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Setting spreads consistently the same, how do you do it?

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Setting spreads consistently the same, how do you do it?

Old 10-05-2020, 10:35 AM
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Default Setting spreads consistently the same, how do you do it?

Over the years the topic has come up a few times, how do you ensure your spreads are consistently set the same, as far as long line lengths outrigger lines. Its downright tuff to find a crew, who 1 you can depend on...2 you can stand being around long hours and long weekends ...and most importantly can enjoy being with, have fun and fish seriously and has been around the block a time or two....
My thoughts, you need to trust your crew members, knots, rigs, fish fighting skills, gaffing, net throwing, all abilities ...ability to react in bad situations, be able to endure a bit of fun between bites and not mind him chitting in a bucket while carrying on a conversation....LOL
But seriously, I've always said having everyone on or at least mostly on the same page, It takes time to know your fishing crew and their habits and normal ways of doing things... my book in the heat of chaos no one hardly needs to talk because we know what should be done and what order it needs to be done in..... Some Captains, boat owners ect. take on the entire responsibility, which is tuff...everyone wants to be an important part of the puzzle I know.... the most talked about topic is typically gaffing and spread set...a chitty spread can cause a ton of frustrations....I've seen rods marked with lengths matched with which position that rod goes, I've seen 80 pulls, 100 ft...but everyone deploys differently...some toss baits then put the clickers on...some pull directly never removing the clicker....some every guy has his one job...One guy deploys all the baits, BUT here's where questions come to play, 1 guy does all the baits ...eventually, they need to be checked and re deployed...is it always the same guy?....I've been on a few boats where Capt doesn't want anyone touching the rods but him, or assigned duties... I've been around and fished a relatively long time...finding that nitch and right people isn't easy... what do you do that ensures your spread is consistently the same lengths while deploying and checking baits?......
Old 10-05-2020, 11:52 AM
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I found that when I would pull the throttles back the crew would race to rods to claim thier turf for the day. They all ran whatever they wanted and there was no balance or consistency. Now I have laminated diagrams of various spreads (tuna, marlin plugs, marlin baits, etc) that I show everyone on the way out. On the back of each spread is the position where each rod goes on the boat.

You can make fun of me all you want for using my laminator, but it works for me. Provides consistency, and avoids a situation where the guy with the loudest voice puts whatever they want wherever they want.

This way we are all on the same page and we have a consistent starting point for the day. We have flexibility to swap stuff out during the day but I start the same way.

Length of line from outrigger clip to lure/bait is variable. I ask crew to push back or tighten as needed from my vantage up in the tower.
Old 10-05-2020, 12:27 PM
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You can use dacron/spectra loops threaded onto the main line for lures to get consistent placement . Works really good when you have new people on the boat , they just clip it on the tag line clip and they're done , makes it quicker to get lines back out and on the fish . Wax loops will work as well . Easy to adjust if needed . Keep the loop pointing toward the boat/reel , and serve the other end with floss .


Old 10-05-2020, 12:32 PM
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Typically, when we get close to our starting point I will pull out the rigs I wanna put out. Buddies usually help rig baits prior so they know what we have. Ill set everything we are using out or on the rod Id like it on. When we pull the throttles back Ill direct 2-3 crew members which rods are going where and set them back where they are going to run well. I use the higher vantage point of the tower to make sure the baits look right. I have a group of 10 or so pretty consistent crew so they all get the basics of how far back and Ill just direct them to bring them in a little or let them out a bit if need be.

I take suggestions too from the guys I trust. Spread is usually the same types of baits in the same spots but color and size may change.

having baits out and ready to roll has been my best solution so far.
Old 10-06-2020, 04:38 AM
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My buddy is a mate on a charter boat and clients always chime in and say can we try this or that. and sometimes they do or they dont do it. This 1 day they had a guy and saw a purple and black Illander and wanted to use it in the worst wy bugged the mate all day long and they were having a slow day. finally the mate says fine we'll try it and goes to grab a ballyhoo and before he does the guy throws it over on the flat line and as he was letting it out a 300 + pound blue marlin comes up and eats it, they catch and release the marlin and made a decent day.
Old 10-06-2020, 06:50 AM
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To many variables to be consistent. We constantly change the spread to match conditions. Wind, tide, direction we are trolling and speed can change as well.

I watch the spread from the tower and instruct the position based on the running action of the lure or bait. It is seldom the same from day to day. I tell the mate and crew to watch the action and through the course of the day they adapt to the conditions.

If the team is watching and paying attention when the bite comes they should know to replicate what was going on when we got bit.

I found that most of my charters love being part of the crew and want to learn and feel like they are part of the team. It's a lot more fun than just staring out of the back of the boat for hours waiting for a bite.

Full participation makes the slow days go by much quicker.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:04 AM
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Sounds way too complicated to me for a day of fishing unless you are running a charter
If people with us know what they are doing...they do it..and I may comment on moving the bait closer or further
If they don't, we put the spread out and show them how
Fish hits...I repeat the instructions I told the newbies on the way out.
If they screw up..oh well..its just fishing




Old 10-06-2020, 09:16 AM
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I primarily king fish but for consistency I put a long line out at 80 pulls, 1 outside at 40 pulls, another outside at 20 pulls, and a propwash bait at 10-15 pulls, one bait on downrigger 15 pulls and then whatever depth desired.
Old 10-08-2020, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
To many variables to be consistent. We constantly change the spread to match conditions. Wind, tide, direction we are trolling and speed can change as well.

I watch the spread from the tower and instruct the position based on the running action of the lure or bait. It is seldom the same from day to day. I tell the mate and crew to watch the action and through the course of the day they adapt to the conditions.

If the team is watching and paying attention when the bite comes they should know to replicate what was going on when we got bit.

I found that most of my charters love being part of the crew and want to learn and feel like they are part of the team. It's a lot more fun than just staring out of the back of the boat for hours waiting for a bite.

Full participation makes the slow days go by much quicker.
This ^^^ Marking lines is not going to work, because conditions change each trip. The basics are the same of course, and are directed by the first mate or guy with the most time in your cockpit. My crew has been fishing as a unit with each other so they know where each bait should be placed. But for example, some days the Spanish Mackeral that is hooked on/trailing our Squid Chain teaser is jumping up and nailing our short rigger bait due to a chop or big swell. Then you have to adjust on the fly. Some days it is tough to see the baits, so the tower guy will direct bait placement from above. We may set our dredges at the "standard" distance at the beginning of each trip, but even that might change during the day, depending on the bite and what we are seeing. At the helm, I'll even watch how fast a boat that is hooking up next to me is trolling, or whether he is getting his bites up sea or down sea, and adjust to match. Lots of variables come into play each trip. Yes, everyone in the cockpit should be on the same page on the basics of where to place long/short rigger and flatline baits in the spread, (and the teasers and dredges). If necessary, discuss as needed, but the best crews have it down anyway. Mandating that your left short should be exactly 68FT out every trip is not necessary.

Last edited by cobraarvey; 10-08-2020 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:55 PM
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Like cobra just stated, it’s different almost every trip depending on the conditions. The baits need to swim correctly so the distance will vary to get them In the right spot in the wake. Some days that needs to be closer or further from the boat. Some days the fish just want baits set further back while other days they will eat right off the transom. Getting the presentation correct is way more important than preset footages. Once you find out what works on a given day, repeat it over and over until it stops working. The next trip start there and adjust as necessary.
Old 10-08-2020, 06:00 PM
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Down here it seems like guy lines up hits auto pilot then sets his own lines while plowing the whole fairway .
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