The Different Types of Downriggers
By William Deal
There are a multitude of reasons why boaters and more specifically fishermen choose to add a downrigger to their boat. Some it may be just for looks, but for most it is for the purpose of targeting their fish of choice at a desired thermocline.
A thermocline is a certain layer in the water column in a lake or ocean where the temperature changes more quickly with depth as compared to the layers above and below it. Fishing at a certain thermocline is very important because this is precisely where some fish like to hold. This can be due to the fact that there is bait present at the water column level or because the water temperature works well with their preference; especially during hot summer days.
So the question becomes how you will be able to get your bait to a particular thermocline range. Well this is where downriggers come into play. A downrigger is a device which includes a weighted cable, usually either monofilament fishing line or stainless steel cable, that is able to be raised and lowered with a lifting mechanism. This lifting mechanism can be in one of two forms. One form is the manual winch that someone fishing uses to lower the weighted cable by hand. This version is commonly referred to as a manual downrigger. Both Scotty and Cannon produce versions of these.
The other version is an electric downrigger where with the push of a switch, you are able to raise and lower the weighted cable to a desired depth. So what is the difference between the two? Well, a manual downrigger is usually cheaper in price and requires more human effort to operate. On the other hand, an electric downrigger is usually higher in price and only requires the push of a switch to operator since it is powered through your boats electrical system. Both versions still require someone to attach the fishing line to the weighted cable, however, this is to be expected since you want your fishing lure to be lowered to a desired depth.
In conclusion, with the information provided above, you will be able to make a sound decision when it comes time to target fish in deep waters by using a downrigger. Using this method can really increase your catch percentage and make for an awesome day out on the water.
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