Using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario

Using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario is part of our daily routine when it comes to putting fish in the boat during our Lake Ontario charter fishing trips. More specifically, it helps to make our dipsey diver set-ups some of the most deadliest rods on our charter boat the “Ace.” This article will explain and describe how we use the Fish Hawk TD’s, that’s right we have two of them, when charter fishing on Lake Ontario.

using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario

The Fishhawk TD

Running Items At The Right Depth

To be effective with dipsey divers, they have to be running in the right zone in the water column. This means having them at the right depth and temperature of the target species. So, how do you know where the right temperature and depth are without guessing? More importantly, how do you know that your divers are running in the right place, especially when you’re not getting bit? Enter the Fishhawk TD!  This unit takes all the guess work out of running your diver set-up(s).

When using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario, we leave nothing to chance! There is no uncertainty to where our divers are running. The TD tells us exactly where the divers are running at trolling speed. This is huge! Fishhawk TD’s are pretty easy to use. Here’s how we go about doing it!

Preparing To Use The Fishhawk TD

The first rods to go in the water are our dipsey divers. We do this by bleeding them out against loose drag sets so that they peel out line slowly. The next rod that goes into the water is on the probe rigger with the Fishhawk X4D. While the divers are bleeding out we find the right temperature and depth that we are targeting with the X4D probe rigger. Once we have the temperature dialed in at speed, we now know via the X4D at what depth we need to be at with the divers. Using past experience we can make an educated guess as to how far out to set the divers before we TD them. If you’re not sure you can always use a 3:1 ratio of line out to depth or 1 ft. deep for every 3 ft. out of diver line as a starting point. And, that’s all it will be is…..a starting point!

Dialing In With The TD

If the dipsey rods start firing at those settings, all well and good. But, what if they are not firing? How do you know that the divers are in the right zone? Fact is, you don’t. This is why we put out the TD’s on our divers. The first step, is to turn the units on by pressing the start button. The TD will go through its functions and then start to flash ready in the top left corner. Its now ready to be attached to the dipsey line with the provided dual lock snap. Once you attach it to the line , place it in the water and let it slide all the way down to the diver itself while the rod is in the fishing position.

If you pay attention to the rod tip of the diver rod, the rod tip will quiver and shake when the TD finishes sliding all the way down to the diver. We have had several occasions when the diver rod gets bit when the TD is attached to it, too!  Once you’re ready to check out the info on the TD,trip the diver and reel it in. You will now have key data in your hands to help dial in your divers. This is where using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario will really shine.

Verify Depth That’s Working

Here’s a key tip. Even if your diver(s) are getting bit before you TD them, it’s a good idea to TD them anyways. The TD will give you the depth and temperature that you are getting bit at. (It may not be where you think) You can then dial other rods in your trolling spread to match the depth and temperature of the bites. We have also noticed that no two divers run exactly alike all the time; one reason being that the diver reels may not have exactly the same amount of line on them. Another reason is that some divers do not weigh exactly the same and can vary in weight. So each diver needs to be adjusted accordingly, especially if their not firing.

Using The Fishhawk TD Functions

When using the Fishhawk TD , it will be in one of two states after you retrieve it. If it’s in the ready position, just press the view button repeatedly until it reads “Max Depth”. While doing this, it will read in 5 ft. increments until it reaches “Max Depth”. If the unit is shut off when you get it back, press the start button, let it cycle to ready, and then press the view button. You will have the temperature and depth in 5 ft. increments giving you the data you need to know where your divers are running at the way you presently have them set out.

The best time to use the TD is as early as possible during the fishing trip. One reason is that the sooner you dial in the divers to the right depth and temperature, the sooner you will get bit. Also, not so obvious, waterfleas can collect on diver lines and prohibit the TD from sliding all the way down the line to the divers. It’s a good idea to do it before the fleas have a chance to collect on the line.

Fishhawk TD Educates You

You will be amazed at times to find out exactly how your divers are running  on your boat at your speed. After a while, you will learn to read the diver line angles. They can change with trolling direction and trolling speed. The more you pay attention, the better feel you will have for just whats going on down below your boat. Trolling direction and currents can wreak havoc on your divers. Due to the currents, you may find, as we have, that there may be days that normal size divers actually have no chance to get down to the target zone. These are the conditions that call for running mag divers.

Using the Fishhawk TD will let you know just how much line to let out on your divers for any situation. It will also help you learn just how much line to let out in the beginning, to get close, before you actually TD your divers. Running and keeping your divers in the desired location maximizes your ability to get strikes. That alone is the best reason to be using the Fishhawk TD on Lake Ontario. The TD Fishhawk is a must have tool to add to your Lake Ontario trolling arsenal.