Planer Boards

Something new I've gotten into and I have to blame Jim for doing this, he's the one that showed me the boards he had and I of course had to get some!  There are many different styles on the market with even more price differences but, for what I do and how I use them and the size of my boat, I've gone with the preverbal walleye style board.  The big difference in this board as compared to the full blown double wood 10 lb board, other than price, is the size.  Very small, light and relatively inexpensive, these boards on the last few outings have really proven their worth.

There are a couple of different theories for the use of planer boards, one is to give more action to the lure, especially when you've got wave conditions.  You can only imagine what that lure looks like when the board is yanking out of the water and making all kinds of "spurting" motions!!  The other theory is that it gets the lure further away from the boat, in other words, as you pass over those surface fish and the boat spooks them, they either go down or out to the sides of the boat and hence miss your lure which is trailing right behind the boat.  The last few times out its been the latter theory that may be the reason why I'm taking a few more fish.  The boards are easy to hook up BUT, one criticism is the method in which they release.  At the rear of the board (see pic) is a peg that is spring loaded and always holds the line in that slot.  On the front of the board is a clip similar to a downrigger clip. The way it is supposed to work is that when a fish hits your lure the line releases from the front clip but is held onto the line by that rear slot, and the board merely rides the line all the way down to the hook.  This seems like it should be OK but, and I haven't tried this yet, with the board right in the fishes noodle I can see problems and the hook possibly being pulled out by the board.  These little boards really pull when they are submerged so no doubt they'd do the same when a a fish is on.   What I do (and what Jim suggested I do) is put out at least 100' of line behind the board, then clip it on tight so the line doesn't come off the board and then, when you get the board reeled to the boat just remove it.  This does work pretty good but as mentioned sometimes that board digs into the water and it can be tough to get out!  All in all though, if this little gizmo increases your odds of getting fish its a worthwhile investment, about $25.00 at Russell Sports in Calgary.  There are some cheapo knockoffs so stick with the "Gary Roach" brand if you can, pretty good rig!