Alex Nagy and his fishing partner Seth McCallister demonstrate why they use Off Shore planner boards.
Off Shore Tackle—Often Imitated but Never Duplicated
Deadsticking with planner boards while bumping bottom.
Planer boards have become standard equipment on catfish boats for any angler that wants to pull or drag baits, and that includes a bunch of them. Planer boards can also be used from an anchored position if there is sufficient current. Anchored anglers can use the boards to put baits farther out than they could cast. They were a well-kept secret in catfishing for a while, but the secret is out. Planer boards put more fish in the boat.
Catfish anglers quickly discovered that they could float their bait away from the boat to find more productive waters. The sound of the engine will spook fish and pushing bait out farther from the boat does result in more bites.
By using planer boards anglers can not only fish farther from the boat, but they can also control the depth of their bait. Once it is determined what depth the fish are at, the presentation can be repeated and the opportunities for hookups increase.
Alex Nagy (Twisted Cat Outdoors and Rippin Lips Fishing) has been using Off Shore Planer Boards for years. He even uses them when drifting backward in the current while bumping bottom. This technique allows him to increase his spread and put more baits in the water.
In addition to the conventional method of placing a bait vertically in a rod holder, Nagy also pushes vertical lines out the side to get them away from the boat. This allows him to fish water that is undisturbed by the noise and movement of the boat.
“When dead sticking with Off Shore planer boards I check out the area I am going to drift,” instructed Nagy. “I want to determine the depth and make sure that I set my bait a few feet above the bottom so I know that I won’t get hung up.”
In a normal bumping presentation, he cuts his drifting speed in half using the trolling motor. He sets out his normal deadstick baits and then sets up his planner boards. With the current running faster than his backward drift the boards will pull out the same as if they were being dragged.
“The planer boards kick out as I’m backing down the river,” continued Nagy. “Now, I will have deadsticks straight down off the boat and I’ll also be dead sticking 10 to 15 yards off the boat on each side. Using this Off Shore Tackle planer board technique helps me spread out and get more bait across more of a fishing area. I am covering water just like I do when I’m dragging boards and I am bumping at the same time.”
Planer boards are not as hard to learn as some anglers think. They are pretty simple and they increase the odds of putting fish in the boat. For catfish, Nagy normally uses the Off Shore Tackle Pro Mag series (OR37 SST).
Visit the Off Shore Tackle website at www.offshoretackle.com to view their full line of catfish gear.