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#1019928 - 01/09/20 07:56 PM How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
One of the biggest misconceptions are that, if you add more zinc, you will have a stronger hull voltage. In some cases, if you add too much zinc, you start to repel fish. I have been working on this for several years now and to the point where I was paying for advertising, offering 'Free Help' to boat owners who had problem boats. This was to have a better understanding and to confirm my suspicions of what makes a boat 'fishy'. The added data was invaluable to me and prompted me to do a comparison study. The study is done on lakes and for trout. Before you start complaining "TROUT", when I developed my Lurecharge system of voltage tuned lures, the first fish that I proved it on was cutthroat trout. Since then, every other species that has been tested has mirrored results to trout. This includes fish from chinook salmon to ice fishing for perch. When a fish is receptive, the ratios are virtually identical regardless of species.
I am doing a study where, instead of using tuned lures, I am using plain sets of identical lures and adjusting the boat's signature to be neutral, negative, or positive. My lures are trolled. one at 30 ft and the other at 100 ft or more behind the boat. In order to have an unbiased outcome, I alternate the lures every strike or two and use several sets of lures without any flashers or attractants. I also try to stay in open water as opposed to having one lure closer to the beach. The boat setup is an unpainted 14 ft Lund with an 8 hp Yamaha with all zincs removed. The results so far are as follows.
NEUTRAL SIGNATURE - 50/50 within one fish (no zincs).
NEGATIVE SIGNATURE - 72% of the fish will strike the 100 ft lure (repelling mode achieved by hanging 25 sq in zinc (exposed surface area) off the stern with twine and not connected electrically to hull).
POSITIVE SIGNATURE - 75% of the fish will strike the 30 ft lure (attracting mode achieved by electrically connecting the same zinc to the hull with copper wire).
The study to date is based on 37 fish strikes. I am hoping to double the numbers in the spring of 2020. I was hoping to collect data throughout the winter, but the fish have essentially shut down on eating. I was going to wait before publishing my data, but thought that some of you might find it interesting prior to spring haulouts and re-zincing.
Many of the anglers that I have talked to are experiencing identical problems. A lot of them have upgraded their boats and/or motors, only to discover that they now only catch about 1/3 of the fish compared to their old boats. The guys that upgraded from older unpainted aluminum boats to new aluminum boats with painted bottoms are now overzinced and repelling fish. This is essentially what I tried to imitate with my boat in NEGATIVE SIGNATURE mode. New outboards seem to have lots of zinc and no exposed metal to protect, especially if the prop is painted. Owners of fiberglass boats are similarly affected when they replace their old outboard motors for new ones. Outboards with bare stainless props, guards or cavitation plates will be fishier. If aluminum hulls were unpainted and there was electrical continuity between the zincs and the hull, the boat would be fishy as all get out. In all cases, zincs need to be way smaller than the proud metal that they are protecting. As an example, my 14 ft Lund is normally pretty fishy, just with the one small zinc at the bottom of my Yamaha. The hull metal to zinc ratio is greater than 1,000 to 1. When I attach the 25 sq in zinc, my ratio goes to about 350 to 1. When I am in this POSITIVE SIGNATURE mode, I have never had so many fish strikes this close to my boat!!!! The math is really easy.
BOAT TESTING
If you want to know where your boat is in relation to it's zinc ratio, here is a test to try. You should be 100% confident that you have a sound bonding system. Move away from the dock and other boats. Have an assortment of zinc anodes ready to attach a wire to. Take your voltmeter on 2 volts dc and attach the negative probe to the bonding system, battery ground or rudder post. Simply drop the positive probe into the water beside the boat (most are nickel plated probes), note the initial reading. If you have outboards or I/O's, keep your engine running so as to keep the internal engine and engine anodes wet (they are also part of the equation). Now use good sized wire and connect the zincs to the bonding system and lower them one at a time into the water. Note the initial reading and the subsequent readings as more zincs are included. Leave enough time in between zincs to allow the voltage reading to settle. If the readings increase from the initial reading, only add zinc to a point where the voltage stops increasing. You may go a bit over, simply because your zincs will diminish throughout the year. You can also plan on adding more mid season.
If your initial voltage reading does not increase at all, or goes down, you had too much zinc to start with. This can be altered by removing zinc, or installing more proud metal so the ratio gets better. I have found with my tuned lures that they will still attract fish as low as 5 parts proud metal (marine grade aluminum or stainless) to 1 part zinc. Higher ratios than 5 to 1 are preferred.
For the skeptics, if you think that fish aren't that sensitive and you know someone that has a non-fishy boat, just ask them if they can catch fish down at 200 ft depth?
NOTE - In this test, the voltage reading will not be a true hull voltage, but will be helpful for knowing how much zinc to use.


Edited by Iwannagofishin (01/10/20 09:25 AM)
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#1019932 - 01/09/20 11:52 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
RabidAngler Offline
The Crybaby King

Registered: 04/04/13
Posts: 3656
Loc: Monterey CA
Ah.
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"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."-Some Dude From Way Back

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#1019934 - 01/10/20 01:45 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Keta Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1090
In another lifetime when i was running a troller our group of five boats screwed around with zinc. At some point an adjustable voltage black box became available to connect to the isolated gurdies. With the experimentation between the five boats it was very apparent that the correct vdc was attributable to higher catch rate. Dialed in .3vdc for kings and .6 for coho.

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#1019939 - 01/10/20 09:16 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Bay wolf Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 1059
Loc: Graham, WA
Thanks for this valuable information and insights. I run a full metal boat and now I have a way of checking it's charge level.
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"Forgiveness is between them and God. My job is to arrange the meeting."

1Sgt U.S. Army (Ret)

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#1019942 - 01/10/20 09:38 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: RabidAngler]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
Back in 1979 a UBC student did his masters thesis on board a troller. He focused on the best voltages for chinook and sockeye. Long story short, chinook were best and biggest fish at .5 v and sockeye at 1 v. any time a negative voltage was present, no fish were caught. Unfortunately the results are flawed because he was mixing voltages that were too close together, there was no consideration for the hull voltage signature and some times he was in surface fresh water, being off the Fraser during sockeye openings. Might sound like small change to some, but with what I have learned, it all matters. I know the fish believe me.
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#1019945 - 01/10/20 10:29 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3340
I eat zinc with shocking results.

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#1019947 - 01/10/20 10:34 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
bushbear Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 4668
Loc: Sequim
Iwannagofishin also makes some interesting gear that has produced fish for me.

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#1019981 - 01/10/20 03:14 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: WDFW X 1 = 0]
RabidAngler Offline
The Crybaby King

Registered: 04/04/13
Posts: 3656
Loc: Monterey CA
Originally Posted By: WDFW X 1 = 0
I eat zinc with shocking results.


I had some great cough drops when I was really sick a few years ago.
_________________________
"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."-Some Dude From Way Back

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#1020222 - 01/16/20 01:05 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: RabidAngler]
kalamageo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 289
Loc: Oly
So, how is current passed to a fish at 100 feet down on down riggers with braid line?

Should I go back to stainless?

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#1020228 - 01/16/20 02:37 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
The current isn't passed down the line. It radiates that far and further in water, depending on the mineral content (conductivity) of the water. My original testing was done with a 30 ft test trough. I was measuring how far away I could detect the voltage. In salt water, the voltage only dropped by a couple of percent at 30 ft. In fresh water (Comox Lake tap water), the voltage dropped 30% for every 10 ft of separation. Later on, we had a boil advisory, so I took my equipment to Comox Lake marina. I took measurements out to 140 ft, which was the length of the dock. I could still read the lure voltage at about 3/4 of the original value. If I can read it, so can the fish. That indicates the range of conductivity that can be experienced in fresh water.
I continue to say to anglers that, if you know someone who has a non-fishy boat, they can't catch fish even past 200 ft depth. So, if the negative, repelling sensation can be felt by fish at those depths, they can also sense the attracting, positive voltage field coming from a properly tuned boat.
My 3 trollers all had black boxes, and I can say with confidence that, as long as the boat was properly bonded and zinced, my black boxes had little effect on my catch rates. I commonly fished 40 fathoms of wire, and down as much as 70 fathoms. The boats that had lesser hull signature values saw more success by using black boxes to send voltage down the wires.
Stick with the braid, simply for less blowback. I will be doing an article fir tha Island Fishing Magazine for the March issue. I will post a link to the online version, once it is published.


Edited by Iwannagofishin (01/16/20 02:41 PM)
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#1020321 - 01/18/20 11:43 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Bobber Down Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/30/99
Posts: 532
Loc: Lake Forest Dark, Wa
Any You Tube videos you can post that can show the not so mechanically inclined the testing process? Very interesting to say the least.

BD
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Bobber Down

"It makes no sense to regulate salmon habitat on land while allowing thousands of yards of gill nets to be stretched across salmon habitat in the water"

John Carlson, Gubernatorial Contender, Sept. 2000 speech at the Ballard Locks

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#1020329 - 01/18/20 01:08 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
Here is one that I did a few years ago. I might get motivated and make some better ones on different boats, but you should still get the idea.
[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoFtn1qJ4XE[/video]
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www.LURECHARGE.COM

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#1020341 - 01/18/20 03:56 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1042
Interesting? I need to check for continuity. I wonder if I have to much zinc on my 2014 Aluminum 21' NR Seahawk? The original stock zincs are still in good shape w/ minimal pitting under moderate use in the salt. The only eroded zinc that really needs to be replaced is the trim zinc near the prop on the Yam. F150. The stern has 2. One on ea side next to the trim tabs 7.5"x1x1. The outboard mount has a good sized one and all jumpers are installed. None up front on the hull. I've never had trouble catching fish but would like to dial it in. What do you think?


Edited by RUNnGUN (01/18/20 03:59 PM)
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"After fishing for Steelhead for over 45 years, Steelheading as I know it is gone in Puget Sound!"
ME

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#1020347 - 01/18/20 04:48 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
Corroding anodes is your friend. If your hull anodes are not corroding, I have to ask if the hull is painted or bare? Also check for continuity from hull anodes to trim tabs, and outboard trim anode to hull anodes. If it has a stainless prop, check it to the trim anode above. I just don't know if your prop has a vulcanized hub and is insulated from the shaft.
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#1020388 - 01/19/20 02:29 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1042
Originally Posted By: Iwannagofishin
Corroding anodes is your friend. If your hull anodes are not corroding, I have to ask if the hull is painted or bare? Also check for continuity from hull anodes to trim tabs, and outboard trim anode to hull anodes. If it has a stainless prop, check it to the trim anode above. I just don't know if your prop has a vulcanized hub and is insulated from the shaft.


Hull is bare Alum. Do have a stainless prop and it measures 25+ M Ohms between prop and trim anode. Trim tabs show open between hull and anodes....has rubber hinge and plastic trim motor mounts. Is this bad? Everything else shows good continuity, 1ohm or less between hull, all anodes, including outboard and kicker, and battery negative.
Should I jumper trim tabs to the hull?
Not sure what to do with the prop? Thanks for your help.
_________________________
"After fishing for Steelhead for over 45 years, Steelheading as I know it is gone in Puget Sound!"
ME

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#1020390 - 01/19/20 03:03 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
I might try the prop to trim anode test again, but on 20 ohm setting if you have one. Maybe test a prop blade to the center shaft nut, or leg housing nut, just to get an idea of where the weak link is.
I would definitely make sure the trim tabs are joined to the hull. With the hull being bare, you should not be overzinced on any metal, as long as everything is interconnected. When you connect the bare stainless trim tabs, your hull voltage will increase somewhat. You should also have a factory jumper wire connecting the leg to the low end of the swivel mount, and maybe one at the engine tilt pin. Check these.
Probably a better alternative to an ohm meter, is to have a battery powered light and run the ground circuit through your points to be tested. That way, you are driving current through the connections. A bright light means a good circuit.
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#1020413 - 01/20/20 02:40 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1042
OK. I checked prop blade to trim anode and got fluctuating 1000 ohms. Prop blade to prop shaft and nut fluctuating 12,000 ohms. Prop shaft to anode and hull .5 ohms. All jumpers are good. Something is insulating the prop from the shaft. Isn't the core of all props a sacrificial rubber material that can be spun if it hits a rock or something to prevent lower end damage? How do you common up that if that's the case? How important is this one weak link to the overall scheme of things?


Edited by RUNnGUN (01/20/20 02:41 PM)
_________________________
"After fishing for Steelhead for over 45 years, Steelheading as I know it is gone in Puget Sound!"
ME

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#1020414 - 01/20/20 04:41 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
Iwannagofishin Offline
Smolt

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 81
Loc: British Columbia
I know that some have the vulcanized hubs and Yamaha has their Shift Dampener, but you would have to check your own to see what it is. If you have a spare prop, it might give you a better idea. Stainless won't have as much negative affect on the fish as aluminum, so if that is the only non-bonded metal, it may not be too bad. If you have a Shift Dampener prop, it is possible that contact is made when under load. I'm grasping for straws here. You might have to get creative in order to make a good connection.
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www.LURECHARGE.COM

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#1020419 - 01/20/20 06:38 PM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1042
I think I'm good. Thanks for all your help.
_________________________
"After fishing for Steelhead for over 45 years, Steelheading as I know it is gone in Puget Sound!"
ME

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#1021389 - 02/03/20 10:17 AM Re: How Much Zinc Makes a Boat Fishy [Re: Iwannagofishin]
cncfish Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 257
Loc: whale pass
hello,
so first, I have a fiberglass boat. If I run a rubber snubber from my downrigger cable to my ball will that stop voltage issues, from the cable.

second, I am fairly certain I want to stick to cable as I am old and set in my ways, and I have old downriggers that are not in beautiful shape, I took one in for service the other day and the kid called it an antique. so I am sure I would need to replace pulleys and stuff with braid. I do plan on checking the voltage next trip out to see if the boat is still running hot, I had issues in the past.
Eric

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