Thanks for the info guys!
justgrad25, I was on an Erie walleye charter about 10 years ago and I asked the captain how he learned all the ins and outs of trolling. He actually said the book ďPrecision TrollingĒ and had a copy on board. However thatís a little more money than I want to spend on a book.
I am brand new to trolling and just bought a bigger boat (18í). From what I have been seeing on YouTube, you can be successful with just planer boards and dipsy divers with a 4 rod set up? Iím not sure because they probably make it look a lot easier than it is?
Other things Iím not sure about are trolling speed and lure depth. I know there are charts out there to help tell you how deep the lures are based upon your speed and the line counter (how far back the lures are) but how accurate are they?
18' boat, you should be able to fish 8 rods easy, tangle free and 10 wouldn't be a stretch as long as you set up your rod holders properly. Allowed 3 rods per person now. To get started, I'd get 3 gunnel mounted vertical rod holders and 2 robust horizontal rod holders installed on both sides of the boar. Vertical holders should be placed forward of the horizontal holders. Verticals are for planer board lines and horizontals are for dipsies. Get a nice bow mounted dual planer board mast and two good, wood planer boards. Mast should be as high as you can make it and still use it easily. (check out youtube for videos on fishing these) You can do inline planers too but I always liked the big boards, especially in the Erie chop.
Two manual riggers can be mounted in the future on your back corners for deep water fishing, steelies and/or spring lake trout.....But I wouldn't worry about them now unless you have $ burning a hole in your pocket.
(I can help anyone spend lots of $ on their boat outfitting it!!) PS - for big water trolling, safety is #1 so make sure you have a good, waterproof marine radio and 8' whip antenna, and possibly a hand held back-up, flares, signal flag, whistle, etc. and whatever else is required by the CG for Erie these days.
We used to have a 24' hard top and fished 12 rods (6 planers [3 ea. side], 4 dipises [2 ea. side] and 2 riggers) all day long.
For walleyes, speeds b/w 1.8 and 2.2 or so is prime but make slow, sweeping turns and take note if you get hits on the outside or inside lines. If outside lines are getting hit, fish a little faster. If inside lines are getting hit, fish a little slower. The slower you go though, the more junk fish you will get if they are mixed in with the eyes, esp. if you are fishing harnesses with worms.
Keep an eye on the fish finder and try to keep your baits a couple feet above where the walleye are getting marked. Typically, you fish a little shallower in the AM and then switch out things as the sun starts to rise and add weight to your lines, etc. Not always though.
Water is clear on Erie so fluoro leaders are recommended. Fish mono on rigger lines 12# to 20# and braid with loose drags on your other non-leadcore lines. I never got into lead core when I fished so I can't help you there. We always just added inline weights (1oz to 3 oz) or snap weights to get our baits down.
For dipsies, you might want to add a small rubber snubber to take up some of the impact/shock since your set-up is low stretch and you never know when a steelie will smack a dispsy line. I'd fish 20# braid on your dipsy lines with 20# fluoro, 5-6' leader behind the dipsy. When fishing 2 dispies per side, on one side, run one 3.5 and 1.5 setting and on the other, run 3 and 1 setting.