Downrigger Fishing Techniques

Downrigger fishing is the best way to find fish, and using these downrigger fishing techniques will help you to catch more fish. There are three basic things that cause fish to strike. They are sight, smell and sound. Combine this knowledge with basic techniques and you will soon be an expert.

  1. Use a fifteen lb. ball. A fifteen lb. ball on the downrigger cable will help you to keep your lure at the depth where the fish are. Since the majority of the fish are near the bottom, the heavy ball will help to maintain the right depth and help to keep your line more vertical.
  2. Stay within fifteen feet behind the weight. Since the fish will hear and see your weight, if it is any longer the fish will be gone before the lure gets to the fish. When downrigger fishing, another reason to keep a short lead is because you easily make a short turn to chase fish without getting tangled.
  3. Use scents. Scent is important in downrigger fishing because it can not only attract fish, it can also cover up offensive odors that might turn the fish away. Use herring, shimp, or a shrimp anise mix. Just make sure the scent doesn't come into contact with the downrigger release clips.
  4. Releases. The correct release is key to successful downrigger fishing. The type of release you need depends on the kind of fishing you will be doing. Experience will teach the downrigger fisherman the correct release tension that will allow for release only when a fish bites the bait.
  5. Trolling speed. When downrigger fishing, the trolling speed depends on what you are trying to catch. When trolling with live bait, a slower trolling speed is better so they appear to move naturally. Artificial lures are usually trolled at a higher speed.
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