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How to Rig the Ultimate Salmon Fishing Boat. In part number one we discussed basic tackle for boat, rods and safety. Let’s continue with essential and in most cases must have items for an productive salmon and trout fishing boat.



Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for a quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $50 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test has the capacity for a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. Penn fishing tackle makes some great quality entry level and top end reels and rods that are a value for all anglers.

Fishing Line

Spool up with 20 lb Berkley Trilene XT ($7) monofilament. A slightly more expensive but worth it option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Berkley Vanish ($15) will put more fish in the cooler.


Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. Plan "A" would be two manual downriggers at about $130 each with an 8 pound weight included. The Great Lakes spawned the use of downriggers and they are very simple and effective at all depths. This is one of the most basic of presentations. The use of this tool is limited only by your imagination.

Terminal tackle

I have tried most of the different styles of downrigger releases. I like the Blacks release ($10) with the clip to attach the weight. The Blacks releases are completely adjustable to set the hook when the fish bites and never tangle or wear the line. A sturdy net ($40) that will handle fish to 40 inches will be needed.


Electronics will be important to safety and success. I would not go out on any of the Great Lakes without a marine radio. Expect to spend $150 but your safety is worth it. Knowing how deep the water is and where the fish are is critical to safety and your ability to put fish in the cooler. The starting price for a fish locator that works to 600 feet is $120.

Treasure your catch

Always ice your catch a 70 quart cooler ($25) will lend to the table quality.

This package will offer the opportunity to catch reel screaming Chinooks, dancing Rainbows, huge Brown Trout, tasty Coho and rod bending Lakers. At a modest price compared to other sports of $825. Split the cost with a buddy and have a blast!! Check out my blog for detailed instructions on set up and presentation of tackle and up to date video fish reports. Have a great fishing season.

Let's go fishing!!
Captain Jim.

Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.


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