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Outriggers for trolling?


pfu

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I purchased a 2000 Grady White Gulfstream 232 last July with the intent to fish LO and off the coast of Maine. Boat previously was located in Maryland (now on Lake Champlain – Vermont side) and included outrigger poles. Never thought about how I might use them for freshwater trolling and after not seeing much on YouTube other than saltwater videos thought why not ask the experts. Note I do have Canon downriggers mounted for when the fish go deep.

 

I have never had planer boards for early season trolling and had thought of making or purchasing some but after seeing the outrigger poles (like new condition) in my garage all winter I figure they should have some value. Has anyone used outrigger poles for topwater trolling on freshwater? Any best practices or advice I should consider?

 

Note I searched and read several similar post but most are old. Wasn’t sure if still used or not.

 

Edited by pfu
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You mentioned the outrigger poles but not whether you have the holders installed as they are the expensive part of the  equation. I've used outriggers for many years and have used both the aluminum poles and the fiberglass. The aluminum are better as they don't flex as much. The type and positioning of the holders are important as you want the angle to be fairly low to the water but high enough that the poles don't drag the surface in the waves. Usually positioned about 45 degrees or so.

 

A lot of folks used to use outriggers but in recent years the big boards and then inlines  (or both) have pretty much taken over. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. The inlines are the most convenient, and easily adjusted, the big boards excel in rougher water and at handling bigger setups (e.g. long coppers etc.) but properly set up outriggers can not only run multiple lines like the big boards but they and ward off traffic (e.g. in derbies) where people can see them for long distances. On the downside contrasted with the inlines and some of the big boards they aren't as maneuverable in in terms of regulating the distances from the boat lures are run horizontally from the boat. In very rough water they can "slap" the water surface (especially if not installed at the proper angle) but when it is that rough even the boards can suck too:smile:. If you intend to run heavy stuff (e.g. 600 coppers etc.) big boards from a mast may be preferable. For toplining, running short coppers or leadcores, and running small to medium dipsies the outriggers will suffice. I have tried many releases for the outriggers over the years and for the main release I stick with the Black outrigger model release (very adjustable and predictable tension). For additional lines run on them I used homemade rubberband releases with shower hooks which I could just slide down the outrigger line (sometimes I weighted them to slide better).

Edited by Sk8man
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I do have the holders mounted on the boat (came installed). Aluminum poles fully rigged with clips but not sure if ever used.

 

attached picture shows the holders (and my dad).

 

 

 

 

9E2B8D2E-E929-4ECA-BB4D-AEC1A6D4327A.jpeg

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Looks like you're good to go Nice rig by the way.:smile: Give them a try and see how you like them. They are always a good standby anyhow.

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For years I have wanted a GW with hardtop and twin outboards. Had a Byliner Ciera 2655 that brought many fish into the boat but lacked deck space. Did like the cuddly fridge though to keep the beer cold. Although I went smaller, wider beam and much more fishing space. Will be trying the outriggers in some fashion - maybe at the end of March!

 

 

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