How a downrigger can help you catch more fish
Bringing in a large catch after a day out on the boat is every fisherman's (or woman's) dream. You might just find that a downrigger is your way to achieve that wish. Used correctly, this piece of equipment can bring many benefits to your fishing game. Here's how.
How a downrigger works
A downrigger is similar to an outrigger in that it allows you to place the bait where you want it. However, where an outrigger lifts it to the surface and into water clear of the propeller's bubble trail, a down rigger drops your bait or lure to a depth of your choosing.
It does this using a weight of your choice attached to the downrigger line. Once you've let your bait or lure drop back the required distance from your boat, you then attach the downrigger line via a release clip and lower it all down into the water until it hits the depths you wanted to achieve.
One misconception many people have around downriggers is that, when you've hooked a fish, you're required to reel the weight in along with your catch. However, this isn't the case. Once a fish bites, the release clip detaches, separating the two lines. This leaves you free to worry solely about bringing in your catch.
The benefits a downrigger brings to your fishing
A downrigger helps improve your fishing through a few different ways. These include:
Controlling your bait depth
As already mentioned above, a downrigger gives you control over how deep your bait or lure sits in the water. This allows you to adjust for a variety of factors and ensure you're at the right level to tempt the fish showing on the fish finder. Additionally, you're able to cover all bases by having lures or bait at a variety of depths without having to worry about tangling.
Being able to control this aspect is highly useful, as all fish have their comfort zones within the water. They will change the depth at which they sit depending on the water's temperature, oxygen levels and currents present.
Moves naturally through the water
Due to how the lure or bait trails straight back from the downrigger's weight, its appearance and movement is much more natural. Fish are much more likely to bite when bait or lure appears as close to the real item as possible.
Useful for a variety of environments
A downrigger's benefits aren't limited to one environment. You can use this piece of fishing equipment in both fresh and saltwater, and they are especially useful in strong currents where you might struggle to drop bait low enough otherwise. They're useful for fishing offshore, in estuaries and lakes.
The type of fish you can catch using a downrigger is equally as varied. Some of the species to focus on include snapper, kingfish, marlin, trout and salmon.
Tips and tricks for using your downrigger
Just as with any tool, the more you know about using it the better your results. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you master your downrigger:
- Use it in conjunction with a fish finder - With a fish finder you know exactly where to situate yourself. Being able to drop your bait or lure to the right depth sets you up for a great day's fishing.
- Vary your boat speed and direction - By changing it up, you make the bait or lure look more enticing and natural. Travelling at a constant speed and direction will likely undo your hard work.
- Get your downrigger weight up quickly - Once you've hooked a fish and the downrigger line has detached, reel it up quickly to avoid tangles and cutoffs.
- Keep the tension on your line - It's important to minimise excessive slack, while leaving enough play that the line doesn't release early.
To learn more about downriggers or other fishing accessories, get in touch with a member of the Hunts Marine team today.