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Will Elliott: Anglers have sub thing to troll about

Lake Erie’s walleye and Lake Ontario’s trout and salmon are abundant, but finding the right depths and speeds for catching these fish can be perplexing.

While winds and waves are moving in one direction on a water surface, currents can move at differing speeds and directions just a few feet below a boat hull.

An inexpensive, reliable product produced in Buffalo can help to quickly identify water and fishing conditions for anglers afloat. Moor Electronics on Dorothy Street has been involved in marine electronics production under its current ownership since 1987, making a quality line of sailing instruments. But for area anglers the Moor Sub-Troll 900 model is the most popular electronics model.

Moor marine instruments have been on the market since 1972, mainly providing precise readings of wind and hull speed and of depth for sailing boaters. But models that indicate speed and temperatures at the depth of an angler’s trolling weight and lure have been a mainstay for Moor manufacturing in recent years.

Moor has been producing this type of model for more than 20 years, competing with higher-priced models that provide the same accurate readouts.

Duane Simano, president and CEO, and Henry Zagara, treasurer and secretary, showed how complicated circuitry and model designs are put together, with a brief history and current update on the state of electronics development.

Marine electronic devices have been in use for more than a century, and World War II sonar prompted anglers to get into fish finding with electronic boxes in the 1950s.

Along with marine/sonar unit production, Moor also supplies circuit boards for private businesses and government agencies, so we stayed away from the green boards and electronic connections for inner and outer space gadgets. Fishing gizmos can be complicated enough when biting fish are not to be found while afloat.

Simano and Zagara set up the current Moor works at Dorothy Street 19 years earlier. Both are casual anglers but have a thorough understanding of the right electronic instrumentation that makes readings easy for trolling anglers.

Temperature readings on Moor units are virtually instant, about twice as fast as other units, which is handy when temperature breaks change quickly around thermoclines (water layers where temperatures change rapidly) that push fish up or down the water column.

The Downrigger cable transmits readings, so the unit does not need a transducer for temperature readings. Speed readings on the surface and down at the rig weight are sent from a paddle wheel that can be distorted by marine growth or items caught in the paddle. Moor’s Sub-Troll 900 has a much larger, recessed paddle-wheel system that accurately records speeds and is less likely to pick up weeds, paper, plastic or other paddle obstructions.

When the unit is out of the water the electronic functions cease and do not draw on the downrigger battery, which is good for more than 150 hours of use. A clip can be installed on the sending unit so that it can be easily removed from the downrigger connection.

One of the most inviting features of the new Sub-Troll 900 is the price. Most new speed/temperature units push $700. The Moor unit with all connections, clips and mounting accessories is priced under $500.

For trollers who need basic surface trolling readings, the Osprey, Kingfish and Tournament Kingfish models give accurate speed readings. Satellite and high-speed gauges often miss the slight differences in speed needed to slow down for walleye and lake trout or to speed up for salmon and other trout. These models can be mounted on the transom or in through-hull versions.

Moor offers a year’s guarantee and helpful advice when mounting and operating all of its marine electronics devices. For more details on all Moor models, call (800) 876-4971 or visit