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Gain Control with Drift Socks
 By Bart Rosen

 Over the years anglers have always used tools that help or assist them to catch more fish.  One of the toughest challenges an angler must face is how to control his boat and its speed.  Boat control is one of the key components to successful angling.  Through out the past two decades, anglers have been trying to create devices that will help them achieve this.  One idea that has been used is the concept of resistance.  One device that uses resistance is called a drift sock.
 Drift socks have been used mostly for drifting applications.  Now that they have become a common tool among fisherman, anglers are finding new applications and other accessories to help assist their drift socks.
A drift sock is a cone-shaped under water windsock, similar to those used at airports to detect changes in wind direction.  Drift Control sea anchors aid boat control in two ways.  First, they slow your drift in strong winds.  Secondly, you can use them to fine-tune subtle boat maneuvers in rough seas or heavy current.
 Most anglers who fish large expansive lakes or rivers carry a sea anchor with them daily. Usually, one sea anchor is adequate for most boats and conditions.  But, if you have a large boat and the sea anchor isn't doing the job you may need a large one off the front cleat and a smaller one at the stern.
 When fishing alone in a console boat in heavy winds, I troll headlong into the wind with a sea anchor tied at the bow of the boat.  By letting out about 8 feet of rope, the bag trails next to the console.  I can yank it out of the water with a safety cord if I need, to without getting out of my seat and I never lose control of the boat.
Drift Control Sea Anchors
  • Only Sea Anchor Fully adjustable from boat
  • Easy To Retrieve
  • Inflates in seconds every time
  • No Tangling or Spinning
  • Control Speed of drift within boat
  • Make another pass without retrieving
  • Drift Control Sea Anchors are easy to use
    You will need two ropes approximately 3/8" in diameter.  Attatch 1 rope to tow rope
    Simple two step operation
    Run the other rope through the cylinder between the upper and lower tow straps Do not run the rope through the tow rope ring

    When placing in the water make sure the control rope is longer than the tow rope

    To deploy pull the control rope ring towards the marker on the upper tow strap.  Do not pull the control rope ring past the marker or you will pull it inside out

    Drift Control slows drift and stabilizes boat.  Tie the sock near the bow of the boat to decrease drift speed.  Minimize side to side stability .  You'll fish deeper with less weight and at the speed you desire

    Makes backtrolling more precise.  tie the sock to the bow to prevent swaying.  You will enhance boat control and fish your pattern not the winds.  If your motor fails in high winds tie the sock to the bow using a long tow rope and increase your safety by keeping the bow headed into the wind
    Use with you bow mounted electric trolling motor by tying to the stern of the boat.  This adds more precise boat control and allows you to follow the contour of the shoreline or hold on structure Click Here to order on-line
    That maybe all right if you want to slow down your presentation, but control is still very important and you have to be able to control your presentation if you want the fish to bite.  One way that I approach control is by tying a drift sock at the bow of the boat and then backtrolling along a contour depth.  By tying a Drift Control sea anchor at the bow of the boat it will hold the bow down and reduces splashing for backtrolling into the wind.  This control will even allow me to swim a lightweight Phelps half-faced jig over the rocks and keep my boat pointed in the direction I want to go, rather than the way the wind wants to push me.
     One of the devices that you can add to your Drift Control sea anchor is a harness buoy.  The harness buoy attaches to your Drift Control sea anchor with durable attachment devices and has a highly visible float that allows your drift sock to ride higher in the water.  If you have a large fish boat side, you can easily release the clips and the bag will float away, preventing entanglement.  It will not sink with the harness buoy instead it will be visible to retrieve the floating drift sock.  The Harness Buoy when attached to the Drift Control sea anchor and your boat, can easily be used as a device for retrieval back into the boat as well.

    Drift Control New Floating Harness Buoy

    Drift Sock Harness Buoy

    Drift Sock Harness Buoy, provides a multiple attachment system, allowing an angler simple and effective placement in varying conditions.The strap is made of a 2 inch nylon strap,heavy-duty quick release clip, high visibility styrofoam float, and a carabineer."This Harness Buoy is an attachment system for use with any Drift Sock!"
    This unique system allows for quick detachment of the drif sock in the event a fish starts to go in it yet you are able to retrieve the bag and harness later as it floats Click here to order on line

     The big keys to vertical jigging properly are boat position and speed, line
    attitude, jig weight, and being able to detect strikes. All of those factors are intertwined, so it’s difficult to separate one from the other without affecting the whole.
     Vertical jigging also makes it easier to fish a small area, such as a brushpile, hump or other structure.  You can often cast to within 5 feet of such an area and not get hit, but put your lure in it and you immediately come up with a fish.

    Motorguide Tour Edition bow ,mount trolling motor
    MotorGuide Tour Edition
    Lowrance X-15MT
    Lowrance’s new X-15
    My favorite technique is to use my MotorGuide trolling motor to stay in a specific place.  Finding a good spot, I’ll mark it with a buoy.  Then, using my trolling motor and depthfinder I’ll slowly work my way around the area.  I will also use my MotorGuide trolling motor and my Lowrance depthfinder to locate fish vertically along an edge such as an old creek or river channel.
    Bass fishing has virtually exploded over the last few years.  In the early season it is not uncommon to find smallmouth bass in good numbers along the rock, and shale reefs of the islands that dot many northern lakes.  Boat control is as essential when fishing for bass as it is for walleyes. As many anglers know, fish are usually most active near the windblown shore, but presenting a bait to them can prove a trial.  Anchoring limits you to a single spot when the fish may be someplace else or spread along the breakline, and short wind drifts have you motoring, casting and reeling most of the time.  Bass anglers therefore, want to slow down their presentation and not be blown off breaklines.  Here again the Drift Control sea anchor is used.
     By tying off two Drift Control sea anchors to the windward side of the boat the boat drifts perpendicular to the contour or breakline.  Occasionally the bow mount trolling motor will correct the drift or in some circumstances the kicker motor will have to be nudged into gear to compensate for gusty winds.
    Contour trolling is something that I really enjoy.  Contour trolling will allow you to present your bait right in front of the walleye.  In cold front conditions this is essential.  What you're trying to do is stay on a particular depth, or contour, where it looks like the walleyes are holding.
    To really slow down and follow the contours I use the Drift Control Sea Anchor tied off the bow or starboard side of the boat.  This acts like a brake and if I have to keep the rpm’s up a little on my kicker or big motor it still gives me control to make an inside curve or to allow the lure to track evenly behind the boat on the contour.
    Sometimes on large lakes or western reservoirs when the wind is really stiff I will attach two Drift Control sea anchors, one to each cleat off the bow section both starboard and port.  This will increase my control and allow me to run my engine at higher rpm’s to combat the waves.
    If I want to jig a productive area for walleyes the Drift Control sea anchor comes in handy here also.  It gives me control over the stern of my boat so I can fish a given contour perpendicularly.  By attaching the Drift Control to the stern cleat adjacent to the current it gives me a brake that slows down the drift of the back end of my boat and I can correct the angle with the bow mount trolling motor. I can also attach another one to the same side of boat in the bow giving me more drag and a slower presentation when I vertically jig this contour.
    The Drift Control sea anchors most common use remains controlled drifting.  But given time and usage with this product, anglers will begin to understand the other functions.  Next time that you are out fishing, experiment with one of these applications, "throw it out" and see how you can also gain control with drift socks!

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