The Ultimate Guide to Walleye Planer Boards (2024)

Targeting walleye can be transformed with the strategic use of planer boards, tools that expand your fishing reach and enhance lure presentation. This comprehensive guide delves into selecting, utilizing, and maximizing planer boards for an enriched walleye fishing experience.

Selecting the Best Planer Boards for Walleye

Identifying superior planer boards is fundamental for effective walleye fishing. Optimal choices are those that are robust yet lightweight, ensuring they can endure regular use without compromising on performance. Ideal boards are easily visible and stable, even in choppy conditions, with adjustable clips for line attachment and flags to signal when a fish bites, streamlining the management of several lines at once.

What Defines a Quality Planer Board

The hallmark of a quality planer board lies in its floatation capability, resilience, and user-friendliness. Durable materials are crucial for withstanding environmental elements, while stability and visibility are key for tracking at a distance. Enhanced with features like easy-release clips and adjustable tension, these boards simplify line management and bite detection, making them indispensable for anglers.

Mastering the Use of Planer Boards

Learning to effectively deploy a planer board is straightforward with practice. Attach your line to the board’s clip and let it trail the boat; the board then veers sideways, broadening your fishing span. This tactic is especially useful in clear waters where boat noise might deter fish, enabling stealthy lure placement in prime walleye zones.

Right and Left: Port and Starboard Use

Left and right side planer boards are specialized for port and starboard use, respectively, ensuring your lines spread out evenly on both sides of the boat. Having both types is crucial for balanced coverage across the water, optimizing your fishing area, and preventing line tangles. This differentiation allows anglers to effectively target more water and increase their chances of a successful catch.

Port and Starboard Planer Boards

Rigging Your Line for Planer Boards

Proper line rigging is crucial for leveraging planer boards’ full potential. Connect your lure or bait to a leader line, then secure this setup to the planer board using a release clip. The distance between your lure and the board should reflect the walleye’s feeding depth to optimize catch rates.

Benefits of Spreading Lines with Planer Boards

Using planer boards to spread your lines offers significant advantages, like minimizing line entanglement and enabling simultaneous use of multiple rods. This approach broadens water coverage and reduces boat disturbance, presenting baits in pristine areas more likely to harbor walleye.


That’s it! If you want to cover more water and increase your chances of landing cats, you’re going to want some planer boards. They might look complicated but they’re actually easy to use with a little practice! Off Shore Tackle has tons of articles to help you get started. Learn more at OffShoreTackle.com #offshoretackle #offshoretacklecompany #planerboards #catfishfishing #bluecatfish #flatheadcatfish #channelcatfish

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Detecting Bites with Planer Boards

Planer boards excel in bite detection, equipped with flags or indicators that react to fish activity, providing instant alerts. This feature proves invaluable in turbulent waters or when fishing at a distance, ensuring you never miss a bite.

Staggering Lines for Optimal Coverage

Planer boards facilitate strategic line staggering at various depths and distances, crucial for canvassing the water column thoroughly. This method is key when fish are dispersed, helping to pinpoint the most effective fishing spots and depths.

Choosing the Right Line for Planer Boards

Braided Line

The line selection is pivotal in planer board fishing. Many anglers prefer braided lines for their robustness and sensitivity, allowing for the detection of subtle bites. A fluorocarbon leader is often added for its invisibility and resistance to abrasion, striking a balance between stealth and strength.

Tackle Tips for Planer Board Success

Walleye Rod Combo

Opt for medium to medium-heavy rods with a blend of backbone for fight resistance and tip flexibility for shock absorption. A smooth drag system on your reel complements this setup, ensuring line integrity and fish retention during the battle.

Optimal Speed for Trolling with Planer Boards

The trolling speed is vital, with 1 to 2 miles per hour being optimal for enticing walleye. This pace allows lures to mimic natural prey movement compellingly. Adapting speed based on conditions and fish behavior can significantly enhance your success.


Planer boards are a game-changer in walleye trolling, offering expanded fishing coverage and improved lure presentation. By selecting quality boards, mastering their use, and understanding their advantages, anglers can significantly boost their effectiveness on the water. With the right approach and equipment, planer board fishing can elevate your walleye catches to new heights. Ready your gear and embrace the planer board technique for a more fruitful fishing adventure.

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