Trolling planers for bluefin?

Dexter Outdoors

afraser

I Should Upgrade My Account
Apr 20, 2008
1,754
1,461
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
So yet another experiment :). I notice some east coast guys using planers for bluefin trolling. Has anyone tried them out here and what size planers, lures and baits did you use? Probably will troll a #4 or #6 inline planer on a planer bridle so the planer can be removed.

What about side planers? Anyone tried these? I saw a couple of videos of these working for bluefin on the east coast, but could see which planer it was. Seems like putting a bait 100 feet to the side of the boat would be a good thing.
 
Upvote 0

Pacific Jigger

You’ll never know unless you go
Sep 16, 2019
559
1,270
United States
Name
Bud
Boat
Formula 233
My boat has a dedicated planer rod position and holder. We have a planer in the water anytime we’re trolling.
On some days, nearly every fish comes off that one rod. They work.
Bluefin, albacore or yellowfin, it really doesn’t matter, they all respond to it.
I’ll usually pull an Old Salty 8 but do use a 12 on occasion.
The planer rod setup is an Avet TRX 50, 130 hollowcore, and an 80# stubbie blank with a long bent butt and roller tip. I have multiple bridle loops set at 100’, 200’, 400’ and 600’. I know it sounds extreme, but the long setback can be extremely productive.
As to lures, I’ll run a Ron Z in metallic olive 90% of the time. Make for darn sure it’s the HD version with the 4x hook. I buy the 8” tails and cut them back 2” from the head end if I need a smaller profile. A Ron Z catches everything.
Last but not least, you’ll need a very stout swivel rod holder on a corner. Regular duty swivel holders aren’t going to last on planer duty. Mine came from LT Marine but Skurge of the Sea makes a comparable one.

As for the side planers, do the ones you've seen look like a directional spreader bar or an orange/red funny shaped coffin?
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Pacific Jigger

You’ll never know unless you go
Sep 16, 2019
559
1,270
United States
Name
Bud
Boat
Formula 233
I forgot to mention, sharks will have a go at the planer itself every so often, which is quite annoying and it gets expensive after awhile. Spray painting them matte black, no shine or gloss at all, seems to cure it. I did debate simply arming the planer but the braid might as well be thread where their teeth are concerned.
 
Upvote 0

The Right Kind

Slave to a Boat
  • Jul 9, 2003
    1,294
    1,114
    Santa Barbara
    1212
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    The Right Kind - 31' Cabo Express
    I have used planners but mostly to make bait, mackerel, bonito, skipjack, just attach the appropriate Lucky Joe, 2-6 hooks and hand line them in.
    We attach the planner to the boat cleat, I didn't know about attaching it to the main line of the rod and reel.
    Here's a pretty good video explaining the different methods.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: woodfish330
    Upvote 0

    FLLR1

    Almost A Member
    Jan 30, 2006
    225
    134
    Florida
    Name
    LT
    Boat
    Boston Whaler
    We use planers in South Florida all the time. An inline planer set up would surely work on a LR boat. Could not have too many off the stern at one time or you would get a massive tangle. Put one on each corner and you would be good.

    Son and I are on a 2.5 day trip on the Excel coming up. We talked about bringing a setup to see if the boat would let us troll it.
     
    Upvote 0

    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
    5,655
    7,291
    67
    Chino Hills, Ca.
    Name
    Bill Walsh
    Boat
    Red Rooster
    Dedicated downrigger with release clip. Wicked Tuna Outer Banks setup. Hard to work with multiple trollers but will work on a private boat.

    Tuna look up when they hunt and you can keep that in mind when you set the depth of the planer to metered fish.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: woodfish330
    Upvote 0

    JamesZ

    Newbie
    Jun 25, 2018
    52
    60
    43
    Montana
    Name
    James Zachary
    Boat
    Kenner 23
    My boat has a dedicated planer rod position and holder. We have a planer in the water anytime we’re trolling.
    On some days, nearly every fish comes off that one rod. They work.
    Bluefin, albacore or yellowfin, it really doesn’t matter, they all respond to it.
    I’ll usually pull an Old Salty 8 but do use a 12 on occasion.
    The planer rod setup is an Avet TRX 50, 130 hollowcore, and an 80# stubbie blank with a long bent butt and roller tip. I have multiple bridle loops set at 100’, 200’, 400’ and 600’. I know it sounds extreme, but the long setback can be extremely productive.
    As to lures, I’ll run a Ron Z in metallic olive 90% of the time. Make for darn sure it’s the HD version with the 4x hook. I buy the 8” tails and cut them back 2” from the head end if I need a smaller profile. A Ron Z catches everything.
    Last but not least, you’ll need a very stout swivel rod holder on a corner. Regular duty swivel holders aren’t going to last on planer duty. Mine came from LT Marine but Skurge of the Sea makes a comparable one.

    As for the side planers, do the ones you've seen look like a directional spreader bar or an orange/red funny shaped coffin?
    That's the absolute truth. remember about 8-10 years ago when there was those big ass albies and the 50-75+lb. Bluefin?? That was the year of pulling cedar plugs 150 yards behind the boat for 50 to 100lb Bluefin. Also EXCELLENT year for slow trolling mackerel. We used planner's every trip. I'd say over 50% of the fish came off the planner. it works GREAT when the pressure is on the local fish Especially
     
    Upvote 0

    JamesZ

    Newbie
    Jun 25, 2018
    52
    60
    43
    Montana
    Name
    James Zachary
    Boat
    Kenner 23
    That's the absolute truth. remember about 8-10 years ago when there was those big ass albies and the 50-75+lb. Bluefin?? That was the year of pulling cedar plugs 150 yards behind the boat for 50 to 100lb Bluefin. Also EXCELLENT year for slow trolling mackerel. We used planner's every trip. I'd say over 50% of the fish came off the planner. it works GREAT when the pressure is on the local fish Especially
    No. That was 15 years ago. Sorry. Old age. But it still works. Trust me. Especially on these big BFT.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: woodfish330

    alex88

    Member
    May 15, 2006
    914
    178
    40
    Oakland
    Name
    Alex
    Boat
    2003 Robalo R235
    A73A51CE-041E-4170-BDCF-25ABE4727D96.png
    Haven’t used it yet but got a couple of these rigged with Aftco flat line clips to hang off the tie down cleats on the stern to try this season
     
    Upvote 0

    FLLR1

    Almost A Member
    Jan 30, 2006
    225
    134
    Florida
    Name
    LT
    Boat
    Boston Whaler
    View attachment 1279548Haven’t used it yet but got a couple of these rigged with Aftco flat line clips to hang off the tie down cleats on the stern to try this season
    Instead of the AFTCO clips, you can use a shower ring and a rubber band. Let out your line, wrap a rubber band around the line and then connect it to the shower ring. You do not have to bring it in if you want to put out another lure. Just grab another rubber band and shower ring.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: alex88 and Bill W
    Upvote 0