Hi AMFisHers! This weeks AMFisH fishing vlog is tips for trolling:
Trolling is a great natural way to present a bait to fish and comes in handy on those slow fishing days, as this natural presentation can result in strikes. It’s also a great way to catch some bigger better quality fish as well, as you are covering a lot of water by constantly moving around the lake.
One of the biggest benefits of trolling is that you actually learn the lake bottom very well, when it comes to structure and spots that hold fish. The more water you cover the better you will become and identifying key things like, drop offs, spots that fish stack up in, where the bait is holding and moving to, you learn a lot about what is happening below which is extremely priceless information.
Trolling is a little trickier without electronics so the first thing you will want to do is watch where people are trolling and when they leave the spot head over to check it out. Start with working various depths to chart your path, use a shallow running bait to see how deep you get with it and from there you can go to deeper diving baits should the water depth allow you to.
Trying different speeds is also another great way to see how the fish want the bait presented to them, sometimes they will hit a very slow moving bait and other times if the fish are more aggressive on a feed they will hammer a bait very hard, so be sure to watch your fishing rod tip at all times. I place a finger on the line as well so I get a very quick feel if something changes in how the bait is swimming.
While trolling be sure to gain a good feel for how each bait you use is moving through the water, because once that action changes you are either bumping off of structure, dragging through weeds or hooked into a fish, then key thing is to know how the bait moves and when the bait action changes.
When a fish does strike do not and I mean do not stop the boat, keep moving forward while you set the hook as any slack in the line will allow the fish a chance at getting free. Keep that pressure on the fish with constant boat movement and when you feel the fish is on the hooks well you can put the boat in neutral to start fighting the fish.
When it comes to gear you can troll with various fishing rods, from medium action to extra heavy action gear/line, as trolling does not only have to be big fish strategy. You will want to use a longer leader when trolling as well, something around the 14″ to 18″ range, as a fish can inhale the entire bait while trolling due to the force it attacks with, so making sure you have at least 14″ between the fish and your main fishing line is critical, sometimes you might even want to use a 24″ leader for even more coverage.
While trolling you should also try maneuvering in different patterns, by making larger S patterns side to side and big swooping long turns and many strike happen while the boat is making a turn, due to the drop in speed and the bait rising. Letting off the throttle for a few seconds is also a good way to cause strikes, as a following fish will see the bait start to stop and rise which usually triggers a reactionary strike at that time.
If you are trolling for predator fish like pike and musky trying faster trolling speeds is also a good idea as well as some larger baits, remember fish exert a lot of energy striking at bait, so the bigger the meal sometimes the more likely a fish will move for that bait.
Trolling has a lot of benefits to offer a fisherman, so give it a try and once you start to master it you will see some bigger better quality fish being landed.
Hope you found this post helpful!
The AMFisH guy…
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