The art of trolling lures

By David Inexperienced | 18 March 2022

Trolling allows you to cowl a number of water when trying to find fish. Picture: Patrick Linehan

WHETHER you might be fishing the open ocean chasing marlin or far up a distant river chasing barramundi trolling is a fishing technique that try to be competent in. As a type of lure supply it has a lot of benefits, the primary one being that it allows you to cowl a number of water in your seek for fish. Within the present Fb and Instagram social media surroundings it is not uncommon to see a number of the brand new breed of anglers develop into fairly dismissive of trolling, typically proudly stating “I don’t troll”. This mix of conceitedness and ignorance stems from a casting dominated strategy to fishing that’s dismissive of all of the complexity, nuances and techniques required to be a great troller. However every to his personal! The next is a information to the overall ideas of efficient trolling, no matter species. For many species I’m equally comfortable to troll or solid, and by no means regard trolling as a secondary technique.

Precept 1: The Zone of Convergence

This refers to how the boat and engine noise might have an effect on the behaviour of the predatory fish you chase. It mainly means how far behind the boat you need to place your lures so the impact of the boat doubtlessly scaring the fish is minimised they usually feed in a standard method as if any disturbance has handed. Some species, akin to marlin, truly are interested in the boat wash and the teasers and lures towed behind it. My best lure place known as the “quick nook” and is a lure that runs about 15 to twenty meters behind the boat simply behind my teaser. For marlin the “Zone of Convergence” could be very quick. They’re interested in the boat and are fearless. In distinction, impoundment barramundi not often eat a trolled lure near the boat, and I typically place my lures between 50 and 80 metres again. Trolling utilizing the electrical motor reduces any engine noise and there may be much less disturbance to feeding fish. Each species appears to have a distinct behaviour in terms of how they feed on trolled lures and it varies relying on the surroundings you might be fishing in. In soiled Northern Territory Rivers barramundi will eat deep diving lures trolled comparatively near the boat.

When I’m trolling offshore utilizing skirted lures over 90 per cent of the bites on the quick lures are from marlin. Dolphin fish and wahoo invariably eat the lures positioned additional again from the outriggers or shot gun place. These fish have an extended “zone of convergence”. It is very important perceive this idea. With some species akin to impoundment barramundi it may possibly make an enormous distinction to your outcomes.

One other species I spend a number of time chasing in winter and spring is flathead. Whereas we spend more often than not casting, trolling is a technique I take advantage of when the fish are scattered over vast areas. Flathead will eat a lure near the boat, however usually I like my lure round thirty metres again. In shallow water it isn’t unusual to spook a number of fish that may be seen bursting out of the underside in a muddy cloud, however when you put the lures again a bit the identical fish will return to place and hit the lure.

A choice of skirted lures appropriate for trolling for marlin and dolphinfish. Picture: Patrick Linehan

Precept 2: It’s all concerning the bait!

Efficient trolling is said to positioning your lures so that they journey near the place the fish are feeding. In case you discover the bait you can find the fish. In the mean time, off the Gold Coast, now we have had the most effective runs of small black marlin seen in a few years. These fish gorge themselves on massive bait colleges of slimy mackerel, pilchards and yellowtail, and when the bait is thick they’re usually laborious to catch on a trolled lure. When there’s a massive bait college about 40 metres down surrounded by a dozen marlin they not often rise to the highest to eat a lure, and dwell baiting in these spots is usually way more efficient. Nonetheless, there are a number of techniques that carry on bites. The primary of which is to maneuver away from the largest bait balls and search for scattered bait. Mutton birds generally is a nice assist in these conditions. Whereas they will’t feed on a bait college 40 metres beneath they’re adept at looking bait that could be 5 to 10 metres down, and such a shallow damaged up bait colleges are perfect for lure trolling. Lures not often catch as many fish as dwell baits, however it’s a enjoyable option to fish and I personally a lot want to fish this manner. Birds are your signal posts within the sea.

I just lately fished in Callide Dam close to Biloela in Central Queensland. The fishing was fairly powerful and whereas this dam produces some monstrous barramundi, the feeding intervals are fairly quick.

I used to be proven a way by Jason Ehrlich and it lead me to making an attempt to work out precisely why this sluggish trolling plastic swim baits was so efficient. The primary baitfish in Callide Dam are bony bream, a local species not often caught on a line. They’re plentiful in lots of dams and are the protein constructing blocks that make impoundment barramundi so big. These distinctive little fish feed on detritus, a mixture of algae, plankton and small bugs. Like most impoundments, when Callide Dam is sort of calm at daybreak and nightfall there are tiny bugs in tens of millions. These are just one or two millimetres lengthy. In case you put on a head torch you’ll quickly discover out about them! They don’t chunk, however fall onto the water floor in big numbers. When this occurs, the bony bream begin to roll on the floor, flicking and feeding throughout vast areas of the primary basin of the dam. On the echo sounder it’s simple to see the bony bream colleges, adopted by the barramundi, rise to the floor. This solely occurs in calm circumstances. Trolling the vast expanse of the dam’s fundamental basin utilizing Zerek Dwell Mullets positioned round 80 metres again was stunningly efficient and produced fish when hours of casting didn’t get a chunk. Nonetheless, in windy circumstances there are few if any bugs so the bony bream don’t rise to the floor and the fish don’t chunk.

Equally, when trolling for Murray cod and yellowbelly it is very important get your lure to a working depth so it’s on or near the underside, as many of the meals these species eat, akin to yabbies, tends to be proper on the underside and that is the place the fish anticipate their meals to be. At instances small spangled perch will feed on the floor, normally early within the morning. When this occurs trolling swim baits and floor walkers below electrical energy could be very profitable, and once more, it really works greatest when you put the lures effectively again behind the boat, working them at 60 to 80 metres. In case you put the lure the place the bait is holding you’ll have much more success.

Appropriate trolling velocity is crucial for gamefish.

Precept 3: Get your troll velocity proper!

All lures have an optimum working velocity, and the phantasm that the lure creates is determined by the velocity the lure strikes at. Typically I troll particularly concentrating on wahoo at troll speeds of as much as 15 knots utilizing heavy steel headed skirted lures bought domestically as “Hex Heads”. These seem as a blur of bubbles within the wake, and one of many traits of each wahoo and Spanish mackerel is that they aggressively chase and assault baitfish akin to small tuna travelling at excessive velocity. On some days, notably in glassy circumstances, you want a minimal velocity of round 12 knots in an effort to be efficient. Whereas that is most likely probably the most excessive instance, optimising your troll velocity is essential to get the perfect outcomes. On the different excessive, trolling for species like Murray cod is greatest finished at speeds of lower than one knot. This successfully will get the lure to its working depth and retains the lure within the strike zone for an extended interval. Cod like sluggish lures!

When fishing offshore I troll at 7 to eight knots for black marlin, 8 to 9 knots for blue marlin and round 12 knots for wahoo when utilizing heavy weighted skirted lures. If I’m trolling laborious bodied lures for mackerel and different species I typically troll at round 6 knots. In distinction, when trolling in impoundments I prefer to work the lures slowly at just one.5 to 2 knots in most conditions. Each small minnow fashion lure has an optimum working velocity the place the working depth of the lure and its vibration are at their optimum efficiency.

Greeny with a thumping, trolled-up barra!

Precept 4: Troll lures that each one work at your designated troll velocity.

What this implies is that the lures you employ collectively in a trolling ‘unfold’ all run effectively at your designated trolling velocity. If I’m trolling for marlin the entire lures ought to bubble and froth at round 7 knots. In case you combine lures designed to be trolled at 10 knots amongst your different lures they are going to be very limp and lack motion at 7 knots. This takes a little bit of observe. Skirted trolling lures all have an optimum velocity. Some have massive cup faces and push a number of water in entrance of them. These lures are likely to work effectively at slower velocity and maintain within the water floor effectively at comparatively excessive velocity. Longer narrower lure heads typically require a bit extra velocity to get them working effectively. I get about my marlin lures and continually alter the lure unfold in line with the circumstances current.

The identical applies to all kinds of trolling the place a number of strains are used. With expertise, it’s simple to troll a number of strains when concentrating on fish akin to flathead on the troll. If the lures are working in clear water and snags will not be an issue (as happens in most offshore conditions), then a number of strains offer you a number of probabilities and permit you to cowl extra water whereas giving the fish a higher choice to select from.

In lots of trolling conditions, akin to when concentrating on barra within the massive tidal rivers of the Northern Territory, a rod held within the hand works a lot better than a rod in a rod holder. On this state of affairs it is very important work the lure, permitting it to again up over a snag, or drop again into the slot whenever you miss a success. A lot of the lures utilized in such a trolling are buoyant deep divers labored near the underside and after they bump a log or rock, they are often free spooled again so that they rise and could be introduced over the snag simply. Additionally it is an efficient option to strike at bites.

This wahoo could not resist a fastly-trolled Halco Laser Professional.

Precept 5: Be affected person and keep on with the sport plan!

Trolling is excess of dragging lures round within the imprecise hope of getting a chunk. You have to be continually environmentally conscious, all the time on the look out for the smallest clue. Personally, I believe there may be much more problem in mastering trolling than there may be in countless casting. Fixed surveillance of the echo sounder, cautious consideration to the motion of the lures and figuring out the perfect troll runs are all part of the sport. It might look easy, nevertheless it turns into complicated shortly! When the fishing is hard persistence pays off.

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