Jump to content

Trolling for bass


Recommended Posts

  • Super User

For decades I had 2 bass boats. A traditional low freeboard fast glass bass boats and a 14’ Lund aluminum boat with 15 hp converted bow mounted TM bass boat. The Lund was perfect for launching into small local lakes and the Owens River. I used my Lund to troll with it was a small boat and very maneuverable that had my older electronics. 

Trolling for LM bass, stripe bass or trout requires different techniques and speed. I found years ago a straight line troll didn’t produce bass. A lazy S pattern changing depth and speed increases strikes. As you make the very slow turns it speeds up and slows down the lure speed and action. Changes in speeds and action triggers strike same as when you are retrieving lures. Using a simple flasher you can follow depth changes with instant feed back, turning to follow point sides for example, plus metering fish depths.

Strolling is simply trolling using the TM in lieu of the OB engine. Strolling is very popular and has been for decades. For example the late Aaron Martens strolled in tournaments. Aaron would cast to targets while his mom backseating was dragging a C-Rig.

I did the same thing when my son was younger. I would cast a jig a while Tommy dragged a slip shot rig. When I would stop Tommy slowly reeled in line and made another cast. Strolling is a very effective partner technique.

Before A-rigs became popular spreader rigs using swimbaits was popular with trophy bass anglers. The AC plug was designed to be trolled by Allen Cole, originally for trophy Brown Trout.

Tom

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
9 hours ago, king fisher said:

I troll when moving from spot to spot while fishing in my Kayak. 

 

Me too. I catch a lot of bass long-lining a lure behind my canoe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

I do some trolling occasionally but I’m not very good at it.  I know several guys that are good and they are some of the best anglers I know.  I want to learn as much as I can about bass fishing.  I’ve found that the most valuable bass fishing wisdom comes from anglers like Buck Perry and others like him who have the depth to see beyond the latest craze.  People have been trolling for a long time.  It’s important to understand why.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Short tutorial on trolling diving lures for bass.

The 1st thing you need to do is determine at what speed is optimal for each lure. You do this by running the next to the boat and watch it closely foe how it swims at different speeds somewhere between 1 1/2 to 3 mph. Ideal is the lure just starts to hunt without rolling sideways, this is the ideal speed for that lure. If the lure continues to run straight at higher speeds try another, hunting or side to side swimming is important without rolling.

Next set the boat speed and cast as far back as you can then let out another 20- 25 yards. Troll along the bank at a known depth at the ideal speed until the lure start to hit bottom then move slowly move out deeper about 4 feet. This is your lazy S pattern. Move in to the bottom bumping depth and back out 4’, continue along the bank..

Points move out as you approach the 4’ deeper depth so the lure parallels the point and start to hit bottom and then move out deeper until you pass the point end. Stop turn the boat around, cast out into the deep water and continue along the opposite point side, the swing parallel to the bank at the bumping depth continuing your lazy S pattern.

Tom

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I caught my first 5 pound Bass a million years ago trolling a Hellbender.   

 

I suspect part of the no trolling in Bass tournaments is due to the multi rod set up.   Trolling for Crappie is big around here, especially during cold weather.  (I suppose it's "strolling")  They use their trolling motor with a bunch of lines fanned out at different depths.   They also use live bait most of the time.   I occasionally see people trolling for catfish, but most of them just drift.   Same thing though, a bunch of lines fanned out.  They have "floats?" on the lines that look like cut off pool noodles.  Is this planer boards?  I figure it's to control the depth of each line.  

 

My Son in Law and some if his friends troll for Striped Bass.  They use live bait (herring) and the pool noodle looking things.  He says 1mph, and follow the contours with a GPS trolling motor.  He has an active target transducer mounted on the transom pointed toward the rear.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Trolling is fun until you gotta make a turn.😝😂

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

I think trolling is banned more out of tradition more than anything else.  At one time it was seen as unsportsmanlike.  But I fail to see how trolling could be considered that and today's sonar not.  In any case, it is what it is.  Personally, I'd have no problem with pros trolling for bass, so long as they were limited to one rod.  

 

I troll all of the time.  Much like the OP, it's because I've got to move from spot to spot very slowly in my kayak, so why not get some fishing in while I do so?  Doing it well takes skill.  Skills that I don't possess.  So it doesn't have a higher catch rate than beating the bank at random for me.  And to even get to that point takes consideration of lure selection, speed, bottom contour, and distance.  It's only mindless and boring if you make it mindless and boring.  Because let's be honest here, the only difference is casting.  And I've been casting since I was probably 4, so casting isn't hard, especially in open water where you'd be trolling.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trolling, and ‘strolling’ is not permitted in tournaments as the angler isn’t imparting the action.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
19 minutes ago, tunaman said:

Trolling, and ‘strolling’ is not permitted in tournaments as the angler isn’t imparting the action.

 

Depends on which tournament we're talking about here.  The OP specifically stated BASS tournaments so I assume that's the format you're referring to.

 

I see a lot of bass tournaments that specifically state that "trolling is not permitted with the main outboard."  In this case, you could use the bow mount and still "troll" if you wanted to call it that.  I can't imagine it would be very efficient though.

 

This is what I found on the Bassmaster website for Elite Rules on trolling/strolling:

 

However, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. The “Long-Lining” or “Strolling” technique is NOT allowed in either official practice or competition and defined as intentionally using a trolling motor or outboard to mechanically extend a cast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Global Moderator

That’s why I can’t believe nobody got a penalty while having their foot on the troller with the lure just dangling and only one hand on the rod, saw a lot of it 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
11 minutes ago, tunaman said:

Trolling, and ‘strolling’ is not permitted in tournaments as the angler isn’t imparting the action.

I mean, yeah... but, to be fair, the angler isn't imparting the action on tons of presentations.  Drop shots, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and lots of other techniques can be cast and steady retrieve or cast and soak.   Either way, you're letting the bait do the work.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Something else I came across in the rules is that they do not allow Umbrella Rigs.  Regardless of whether they have hooks or fakes on each one.  Not relevant to this thread, just thought it was interesting.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Long line deep crank baits is a common practice in professional bass tournaments. The angler makes a cast, puts the reel in free spool and moves the boat 100 yards or so then retrieves the lure. I would debate that is strolling but it’s legal.

Tom

PS, If B.A.S.S. Has defined strolling as moving the boat to extend the cast then that solves the debate.  

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
1 hour ago, tunaman said:

Trolling, and ‘strolling’ is not permitted in tournaments as the angler isn’t imparting the action.

No disrespect but I beg to differ. I learned a long time ago that just trolling behind the boat mindlessly at the same speed & direction is a waste of time. I always vary speed & direction plus I work the lure with rod pumps, straight pulls & snaps. Strolling or drifting with the wind are highly similar the only difference is the means of propulsion. I prefer wind because wave action at the right speeds actually work the bait with forward surges & slowing down movement before the next wave speeds you back up. If I'm using a jerk bait I'm working it just as I do when casting. The only difference is in the pausing phase because of more continuous forward movement. So when I'm trolling or strolling I am imparting the action. Ideal speed when using a jerk bait is .5 to 1 mph.  

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Bankc said:

It's only mindless and boring if you make it mindless and boring.

Just like fishing with live bait.  It can be as skilled of technique as you want to make it, or as easy as watching a rod.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
30 minutes ago, king fisher said:

Just like fishing with live bait.  It can be as skilled of technique as you want to make it, or as easy as watching a rod.

Perhaps.  But being that the Elites are also trying to capture an audience and increase ratings, would you want to tune in if they were trolling or sitting there with a bobber?  I certainly wouldn't, and I'm 10 times the average interest of the casual bass angler.  At least on the pro tour, part of the goal is to keep people interested and watching for marketing purposes.  I can't even watch them scope with drop shots anymore.  I certainly aint gonna be watching them stare at a bobber.  Plus then there's the mortality issue with live bait but that's another topic.

 

I do agree that both strategies are effective.  There's no denying that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

It comes down to a tournament bass angler today can’t troll or stroll, if you are not a tournament bass angler you can, it’s up to you.

For what’s it worth live bait fishing requires skill like any other technique, it’s up to you to learn the tricks of the trade or not.

Tom

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Perhaps.  But being that the Elites are also trying to capture an audience and increase ratings, would you want to tune in if they were trolling or sitting there with a bobber?  I certainly wouldn't, and I'm 10 times the average interest of the casual bass angler.  At least on the pro tour, part of the goal is to keep people interested and watching for marketing purposes.  I can't even watch them scope with drop shots anymore.  I certainly aint gonna be watch them stare at a bobber.  Plus then there's the mortality issue with live bait but that's another topic.

 

I do agree that both strategies are effective.  There's no denying that.

     I am not saying that either technique should or should not be allowed in tournaments.  That in my opinion is solely up to the organization running the tournament.  I was only pointing out that either technique can be as simple or complicated a a person wants it to be.  Done skillfully both techniques are far from boring.  I don't live bait fish for bass simply because I lack the skills required to catch the bait, and have no clue as to how to effectively fish the bait if I could catch it.  The couple times I have managed to trap some tilapia, and crayfish I have gotten skunked when I attempted to use them as bait for bass. 

      It has taken me many years to be successful casting a handful of lures, and I would assume it would take the same amount of time to become proficient with live bait, and even though I have success trolling, I would not claim to be even moderately skilled at trolling for bass. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Sure glad I don't tournament fish no more!

I can do what I want 😉

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 years ago when Castaic was in it's heyday, I was off work due to 1) being between jobs and 2) recovering from carpal tunnel (wrist) and tendonitis (elbow) surgery, and was fishing quite a bit because my friend would take me out in his boat. We were hanging out with and helping a local jointed plug maker who shall remain nameless because he couldn't produce them fast enough. We would also fish quite a bit, trolling said jointed plugs on lead core line because 1) I couldn't cast, and 2) it flat out worked.

 

We had a five day midweek streak (in February no less!) where we caught a 10+ pound bass each day, along with several other five plus pounders trolling those jointed plugs. Of all the fish we caught trolling those jointed plugs, only one weighed less than five pounds (it weighed all of 1-1/4 lbs), and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM were caught on the front hook.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Bass have learned striking the head kills the prey.

Tom

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



  • Outboard Engine

    fishing forum

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.