Putting the 50 Plus 2 Method to Work
By: Mark Romanack
The Pro Guppy Weight (aka Snap Weight) from Off Shore Tackle is a powerful tool for getting crankbaits to deeper depths while using shorter overall lead lengths.
Some years ago at a fishing seminar I remember listening intently as the speaker announced, “if you can’t find walleye shallow, look deep and if you can’t find them deep, try looking in between!” While the speakers comments were intended to raise a chuckle from the crowd, the truth is walleye are constantly on the move and often become challenging to find. Staying on fish does require an angler to be versatile not only in how they go about searching for walleye, but also in the presentations used to catch them.
While there are times when walleye can be caught in water barely deep enough to cover them, for much of the year walleye are more likely to be using deeper water. Early in the year before the spawn, walleye are often found staging in deep water near the rocky reefs they will later spawn on. During the dog days of summer when shallow water often becomes too warm to hold fish, walleye move deep to take advantage of cooler water near the thermocline. Later in the fall and throughout the winter months, once again it’s a safe bet that finding concentration of walleye will require searching deep water.
Crankbaits are always a useful tool for trolling up walleye, but many popular baits simply don’t dive deep enough on their own to target walleye found in the depths. Thankfully, the Off Shore Tackle Snap Weight is the ideal tool for getting popular crankbaits to deeper depths.
The Precision Trolling Data phone app is the gold standard for documenting the running depths of dozens of popular crankbaits when they are fished in combination with a two ounce Snap Weight. This precise trolling system is known as the 50 Plus 2 Method.
To get started using the 50 Plus 2 Method consult the PTD app to determine which lures have been tested with a two ounce Snap Weight. The app features a “lists” feature that identifies all the baits that have currently been tested using with the 50 Plus 2 Method. This list is updated annually as new lures are tested and ultimately included in the app.
Deep diving crankbaits like the PWC that caught this walleye can be made to run even deeper by adding a two ounce Pro Guppy Weight (aka Snap Weight) to the line and consulting the Precision Trolling Data phone app’s 50+2 Data listings.
Once you have determined a lure that is included in the 50 Plus 2 Method, attach that lure to the fishing line, zero out the line counter reel and let that bait out 50 feet. Once the lure is out 50 feet, attach a two ounce Off Shore Tackle Snap Weight to the line.
Now consult the PTD app to determine the desired target depth. A picker wheel on the app allows the angler to select the target depth. A second picker wheel will spit out the total lead length required to achieve that target depth. Let the bait out to that total lead length.
The 50 Plus 2 Method includes the initial 50 foot lead in the total or overall lead length required to achieve the target depth. In other words, the app does the math for you.
The 50 Plus 2 Method also features a host of popular trolling speeds ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 MPH in .25 MPH increments. Trolling speed makes a significant difference in the overall diving depth of a crankbait when Snap Weights are used.
The 50 Plus 2 Method is based on using fishing lines that are approximately .014 in diameter. Anglers can use either monofilament, co-polymer, fluorocarbon or super braid lines that match the .014 diameter.
Not only does the 50 Plus 2 Method get crankbaits to deeper depths than they would naturally run, it allows anglers to shorten up their leads and still achieve significant depths. Using shorter overall lead lengths helps to set lines more quickly and aids greatly in insuring that hooked fish stay buttoned up.
Of course, the 50 Plus 2 Method works best when an in-line planer board such as the OR12 or OR38 are used to spread out lines and cover the maximum amount of water.
Bryan Darland of Jay's Sporting Goods caught this impressive Saginaw Bay walleye while trolling deep diving crankbaits in combination with a two ounce Snap Weight. Using the 50+2 Data allows anglers to fish deep and still keep their lead lengths manageable.
The 50 Plus 2 Method is deadly accurate and a highly effective means of dredging up walleye from deep water. The most popular walleye crankbaits already feature this unique data and each year new lures are tested and added to the app.
Getting crankbaits deeper is no problem thanks to the Off Shore Tackle Snap Weight and the Precision Trolling Data phone app.