Planer boards adapt well for striped bass Feb 3, 2019 18:42:26 GMT
Post by Virginia Striper©® on Feb 3, 2019 18:42:26 GMT
Planer boards adapt well for striped bass
by Craig Holt @ www.northcarolinasportsman.com
Maynard Edwards is one of North Carolina’s supreme tinkerers when it comes to discovering new and effective fishing techniques.
In addition to finding when, where and how High Rock Lake striped bass would hit crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits around rocky banks in the winter, three years ago, he adopted a summer fishing tactic used mostly by Great Lakes anglers in pursuit of lake trout and salmon.
“I started messing with planer boards to catch stripers in the summer,” he said. “Just about everyone trolls for stripers with lead-core line tied to bucktails, Alabama rigs and double-lure rigs, or they use planers or down-riggers. But I thought planer boards slow-trolling soft-plastics would catch stripers. I like to pull 5 ½-inch Zoom Swimming Flukes on jigheads, Alabama rigs or jig-and-spoon tandem rigs.”
The main advantage of planer boards is lure or bait spreads can be 60 feet wide instead of the standard 10 to 14 feet most fishing boats can pull.
“Our catch rates have gone way up since I started using planer boards made for me by Charlie Kingen,” Edwards said. “I can cover a lot more water and can set up lures to run really shallow or deep.”
Kingen, a Lexington resident who guides for Edwards, owns a sheet-aluminum business that uses computer programs to cut and press aluminum into any desirable shape. In the case of Edwards’ planers, they’re rectangular, about a foot long, 5 inches tall and 2½ inches wide. The aluminum sides are 1/16-inch thick.
“I also found a new type of durable flotation material instead of regular foam, which can get dented,” Kingen said. “This stuff retains its shape if it hits anything floating.
“At first I used white, but white got dirty, then I switched to orange and finally settled on yellow. You can see yellow on the water better than any color.”
Edwards’ planer boards also stay attached to a rod’s main line instead of releasing from a snap release when a striper hits a lure. When an angler hooks a fish, he also reels in the planer board, so returning the board back in the water isn’t a problem. Once a striper is netted, there’s no need to spin around and look for a planer board floating on the surface.
“(The planer board) doesn’t make it any harder to reel in a fish,” he said. “Another good thing about boards is they work great for catfish, and I suspect you might catch crappies with them, too.”