Planer Board Walleyes

It has been a slow summer when it comes to planer boarding walleyes.  I did manage to pull one out this weekend, but I’m still finding that I’m having my best luck with slower presentations.

I played around with a variety of baits running a variety of depths, but in the end the only fish I could muster was on a Rapala X-Rap Magnum in a perch pattern.

My setup was using 8 foot trolling rods with Diawa Sealine reels.  I really like the Sealine because it doesn’t have a huge price tag, works well, and it has a line counter.  Knowing how far back my bait is really helps me to keep my bait at a consistent depth.  For the planer board, I use Off Shore Tackle’s in line planer board.  They are inexpensive and work well.  If you are using a really big bait they can struggle a bit, which is when I switch over to a downrigger, but most of they time, they are a great option.

My typical setup is running 100 feet of line out, clipping on the planer board and then letting out another 75-100 feet to get the board away from the boat.  I’ve found that works best, but I always play around with different options.

Most people think of planer boards as being a big water option.  I’ve been using them on my relatively small Minnesota lake near Perham for years.  What I like about them is in the summer months when the water warms up, the walleyes will go out to the deep water and suspend 10-30 feet down feeding on bait fish.  When they are down in the 20+ range I tend to switch over to downriggers for better depth control, but when they are in the top level of the water column, having the planer boards out keeps your bait away from the boat leading to less spooked walleyes.  I’ve never really fished with leadcore line, but that would be another great option if you don’t have downriggers.

I wish I had more to show from my planer boarding this weekend, but the walleyes just were not looking for a fast moving bait.  I had luck getting a couple others on live bait rigs, which has been my go-to bait of the summer, but I still really enjoy getting out there and covering water with the planer boards.  Good luck and share your stories with me!


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