Planer Fishing - Small Boat Techniques

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Instructor: RJ Boyle
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Learn the basics of planer fishing from experienced south Florida fishermen, RJ Boyle. He emphasizes having a clutter-free boat, gear, and rigs for saltwater fishing. He also teaches techniques for engaging and disengaging planers, ensuring smoother fishing and avoiding tangles. Mastering these techniques will help you catch more fish in nearshore waters.

Description / Review / Instructor

When it comes to understanding saltwater trolling planers and the setup for center console boats, a solid recommendation is to take a simple approach. Do not overcomplicate the process. Your tackle, baits, and bait rig needs are super manageable. With this planer fishing video featuring RJ Boyle, you will learn how simple it really is to deploy trolling planers.


Starting Off Right

A good rule of thumb is to start with a clean, well-organized boat. Get the clutter off the deck. This allows for:

  • Ease of movement for anglers
  • Ease of access to your bait box, gaffs, and de-hookers

You will need two different sizes of saltwater trolling planers:

  1. For the long line, a small number 3 or 4 planer is all you need.
  2. For the short line, a bigger number 6 or 8 planer works wonders.

Communication is Key

Before you start dropping your lines and planers into the water, be sure to communicate your every step with the boat driver. The last thing you need is to get the lines all fetched up before you get the day started. So, make sure the driver is headed on a straight course before the first line goes in.

  • Start by putting your long line out first.
  • Engage the planer prior to anyone else dropping the short line in.
  • Be smart about deploying your fishing planers.

Expert Tips from RJ

RJ will demonstrate how to fish with planers in a methodical way. He will show you:

  • How to put the baits out
  • Set the first planer before moving to the next

You will only be using two planers, a long and short. One thing to pay close attention to is how he shows you ways to engage and disengage or trip the saltwater fishing planers. This can be hard for fishermen, so knowing his nifty technique will save you a lot of headaches. Be sure to also consider how to engage the drag, so as not to foul your setup.

Avoiding Tangles

  • Start with your long line.
  • Once your long planer is engaged and tracking, it's time to deploy the short.
  • Be cautious! This is where things can get tangled up if you don't pay close attention.
  • With your long out, turn the boat in the opposite direction or away from the second rod.

For instance, if your second rod is on the starboard (right side if looking to the stern) side, move the boat in a gradual turn to the port (left) side. This will prevent the lines from crossing and getting tangled.

Wrapping Up

You will see exactly how to do this in this planer fishing video. Keep in mind, we are demonstrating the basics of planer fishing. Once you have this process down, you are well on your way to catching a lot more fish.

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