Using Planer boards when trolling live bait

Most kayak anglers fishing with live bait use one rod when utilizing a free line trolled behind the kayak. I am of the opinion that if you add a line you double your chances of hooking up with a fish. However there is the issue of free swimming bait crossing your lines up when you use multiple rods. There is a simple solution and fairly inexpensive also. Enter the planer board.

The planer board is a simple device that pulls your line out to the side of your boat and increases the spread of your bait presentation. I have tried several brands and several sizes and find the brand "Water Bugz" work best for this application.


To use these planer boards I just place the line in the snap swivel above my swivel between my main line and my leader. then I bait up and let out about 40 to 80 foot of line behind the yak. (this works best if your kayak is in forward motion while you are stripping line so as not to get any tangles) Then I clip my line to the yellow clip. Just remember the yellow clip is closest to your rod tip. once your board is clipped in you just let out more line until you have the desired distance from your kayak.

Each board is marked right or left and will correspond to that side of your yak. So if you are placing the rod in a holder on the right side of your yak you will use the board marked right.

Once you get your planer board deployed you can now deploy another line behind your yak or use the other planer board to spread your bait out even further. One of the great things about using a planer board is, when the striped bass are close to the bank in shallower water you can cruise out away from the bank with your kayak and pull your bait pretty close to the bank. This way you do not run over fish in shallow water with your kayak and spook them.

You can even use planer boards when anchored in current. Just anchor above and out from a weed bed or other bank feature that you want to fish, deploy your planner board and let out line until you have the bait positioned where you want it. It will just hover in that spot with the current holding it there.

I use my planer boards year around just change my techniques up as the situation changes. When they are deeper I move slower and use split shot about a foot up from the hook on my free line. This technique will work in any application where you are trolling live bait.- salt or fresh water. One tip though be sure that you are not moving too fast, as this will pull your bait up in the water column instead of allowing your bait to be where the fish are. A good rule of thumb is about .25 to .35 mph is good. 

The planer board is a solid and viable tactic for kayak Anglers and give you another option when chasing your prey of choice with live bait.

Tight Lines,
Walt