Fishing with a downrigger allows for anglers to fish at very specific depths, and is popular with large commercial party boats on the lake. It can be equally effective for the recreational fishermen.

What is downrigging?

Downrigging involves fishing from a slow moving boat, using a heavy weight on a separate line to get your fly or lure down to where the fish are. It has the benefit of allowing anglers to fish with light tackle, and alter the depth they are fishing very quickly and easily.

Basic tackle

Here is a check list of basic tackle you will need, and local tackle shops are great at getting you set up well to get you started. Be sure to visit them before you start fishing to get the latest advice.

Rod and line

The ideal choice for trolling would be a 2m boat rod with a soft tip, paired with an overhead reel. The reel should contain at least 200m of 4-6kg monofilament.

How to fish

Downrigging is an excellent way to target shallow drop-offs and edges of weed beds, as well as targeting fish on deeper reefs and drop-offs, and a fish finder is a great help.
As with trolling, the boat should move no faster than a walking pace (1.5-2 knots), and gentle turns can help provide extra action to the fly or lure.

Flies and lures

Lures that work well include toby's, tasmanian devils and cobras, and be sure to check with you local tackle shop as to what the hot colours are!
You can also fish a fly rigged on a dropper above the lure, and most smelt flies work well, as well as woolly buggers and rabbit flies in sizes 4-10. Favourites include ginger mick, jack sprat, silicone smelt, and grey ghost, all of which you can find at local tackle shops.

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