Using the Fishhawk X4D
Using the Fishhawk X4D on our Lake Ontario fishing charters when trolling for trout and salmon has made my life as a charter boat captain just that much easier. The X4D is Fishhawk’s newest creation in the downspeed and temperature market for big water trolling. This newer unit is an upgrade from their previous X4 model and includes a pressure sensor that gives the actual depth of the probe in the water column based upon water pressure. Not taking anything for granted,we took the unit into a known depth of water, in fact several different depths, to verify its accuracy and found it to be most accurate.
So how does one go about using the Fishhawk X4D to its fullest potential and even more importantly, to catch more fish? The answer is to fish in the preferred temperature of the target species that you are after. Fishawk includes a pamphlet along with the probe that gives the preferred temperatures of most of the Great Lakes fish species that trollers’ target. Once we know what species of fish that we want to target, the next step is to find the actual depth of that water temperature in the column that they prefer so that we can deploy our fishing lines there. This is the real beauty of using the Fishhawk X4D.
Let’s say that we are targeting king salmon on this particular day. Using the pamphlet that comes with the unit, we find that the preferred temperature on the Great Lakes for king salmon is 44 degrees. The downrigger with the X4D is deployed into the water until the preferred temperature is shown on the display while trolling at the preferred speed. Using the X4D this way we can now look and see what the actual vertical depth of the 44 degree water is at speed. This information is very valuable. It takes all the guess work out of the equation.
Lets say that the display is showing that the temperature is 80 feet in the column and our downrigger using the Fishhawk X4D has 100 feet of cable out to get this reading. We now know where to send our other downriggers into the column based upon this information. On our charter boat The “Ace“, we typically will run our riggers ten feet apart so the spread would have one rigger at 90 feet, one rigger at 110 feet and of course the probe rigger at 100 feet. Because we know that the actual depth of our target temperature is 80 feet, we now also know where to put out our dipseys and what coppers or other long lines to choose.
Using the Fishhawk X4D while running our Lake Ontario fishing charters has definitely made our jobs a lot more easier. Having the knowledge of the preferred temperatures of most of the Lake Ontario fish species as well as the actual depth of those temperatures at any given moment has definitely stacked the odds in our favor for having a successful day out on the water. This past season our Ace Charters clients were fortunate enough to boat 9 king salmon over thirty pounds fishing with this method. Do you think I’m a believer?