What Is Trolling Fishing? Learn the Ultimate Guide to Catching Big Fishes!

Spread the love

Trolling fishing is an age-old technique of catching fish by dragging lines through the water from a moving boat. It involves using lures, baits or teasers to tempt fishes into biting. This method of fishing has been around for centuries and is highly popular among anglers all over the world because it’s one of the most effective ways of catching big game fish.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, trolling fishing presents an exciting challenge with endless possibilities and opportunities to catch your dream fish. With patience, skill, and knowledge, you can take on nature and outsmart these creatures of the deep.

In this ultimate guide to catching big fishes, we will explore the ins and outs of trolling fishing. From its history and evolution to equipment selection and techniques to use, we will cover everything you need to know to become a successful troll fisherman. We will share tips, tricks, and secrets that have worked for seasoned pros in the industry and help demystify any misconceptions about this rewarding method of fishing.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” -Ted Hughes

So, grab your gear and get ready to embark on this exciting journey as we delve deep into the fascinating world of trolling fishing.

The Basics of Trolling Fishing

What is Trolling Fishing?

Trolling fishing is a method of fishing where one or more baited lines are drawn through the water behind a boat. The goal is to attract fish that might not bite stationary bait and entice them into biting. This type of fishing can be done in both freshwater and saltwater, and is popular among anglers all over the world.

The Advantages of Trolling Fishing

  • Effective: One of the biggest advantages of trolling fishing is its effectiveness. By moving the bait through the water, you’re able to cover a larger area and increase your chances of catching fish.
  • Variety: Because trolling allows you to cover more ground, it opens up the possibility of catching different types of fish. You could catch anything from salmon and trout to tuna and marlin.
  • Fun: Even if you aren’t catching any fish, trolling can be a fun activity because you get to spend time on the water with friends or family.

The Disadvantages of Trolling Fishing

  • Requires Equipment: In order to go trolling fishing, you’ll need a motorized boat and special tackle designed for trolling. If you don’t have access to this equipment, trolling may not be feasible for you.
  • Limited Visibility: When you’re trolling, you’re looking at the back of the boat instead of the water around you. This means you may miss out on other interesting things in the environment while you’re focused on fishing.
  • Potential Dangers: Although uncommon, there is always a risk of accidents when operating a motorized boat. Anglers should always practice caution and safety when trolling.

How to Choose the Right Trolling Fishing Spot

Choosing the right spot for trolling fishing is key to having a successful fishing trip. Here are some tips on how to find the perfect spot:

“To increase your chances of catching fish, consider trolling around structures like reefs, drop-offs or weedlines where baitfish may be present.” -Sport Fishing Magazine
  • Research: Before you go out on the water, do some research on the species of fish that live in the area and what their habits are. This will help you choose the best lure and bait to use.
  • Water Temperature: Fish are typically found in certain temperature ranges, so check the water temperature before heading out. If it’s too warm or cold, you may not have much luck with trolling.
  • Tides & Currents: Understanding the tides and currents in the area can also be helpful when choosing where to troll. You may have better luck if you’re able to time your trip with these natural phenomena.

Trolling fishing can be an exciting way to catch fish and spend time on the water, but it’s important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages before setting out. By following these tips for choosing the right trolling fishing spot, you’ll be well on your way to a successful day of fishing.

Essential Gear for Trolling Fishing

The Importance of a Good Trolling Rod and Reel

A trolling rod and reel are the most crucial components of any angler’s trolling setup. The right gear will ensure that you can cast your bait or lure further, keep it at the desired depth, and detect bites more easily.

When choosing a trolling rod, consider its length, power, and action. Longer rods (between 7 and 12 feet) allow anglers to deploy lures farther from the boat, while shorter rods provide better sensitivity. Power refers to how much force is required to flex the rod tip, with heavier power suited for catching larger fish species like salmon and tuna. Action describes where the rod begins to bend; slow-action rods bend toward the handle and are great for small- to medium-sized fish, while fast-action rods bend near the middle of the blank and excel at landing bigger game fish such as marlin and sailfish.

In addition, the ideal trolling reel should have high line capacity, drag system, and a level-wind mechanism. Line capacity determines how much fishing line the reel can hold, allowing you to handle longer and deeper retrieves. A quality drag system ensures that the reel applies sufficient pressure on hooked fish without breaking the line. And by keeping the fishing line evenly distributed on the spool, a level-wind mechanism reduces friction between the line and the guides, giving you smoother casts and retrievals.

Choosing the Right Trolling Line

Trolling lines come in various materials and diameters, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Considered one of the strongest and most durable options, braided lines utilize tightly woven synthetic fibers and offer little stretch, which enables fishermen to feel even the most subtle bites. Fluorocarbon lines, on the other hand, are nearly invisible underwater and have excellent abrasion resistance, making them a popular choice for targeting finicky fish species.

But monofilament lines remain one of the most versatile options due to their balance of strength, castability, stretch, and affordability. They work well in clear or murky waters and can handle different trolling speeds and lure types without sacrificing performance. Monofilament line also offers greater shock absorption than braided or fluoro and is more forgiving when it comes to knots or tangles.

Another critical factor to consider when selecting trolling line is its diameter and pound-test rating, which refers to the maximum weight that the fishing line can support before breaking. Larger diameter lines offer more heft and resistance against powerful game fish, while thinner lines provide better sensitivity and greater casting range. So if you’re planning to target bigger fish species, such as marlin, tuna, or wahoo, opt for heavier-duty lines with 50-pound test or higher.

The Best Trolling Lures to Use

Lure selection can make all the difference when fishing in deep water, particularly in terms of attracting your prey’s attention. Here are some of the most effective trolling lures used by anglers:

  • Spoon – This lure mimics a wounded or dying baitfish and features reflective metal surfaces that catch the light and shine.
  • Plug – Like a spoon, a plug closely resembles small baitfish but has a more realistic movement as it dives and darts through the water.
  • Daisy chain – A string of small plastic squids or octopuses that resemble schooling baitfish, hence fooling predators into attacking them.
  • Fly – Mostly made from feathers, fur, and synthetic materials, flies commonly emulate small baitfish or squid and simulate their movements when retrieved slowly.
  • Soft plastic – Lures that resemble live shrimp, crabs, worms, grubs, or fish. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes and are usually rigged on a jighead or spinnerbait frame.

When selecting trolling lures, it’s essential to consider the type of fish you want to catch, the water conditions and depth, the speed at which you’re trolling, and the color patterns that work best for your target species. Experiment with different lure styles, sizes, and diving depths until you find what works best.

“The right gear can make all the difference when trolling for game fish. Make sure to use high-quality rods, reels, lines, and lures that suit your fishing style and preferences.” -World Fishing Network

Techniques for Successful Trolling Fishing

Adjusting Your Trolling Speed

One of the key elements to successful trolling fishing is adjusting your trolling speed. Depending on the species of fish you are targeting, they may prefer different speeds. For example, if you are going after salmon, which are known for their fast-swimming speeds, you may need to increase your trolling speed to mimic the movements of their prey.

Conversely, if you are targeting a slower swimming species such as walleye or trout, a slower trolling speed will be more effective. A good rule of thumb is to adjust your speed until you feel a consistent “bump” on your rod from the lure moving through the water at the desired speed.

Mastering the Art of Boat Control

In addition to adjusting trolling speed, mastering boat control is another important technique for successful trolling fishing. It’s essential to keep your boat in a straight line and maintain a consistent speed throughout the trip. This can be achieved by using an autopilot system or installing a trolling plate on your outboard motor, which allows you to fine-tune your speed without making constant adjustments.

It’s also important to pay attention to wind direction and current flow to adjust your course accordingly. Gradual turns can be used to cover deeper or shallower areas and locate schools of fish. By mastering boat control, you’ll be able to keep your lures in the strike zone for longer periods, increasing your chances of catching that trophy fish.

“Just like with any fishing style, control of the vessel is key. The best trollers know how to read water conditions and use various techniques to put their lures in front of fish.” -MidWest Outdoors

How to Choose the Right Lures for Trolling Fishing

Trolling fishing is a technique where boat moves slowly through the water while trailing one or more fishing lines. The angler then tries to catch fish by dragging a lure behind the moving boat. This method can be effective in catching a variety of fish species, but choosing the right type of lure can make all the difference.

Matching the Lure to the Species

The first step in choosing the right lure for trolling fishing is to consider the type of fish you want to target. Different species have different feeding habits and preferences, so it’s important to select a lure that mimics their natural prey. For example, if you are targeting salmon, using plugs with a herring pattern may be particularly effective because this baitfish is a primary food source for salmon. Additionally, if you are looking to catch trout, try using spinners or spoons since these tend to work better on smaller fish that feed near the surface.

Matt Straw, an experienced angler and writer, says “Match the size and color of your bait or lure so that the predator sees what they expect to see instead of something strange”. So, understanding the feeding patterns and preference of target species is essential when selecting which lures will help catch fishes.

Understanding the Color Spectrum

Choosing colors for lures involves understanding the behavior of light underwater. Water absorbs different wavelengths of light at different rates, so certain colors become muted at deeper depths. According to the Department of Natural Resources, red is the first color disappearing as depth increases. Conversely, darker colors such as black, brown, green, and blue maintain visibility into deep waters, making them ideal choices for deep-sea fishing. Brightly colored lures can still attract fish near the surface. So, select the right color according to the depth at which you are going to fish.

Using Flashers and Dodgers to Attract Fish

A flasher or dodger is a reflective surface that moves erratically underwater. It helps to create an action similar to that of schooling baitfish – attracting predators’ attention by displaying random flashes of light as it travels through the water. The flashing effects from these devices can attract fish for miles and become very effective in deep sea trolling. According to Bruce Holtzman, who has written extensively about fishing techniques, “When used alongside a drag, lures develop erratic motions that closely resemble real livebait. It has proven to be incredibly successful time and time again in catching bigger fishes”. Remember the size of your boat while selecting dodgers; select big dodgers for more substantial boats.

The Importance of Lure Depth

The depth of the lure plays a critical role in perfecting this method of fishing. Knowing where your target species swims will allow you to choose the appropriate depths for casting your line and placing lures. With too much weight added on or overloaded lines, your lure may not reach the desired depth required to catch the targeted specie, making it difficult to get a bite. Understanding the habits and habitats of different species can help you decide how deep you need your lures.

“Many anglers underestimate just how crucial lure depth is when they’re out trolling,” says Tim Hughes, sales manager of fishing equipment manufacturer Brad’s Killer Fishing Gear. “Take the time to understand the migratory patterns of the specific fish you’re targeting, so you know how deep to place your lures”.

Selecting the right type of lure with the correct shape, color scheme, movements, and deployment technique can significantly increase the chances of a successful trolling fishing. Matching the right lures to target species, choosing colors based on depth and reflection of light, using flashers and dodgers and placing lures at the specific depths required by the fish can all work together to help you catch more fish while casting your line into the depths.

Tips and Tricks for Trolling Fishing like a Pro

Keeping a Tight Line

When it comes to trolling fishing, maintaining a tight line is crucial. This means keeping the slack out of your line at all times so that you can quickly detect when a fish bites your bait or lure.

To keep your line tight, make sure that your rod tip stays pointed straight down towards the water. If your rod tip is pointing upwards, there will be too much slack in your line, making it harder to feel any bites. Additionally, try to keep your boat moving at a consistent speed, as sudden changes in direction or speed can cause your line to go slack.

One trick to ensure that you maintain a tight line is to use a line counter reel. These reels allow you to measure exactly how much line you have deployed, ensuring that you keep the correct amount of tension on your line at all times.

Using Downriggers to Your Advantage

While many anglers prefer to troll with their lures and bait at surface level, using a downrigger can drastically improve your chances of catching fish.

A downrigger is a device mounted on your boat that allows you to lower your bait or lure to a specific depth, regardless of how deep the water is below you. By using a downrigger, you can target certain species of fish that may be swimming at different depths, increasing your chances of a successful catch.

When using a downrigger, make sure that your bait or lure is positioned slightly above the target depth, as fish are more likely to swim up to take a bait than to swim down.

Knowing When to Switch Up Your Lures

Another key aspect of successful trolling fishing is knowing when to switch up your lures. Different fish species have different preferences when it comes to the type, size and color of their prey, so using a variety of lures can increase your chances of success.

If you are not having any luck with your current lure, try changing its color or style. Additionally, if you are targeting multiple species of fish, make sure that you are using lures that will attract each specific species.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of certain lures can also vary depending on conditions such as water temperature, weather, and time of day. As such, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things to find out what works best for you.

“When it comes to lure selection, anglers need to be flexible and adjust their strategy according to the conditions,” says outdoor writer Dan Sura.

By implementing these tips and tricks into your trolling fishing routine, you’ll improve your chances of catching more fish and enjoying a successful day out on the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, there’s always room to learn something new in the ever-changing world of fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does trolling fishing differ from other fishing techniques?

Trolling fishing involves dragging lines with bait or lures behind a slow-moving boat, whereas other techniques require casting or still fishing. The boat’s movement entices fish to bite, making trolling a more active form of fishing.

What types of fish are commonly caught through trolling fishing?

Trolling fishing can catch a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, walleye, and tuna. It is especially effective for catching larger fish that may be lurking in deeper waters or near underwater structures.

What kind of equipment is needed for trolling fishing?

Typically, trolling fishing requires a boat, a motor, fishing rods, reels, and lines. Downriggers or planer boards may also be used to keep the bait at a specific depth and distance from the boat. Lures or bait can vary depending on the type of fish being targeted.

What are some advantages of trolling fishing over other methods?

Trolling fishing allows anglers to cover a large amount of water in a shorter amount of time, increasing the chances of catching fish. It can also be a more comfortable fishing experience, as anglers can sit and relax while waiting for a bite.

How is trolling fishing done in saltwater versus freshwater?

Trolling fishing is done similarly in both saltwater and freshwater, but the type of fish targeted and the equipment used may differ. In saltwater, larger boats and heavier equipment may be needed to handle bigger fish and rougher waters.

What are some tips for beginners interested in trying trolling fishing?

Start with smaller bodies of water and target easier-to-catch fish. Research the types of fish and bait/lures that work best in the area. Practice casting and reeling techniques. Always wear a life jacket and be aware of weather and water conditions.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!