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Brushing the Brush
Learn how to fish submerged brush
and these snaggy areas can become golden opportunities . . . .MORE
Dead in the Water
Deadsticks Liven The Action
In fishing jargon, a deadstick is a second or third rod
you're legally allowed to fish with in most (but not all) states
and provinces . . . .MORE
Eyes on Flies
A Lake Winnebago guide
operating out of Tew's Two Bait and Tackle in Oshkosh,
Wisconsin, consistently catches walleyes, many exceeding 4
pounds, on streamer flies . . . .MORE
When do five walleyes beat a flush? When a
reservoir is at flood stage and waters roar downstream . . . .MORE
Open-Water Walleyes in Winter
The Weather Channel leaves the rest of the
country with the impression that Colorado during winter is cold
and constantly snowing, that only the heartiest of anglers dare
to venture forth . . . .
|As seen in the Walleye In-Sider®
The Right Angle
Use The Angle Of The Dangle to
Estimate Lure Running Depth
Some depth questions are
easy to answer. "When fish are on the bottom or close to it and
you're using jigs or bottom bouncers with livebait, how deep do
you fish? Or when fish are near the bottom or suspended and
conditions are right for slip bobbers, how deep do you fish?"
Other questions may appear to be easily answered, but the
responses often are mere guesses. "If fish are suspended and
you're trolling crankbaits or spinner rigs and livebait, how
deep are your baits running?" The most frequent answer is, "The
package indicates how deep the lure runs." Maybe, but probably
The listed operating depth as indicated on a lure package is
based on three factors; line diameter (usually 10-pound line),
length of line from the boat, and boat speed. Most of the time,
a manufacturer doesn't indicate how much line to deploy to
achieve a specific or maximum depth. Books such as Crankbaits In-Depth
and Precision Trolling address
these problems, but these books don't fit into your pocket and
not all lures are listed.
the boat is in motion at your
desired trolling speed. Using the 45-45-90 triangle, multiply
the depth of the fish by the square root of 2 (1.41). This
indicates the amount of line needed to achieve the desired
depth. When using the 60-degree angle, multiply the depth of the
fish by 2 to determine the amount of line to let out.
HIGH SCHOOL GEOMETRY APPLIED
To apply this system, it's necessary to understand two key right
triangles: the 45-45-90 and the 30-60-90. On the illustration,
the vertical line applies to the depth of the fish, while the
slanted line refers to the length of line needed to achieve the
The 45 and 60 degree angles refer to the angle at
which your line enters the water, while
HERE FOR A PRINTABLE .PDF FILE
To use these programs effectively:
• Have the boat moving at the desired trolling speed before
placing the lure or livebait rig in the water.
• When fishing cranks, use floating or shallow-running models.
• Attach an OffShore Snap weight from 5 to 50 feet up the line
from the lure. The correct amount of weight is the amount
necessary to achieve the desired 45- or 60-degree angle. I
prefer to use the 60-degree angle becuse calculating the amount
of lne to deploy to achieve the desired depth is easier.
• After determining the depth you want the lure or bait to run,
multiply the depth by 1.41 for the 45-degree angle of entry into
the water, by 2 for the 60-degree angle.
Using the OffShore Snap Weight system makes changing weights
easy and time effective. It also makes adding heavier weights
easier when you need to troll faster, lighter to move slower.
Since a floating, shallow-running, or suspending lure runs close
to the same level as the snap weight (especially the closer the
weight is to the lure or shallower the maximum running depth of
the lure), determining how much line to let out is easy. The 45-
or 60-degree angle is determined by how far the Snap Weight
moves from vertical. A livebait rig tends to run at the same
level as the Snap Weight regardless of the length of the leader.
(Use a floating rig with an exceptionally long distance between
the Snap Weight and the rig.)
To determine how deep to fish, use the fish-track feature of
your depthfinder. This feature on my Lowrance 350A places a
numerical value abouve each fish I pass over, indicating that
fishes' depth. Then I calculate how much line to deploy, using
the 45- or 60-degree formula, to get my baits in the strike
You could carry a pocket calculator to quickly calculate. But a
calculator doesn't indicate the angle a line is entering the
water. So I've developed a set of pocket-size charts to help
with these problems.
To use the charts, hold your rod parallel to the water, relate
the tip of the triangle to the tip of your rod, and compare
angles. If the angle is greater than that shown on the chart,
increase the weight on your Snap Weight clip. If the angle is
less, reduce the amount of weight until you reach the desired
angle. Remember, if the weight remains constant, increasing
trolling speed increases the angle, and decreasing speed
decreases the angle. Changing speeds or trolling in an "S"
curve, which has the same effect as increasing and decreasing
speed, often triggers fish.
The vertical line on the chart shows the depth your bait will
run. The sloped line (hypotenuse of the triangle) indicates the
length of line to let out before attaching weight.
These charts soon will be included in OffShore Tackle's Snap
Weight kits. Meanwhile, click on these charts for a printable
.PDF file, print them, laminate them,
and carry them in your shirt pocket. I've been using this system
for several years and find that it takes much of the guesswork
out of depth control. Although not perfect, it's close enough
for most situations. High school geometry wasn't a waste of time