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trolling with planers small boat driving
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Trolling with Planers and Small Boat Driving

When trolling with planers on a center console boat, driving is super important. In most aspects of trolling, boat driving plays a central roll in how successful you are in landing fish. Trolling with planers can be a highly effective means of catching wahoo, mackerel, tuna and several other desirable game fish. It is not that complicated, if you focus on understanding a few basic fishing principles. How you drive the boat is one of the more important principles to work on.

This short video from In The Spread features best practices for how to drive a small boat once you are hooked up. This is very important. The first thing to know is never take the boat out of gear. Continue in a straight line. If you slow the boat upon hook up, you could easily get cut off. You need to keep pulling on the fish. You can even bump the throttles up to keep pressure on the fish. It is important to know that wahoo and mackerel have a tendency to swim back towards the boat at hook up. This is why you want to keep moving forward.

So, you have a fish on and start cranking in line. We will provide a few fishing tips on using your reel while it is still in the rod holder. When fishing with a planer, there is no need to take the rod out of the rod holder. You can do all the angling without picking up the rod. As you are cranking, the boat driver needs to focus on making sure the fish on doesn't get caught up in the other line. You do not want to reel in the other planer. You want to leave it out to get another bite.

Once you have the fish coming in, the boat driver should gradually turn the boat in the opposite direction of the fish. If the fish is on the starboard rod, you will be turning to port. This is a gradual turn that will create a clean water alley on the starboard side. You will see in the video just how easy of a turn you should be in.

When the planer comes up, grab the leader and dump the line back in the water. The forward movement of the boat will carry the line away from the boat. Do not put the line in the boat. Putting the line on the deck is a great way to get it tangled with something. If you have line in the boat and the fish does a run, you could have a problem.

As the fish gets withing gaff range, turn the boat gradually in the direction of the fish. Again, with the fish on the starboard side, you will be moving back in that direction. Remember, these are all very gradual turns. No sharp or erratic turns are required. Keep in mind that you should never be taking the boat out of gear.

When you have a fish on, take you time. Be methodical. Make sure the driver is driving in the right direction, at all times. Communication is key when trolling with planers.

Watch more Saltwater Fishing Techniques for Fishing with a Planer

Total time: 08:06
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