A wish has finally come true for river bank-bound anglers.
Now it's possible to fish Hot Shot® plugs just as effectively
from shore as it is from a drift boat or a jet sled . . .
without the boat!
This Luhr Jensen Tech Report explains how to use the Hot
Shot® Side Planer, and get your lure out in the river where
the big ones are!
For years, boat fishermen pulling Hot Shots® have been outfishing
and thus frustrating bank anglers. The reasons they could
cover more of the right kind of water, and they could hold
their lures in that fishy water for as long as they wanted.
As a result, three things have been on every bank angler's
wish list: the ability to use a plug like the boater; the
ability to reach fish-holding water that boats could, but
which were out of normal casting range; and the ability to
keep a lure in that fish-holding water, if and when it got
there. The Hot Shot® Side Planer is the answer to all three
The proven effectiveness of another product, the Hot Shot®
diving plug, prompted our tackle developers to research, design,
test and manufacture a product that would allow any bank fisherman
the ability to fish plugs with the same productivity as that
enjoyed by boat anglers. The result the Side Planer, a buoyant,
surface-planing, five-inch long device that will pull a plug
(or other lure) 100 feet or more out into the river. . . and
keep it there!
The obvious advantage to the shore-bound angler
is the ability to fish a Hot Shot® in the same manner and
in the same water as that used productively by boaters. It
also has some interesting advantages for boat fishermen, such
as being able to use multiple rods and work a wider swath
without tangling lines. It also works for forward trolling
in lakes and reservoirs.
The boater will quickly discover the Side Planer's
many advantages, but it was developed for the bank fisherman
and this Tech Report is about that fishing style.
If you've never seen a Side Planer in operation,
or talked to an angler who's used one, you may think it's
just another gadget designed to catch fishermen and not fish.
The difference, however, between the Side Planer and other
"gadgets" you may have seen or tried over the years is . .
. THIS ONE WORKS!
For several years now, river fishermen throughout
the United States have been increasing their catches by using
a Side Planer and Hot Shot® combination and they've been doing
it from the bank. The ability to fish with plugs gives the
bank angler access to the most productive river fishing technique
used by professional guides and boat anglers . . . "Hot Shotting."
You no longer must rely strictly on drift tackle.
The Side Planer gives you the ability to add boat-type plug
fishing to your arsenal of techniques and you'll find this
method paying off when others fail. In fact, many anglers
have switched to side planing as their No. 1 river fishing
technique, but whether you use it exclusively, or along with
other methods, you will want a Side Planer handy at all times.
The Side Planer allows you to position your
plug in fish-holding water and work effectively through it,
covering every inch. It also gives you the ability to fish
with plugs on rivers where boats are not allowed or in areas
where boat fishing is difficult. Side planing is a great way
to prospect a stretch of new, unknown water quickly and efficiently.
Some additional advantages of the Side Planer are: It
disassembles into a small package for easy storage; it attaches
to regular line and tackle; it is free-sliding and runs down
the line after a strike, allowing you to have as much line
between the plug and it as you wish; it has an adjustable
leader lock arm; it can be set up for either left hand or
right hand running; it comes with a small fin for fast water
and a large for medium to slower currents; it acts as a bobber
on the strike; it has minimum friction in the water after
the fish is on (no more than a 1 1/2-in. cork float) and it
can be used successfully by ANY angler.
Before rigging up the Side Planer, it is critical
that you tune your Hot Shot® so it will have the correct,
fish-catching action. Place the plug you've selected in the
water and pull it through, observing its diving action. If
the Hot Shot® dives straight and true, it's ready to fish.
If it dives off the left, then, with the bill facing you,
turn the screw eye slightly clockwise. If it dives off to
the right, turn the screw eye slightly counterclockwise. Adjust
the screw eye until the plug dives absolutely straight down.
A properly tuned Hot Shot® will outfish any other lure of
After you've done it a few times, rigging your
Side Planer will only take a few seconds. Assemble it according
to the direction you wish it to fish, with the rudder facing
away from the planer body. The rudder must be placed on the
planer body in the direction you wish it to go with the round
end of the main planer body facing (pointing) upstream. Run
your main line (12- to 20-lb. test) through the tripper arm,
down through the front fin line guide and then through the
eyelet at the base of the planer. Thread a 5mm bead on your
line, then tie it to a #5 McMahon barrel swivel. The bead
and swivel will act as a stopper when the Side Planer is tripped
and will keep it away from any hooked fish. To the other end
of the barrel swivel, tie a 24- to 36-inch leader (lighter
test than your main line) and to the end of this leader, tie
on your favorite Hot Shot®, being sure to use the round eye
Luxon® snap provided with each lure so you get the absolute
best plug action and vibration.
Hold the Side Planer in one hand and with the
other hand, place the plug in the water. Then strip out the
amount of line you want between the planer and the plug. Most
successful anglers use from 20 to 40 feet of line between
planer and plug, rigging short for short drifts or shallow
water and long for long drifts or deep water.
Once the desired amount of line has been released,
secure the line to the front fin tab of the planer with four
wraps and snap the locking arm into position. Keeping tension
on the line at all times, set the Side Planer in the water
and you're ready to go "Hot Shotting" from shore.
Tension on the tripper arm can be adjusted to make it trip
with harder or softer pulls by either pinching down, or spreading
the bars on the arm with pliers. Most anglers prefer a tighter
tension, especially when fishing strong currents, so that
water pressure against the planer won't cause an inadvertent
trip. Just remember that with tight tension, you'll have to
set the hook harder to cause the arm to trip and the planer
to slide down to your pre-set swivel.
Now, when you let out a little line at a time,
the river current will catch the fin of the planer and slowly
pull it and the trailing plug away from you and out into the
river. (The Hot Shot® Side Planer comes complete with two
rudders: a standard large rudder and a smaller one for use
in fast water).
Fine-toothed files have proved to be the absolute
best hook sharpening tools and Luhr Jensen's Sharp Hook File
is the ultimate for maintaining super-sharp hooks. Hold the
file parallel to the hook point and with gentle, one-way strokes,
remove a small amount of metal on at least two sides of the
point, producing a sticky-sharp point with a knife-like cutting
edge. Keep the file clean and dry and occasionally spray it
with a non-corrosive lubricant such as WD-40. Files are available
in 5 1/2" x 3/4" or 4 1/4" x 5/8".
"HOT SHOTTING" TECHNIQUE
Once you've maneuvered the Side Planer and your plug into
the head (upstream) end of the water you wish to fish, you
can then begin the classic Hot Shotting technique of slowly
working the lure down through the drift. Just like working
a boat slowly down a river, let the Side Planer slip slowly
downstream through the drift.
Take two steps downstream and then stop for
a few seconds . . . two more steps and stop, etc., until you
have thoroughly worked the drift. Letting less or more line
out, you then can work through the drift again if you wish
to cover water you might have missed or you can make the Side
Planer work a zig-zag pattern the first time through. In any
case, the Side Planer will allow you to cover every inch of
water in each drift.
A big trick to running a Side Planer is to
keep your line up and out of the water so you have a direct
line from rod tip to planer arm. You can effectively fish
100 feet or more across from your position on the bank, but
your line must stay clear of the water.
If you plan to include side planing among your
other river fishing techniques, it also is a good idea to
have a pre-rigged leader, complete with a barrel swivel and
a round-eye snap, ready for quick changes. The planer can
be assembled in seconds . . . add the leader and lure and
HOT SHOT® SIZES AND COLORS FOR STEELHEAD,
SALMON & LARGE TROUT
All sizes of Hot Shots® can be used with a Side Planer
but the 25, 30, 35 and 40 sizes are the most popular. Hot
Shot® colors that have proved effective and that we recommend
are listed below. You're encouraged to experiment with different
colors and sizes to find the ones that will work best for
In our plated/metallic series, try the #869 Metallic Orange,
#933 Metallic Pink, #922 Gold/Green Pirate®, #923 Silver/Blue
Pirate®, #935 Metallic Dark Green or #949 Silver/Blue Top.
In our painted series we recommend the #863 Orange Crawfish,
#943 Red Magic and the new Hot TailÔ #747 Silver/Green Chartreuse,
#850 Hot TailÔ Silver/Chartreuse, #851 Hot TailÔ Silver /Fire
and #856 Hot TailÔ Gold/Fire.
A special round eye Luxon® snap (no swivel)
comes with each Hot Shot® plug to produce maximum fish-catching
action. The snap is especially manufactured to ensure that
only a perfectly-rounded end comes in contact with the lure's
Also, the S.E. (Special Edition) Hot Shots®
in the 1/4-oz. and 1/2-oz. sizes are hot, as are the new "Hot
Tail" versions which draw fish strikes to the rear, hook end
of the plug. For slow water or deep, slow holes, try the K12
Kwikfish® in a #913 Fluorescent Red "Fire" or #921 Gold finish.
As a final note, we encourage you to be courteous
to other anglers when fishing with plugs. Run your Side Planer
where it will not interfere with others.