top of page

Black Box Techniques

Chapter VI. Using the Black Box Without Downriggers



Many fishermen would like to have the advantage of a Black Box but they do not use downriggers. River fishing for salmon or shallow water fishing for bass are two examples. Shallow water jigging is another example. Pro-Troll developed a transom mounted wire system that works just as well in attracting fish as downriggers. A piece of downrigger cable is stretched across the transom of a boat and connected to the Black Box. The field around the boat can then be adjusted to the optimum voltage.

In shallow water, the electrical field around a boat will either attract or repel fish below the boat. If the boat is "hot" fish will be repelled. A Pro-Troll transom mount kit allows a Black Box to correct the charge so that fish are attracted.


The transom mount system is composed of a piece of stainless steel downrigger cable stretched between two insulators on the transom of your boat. It is positioned so it is underwater. An insulated wire runs from the cable up into the boat and connects to the Black Box. The Pro-Troll transom mounting kit contains the parts needed for this installation. (1) A piece of downrigger cable, (2) three insulator pad mounts to hold the cable, (3) a piece of insulated tubing and (4) the necessary hardware to go to the Black Box. The three insulators can be fixed to the transom with the self sticking adhesive included or they can be mounted with screws.  The Pro-Troll Transom Mount Kit #1505 can be purchased from Pro-Troll retailers.  In many cases fishermen are able to find local materials and construct their own transom mount. 

Before installing the transom kit, thoroughly clean the locations for the insulated mounting pads.  Clean off all grease, dirt and foreign materials.  Failure to do so can result in the pad not sticking. 


The pads can be secured to the boat using the adhesive tape on the back of the pads.  For maximum bonding it is recommended that the six stainless steel screws also be used to attach the pads. It is not necessary that the #1 and #2 pads be mounted in the center of the transom as shown in the drawing. They can also be mounted to one side.


(1) Mount the three pads as shown. (2) Feed the stainless steel wire through the small hole in the #1 pad and then through the #2 pad. At this point slide one of of the small wire sleeves down next to the #2 pad. Pull the wire taut (if using only the tape mounting don't over pull as you might break the tape bond on the #1 pad). Crimp the sleeve with a pair of pliers or crimping tool; this will secure the wire in place.  Run the wire through the #3 pad and then through the last sleeve. Crimp the sleeve to prevent the wire from coming out. Cut a piece of insulation (supplied) the length of the remaining wire less one inch and feed it over the wire. Place the connector on the end of the wire and securely crimp it in place. Plug the connector on a white wire coming from the distribution post into this connector. Make sure the bare part of the stainless steel cable does not touch any metal parts on the boat.


Other Fish

The Black Box can also be used effectively with bottom feeding fish like sturgeon and catfish. In this instance, it is best to use a rod and reel with insulated wire line. Peel off the insulation to leave a short bare section near your bait. You will also have to leave a bare piece of wire somewhere in your reel. You can then clip an alligator clip from the Black Box to your wire line. Both catfish and sturgeon use electro-sensor cells to find prey. The transom mount will also help catch these fish by neutralizing the boat.

bottom of page