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We dont have a down speed set up at this point. Question is is there any way to tell from surface speed approximatley what your down spped is?On Sunday we were running about 3 on the surface thinking we were around 2.5 down 100 ft . Are we way off base with that guess I know currents make a difference along with direction.We had alot of fish come up and look and go back down thinking now we were to fast Thanks

 

 

 

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Yup, consider a 1 mph current. Go in one direction into current at 3 mph GPS, your lure is travelling 4 mph in the water. Go in completely opposite direction (with current), your lure is travelling 2 mph in water.

 

The only time GPS speed is useful is:

 

- if there are no to little currents.

- if you adjust speed and work a particular area and depth, and get hits at a certain GPS speed. Repeat the same direction and depth and GPS speed and you should more or less get back to the same down speed. Lots of guys without down speed do this.

 

You can also watch the angle of your dipsey rods. Other guys use the "humm" of the wire or downrigger cable and are tuned into what the pitch should sound like.

 

Old technology tied a 2 lb ball weight to a spare rod, and looked at the angle the line was entering the water. That would tell you average down speed (not at lure, as this method measures drag on the cable and ball, and so it measures the current from top to bottom, which can change).

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Down rigger cable angles should be around 45 degrees

I always here guys say that, but it all depends on weight of down rigger ball and depth for blow back. I use a 12lb torpedo and I can tell you its not 45 degrees when I'm fishing 100 plus ft specially dependent on current. Least for my boat and down riggers/weights. 

 

I got a Fish Hawk my 3rd year into fishing Lady O and I can tell you my hook up rate went WAY up.....

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We're using 8 lb weights so between that and no down speed it's going to be a challenge next year heavier weights and hopefully fish hawk for now we try to follow the speed of boats near us and hope for the best.

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Gb. If youhad fish coming up and looking that is a good thing. Just start tweeking things in your program as far as color change ups, speeding up or down, even direction of your troll. When you do get a hit. Try to replicate what you did. Heavier weights and a down speed and temp will aid you greatly. Good luck and dont get discouraged.

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Start at GPS speed = 2.5 mph. Make wide S turns. If fish hit on outside lure they want it faster, if it hits on inside lure they want it slower. Do this for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

If that doesn't work (no hits whatsoever), bump the speed DOWN first, to 2.2 mph.  Repeat.

 

If that doesn't work, bump the speed UP to 2.7 mph. Repeat.

 

If that doesn't work, go to 2.0 mph, then 3.0 mph.

 

Remember this only works travelling one direction. Once you change direction, you have to start over again.  If you hit fish in an area, record speed and direction. Circle through the area again at same speed and bearing, and repeat.

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I always check my equipment (bait) to ensure I understand it limits before sending it down for the first time.

 

Example: I set my speed over ground (SOG) to 1.5 MPH to start and then view the equipment’s action off the side of the boat. I then increase the boat (SOG) in 0.5 MPH increments until it fails to perform.

 

Be sure that your knot to swivel is straight or your results will be inaccurate.

 

These findings has helped me to sort out which manufacture spoons and size work best with each other, along with the minimum and maximum down (ball) speed I can run. Given there are to many variables for each of our own setups choices, line type, size, leader, swivel, ext… you get the idea.

 

Additionally I found this information some time ago that I found help full as I was putting my program together. I refer back to it at times when things get slow or I question what I could do to improve.

http://www.hotspotlures.com/booklet.pdf

Dave

Edited by David R
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Troll between 2.5mph and 3mph on your GPS and you will be fine 90% of the time. If running spoons, aim for 2.8-3mph. If dodgers, 2.5-2.8mph. There are times where the current is strong, but this is close enough a majority of the time.

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