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View Full Version : How to troll for trout? Please help



namjagerungbengi
05-20-2013, 02:09 PM
Hey guys,

I've taught myself how to fish (still a rookie), but one of the things I've never been able to do was troll for trout (or fish in general). First problem being I don't have a boat, none of my friends are fishers, and I don't know anyone who I could learn from. I understand the principles of it, but that's it.

Can you guys provide some guidance on this style of fishing? Or provide any resources? I am willing to buy a basic setup that I could use on a boat rental if I can learn how.

Being a new father and all, I don't have much time to fish. But when I do go this year, I'd like to make the most of it and try trolling for trout, as it seems very effective and fun.

I'm located in the Bay Area, CA, for what its worth (if I can learn from any stores here, etc).

Thanks

Cali Duck
05-20-2013, 04:03 PM
There's a lot of research before diving into trolling, but here's the basics:

1) Down Rigging (http://www.bigjonsports.com/userfiles/filemanager/11/)

2) Lead Core Lining (http://www.thenextbite.tv/sites/default/files/images/lead-core-straight-web.jpg)

3) 3-way swivel (http://www.southcarolinasportsman.com/pics/p1347391510.jpg)

As for bait, look at Pink Hoochies behind flashers or dodger.

That'd be the basics, but there are 100s of fisherman's secrets to be experimented with. Troll at 1.2-1.5 mph at anywhere from 20-50 ft. in most lakes, but a Fish Finder will help in determining what depth to be at.

To be honest you might try going with a guide to learn more if you don't have family/friends to show you the ropes.

AnglingWes
05-20-2013, 04:56 PM
Never fished for trout, but have tons of 'rigger experience Salmon fishing. Just booked 3 days camping at Collins. Going to have to tap into all of those fisherman's secrets. May have to apply to Field Test some Pautzke Fire Bait.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna give up the green bass forever, just for a weekend.

Marv
05-20-2013, 05:02 PM
Never fished for trout, but have tons of 'rigger experience Salmon fishing. Just booked 3 days camping at Collins. Going to have to tap into all of those fisherman's secrets. May have to apply to Field Test some Pautzke Fire Bait.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna give up the green bass forever, just for a weekend.

Ah Wes, that's what I said a couple ago, and still haven't went back to bass, lol. You don't hook trout, trout hook you :)

To the OP, I noticed you said you would be trolling from rental boats. You will need to look at the boat first to get an idea of what rod holder mount to buy. Different lake, different boats, mean different mounts.

Save some money and stream fish in the Sierras :) pretty easy to learn and you get to see some of the most beautiful country on this earth.

AnglingWes
05-20-2013, 05:08 PM
Yea, I already know that I'm going to dig the downrigger on the yak. Its ok thou, just an excuse to buy a bunch of new gear.

redneckpunk
05-20-2013, 06:55 PM
Never fished for trout, but have tons of 'rigger experience Salmon fishing. Just booked 3 days camping at Collins. Going to have to tap into all of those fisherman's secrets. May have to apply to Field Test some Pautzke Fire Bait.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna give up the green bass forever, just for a weekend.

Im going to bet you wont even give it up for the weekend. Collins has some huge bass. They also have some nice crappie and cats to spend your evening targeting

Bainter1212
05-20-2013, 07:12 PM
No need for lead core or downriggers. The most productive method I use is simple. Thread a worm onto a hook and run it about 2 feet behind a dodger. I prefer Seps large or small dodgers but it doesn't really matter. Use a worm threader to thread the entire crawler onto your hook. Run it up over the eye onto the line and leave an inch or so dangling free off the end of the hook. This makes it look natural. Let it out about 100 to 150 feet back of the boat and troll SLOW. Watch the tip of your rod and measure the "bounce" of the rod to determine if the speed you are traveling is providing the ideal action for your dodger.
Doing this, with the 6lb braid I run, puts a large dodger/crawler setup about 18 feet down, while the small dodger runs about 15 feet. Faster trolling will decrease the depth.
Some guys will tell you not to use crawlers, but I don't really understand this viewpoint. Typically, if none of my artificials are working, the worms will. And C&R with worms can work just fine with the right hooks. I release the vast majority of the fish I catch safely back into the water, the same as with any artificials.
One more thing. Get a second rod stamp. I usually troll with the worm setup and whatever else I want to try - such as a Rapala or a jig, or whatever.
Good luck.

namjagerungbengi
05-20-2013, 07:19 PM
To the OP, I noticed you said you would be trolling from rental boats. You will need to look at the boat first to get an idea of what rod holder mount to buy. Different lake, different boats, mean different mounts.

Save some money and stream fish in the Sierras :) pretty easy to learn and you get to see some of the most beautiful country on this earth.

Sierras are a 4.5 hr drive! :nerves:

While I still really want to learn and get some experience troll fishing. What are the best ways to fish from a rental boat that doesn't involve bait fishing?

Eat-Sleep-Fish
05-20-2013, 09:25 PM
Sierras are a 4.5 hr drive! :nerves:

While I still really want to learn and get some experience troll fishing. What are the best ways to fish from a rental boat that doesn't involve bait fishing?


And worth every minute of the drive...
I went up highway 4 last thursday and fished Alpine in the cold:cold: and cold it was ...38* plus rain too!
But no biggie, I was numb and fishing so I was happy.
The fish were all over the surface on the west bank area, right acrossed from the spill way. Everywhere I looked the fish were Jumping :fish_jumps: out of the water.
I managed one 14"er on a small black 1/32 rooster tail.
Called it quits after 2 1/2 hours in the freezing rain. Headed back down to White Pines Lake just outside Arnold. Finished of my limit in under 1 hours time all on power eggs.
Great day for only fishing from 2pm till 730pm. My driving time from the Monterey area there and back was longer lol.
But well worth the trip!!

Cali Duck
05-21-2013, 07:22 AM
Sierras are a 4.5 hr drive! :nerves:

While I still really want to learn and get some experience troll fishing. What are the best ways to fish from a rental boat that doesn't involve bait fishing?

Here's your homework, I expect a full report by Friday.

Lake Trout Trolling Techniques & Best Lake Trout Lures (http://www.medicine-stone.com/lake-trout-trolling-techniques-best-lures.htm)

Rugby Lock
05-21-2013, 07:58 AM
Haven't been trolling myself but did buy trolling truth's and it's pretty informative.

Books: Sep's Pro Fishing, Inc. Shopping Cart (http://www.sepsprofishing.com/cart/catalog/Books-36-1.html)

MarkdaShark19
05-21-2013, 08:19 AM
While I still really want to learn and get some experience troll fishing. What are the best ways to fish from a rental boat that doesn't involve bait fishing?

Really depends on where your fishing and the behavior of the fish. In the mountain lakes I love drifting for them. Drift with the wind across the lake and throw jigs or kastmasters. I usually have a powerbait rod out or a powerworm with a spilt shot out while drifting, or when I go to Amador I love patrolling the banks and casting jigs or flies at the fish as I see them cruising by. Each lake is going to have different techniques that work better or not. I personally love just top lining baits. Either kastmasters (sometimes needle fish) or powerworms 40-80ft back. I'm using an electric trolling motor though so you don't have to have as long of set backs.

MarkZ
05-21-2013, 08:20 AM
Hi,
I use rapalas/kastmaster either on the surface with 4lb test or use a 1/2oz lead egg sinker(8lb on the reel and 3 feet 4lb test to lure; rapalas/kastmaster/needlefish/grub) to troll about 30ft down at San Pablo Reserovir or Los Vaqueros. Portable fishfinder are helpful for bottom structure. Starting in May I like trolling in the deeper parts of the lake. If you live in San Jose, then go to Mel Cotton's for advice.

Good Luck
MarkZ

Jetspray
05-21-2013, 08:43 AM
This time of year try to stay in upper coloumb of water not much below 20 ft level. Get in close to shore. If you need to go below 20 ft banana weights, pink ladies, dipsy divers and other devices will take you down deep. As was said before look at the online sources of this site for more info, most lakes have information at the bait shops and there will be plenty of people to let you know what is what on each day of your fishing expidition.......Jetspray

namjagerungbengi
05-21-2013, 09:35 AM
Seems like I would have to do a lot of guess work if trolling without a downrigger? I'm not the best when it comes to finding depth :( Also, what rods/reels would you recommend for doing this? I have 7'ML baitcasting combo (low profile), 7'L spinning set up, 6'6"ML spinning setup.

Also, any thoughts on this: Walker Downriggers Mini Laker Manual Downrigger : Cabela's (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Walker-Downriggers-Mini-Laker-Manual-Downrigger/699956.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3D searchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProduc ts%26Ntt%3Dmini%2Bdownrigger%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz _l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=mini+downrigger&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products)

I figure this would be a ideal starter, and looks like it would fit most rentals.

Please provide suggestions! As well as fish finders :)

Wabo Cabo
05-21-2013, 05:10 PM
Here's your homework, I expect a full report by Friday.

Lake Trout Trolling Techniques & Best Lake Trout Lures (http://www.medicine-stone.com/lake-trout-trolling-techniques-best-lures.htm)


I hope he flunks and doesn't follow that advice. You did notice that was for Lake Trout, not trout in lakes. Bad advice to send a new comer on a wrong path. :hitoverhead:

joez3
05-21-2013, 06:38 PM
Since you live in the bay area check out Loch Lomond, it is near Santa Cruz (City of Santa Cruz : Default Page (http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=42)) try to find out when they stock it, it fishes well after a stocking. This is a good lake to get started on, you can rent a boat with electric trolling motor. If you have your own motor you can bring it and save some money on the rental. Go early when the wind picks up it can be hard to manage the boat and fish at the same time by your self. For this lake I normally use a seps cop car dodger with a Mack's red wedding ring (sometime I tip it with a worm). I let out 75-150 feet of line depending on how far down the fish are. Early in the season you will top lining so you won't need a downrigger. I have the small scotty downrigger, it works well if you only need to get down 10-20 feet.

stingray4540
05-21-2013, 11:11 PM
Seems like I would have to do a lot of guess work if trolling without a downrigger? I'm not the best when it comes to finding depth :( Also, what rods/reels would you recommend for doing this? I have 7'ML baitcasting combo (low profile), 7'L spinning set up, 6'6"ML spinning setup.

Also, any thoughts on this: Walker Downriggers Mini Laker Manual Downrigger : Cabela's (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Walker-Downriggers-Mini-Laker-Manual-Downrigger/699956.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3D searchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProduc ts%26Ntt%3Dmini%2Bdownrigger%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz _l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=mini+downrigger&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products)

I figure this would be a ideal starter, and looks like it would fit most rentals.

Please provide suggestions! As well as fish finders :)


Ok, take the following advice for what it is, based on my background. I've been trout fishing since before I was born and most of that has been trolling from a 12' boat without downriggers or rod holders. Disclamer: The majority of my life's trout fishing has been at only two different Sierra lakes. And what anyone will tell you is that what works for one lake may not work for another, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

This is what has worked for me, and this is what I will suggest to help you get started.

Get a regular(not low profile) baitcast reel and load it with leadcore. No need to break the bank, a Penn 9m or 209 from ebay for $20-$40 will do just fine. Add a good long mono leader to the end, 4 to 8lb test. Start with 6, I usually run 4-6 on my trout gear.

Put that on your baitcasting rod and add it to your light spinning combo and you are good to go. Although, if you don't mind spending a little money, I would put the leadcore on a light or UL rod. Use the spinning combo to topline or with a downrigger.
Get a 2nd rod stamp so you can cover as much water/bait combos as possible.

That clamp-on downrigger is a good way to go if you want to use downriggers. Leadcore is a cheaper way to get down to depth, but I like downriggers and have switched to using them exclusively.

Lures/Bait:

Small dodgers, like the slingblade or the small seps dodgers. Or, as I grew up, I didn't even know what a dodger was, we did just fine on flashers.
I have also trolled without either when using something with it's own action like rapalas. You just have to try multiple presentations to find what's working. I never have two lines out with the same lures/colors until one starts producing better than the others.

Behind the flasher/dodger add 10" to 3' leader. People on here are a bit more scientific about it, but I've never really put much thought into it.

Needlefish, F7 or J7 rapalas, flatfish, super duper, cripplures, worm on a worm harness. I've also recently done well with wedding rings, flies, hoochies, and apex. These are new to me though.
For casting, I like Kastmasters, and rooster tails are my favorite.

Colors are based mostly on current reports. I like to ask the closest bait/tackle shop, the marina, other fishermen, etc. Those are usually the best way to find out what's working. My best producers however, have been silver/black, silver/orange or red, trout pattern, green(frog).

If I were to just tell you what to get to get you started without spending a load of money it would be this: silver/black, and rainbow F7 Rapalas, a couple worm harnesses, and an assortment of needlefish. This should get you started, and just buy what you don't have if you find out the lake you are going to is doing well on it. For instance, I never owned a black/white needlefish until I went to NewMelones once and that is what they said was working. Bought a couple before the trip and we killed 'm.

Speed:
Again, people here are bit better educated about this topic than I am, but I generally put my rod tip in the water with a couple feet of line out next to the boat so I can see how the lure is behaving. I adjust my speed to get the proper action out of the lure.

As far as lakes, Chabot and Del Valle are probably your closest, followed by the mother load lakes like New Melones, Don Pedro, etc. Pine crest isn't too far either.

If you don't have a fish finder, fish structure. We never had a finder growing up, but we did have 2 generations of knowledge about the lakes we fished. Islands, points, river arms, sheer cliff/rock faces, Dams, are your best place to start. But sometimes just trolling from one spot to another in the middle of the lake works...

I hope this helps you out a little.

P.S. don't dispare about the Sierras, we've been going there my whole life. Bring a tent and make a weekend out of it. It opens up so many lakes and streams, sometimes both.

P.P.S. If you are in the South Bay Area, PM me, I might have one of those clamp on downriggers collecting dust in my garage somewhere.

Cali Duck
05-22-2013, 10:03 AM
I hope he flunks and doesn't follow that advice. You did notice that was for Lake Trout, not trout in lakes. Bad advice to send a new comer on a wrong path.

Well, the basic concepts are there and answered what he was asking: Lures for trout and how to troll them. What would YOU do differently from that reading material? I don't see your recommendations...maybe cuz you're a thread TROLLER! Not a fish troller :P

Rugby Lock
05-22-2013, 10:24 AM
Since you live in the bay area check out Loch Lomond, it is near Santa Cruz (City of Santa Cruz : Default Page (http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=42)) try to find out when they stock it, it fishes well after a stocking. This is a good lake to get started on, you can rent a boat with electric trolling motor. If you have your own motor you can bring it and save some money on the rental. Go early when the wind picks up it can be hard to manage the boat and fish at the same time by your self. For this lake I normally use a seps cop car dodger with a Mack's red wedding ring (sometime I tip it with a worm). I let out 75-150 feet of line depending on how far down the fish are. Early in the season you will top lining so you won't need a downrigger. I have the small scotty downrigger, it works well if you only need to get down 10-20 feet.

Are you fishing it with lead core line? I will be at this lake in late June so any and all advice would be appreciated.

namjagerungbengi
05-22-2013, 12:05 PM
P.P.S. If you are in the South Bay Area, PM me, I might have one of those clamp on downriggers collecting dust in my garage somewhere.

Thanks for the advice. PM sent!

FresnoJack
05-22-2013, 01:25 PM
I second BlurryEyed's advice - going out with a guide would be an excellent introduction to trolling. It is also an excellent way to learn about the particular body of water.

There are some good videos on YouTube that can help you with the basics. This page has some good ones.
http://www.youtube.com/user/IrvineLakeVideos?feature=watch




There's a lot of research before diving into trolling, but here's the basics:

1) Down Rigging (http://www.bigjonsports.com/userfiles/filemanager/11/)

2) Lead Core Lining (http://www.thenextbite.tv/sites/default/files/images/lead-core-straight-web.jpg)

3) 3-way swivel (http://www.southcarolinasportsman.com/pics/p1347391510.jpg)

As for bait, look at Pink Hoochies behind flashers or dodger.

That'd be the basics, but there are 100s of fisherman's secrets to be experimented with. Troll at 1.2-1.5 mph at anywhere from 20-50 ft. in most lakes, but a Fish Finder will help in determining what depth to be at.

To be honest you might try going with a guide to learn more if you don't have family/friends to show you the ropes.

stingray4540
05-22-2013, 10:53 PM
Oh yeah, forgot to mention in my long winded post: What these guys are saying about a guide is good advice!
It will cost you a bit, but you'll catch more fish after spending money on a guide than you will spending it on a new reel. Fishing is more about knowledge and instinct than it is gear. Get the knowledge first so you know what gear you'll likely need, instead of buying a ton of gear and find you only use half of it.

GoneCountry
05-23-2013, 07:12 AM
Stingray4550 said it all, I can add I have fished almost exactly like him, Learn all you can from wherever you can. I also use Google maps with satellite Imagery to see the terrain and shoreline. Investigate every aspect of your target lake including campgrounds , motels, mileage. You can use the Google map to calculate estimate mileage therefore knowing gas cost as well . Im sure you will gain a large amount of knowledge on these boards, welcome aboard. Also one more thing when using them trolling setups( I prefer Ford Fender Brass ) I troll without down riggers. aprox 200 ft of line out and with a weight thats 1/2 the size of a marble mounted on the little hole located on bottom of the pink rudder. SLOW speed. If your not sure of your speed, You want to feel the blades pulsing, youll feel it slight pull in a beat. Anyway GOOD LUCK and never stop researching your target lakes and streams. http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y89/gonecountry2/hammsgif.gif (http://s3.photobucket.com/user/gonecountry2/media/hammsgif.gif.html)

GoneCountry
05-23-2013, 07:17 AM
OOPS ITS STINGRAY 4540 I couldnt edit , feature not working [URL=http://s3.photobucket.com/user/gonecountry2/media/hammsgif.gif.html][IMG]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y89/gonecountry2

namjagerungbengi
05-23-2013, 09:54 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys, definitely a good start. When I get a chance to try it, I'll give an update.

If I can't go the downrigger route, I may try using a leadcore setup.

GoneCountry
05-23-2013, 11:47 AM
NO LEAD CORE OR DOWN RIGGER needed just put 10lb test on and weigh that trolling setup down a little bit nailed em every time


http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y89/gonecountry2/hammsgif.gif (http://s3.photobucket.com/user/gonecountry2/media/hammsgif.gif.html)

Capt Kirk
05-31-2013, 11:25 AM
10lb test a ford fender flasher and a 18" leader with a worm threaded on a bait hook. Trolled slow where the tip of your rod bounces about twice a second. ​slow

stonesfan
05-31-2013, 12:42 PM
RE: How to Troll for Trout?

When I Troll for Kokanee it never fails, I somehow end up with Trout! So my advice for you would be to put together a little bit of what everyone has said, and TROLL for KOKANEE....:goodscout1jp:


Stoney:rollingstones: