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Backtrolling - By Ray Carignan OWC

The importance of boat control, is too often neglected by the majority of anglers. Back trolling is the ultimate form of boat control: it allows for the most accurate positioning and presentation at very low speeds. Often, it will be the only technique capable of reaching sportfish under negative conditions.

It's important for anglers to position themselves properly in the boat. The one closest to the bow should fish forward, the center angler to the right, while the pilot covers the left.

Now let's go over a typical backtrolling presentation: once you've arrived over the fishing area and after pinpointing the structure or school of fish with the sonar you should enter the waypoint into the GPS memory.

At this moment you'll have to choose one of two different approaches: one is to hover over the spot by backing into the wind or current while fishing, once past the structure or the concentration of fish...shift into neutral to let the boat drift back to it's starting point. The second option consists of continuous backtrolling over a selected depth all around the structure. With this technique any structure can be thoroughly checked out with ease and accuracy. The tiller equipped outboard responds faster and more easily to directional changes than motors controlled by a remote steering wheel. On calm days the use of an electric motor is more appropriate.

The outboard should be fine-tuned to obtain the slowest possible idle speed. This will allow very low backtrolling speeds and make any gear changes smoother and quieter. Backtrolling is the only truly efficient method to use for following depth contours, especially when in wind or current.

The angler can perform the tricky maneuvers dictated by sharp inside structure turns without losing his preferred depth. Backtrolling is not just a trolling method, it’s a complete boat control system built around the presentation of jigs, live bait and Carolina rigs. It is an easy technique truly accessible to everyone...

You should try it a try on your next outing.


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Fine tuning your deep water, trout & salmon presentation - By Ray Carignan

Water temperature is a primary determinant of fish distribution. Temperature may act to concentrate food organisms that attract fish, or may be a physiological barrier through which fish will not move. To constantly catch trout and salmon in summer.

It’s extremely important to know the biological needs of these gamefish!

To find the preferred temperature range of a targeted species it's worth investing in an electronic hand held Fish Hawk thermometer equipped with a digital line counting system.

To operate just lower the business end of the instrument toward the bottom. Its multiple use probe will give you instant temperature and light intensity readings plus lure color analysis to depths of 200 feet on some models. From the readings of this unit we're trying to establish the whereabouts of two comfort zones:

First the one for predators; the second for preferred preyfish. 21 secs

The first reading we look for is the water temperatures and the depth range of the thermocline. This data will help fine tune our presentation.

Then we have to find the intensity of light penetration and the recommended lure colors at selected depths.

Salmonids are more active when they occupy their preferred temperature range. During the summer doldrums they will intensify their search for these comfort zones particularly when food is abundant and close by.

Even while resting, inactive within their confort zone, they can be proded into an attack mode. By the simple appearance of a metallic intruder. Brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon generally prefer a temperature range higher then lake trout. They will often position themselves above the thermocline or even near the surface after a feeding raid bellow the thermocline. Preyfish also have their favorite temperatures trout and salmon will share these zones when engaged in the hunt. For sportfish and baitfish comfortable temperatures is a priority.

The latest invention to hit the waves is the Walker Temp Sense: This temperature sensor system uses a special kind of downrigger cable which conducts an electrical signal from a sensor placed near the downrigger weight. As the weight is lowered, temperatures are read on a display unit on the boat. This equipment is flexible enough for practically any application, whether you are taking an isolated survey for the water column or a continuous reading at various depths while trolling.

The readings will be accurate without any interruptions unlike other models using telemetry.

This device continually relay data to the Temp Sense microprocessor, the information allows for rapid adjustments to keep the lures in the most productive temperature zone.

Carefully conserve and record the fishing day's data, it can be very useful in predicting future fish location. Knowledge of fish temperature preferences, coupled with the ability to measure temperature at various depths can contribute to angling success.

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