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bbarker189
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04/20/2017 10:44AM
I love catching walleye in the BWCA but snagging rocks drives me bonkers. Are there any tips/tricks to avoid the dreaded snagging? What is your favorite method?
 
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bbarker189
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04/20/2017 10:48AM
Has anyone tried adding weight to the original rapalas to get them down into the strike zone, while also staying off the bottom?
Walleye6
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04/20/2017 10:57AM
quote bbarker189: "I love catching walleye in the BWCA but snagging rocks drives me bonkers. Are there any tips/tricks to avoid the dreaded snagging? What is your favorite method? "

I have two different methods to each of your questions. My favorite method to fish walleyes in canoe country is jigging. It's versatile in that you can cast, troll, drift, drag or vertically fish. It also requires the least amount of tackle so it's easy to set up and use. Unfortunately, if you hate snagging this isn't for you. Snagging is a certainty with jigging. They should add it to the only sure things in life with death and taxes. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to pop out a jig if it's stuck in rocks (not so much wood). And if you do lose it, heck, it's just a jig and they are cheap so tie on another one.

If you are really looking for a method with less chance of snagging, slip bobbering is probably the way to go. This way you can keep your bait at a controlled depth and as long as you don't let it drift into shallower water, you should really never snag.

If you really want to get into fishing walleyes, especially in Canadian Shield lakes, it's best you just start embracing the snag as a part of the game. There is a saying that if you aren't snagging, you aren't catching.
Walleye6
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04/20/2017 11:06AM
quote bbarker189: "Has anyone tried adding weight to the original rapalas to get them down into the strike zone, while also staying off the bottom?"

Yes, I've done this a lot. The key is to be moving when you are letting out line. If you let out a weighted line in a stationary boat, it will just sink to the bottom and your chances of snagging right off the bat increase. Also it helps to have a depth finder so you can monitor your depth and ensure you're not travelling into shallower water where you will get hung up.

Using an inline weight does increase your chance of losing your lure a bit. If you do hang up, it's probably the weight that snagged. The best you can do is get behind the snag and try and pull it out from the opposite direction. Using an unweighted, floating lure, sometimes you can just release tension in the line and the lure will float itself out of the snag if you didn't bury it.
Gillcommander
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04/20/2017 01:35PM
I'm not a very good jig fisherman and feel your pain when it comes to snags/snagging.

For my group we usually start off by hitting the obvious spots like points, wind blown side of the lake, reefs, drop offs, etc. looking for walleyes. Often times we are starting out with a slip bobber and leech. If we are on a lake we are familiar with we will go to the spots where we have caught them consistently from before.

If the above method isn't producing we break out Original Floating Rapalas or Husky Jerks and troll along the shoreline just out to or slightly beyond the first break/drop off. Think 15 feet of water and less. We can cover a lot of water and at some point will pick up or bump into a few active walleye. When we do we then stop and get the slip bobbers back out. If you pick up a few right away chances are you are on a good group of fish and you can work the immediate area.

Walleye fishing in the BWCA is like most fishing trips. If you are there for a week you are going to have a few days where the fishing may be tough (weather, water clarity, mayfly hatches, etc.) and you're lucky to catch a few, a few days where it is decent and you can scrape together a nice fish fry, and a few days where it is just killer like 20 plus fish days.

If we are having that tough of a time getting on the walleyes we generally just say "the heck with it" and go catch some smallmouths then start fresh the next day.
thinblueline
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04/20/2017 01:37PM
If you're going to get serious about vertical jigging in canoe country, get yourself a drift sock and thank me later. Those days when it looks like the wind will blow you along a bit too quickly to keep contact with the bottom, just became fishable when you deploy a drift sock.
PikeChase
member (14)member
 
04/20/2017 01:49PM
To me jigging is the way to go. I'll agree that the snagging is annoying but jigging is my all-time favorite fishing method. In my experience the bigger the jig the more likely you are to snag and not be able to pop it out right away, this might not always be true but in my experience it is. The driftsock is a great idea even though I've never had much luck with it.
Walleye6
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04/20/2017 02:12PM
+1 on the drift sock. I finally bit the bullet a few years ago and decided to pack in one more piece of gear. I always loved using one in my boat, so I figured I'd love it in the canoe too. Sure enough I do!! It doesn't take much wind to blow a canoe around and a drift sock can really help hold you on a spot longer.

With using a drift sock, I'd say I can get away with using a 1/8 oz jig probably 80% of the time. There are a few situations fishing deeper and in more wind where you need to bump it up to 1/4 oz. I wouldn't ever use a bigger jig than that in the BW unless I was fishing a river with quite a bit of current.
QueticoMike
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04/20/2017 02:53PM
The easiest method is a leech, a red hook, and a split shoot about 18 inches up the line.

Lures, if I know where they might be, jig a fake leech. If I don't know where they are at, I like to troll a gold husky jerk or a jointed Rap in gold.
tarnkt
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04/20/2017 03:09PM
Jigging is definitely the most fun but it is also more work with all of the boat positioning and retying due to snags. If possible vertical jigging while anchored solves those problems. Bobber fishing is a close second, hard to beat watching a bobber on a glassy calm evening in canoe country.

I can't catch a walleye on a crankbait to save my life, not sure why.

overthehill
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04/20/2017 03:15PM
+2 on the drift sock
mastertangler
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04/20/2017 07:39PM
quote tarnkt:


I can't catch a walleye on a crankbait to save my life, not sure why.


"


The most likely reason is that you are fishing out of the strike zone. Crank baits need to be within 3 ft of the bottom for the most part although some very serious exceptions exist.

The second possibility is you are overpowering the lure with to heavy of line?

Or maybe your fishing the crank bait to slowly? I like fishing fast with cranks and give them precious little time to examine my bait before deciding to eat it.

And what shape of lure are you using? Walleye show a marked preference to banana shaped lures......long and slender usually beats short and fat (same goes for the UFC and dating good looking gals ;-)

And how about color? Are you using loud colors like clown? You should still catch them if your in the strike window but I like natural colors in canoe country.

And lastly what about confidence? How long do you stay with it? Trolling cranks can be quite deadly and except for spring when fish are shallow I find it works better than cast and retrieve. Cast and retrieve your bait is only in the strike zone for a short period of time. Whereas trolling I am usually ALWAYS in the strike zone provided I have a depth finder of course.
carmike
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04/20/2017 08:28PM
The best method for fishing walleye is whatever happens to get one while fishing smallmouth or trout. :)
schweady
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04/20/2017 09:00PM
Original post asked about rock snags. Personally, I finally figured out the real reason that I was catching more fish after beginning to use a more sensitive rod: I felt the grab sooner, whether rock or weed or stick or fish. Lifting slightly on the non-fish grabs (yes, it has become rather obvious which ones are which) allows you to avoid the dreaded rock bite. Usually. Bottom line: get the most sensitive rod you can afford.

And, BTW, my Rapalas, both the fat ones and the skinny ones, trolled up to 2 mph on 6 lb line in 12-20 FOW, are a mix of the wildest colors -- Clown, Blue, Fluorescent Orange, Firetiger -- alongside the more natural Silver, Gold, Vampire. Pretty equal success rate bringing walleye up out of those rocks with just about any color.
dpreiner21
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04/20/2017 09:18PM
My favorite way to fish for walleye is a plain hook tipped with a leech or minnow. Tie a small barrel swivel to the main line, connect a fluorocarbon leader (I use seaguar 6-8 lb Test), and then a size 4 gamakatsu colored hook. Last, put a split-shot sinker about 8-12 inches from the hook. The barrel swivel is important so you don't get line twists!

I like to cast out, let the hook hit the bottom, and then retrieve by slowly lifting my rod tip up/down (reeling in the slack line as you put the rod tip down).

There are a couple tricks with this method. First you have to hop your hook of the bottom as slowly as possible without dragging it (you will definitely get a lot of snags if you drag it). And second, you have to be able to distinguish the feeling of bottom and a fish bite.

If trolling, I like to take the split-shot off and put a lindy sinker above the barrel swivel.
Basspro69
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04/20/2017 09:20PM
quote schweady: "Original post asked about rock snags. Personally, I finally figured out the real reason that I was catching more fish after beginning to use a more sensitive rod: I felt the grab sooner, whether rock or weed or stick or fish. Lifting slightly on the non-fish grabs (yes, it has become rather obvious which ones are which) allows you to avoid the dreaded rock bite. Usually. Bottom line: get the most sensitive rod you can afford.
"
+ 1 million
QueticoMike
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04/21/2017 05:18AM
That's a lot of pluses there ;)
lundojam
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04/21/2017 05:42AM
While jigging, you'll stay away from snags (pretty much) if you use the lightest jig you can while still staying vertical. Be aware of depth so you are not just plowing into snags willy-nilly.
If you are aware of depth (electronics) a shad rap will snag much less than an original rapala because the bill will bounce off stuff. Again, though, control how much line you have out and your depth; don't guess.
Slip bobbers are productive as well.

Snagging is OK. Be ready for it. If you are spending more than about 20 seconds trying to free a snag you could be wasting time.
SammyN
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04/21/2017 07:21AM
Question for the driftsock guys:

What size are you using? For what size canoe?
Bumstead
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04/21/2017 08:04AM
Topics like these make the 47 days until my departure for MN look like an eternity. But the anticipation, research, and planning is part of the enjoyment. I look forward to trying the simple hook, split shot, leech method this year. My experience with walleye has been drift jigging. I like the input above about the lightest jig that gets you vertically down in the water column to minimize snagging. Someone on the board also suggested to me this winter that I not cast out as far from the canoe with the jig. Makes sense that the angle of the line being more vertical will reduce snags. Last year I slip bobbered for the first time with a jig and leech, and that is great when you know you're on 'em.
Walleye6
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04/21/2017 09:59AM
quote SammyN: "Question for the driftsock guys:


What size are you using? For what size canoe?"


The smallest sizes from most manufactures should probably be more than enough. I purchased smallest size in the link below. I also have the larger versions for my Pro V. At first I took one of my boat drift socks along, just to test it out in the canoe. Well they do work! But maybe too well. Could barely get a drift going even in some decent wind :) Plus they were huge and unwieldy in the canoe.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Advanced-Anglers-trade-Drift-Sock/700074.uts?searchPath=%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FcategoryId%3D734095080%26CQ_search%3Ddrift%2Bsock
missmolly
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04/21/2017 11:42AM
Like Mike, I use a hook and a split shot. The KISS method.
Atb
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04/21/2017 01:57PM
There is a saying that if you aren't snagging, you aren't catching."

Truth. Might just be my next tattoo:)
04/21/2017 01:57PM
quote Walleye6: "quote SammyN: "Question for the driftsock guys:



What size are you using? For what size canoe?"



The smallest sizes from most manufactures should probably be more than enough. I purchased smallest size in the link below. I also have the larger versions for my Pro V. At first I took one of my boat drift socks along, just to test it out in the canoe. Well they do work! But maybe too well. Could barely get a drift going even in some decent wind :) Plus they were huge and unwieldy in the canoe.


http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Advanced-Anglers-trade-Drift-Sock/700074.uts?searchPath=%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FcategoryId%3D734095080%26CQ_search%3Ddrift%2Bsock "



We use the same one ^^^^^^^^^^

Without a doubt it makes more places fishable in the wind. It weighs right at 1.5# but worth the weight.

OP. We really like jig fishing as well. Thump...Got 'em.

We also agree 100% with the rod advice above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ However, don't kill the sensitivity of a great rod with stretchy line. Think about it.
04/21/2017 07:00PM
If I had to choose a favorite I'd go with the simple plain red hook with a leech under a lighted slip bobber. I feel like a kid every time that lighted bobber goes under on a glass calm lake after dark.
Guest Paddler
 
04/21/2017 08:00PM
Does no one use bottom bouncers / spinners for walleye in the BW ?
overthehill
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04/21/2017 09:57PM
quote DeanL: "If I had to choose a favorite I'd go with the simple plain red hook with a leech under a lighted slip bobber. I feel like a kid every time that lighted bobber goes under on a glass calm lake after dark."

Same here. It is really fun!
dpreiner21
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04/21/2017 10:42PM
quote : "Does no one use bottom bouncers / spinners for walleye in the BW ?"

Spinners and bottom bouncers work well. Although I like to bring lindy sinkers instead. Saves space and works better in a canoe imo.
mastertangler
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04/22/2017 05:11AM
This may seem like common sense but be careful where you deploy your drift sock. Tying it off amidship puts you sideways to the waves......potentially precarious. I tie off to my stern which puts me stern into the waves and slowed us down just fine.......don't forget you have to grab the retrieval rope so put it within easy reach.
04/22/2017 06:28AM
quote : "Does no one use bottom bouncers / spinners for walleye in the BW ?"
This is my preferred method when it comes to trolling for walleye. It's maybe not the most efficient but it's what I have confidence in. I like that I can keep the rig close to the bottom without snagging. My favorite is a crawler rig with a silver spinner and yellow floats.
mapsguy1955
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04/22/2017 08:17AM
I like this... My favorite Walleye getter!
mastertangler
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04/22/2017 08:44AM
quote mapsguy1955: "I like this... My favorite Walleye getter! "

You posted this pic before and I remember really liking it. The jig head I am familiar with (stand up cabelas walleye in glo if I'm not mistaken) but the plastic I am not. I think you may have mentioned it but if you could be so kind as to refresh my memory.
mapsguy1955
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04/22/2017 11:12AM
That is the Spotted G Grub, Mister Twister... There are several sizes and colors. I like the 4 inch black. Seems to hold up pretty well, and the hook on the top keeps it from hanging too bad on the bottom.
bassnet
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04/22/2017 03:53PM
Nuthin' like a jig....feeling every rock and subtle bottom contour with a paddletail on those bright calm days.....curlytail for a neutral to somewhat active approach(most of the time), or a big heavy swimbait aggressively worked in weedbeds. It's the right technique in many situations.
MeatGun
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04/22/2017 08:11PM
Favorite way: also jig. I favor a 3" chartreuse power bait grub on an eagle claw or owner stand up (Erie) jig.
Also love me a bobber from shore and, of course, trolling.
It doesn't make sense to me, but my least snaggy weight in front of a crank is a keel weight. Of course, love drop weights in real deep water.
Spookmeister
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04/23/2017 01:53PM
Over the past 5-7 years I've caught way more walleye on bladebaits than any other method. Use short, aggressive, 1-foot rips the instant the bait touches bottom. Most times you won't feel the hit. On the next rip, instead of the hard vibration you will feel the weight of the fish. Love it!
You will get hung up some, but if you cast directly ahead of your drift, you can usually pop it free after you drift past the snag.
Chainsaw
member (35)member
 
04/27/2017 09:26PM
I like to troll Berkley flicker shads in natural colors especially something crawdad while paddling from one smallie hole to another. The dinner bell is ringing!! #6 or #7 will suffice for early June in the Quetico. Otherwise if in Minnesota I would prefer to use a leach on anything especially under a slip bobber rigged around 7'. go get em
04/27/2017 10:37PM

Sppokmeister,

What is your favorite blade bait to catch walleye? And what size do you most often use.
Bumstead
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04/28/2017 06:00AM
quote mapsguy1955: "I like this... My favorite Walleye getter! "

I bought some of these when they first came out years ago. They are plain black, though. MapsGuy, you've convinced me to dig them out and give a try this year!
walleye_hunter
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04/28/2017 06:27AM
Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down.
thinblueline
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04/28/2017 06:55AM
quote walleye_hunter: "Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down."

Nope. I also tie off my drift sock line to my stern seat mount with a quick release Siberian hitch knot. Should my drift sock ever unexpectedly catch or snag on something, one quick yank on the tag end and I'm free in one second.
04/28/2017 12:50PM
quote walleye_hunter: "Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down."

Does your anchor pull your canoe down? Didn't think so. A little common sense goes a long way.
Spookmeister
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04/29/2017 07:32AM
quote Wally13: "
Sppokmeister,


What is your favorite blade bait to catch walleye? And what size do you most often use."


Any of the Silver Buddy knockoffs seem to work fine. I use mostly 1/2 ounce and some 3/8 oz. Silver on sunny days and gold on overcast days will cover you, but Cabelas new Mean Eye blades have some chartreuse, perch, and crawdad color schemes that I'm eager to try out! Braided line will give you the best feel but will tangle in your trebles, so add a 3-5 foot mono leader of 15-20lb. test.
04/29/2017 10:56AM
Spookmeister,

Will have to give blade baits a try on some walleyes in 2017.
Spookmeister
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04/29/2017 03:22PM
quote Wally13: "Spookmeister,


Will have to give blade baits a try on some walleyes in 2017."


You'll love it! Be sure not to horse them in, as the small hooks tend to tear out with too much pressure. Good luck, and let me know how you do.
mastertangler
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04/29/2017 08:01PM
quote walleye_hunter: "Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down."

I think your caution has some merit Walleye Hunter. I used to own a Geehnoe which is somewhat akin to a canoe but square backed and usually has an outboard. I would anchor typically from near my rear seat with a rather short scope as to "peg" my boat quickly into position. On one trip I dropped anchor in a pass with an outgoing tide and the short scope and current quickly made itself known as my vessel abruptly decided to start to be pulled under. Had I not had a filet knife handy and quickly employed it I may have ended up capsizing........and a Geehnoe is certainly a far more seaworthy vessel than a canoe. Quite a startling education in physics.

I believe wind socks are fine for tandem canoes in moderate conditions provided you deploy so either the bow or stern is facing into the waves. In other words don't have your anchor point at an amidship thwart which would put you sideways to the waves. Seems obvious enough but it bears mentioning. We used a windsock with a Bell Northwoods and I tied off to my stern seat and it worked like a charm, slowed us right down and we were able to stay on some walleye without getting blown off them within 5 minutes. They really do work quite well but just make sure you can retrieve your sock via the release line when it comes time to go.
mastertangler
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04/29/2017 08:16PM
quote Spookmeister: "quote Wally13: "Spookmeister,



Will have to give blade baits a try on some walleyes in 2017."



You'll love it! Be sure not to horse them in, as the small hooks tend to tear out with too much pressure. Good luck, and let me know how you do."


The trend in salt water is to replace trebles with single "J" style hooks. I am starting to lean that way more and more and I don't see why a single "J" hook on a blade bait wouldn't be superior to trebles. Plus with the single J hook the option to add say a curly tail or tie some feathers which would make the bait more substantial in size.
Trapper7
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04/30/2017 06:49AM
Hmm, what about the wind sock in a solo? Maybe a longer rope starting by the middle of the canoe going through a small sheave attached to the stearn? Anyone done this?
walleye_hunter
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05/02/2017 06:32AM
quote BnD: "quote walleye_hunter: "Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down."


Does your anchor pull your canoe down? Didn't think so. A little common sense goes a long way."

Why the snarky response? I'm just asking a question of those who have experience using a driftsock with a canoe. Yes an anchor does pull a canoe down a bit in the waves, sometimes too close for comfort.
05/02/2017 07:08AM
Snarky? Is that ancient indian word meaning "man that thinks before posting on forum." How in the world is a drift sock gonna affect a canoe more than an anchor? FWIW, I don't trip without a drift sock. No we don't use them in 20 mph winds either. Back to common sense. Moving on.
AmarilloJim
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05/02/2017 10:13AM
"Braided line will give you the best feel but will tangle in your trebles, so add a 3-5 foot mono leader of 15-20lb. test. "

If you lower the bait with your rod tip instead of letting it free fall this will dramatically reduce the line tangling in the trebles. Most days the slower fall rate helps with triggering strikes but about 10-20% of the time they really like it falling fast. You may also want to allow your bait to sit on the bottom a second or two before the next upstroke because fish do follow to investigate without striking.
mastertangler
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05/02/2017 10:37AM
quote Trapper7: "Hmm, what about the wind sock in a solo? Maybe a longer rope starting by the middle of the canoe going through a small sheave attached to the stearn? Anyone done this?
"


No drift sock for this guy in a solo. First off the wind has a much lesser effect on a solo than a tandem but if the wind is up enough to require one in the first place I am usually fishing some place calmer. That is probably the biggest disadvantage IMO of fishing a solo........you can't always focus on those windy shorelines like you would like to.

On the other hand I have a Bell Merlin.........maybe a larger solo like a prism could use a sock safely. I have been reluctant to try it.
mastertangler
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05/02/2017 10:44AM
quote walleye_hunter: "quote BnD: "quote walleye_hunter: "Driftsock users- Has your driftsock ever come close to swamping your canoe? The way a driftsock can pull a boat down it seems like they could easily pull a canoe down."



Does your anchor pull your canoe down? Didn't think so. A little common sense goes a long way."

Why the snarky response? I'm just asking a question of those who have experience using a driftsock with a canoe. Yes an anchor does pull a canoe down a bit in the waves, sometimes too close for comfort."


Don't sweat the small stuff Walleye Hunter. If you fish a tandem and especially if you like to jig or live bait fish and pegging your boat is high on your priority list then a drift sock is the ticket. As I have mentioned I like running them off the stern or bow seat and thus putting the boat generally bow or stern into the waves. I believe they are extremely effective and I like that they give you a little drift as opposed to an anchor. Try one out, not so hard. Make sure the retrieval line is easy to grab. As BnD has suggested best not to be out when its blowing........but in a little chop which can blow you off a spot quickly they are really quite handy.
Grizzlyman
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05/02/2017 05:15PM
Bottom bouncers
MNguy
Guest Paddler
 
05/02/2017 08:03PM
quote BnD: "Snarky? Is that ancient indian word meaning "man that thinks before posting on forum." How in the world is a drift sock gonna affect a canoe more than an anchor? FWIW, I don't trip without a drift sock. No we don't use them in 20 mph winds either. Back to common sense. Moving on."

BnD, common sense would also include proper etiquette on a forum. Maybe keeping your mouth shut or politely answering someone's question. Who knows if they are 16 and have no experience with drift socks. As far as the question about the origin of snarky, I'm not sure. Common sense would probably lead me to Google it but I just assume it's an attempt at humor. Don't be afraid to post questions people, it's part of what a forum is for.
 
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