Guide Zakk Royce took the principles of using planer boards in striper fishing that he learned from a buddy and applied it to catfishing, and it has significantly improved his success.
Royce said catfish are more cautious than most anglers believe. He uses four planer boards, two on each side, because he typically doesn’t work a straight-line pattern in most situations.
“I’m working underwater topographical features, and I’ll maneuver the boat to stay right on a ledge, in a creek channel or work around a hump — whatever it takes to keep the bait in position,” he said. “With only two boards per side, I can easily make tight turns, but having three on a side often complicate matters. If going straight or making gradual turns as many striper anglers do, three on a side is fine.”
When catfishing, most of the time Royce works bait along the bottom, so he deploys his rigs with a lower angle on the line behind the board.
“The low-angle line is less apt to hang up, and I also prefer the presentation of the bait,” he said. “I cast the line without the board and let it hit bottom and (then) let out another 30 to 40 feet of line. Then I hook up the board and deploy each board at different distances from the boat. With the line behind the board at a low angle, I feel I’m more effective.”