allows anglers to easily spot which line has been hit and swiftly reel in the fish.
Choosing the Right Planer Boards
Selecting the appropriate planer boards for salmon fishing is crucial for a successful outing. Factors to consider include the size of the board, the material it is made of (commonly plastic or wood), and the type of release mechanism. It is important to match the size of the board to the weight of the lures being used to ensure proper balance and control. Additionally, considering the release mechanism is essential, as it affects the ease of deployment and the sensitivity of detecting strikes.
Most salmon fishing boats in Lake Michigan tend to use large planer boards that are plastic in composition. A pro tip is to put your name and phone number on them in case they accidentally get released from a line or a line break happens. In some cases, fellow fishermen may get them back to you if you do so!
Increased Coverage and Presentation
Planer boards allow anglers to cover a larger area of water compared to traditional fishing methods. By spreading out multiple lines using planer boards, fishermen can present their bait or lures at different distances from the boat and target various depths simultaneously. This increases the chances of encountering active fish and maximizes the potential for successful catches.
Planer boards provide visual cues that help anglers detect fish strikes. When a fish bites the bait, the pressure on the line causes the flag on the planer board to pop up, indicating a potential catch. This immediate visual feedback allows anglers to identify which line has been hit and promptly respond by reeling in the fish. This feature is particularly valuable when using multiple lines, as it allows for efficient and targeted retrieval of catches.
Planer boards help in maintaining a stealthier approach to fishing. By keeping the fishing lines away from the boat, planer boards reduce the chances of scaring or spooking fish. This is especially important in situations where fish may be easily startled, such as in clear or shallow waters. The ability to present bait at a distance from the boat minimizes any disturbances caused by the boat’s presence and increases the likelihood of enticing fish to strike.
Effective Techniques and Tips
To maximize the effectiveness of planer boards in salmon fishing, it is important to employ certain techniques and follow a few tips. Firstly, understanding the preferred depth and feeding patterns of salmon in Lake Michigan is crucial. By adjusting the depth at which the bait is presented, anglers can entice the fish more effectively.
Most fishermen vary the length of copper line or lead core line that they attach behind the board to increase the chances of attracting fish. This can let you cover different depths of fishing based on the length of weighted line you will be utilizing.
When you are “stacking” multiple planer boards on the same side of a boat, have the shortest and lightest line furthest from the boat and the heaviest, or longest line closest to the boat. This will stop multiple lines from tangling (as much) with experience. Experiment with different spreads to find the most productive arrangement. Practiced fishermen will stack 4 or even 5 “boards” on each side of the boat when they get good at it.
Planer boards are indispensable tools for salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. Their ability to spread out lines, reduce tangles, and provide visual cues for strikes make them invaluable assets for any angler targeting this prized freshwater species. By mastering the use of planer boards and employing effective techniques, anglers can enhance their chances of a memorable and successful salmon fishing experience on the stunning waters of Lake Michigan. The advantages of using planer boards can increase catches, sometimes even being the only way to get some fish to bight when they are sensitive to boat noise. By incorporating planer boards into their fishing arsenal, anglers can significantly enhance their chances of a productive and rewarding fishing experience.