One of the most underused types of fishing is Trolling. A lot of fishermen refuse to troll thinking its cheating. In my bag of tricks trolling is one of my favorites when fishing gets slow. It will always produce some kind of fish, large or small.
Let’s go over the BASICS for trolling in TN. 10lb test stren is probably the best all around line choice. Line size dramatically controls the depths the lures dive to. For example a number 7 shad rap will run 7′ to 10′ on 10lb line but go up to 14lb and it will only run 5′ to 8′. Go down to 8lbs and it will run 9′ to 12′.
Another control factor in lure depth is the amount of line you let out when you troll. The more line out the deeper the lure runs. A problem occurs when you let too much line out though you get so much line stretch you won’t get as good a hookset.
Another option to get Shallow running lures down deep is put a 3 way swivel at the end of your line. Put a 3 foot leader to your lure and on the third swivel put 2 foot of a little lighter line and a 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce Bell Sinker. This will allow you to drag the bottom in 30′ of water. By using Lighter Line on the sinker leg if it hangs it will break off first.
For lures there are so many choices. First thing we must determine is how deep the fish are and match our lures to that depth. Idle around in one of your favorite places and watch your depth finder. You will notice one depth of water has a lot more fish than the rest. Start trolling lures that run that depth. Try round and flat sided baits. Rattles are always a good thing. Shad raps in all colors and sizes are my favorite unfortunately they don’t have rattles. To solve this problem I take glass worm rattles and super glue them to the back of the baits near the tail end.
My rod of choice is a 6 1/2′ all pro graphite with med/heavy action. Bait casting reel’s work best. Make sure you keep your drag adjusted if you don’t and you hook a hang you can break the rod.
The best all around speed for trolling crank baits if 2 m.p.h. for trolling spinners try the Grizzly made by All Pro and go about 1 to 1 1/2 m.p.h. and use big night crawlers or leaches for the trailer. 115 h.p. is the maximum you can effectively troll with. The best size is probably a 10 h.p. When you troll spinner rigs you can use your electric trolling motor on 24 volt medium.
Hope you have a great time trying this and remember you’re going to lose some lures but it’s worth it. Don’t forget set the hook, wear your life jacket, and may the fish be with you.
Ducktrail Guide Service