Photo Credit: Tackle Cove
Sports fishing certainly may be a game of luck, but for true anglers, it involves skill, strategy, and knowledge of the various fishing techniques that can be applied for different fish species. Here we take a closer look at trolling – a fishing method that involves creating a flashy presentation by using multiple lures, most commonly used to catch pelagic fish (fish that live in the pelagic zone of the ocean or a lake, away from the bottom and the shore) such as salmon, tuna, marlin, mackerel, and kingfish.
There are several different trolling techniques such as slowly winding the line in when fishing from a static position, sweeping the line from side-to-side when fishing from a jetty, but the most common is dropping multiple lines behind a slow, moving boat. Think it’s easy? Not so fast. A variety of trolling methods and devices will help target the specific fish you’re looking to catch. Here are a few…
- Downrigging – Downriggers are devices that keep the lures or baits trailing at a desired depth. They will allow an angler to run lures deeper than any other method (average depths of 30 – 60 feet, but can run several hundred feet).
- Flat-Lining – This is the least complicated method of trolling where an angler’s line is attached directly to a lure without a secondary weight or device. Most commonly used as a near-surface technique, flat-lining allows you to reach moderate depths by trolling
- Planer Boards – Planer boards can be one of the most effective trolling devices, however, they are also more difficult to use. They are designed to spread fishing lures away from the fishing vessel to allow for multiple trolling lines and will hold the line 50 to 100 feet off to the side of the boat. When you set a pair of planers (one on each side of the boat), you can cover an area of eater up to 200 feet wide.
- Lead-Core Line – This is the easiest and least expensive way to run lures deep. A lead-core is a single-strand lead wire inside a braided nylon covering. The line is marked by a color change every 10 yards so that it’s easy to tell how much line has been extended. A 100-yard spool of lead-core line only costs about $11!
There are several factors that lead to fishing success with trolling – the speed at which the boat is traveling (ranging from 9 to 15 knots, optimum speeds vary with different species), weather conditions, the time of the year, type of boat, and the baits and lures. The most effective baits and lures have the visual ability to attract fish and intrigue them with movement and sounds made in the water. Some lures are designed to replicate a dying, injured, or fast- moving fish. Popular options include:
- Surface lures – Noisy lures that make a popping sound from a “concave-cut head”, a burbling sound from “side fins”, or a buzzing commotion from one of several propellers
- Plugs or Crankbaits – Shaped like a fish, troll through the water making quick movements
- Swimbait – Minnow-like soft plastic bait that is reeled like a plug
- Spoon lures – Shaped like the inside of a spoon, flash in the light while randomly wobbling or darting due to their shape
- Spinnerbait – Pieces of wire that are bent at a 60-degree angle with a hook on the lower end and a flashy spinner mechanism on the upper end
Put our trolling skills to the test. Now is the perfect time to book your next inshore of offshore chartered fishing trip in Venice, LA! For more information on Home Run Charters or to check available slots with our experienced Captains, please call (504) 909-TUNA.