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airborne_angler

trolling for Bass

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Anyone ever Troll for Bass? I have just recently started fishing from a boat(10ft jon) and since the lake has been stocked with Trout, Ive been having a blast catching them and Bluegill on a Mepps #0 Aglia plain.

Does trolling work for Bass? Whats a good lure choice? I was thinking like maybe a Rattletrap might work because its not limited to depth like other Cranks are. I also noticed the speed matters. I would troll for 10 minutes at a certain speed,then slow up just a bit and WHAM the fish would nail the spinner. How does this equate into the Bass side of the house?

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I'd say it'd work. I mean if you have a bunch of lures you have, have mutiple lures like a school of fish. That way masybe the bass would be attracted to it?

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Yeah, I have. It's good on days when you want to catch a lot more and want to take the skill out of it. When I do it, I use a chrome rattletrap or a bomber fat free shad that runs 4-6ft. I use the one that is chart. with a blue top and orange mouth (to look like a bluegill). I like the bomber best though.

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I used to troll when trying to find good fishing grounds because I could get a estimate on the depth and what kind of cover was down there. Now that I know pretty much all the spots on were I fish that is not necessary. Trolling takes out the skill on bass fishing and testing how much you know is half the fun.

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Trolling in not legal in a tournament but it is one of the techniques I use for prefishing. It is a great way to locate schools of fish and the depths they are holding. I primarily use lipless crankbaits and Rapala DT's.

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Any crankbait would work, because in essence, the motion of the boat replaces the reel crank.

There are two basic forms of trolling: "Forward Trolling" and "Back-Trolling".

When you want to cut down on your trolling speed, but you want to use the main mill (not the electric)

trolling backwards against the transom will do the trick. Splashguards are real helpful for back-trolling,

otherwise many waves will hop over the stern in a choppy sea.

Roger

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BACK  IN THE DAY, WHEN I USED TO TROLL FOR WALLEYE, I WOULD CATCH BASS ALL THE TIME. I WOULD USE BOMBER LONG "A" AND THE ORIGINAL RAPALA FLOATER. IT WORKED QUITE WELL.

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One piece of advice, don't use a bait that swims deep enough to touch bottom or catch in debris. You could lose a pole like that. ;)

One of the funniest fishing episodes of my life was the look on my Dad's face when his favorite rig jumped right out of his pole holder while trolling in Beaver Lake in Arkansas when I was a kid. ;D He was not amused, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. :D

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Yes, definately works, pickerel like things being trolled also.

A few hints from the Tuna days.

Zig-zag---Make right and left turns as you troll.  This allows you to work 2 baits a different speeds while maintaining 1 speed with the boat.  "Outside" lines speed up in a zig and "inside" lines slow down.  Pay attention to which one draws the hits and adjust speed accordingly.

hold a 3rd rod in your hand, on a "short" line, run it between the 2 others, directly behind the boat in the prop wash.  Fish often use prop wash to hit disoriented fish.

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Well trolling is illegal in tournaments up here...  If you get caught, you are DQed...

I am sure it would give you a lot of advantages...

We were trolling for walleye at one lake, and we caught about 10 bass total trolling but no walleye.  ;D

There is one tournament I know of that you are allowed to troll in up here (because its an electric only lake), and the one boat that does trolls a crank and a buzzbait...  And do well on the smallies. :)

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me and my father used to troll 7" berkley power worms over grass beds in a certain lake....we caught 25 bass and pickrel one day doing this, it probably had somthing to do with the motor was ripping the grass and the coinditions..for we tried it next time on the lake and did not catch a single fish, i discovered this by messing around while leaving my worm in the water while dad jumped to a diffrent spot! It was a foot away from the boat and a pickrel nailed it  8-)

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For trolling in up to 12 or 15 feet water depth, I suggest using a 6 foot medium/heavy rod, a baitcast reel spooled with 15 to 17 lb. test line. To me the quality of the equipment used doesn't have to be top of the line. Just good stuff will do. You will need 1. Three way swivels. 2. 3/32 or smaller bucktails with treble hooks and 3. Deep diving crankbaits or Buck Perry Spoonplugs. I prefer different sizes of spoonplugs for proper depth control.

Tie the end of your main line to one eye of the swivel. Use a stout swivel as you can expect to get hung up a lot. Tie a two foot long, 10/12 lb test leader to the second eye of the swivel and the crankbait or spoonplug to the other end of the same leader. Tie a three foot long 10/12 lb test leader to the third eye of the swivel and tie the small bucktail to the end of that leader. That pretty much has you ready to go.

There are many ways to determine the depth that you are trolling. Find a point that you know the exact depth. Let out your line and go back and forth over that point until your lure just barely drags bottom when you go over it. I have used spinning reels and counted the number of time the reel handle revolved as it let out X amount of line to reach a certain depth. Say 15 revolutions of the handle meant I would have enough line out to reach 12 feetn depth using a certain size crankbait. On a baitcaster I've counted the number of times the levelwind went back and forth to let out X amount of line to reach the depth I want to fish. Of course you can buy reels that have line out counters. It may sound too complicated, but with a little practice it will become easy.

My experience with this rig has shown me that a crankbait will usually hang up quite a bit more than the spoonplug. I think that is due to the different type of hooks on the spoonplug. Large and Smallmouths generally will hit the spoonplug while crappie, white bass, perch and other panfish will tackle the bucktail.

For deeper trolling, use multicolor lead core line tied off with mono tippet for the swivel rig. This leadcore line changes colors every so many feet, so all you have to do is count or watch the number of colors you let out to know the depth you are running your lure or lures.

This is a fun way to troll. Watch for a bite when you are making a turn to go back over an area you have just trolled. Your lures will kind of stop and stay in one position as you complete the turn and that sometimes prompts the strike. Give it a try and let us know how you do. Hope I haven't bored everybody to tears with this!

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I'm a student of Buck Perry so you bet I've trolled for bass on Toledo Bend with Spoon Plugs, Mudbugs, Hell Benders, & DD Balsa B's.

Trolling is the #1 method far catching Striped Bass year round on the Big Pond.   8-)

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Guest avid

Typically when trolling a minnow bait like the standard f-11 rapala at a moderate speed, how far behind the boat do you usually fish the plug?

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Avid, I generally let out at 40 to 50 feet of line for most trolling runs. It's really more about what depth you want the lure to run and at what depth the mfg. states the lure will go down to. With lead core line. I guess you could go as deep as you wanted.

First and foremost, when you hook the first fish, remember how much line you let out and where. If you catch a second one using the same depth and method, call the wife and tell her to heat up the frying pan. It just like finding the right pattern when you are casting for bass or panfish.

I have a friend that is into freshwater trolling bigtime. He uses a tiller steer, low horsepower motor so he can cover a lot of water at slow trolling speeds and have good boat control. It's tough to troll with a boat with a console mounted steering wheel unless you are trolling really big water. He also has one of those trolling motors that works with your depth finder to automatically keeps you at a constant depth. This works great for trolling creek channels and ledges. Hope this helps some. Catch and Release!!

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From here to over yonder

I would say 20-25 yds, usually just watch my reel letting out about 1/3 of the capacity.

Another tip loosen your drag!

So when you get hung you'll be able to release the spool!

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Guest avid

thanks for the tip guys.  I'll be bank fishing this weekend for the first time since b4 the surgery.  I"m a little nervous.  NO PAIN>

but I hope to back on the water in 2 weeks.  The loading and unloading of the canoe/motor/batter/gear etc. will be a bit of a strain, so I wanted to troll and give my arm a break from casting.  I have never trolled for bass, so I am curious how far behind the boat does the lure need to be so as not to be spooked by the boat passing overhead.

I'll use a tm at moderate speed.  Can't use anything that runs more than 5' deep or so or else I'll be hanging up in weeds all the time.

any lure suggestions?

thanks,

avid

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Avid,

The distance behind the boat is a judgmental call; take the distance of your longest cast and add another 1/3 to 1/2 of that distance. Had to talk to some salt water guys far that tip, hope it helps.

Tommy T.

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