Trolling is one of the most popular and effective commercial and recreational fishing methods for both fresh and saltwater applications. Troll fishing is quite simple—cast a line from the stern side of your moving vessel to simulate lively bait and attract larger game.
Trolling on a lake can fill your cooler up with plenty of trout, bass, salmon, and walleye, depending on the common species of the reservoir. Conversely, troll fishing in saltwater is great for catching mahi mahi, marlin, and sailfish.
Maximize your catch potential by properly preparing your vessel for a day of troll fishing before departing. Read on to learn more about the ideal gear worth packing and various equipment to enhance your experience and guarantee a cooler full of fish.
Fishing Rod Considerations
Most trolling vessels carry two to six rods affixed to the stern-side gunwales with rod holders; this layout increases the chances of snagging large game and provides relief and support for fishing enthusiasts. The best freshwater and marine fishing rods for a trolling vessel are heavy and stiff, anywhere from 5 to 7.5 feet long. You could consider installing rod guides on your holders for deep sea and big game fishing. As for reels, most experienced troll anglers opt for a line counter to ensure perfect replication of presentation throughout the day, while others perform well with conventional and spinning reels. Two-speed reels are essential when hunting faster fish that like to race and dive, such as marine tuna.
Line and Rigging Considerations
Once you have your fishing rods ready for action, it’s time to choose your preferred line and rigging layout for your vessel. Braided lines are dependable, offer superior control over long distances, and sink to ideal trolling depths. However, monofilament lines perform the best at high speeds and boast supreme shock absorption capabilities. Both are sufficient for troll fishing—braided lines are applicable for deep freshwater reservoirs, while monofilament ensures better success when deepsea game fishing.
You can increase your fishing success by installing outriggers and downriggers on your boat. Outriggers help separate your lines and prevent tangling. They also keep your bait far enough away from your vessel’s wake to ensure better visibility. Alternatively, downriggers push your bait deeper underwater with the use of heavy weights. Riggers are expensive additions to any ship but vastly improve your trolling experience.
Trolling Motor Considerations
Every trolling boat must include a secondary source of propulsion known as a trolling motor. Unlike normal marine engines, these devices are specifically designed to produce a consistent energy output over long periods. As a result, trolling motors only ever reach slow and consistent speeds, which is ideal for attracting predators. Ensure you have a quality trolling motor onboard with suitable power sources—lithium-ion and deep-cycle batteries are perfect for trolling motors.
Follow this guide for preparing your vessel to ensure a more successful and enjoyable day of troll fishing. Additionally, ensure you have the proper boating training and qualifications before hitting the open water.