Lesson 1: Trolling fish and secrets to success. Learn why water temperature is key and the appropriate depth and speed you should use presenting certain lures is key to catching big fish.
Trolling fish is a method of fishing when you place live/dead bait or lures on the end of the line and is pulled through the water. This is done around here when you are targeting freshwater fish and it is usually done by driving a boat SLOWLY in the water.
For many anglers, this is one of the most effective and fun fishing techniques used today. There are two important factors when you are trolling fish and that is the water temperature and the depth and speed that you are presenting your lures. Today, there is no guessing on this and I will explain why.
Trolling fish can mean different things to different anglers. You can troll for any species of fish; freshwater predators like walleye, northern pike, salmon and muskies to saltwater fish such as tuna, sailfish and marlin. It's an excellent way to cover a lot of water prospecting for fish when they are feeding.
Over the years, many products have been developed to get your bait deep in the water and then determining exactly how deep it really is. Anglers can use downriggers, dipsy divers, lead core line, wire and snap weights - all are successful for depth monitoring.
Regardless of the species of fish that you are targeting, open- trolling includes many variables for success - the rod and reel you use, depth, boat speed, line size, and lure design. Trolling can be as simple as letting out crank bait on a rod and reel that you are actually holding and counting to determine how much line you have let out. (one thousand one, one thousand two)
The rod and reel used for each trolling application is important and will make the difference of catching fish and enjoying your time outdoors to hating every minute of it and in the worse case scenario - throwing your gear in the water.
Trolling rods are not that difficult to purchase because you have three standard designs to choose from; standard eyes, roller guides and Interflow/Interline.
Roller guides are preferred for the larger fish, when the fight is on to get it in your boat, and are designed to have less friction on the line when your rod is bent sharply. If you target fish that are smaller, it is not worth the investment to purchase the rod with roller guides. Daiwa developed the Interline design and Cabela's designed the Interflow system, which is when the fishing line actually runs through the rod blank (just the rod shaft) instead of the external eyes. This eliminates the stress points.
A properly selected rod will absorb most of the energy in a fight to land the fish, and you will want drag that moves smoothly when the fish is making strong runs.
Another thing to look for when shopping for trolling reels is the ball bearings. The more ball bearings, the smoother the reel performance.
Good gear ratio is determined by the ability of the person fishing. Someone starting out will do fine with lower ratios than the experienced angler who prefers to troll for large saltwater fish and needs dual-speed reels.
Line-counter reels were designed to help you replicate trolling patterns, and electric line counters are also available. The electric line counters are more sophisticated; you can calibrate the size of the line you are using. But this requires a lot of time to learn and operate. If you are a stickler for accuracy and don't mind programming then this is for you. Another factor when deciding what to purchase when trolling fish is what the reel is made of. You have three choices: graphite, cast aluminum and machined aluminum.
Graphite construction is the lowest on the totem pole when you are talking about reel strength, but the good part is it's lighter and less expensive. Weight is really not an issue if your using rod holders; so now the issue is price.
If price is not an issue, cast aluminum is the next step
up for strength and quality. The best reel is made of machined aluminum
and is optimal for landing BIG fish because they are more rigid;
holding bearings and gears precisely in alignment. This reduces wear
and prevents failure when hauling in that bruiser of a fish.
Other features when you are buying trolling fish equipment that you should look for; levelwind, bait clicker and smooth drag. Levelwind is a feature on a reel that lays the line evenly across the spoon when retrieving.
A bait clicker is when the reel emits an audible noise when line is pulled from the reel when you are trolling fish. Time to wake up from your nap and catch that fish on your line.
Drag is utilized when you are wrestling to get that fish in the boat and it continues to make strong runs, the drag is what helps you tremendously. It is a devise built into a reel that applies pressure on the spool to permit a slow release of fishing line. Used correctly, the drag prevents fishing line from breaking or hooks from coming out of the fish's mouth. Nice.