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Discussion Starter #1
More often than not I fish alone. I'd love to hear stratagies for netting a fish while you're alone and trolling. I generally use 2 downriggers and would prefer to keep trolling as I land the fish.
 

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so you want to keep fishing out in the chuck, with wind, waves, currents and other boats around, fight a nice fish and land it on your own. That's a pretty tall order to have success with. Keeping the boat straight is the hardest part of that in mine anyway, two waves and your turning somewhere. I've done it before but the conditions were pretty good. I can gaff a chicken halibut pretty well like that but a big one or a salmon you just do your best with it. I can't think of a strategy except the usual one to have everything ready to go as usual and hope the fish cooperates.
 

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I am no pro at it.....but I have done it and I would assume watching me from the outside looking in; it is likely far from a beautifully fluid motion/process. :eek:

As firelight said.....you have to take a look at what's around you if you want to keep trolling. The question I would have is "why" do you want to keep trolling? If you are on your own.....trying to net one fish and get a double header with 2 riggers down....fish going every which way, your boat going who knows "what way", I think you are kinda asking for the ensuing sheeot-show. :p Also....if you are on your own and DO get a double header....get them both netted and into the boat....your day is kinda over, just like that. Sure you've got a great tale to tell over beers that night but why risk putting yourself through the agony and frustration?

Does your boat have steering controls at the stern?

I think you need to decide if the fish you are fighting is going to be kept or released? If I am on my own and was planning on keeping the fish I would definitely fight it so it's tired right out. Then it "should" ;) be pretty simple to slide right into the net alongside your boat. I wouldn't try getting the fish up to the boat right away and have a very, very spunky salmon still making runs with the rod in one hand and net in the other.

If you are not planning on keeping the fish.....I would try using your gaf to slide down the line and hopefully if the fish is not hooked inside the mouth, just pop the hook out while it's still in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd say the reason to keep trolling is that bringing up the other line while attempting to bring up the hooked fish is a much more daunting task than simply continuing to troll.
 

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I'd say the reason to keep trolling is that bringing up the other line while attempting to bring up the hooked fish is a much more daunting task than simply continuing to troll.
Fair enough.....I can understand that.

I guess for me it would be a bit more so as to what is around me. If I am in wide open water without other boats trolling around to worry about it would be one thing. If I was in amongst a tight pack like what happens at the Cap I would likely click into neutral and hope my second line doesn't get wound around the rigger line.

I really like fishing with a boat that has stern controls for steering......I could see myself leaving the other line down and keep trolling at a slow pace but having to keep looking over my shoulder at what's ahead and jumping between the stern of the boat and the steering console would be tough.

If you are handy with a gaf it may be easier than using a net in a scenario like this. Just this year over in Kyuquot we had a double header on.....I had a springer and my fishing partner had a hali. I kept fighting the spring and gaffed his hali for him at the same time; however that still doesn't help with the "solo" scenario.
 

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One of the things I have done is move to longer fishing rods. I no longer use 7or 8 foot downrigger rods. I use 10 foot mooching rods which i think make it easier to steer a fish and which allow me to stand at the wheel and play a fish on either side of the boat while still underway.

i have to say though, that if i am alone i will seldom fish two downriggers if there are more than a few boats around or if the current or wind would push me around if i stopped.
 

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My 2 cents.
First even though you have 2 downriggers try running both rods off of 1.
That's one less piece of equipment to mess with alone.
stern steering definitely is an advantage.

As pointed out, have everything ready; don't have your collapseable net stuck in the gunnel between the seats.
Make sure you're wearing your pfd.
I used to have a bungy set up for my steering while I played a fish but you still have to do a bit of a tango because of the waves.
When the fish is ready to be netted put the boat in neutral, No one plans to fall overboard but it's hard to catch up to a moving boat.
Now that the fish is in the boat put boat back in gear, set your course, clean up, and re-rig.

And you have to be more mindful of other boaters that's why I usually stayed away from the cap and worked farther out (more room to maneuver)

I was picky about water conditions too. the bigger the waves the harder it gets.
 

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Even with sockeye and you're goal is to horse the fish in and into the meat box, I have left two stacked lines out because I thought it would be easy enough to steer the fish away from the lines and cable. Even if I do bring up the ball, how am I going to reel in the lines of the other two rods? Well like Pippen said it turned into a sheotshow even with a 6 pound sockeye on a 10 foot steelhead rod. The fish first of all got wrapped on both lines then as I was about to net, it wrapped around the cable. Fortunately, I was able to net the whole mess but it took 30 minutes to untangle. Flashers, hooks, fish all tangled and wrapped in the net. If you're going try this with coho or springs good luck!
 

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I find that a really large net with a very long handle is extremely helpful in solo landing. Cradle the handle under your armpit and use the leverage you can create from that action to scoop the fish. For Right Handers, rod in left hand, held high and away from the net, Net in right hand and cradled under arm. havethe net in the water ready to scoop, Lead fish to the net head first and then once adipose is past the rim, scoop up with net. The key is Loooong handle and wide mouth to net.

Works (almost) every time.
 

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my 2 cents also
I always try to head out to open water if possible. If it's abig fish keep the fish on the
inside as I circle it to keep it away from the other rigger, then as the others said ,wait
till it's dead tired then take it out of gear,into the net [ if its a legal fish]
 

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I've lost quite a few trophy's, fighting them alone while leaving other lines down, even when no other obstructions are around ie boats, land mass & salad
Most cases my boat will track straight unless I let her go @ a turn, wind will defiantly play a factor

Nowadays I gauge the bite & the first run and if shez a contender I set the hook & reinsert the rod in the holder & go like MAD to raise the other lines & then return to the original fight, I never shut off the troll but keep on a straight heading

from the old days I was greedy, when I hook a fish, I wanna hook more. but when I'm alone it was a tough pill 2 swallow & the gamble of loosing a large fish was not worth trying to hook another

With all lines out of the way, landing a keeper is easily accomplished by yourself if ya play it out & the slab surrenders

K
 

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My 2 cents.

When the fish is ready to be netted put the boat in neutral, No one plans to fall overboard but it's hard to catch up to a moving boat.
Now that the fish is in the boat put boat back in gear, set your course, clean up, and re-rig.

And you have to be more mindful of other boaters that's why I usually stayed away from the cap and worked farther out (more room to maneuver)

I was picky about water conditions too. the bigger the waves the harder it gets.
There are some good points about saftey here. I always have the shut-off toggle clipped to me when fishing alone. if i am in an area of high current or wind i will also tie myself to the boat with a line that is long enough to give me room to move. I have found myself leaning over the edge to net a fish a few too many times.
 

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how I do it

I run 3 rods of 2 downriggers, covering 3 depths. The shallowest rod off the single downrigger.
If the fish hits either side, slow the troll (not neutral) and either put a slow turn into the fish or in a busier area out of traffic. - I sit at the helm, about 10 feet from the rods.

If its the shallow rod, that's easy. If it is off the downrigger that fish is already back past the other lines, so grab the rod, hit the autoretrieve button while you keep the pressure/tension on the rod, then turn the rigger forward (its now out of the way).

Once out of traffic, turn slightly into the fish, if you havent already. Play the fish on that side of the boat. Net it. I bought the biggest and longest handled net I could find. Don't really have a problem with it now.

If the fish hits the other side, I pop the shallow rod first (Opposite side) and move it to the other side of the boat, and hit the autoretrieve. The shallow termina eventually surfaces over their. In the mean time, I grab the fish rod and hold it either out or up to clear the other rod on the same rigger. Then move to the side where I've cleard the rigger. To play and land the fish.

Putting it into Neutral, can cause a lot of problems (for me). Especially in a tide flow with other boats around, so I like to troll out of traffic, and keep a slow troll going. Keeps a little extra pressure on the line, and guides the fish where I want it to go.

BTW - my Shallow rod is MAX 30 ft. deep.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Three rods? While you're alone? You may want to re-read the regs on how many lines one can have in the water
 

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Some great points here. I've recently started fishing a second downrigger and haven't really had any problems with fish around 10lbs sticking with the procedure striper outlines. But tonight I just lost my second fish in the high teens that should easily have made it into the boat. At the end of the run when I drop into neutral, I'm moving the fish to the front of the boat to keep it away from the wires/lines. The extra height turns into a comedic struggle to reach the damn fish, so I'm adding finaddicts tip and going to try and extend the handle of the net. :)
 

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Three rods? While you're alone? You may want to re-read the regs on how many lines one can have in the water
If you've confused salt and fresh regs, perhaps you want to check which license you have before heading out?

Just kidding Ken, many people read one set of regs, and don't bother with the other set thinking the same applies.

Well this is good news indeed! I have no trouble tangling 2 lines, let's see if 4 is any different....
The most I've run is 6. Just to see if I could. I've found with my setup the extra drag brings the downrigger wire too close to the kicker.
With 4 its too difficult to get a side cleared to net the fish. 3 is just right... until you get that shaker where you miss seeing the initial hit and then he swims into all your other gear...
 
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