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Author Topic: downrigger ball on your fish finder  (Read 947 times)

Offline SteelheadTed

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downrigger ball on your fish finder
« on: July 13, 2020, 05:33:06 PM »
I saw a youtube video where the maker of the video argued that you should place your downrigger on your boat as far forward as you need such that you can see it on your fish finder.  That way you know exactly where it is and can react to fish as you see them pass under.  This seemed like good advice.  When I placed my downrigger I put it further towards the bow than I had planned to (but still close enough to the tiller handle that I could operate it when alone).  BUT, I don't see it on my fish finder!  My boat is only 16 feet long so I can't go too much further forward without making it harder to run the downrigger based on how the two fixed seats are arranged.

I guess I am curious if anyone else has experimented with this and been successful.  Is it an advantage?
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Offline Stein

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2020, 05:39:05 PM »
My downrigger is on the back corner of my boat and I can see it clearly on the sounder.

How big of a ball are you using?  Maybe it's too small and it's getting pushed way back at trolling speed.

Offline SteelheadTed

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 05:49:45 PM »
My downrigger is on the back corner of my boat and I can see it clearly on the sounder.

How big of a ball are you using?  Maybe it's too small and it's getting pushed way back at trolling speed.

I've been using 15 pound balls, which seems big enough to get a sounding!  I am a newb at all this so I don't discount I am doing something wrong.  I think I have the trolling thing figured out and I mark fish with the fish finder so I think that is working correctly.  I run braid so I am still trying to figure out what the right line angle is since it seems to cut through the water more easily than the cable.
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Offline Angry Perch

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 05:53:59 PM »
Do you see it on the finder when you balls are dropping at any point? Is your transducer relatively level in relation to the water?

Offline Stein

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2020, 05:57:31 PM »
I run 15 pounders as well, they show up like a neon light on the screen, I actually wish I could get them to not show up.  I see both the ball and my release much lighter several feet above it.  When I'm fishing shallow I only see one but when I'm down 100' I can see both of them clearly.

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 06:22:42 PM »
I see one or both most of the time . depends on what setting I'm running my sonar on.

What depthsounder are you running.  Your gain might be off.

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 06:27:20 PM »
This is my starboard ball going through fish and the bright red flash behind it is a fishing hitting my lure.  Pretty fun to watch when you get your settings dialed in..

Offline Crunchy

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2020, 07:50:38 PM »
I would think if you are picking up your downrigger ball you need to adjust the angle of your sonar.  The rigger wire you be roughly a 45 degree angle from the downrigger towards the boat stern adjust speed to reach this angle.  I assume this is how it was done before all the fancy sonars came out. This would put the ball a good distance behind the boat as you troll.  I prefer to have my sonar pointed a bit forward (towards the bow) to pick up fish and have time to adjust my downrigger depth before I get to the fish.  Not saying there is a right or wrong way of doing it. 

Offline Stein

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2020, 08:01:15 PM »
The wire is at 45 degrees at the surface, but it isn't a straight line but a bow shape.  If it was a straight 45 degree line all the way to your ball, the difference between counter depth and sonar depth would be much more.  I can drop it to the bottom in 100' of water and only be off maybe 10' tops on the counter at 2.5 mph.  If it were 45 degrees all the way to the ball, I would need to let out about 140' of line to hit the bottom.

There is also the cone angle which picks up a pretty good swath at 100', depending on which transducer you have.

Offline Katmai Guy

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2020, 08:19:04 PM »
Even at 120' depth my cable was never at 45deg to the stern at trolling speed (kings-1.5kph, silvers-3kph).  Might be trolling a little fast?
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Offline Katmai Guy

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2020, 08:20:41 PM »
Transducer might have to narrow a field of detection also.
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Offline funkster

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2020, 09:06:56 PM »
My downrigger is on the back corner of my boat and I can see it clearly on the sounder.

How big of a ball are you using?  Maybe it's too small and it's getting pushed way back at trolling speed.

 :yeah:

Same, I run mine closer to the back corner also using 15 pound balls. This was out at the lake but it looks the same out in the salt at faster speeds.

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Offline Wetwoodshunter

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 09:31:23 PM »
Transducer might have to narrow a field of detection also.

+1 transducers mostly come in 12 degrees or 20 degrees.

My boat is not set up to see my downrigger balls, also typically running 100-350 feet of 200 lb braid +15 pound ball when fishing for kings.

The scotty's I use have a line counter on them if you fill it with 450 ft of 200 lb braid it is real close  to your actual depth when I am trolling.

Be real careful if you mount them forward, lots of experienced guys have them there as a second set so they can run 4 downriggers on a smaller beamed boat but it makes it real easy to wrap a line in the prop.

Offline Crunchy

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 09:39:07 PM »
Even at 120' depth my cable was never at 45deg to the stern at trolling speed (kings-1.5kph, silvers-3kph).  Might be trolling a little fast?

I never really troll speed, but pay attention to wire angle.  That is how I learned.  I do peek at the sonar and I am in the 1.5-1.8 range with a 15 pound ball.  I take the depth of the water and add 20-25 feet for my downrigger ball depth.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: downrigger ball on your fish finder
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2020, 09:55:44 PM »
while this topic is active, is there a cure for a singing wire?



 


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