View Full Version : The rules of trolling in a crowded reservoir?

Zebco Kid
03-08-2009, 09:00 AM
Hello All,

It looks like there's going to be a tremendous turnout this coming Saturday at Del Valle. With so many people pulling lines up to 150 back, I was wondering if there are standar rules of the road for trolling in a crowd?


03-08-2009, 09:10 AM
[smiley=fencing.gif]My guess would be lots of patients and than more patients,but this will only be for most,some will always think they are right no matter what,hope this helps. [smiley=2vrolijk_08.gif]

03-08-2009, 09:13 AM
If not, there should be. When up at McClure, I saw they have it posted, that lake traffic is supposed to circulate in a specific direction. Maybe Twoelk, Kyle Wise, or one of the others may chime in.
We got cut off and had close calls a couple times at Comanche yesterday, gets a little frustrating.

03-08-2009, 09:19 AM
MY Advise; Just bring a slingshot and a lot of Donut Holes....... ;D

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

Zebco Kid
03-08-2009, 09:25 AM
MY Advise; *Just bring a slingshot and a lot of Donut Holes....... ;D

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

Donut Holes injected with Krill Scent, of course :-X

03-08-2009, 09:49 AM
* * One more reason I support you must be licensed and know the rules of the waterway to operate a boat and be over 30 Kent.

03-08-2009, 10:05 AM
Ooh! Kent that hurt's. That means i couldn't operate my boat for 2 years. As someone new to a lake my advice would be to stay to the out sides of the fleet, so you can see the direction in whitch everyone is making there tak's. I have seen this many time in the monterey bay where all of the locals and ones with experience will be going NW-SE. Which is an accepted line quatering you in to the swell. Then out of no where you will get 2-3 yahoos in boats wanting to go E-W. Ok to do all on your own, but when there is a fleet of 50-200 boats go with there flow.

Nick "kokaneeCommander"

03-08-2009, 02:02 PM
Just having some fun, common sense knows no age, just look at all the bass guys over 30, Kent

03-08-2009, 02:47 PM
Here is my approach: Most lakes have a "pattern" that the locals fish. This is true at every lake. When I go to a new lake I stay out of major groups and observe the pattern most boats are trolling. If I choose to troll with the majority of the boats I will surely know the pattern.

For all the people that go against the pattern, all the more reason I try and stay away from the crowds. Some people will never get it. No different then driving on the roads.

I have fished in many states and lakes, and as much as I hate to say it, this is mostly a California problem.


03-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Hardest part is making turns. If you have two boats coming toward you and you want to turn with stuff in tow, slow down first till they pass and like was said begin the turn about 100ft behind them. This does not always work but when in a crowd of boats the only other way to turn is to reel up and then lay down again after turning. Also know your depths if using DR's.....Jetspray

03-08-2009, 04:09 PM
Do not carry a gun. The temptation to shoot someone might overwhelm you.
Seriously just try to use common sense. Most motors have the ability to slow don. If you are too close to someone else just back off.
Try to be calm cuz some people will truly seem oblivious to other people.

03-08-2009, 06:30 PM
OH, and Don't Forget The DONUT HOLES.............................. :D

Stoned [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

dinos marine
03-08-2009, 06:40 PM
did you know that braided line cuts mono REALLY easy??? yeah thats one reason i fish braided..............
i noticed at amador, there isnt a real pattern, especially at the dam. we all get along, and 99% the boaters are really good. amazing how crowded it can get, and no one gets tangled.

03-08-2009, 06:47 PM
I try to avoid the crowds unless it Salmon in the ocean.

(insert depressing Salmon comment here)

:-/ :-/ :-/

03-08-2009, 06:53 PM
Just dont change course so as to drive across the bow of another boat. And keep atleast 150 feet back if you must cross behind. This particular lake doesn't require being a mile back with your lures.Most of the fish I catch are on my short lines 50-75 feet back. Good news is the fish are scattered all over the lake right now.

The Reel Deal
03-08-2009, 07:02 PM
I think it will be ok, the south end has water again and should be clearer by next week so that will open up a whole other area of the lake for the boats. a lot of people drift bait down by the launch also so everyone wont be trolling.

03-08-2009, 08:06 PM
Radios are going to be a big help, at least for those that have them anyway. We'll be (or should be) communicating as to inside, outside, left turn Clyde......or you can yell really loud, that'll work too. ;)

03-08-2009, 08:29 PM
I propose using 60lb braid, 1 oz gibbs and cast across everyone's line. How else can you get a F-9 Hot Steel Rapala in this area. You better have a fast boat though. Just Kidding. I believe most guys do there best to stay out of others way and stay friendly. The ones that won't are having a miserable day no matter what, so just let them.

rc mckokanee
03-09-2009, 04:45 AM
i have never seen any reason to troll line 150 ft back, and if you are using a dr, you don't need that much line out. if you are using an electic trolling motor, you do not make noise . also if you have to troll near alot of boats , you should observe way ahead of time which direction they are trolling and make sure you see if they change their direction. and don't wait too long to make a change in your direction. this way i don't have any problems.

03-09-2009, 08:33 AM
I'm not proud to admit it here but when I first started boating approximately five years ago I was at Clear Lake looking for crappie and at a distance saw a lone guy standing on a pier. *I went over to him seeking information about good crappie locations. *Long story short, I didn't realize he was fishing and had cast his line a long way out from the pier. *Yes. as I approached him for information, I severed his line with my prop and didn't realize I was encroaching until the moment it happened. *Oops. *So here's this stationary guy fishing all by himself minding his own business and an idiot in a boat who has the whole lake to navigate ruins his day by separating him from his tackle. *Obviously he was not happy and I felt horrible. *While apologizing profusely I reached into my wallet, took out a $20 and handed it to him. *He accepted it without hesitation, told me, "Ah, don't worry about it, those things happen," then packed up his gear and walked off the pier. * Basically he was a good sport about it. *To this day I still feel badly about that experience and, having learned a hard lesson as a novice boater, have done my best to ensure similar missteps don't occur. *While the attempted monetary compensation in this case might have helped, I'm sure it did not totally allay the sheer frustration that angler must have felt. *There, I finally got that off my chest.

So, if per chance you accidentally clip my line or that of some other angler, offer a sincere apology and fresh cash. *:) It won't be a total fix, but it will likely help.

Note: *Payback is a bit#h. *Two years later my lines were clipped while trolling for stripers on the delta...$15 in lures gone. *The offender just waved and kept on trucking. **

Zebco Kid
03-09-2009, 09:31 AM

I didn't realize my Rapala could fetch $20. I think have have a business model developing of purchasing lures for $5, having my lines severed, and profiting $15. I love fishing! :D

03-09-2009, 10:19 AM
I agree with twoelk48, it would be nice if everybody knew the navigation laws for boating. *Unfortunately, most people out there donít so you have to use common sense to avoid tangles. *When two vessels are heading towards each other on a collision course they are supposed to pass each other port side to port side. *In other words the boat going past you should pass on your left and you should be to their left. *This one drives me crazy when Iím trying to troll along the shore and somebody tries to get the inside line on me and passes on my starboard side when I had the right of way. *Here is a good site that explains some navigation rules:

Another move that drives me crazy is when Iím trolling and somebody comes in out of nowhere with their big motor, drops their lines, and starts trolling right in front of me so I *have to slow down or alter my course to avoid running over their lines.

Generally, it try to give somebody the right of way if they already have an established route. *Short zig-zags are fine, but I try to avoid random changes in direction because people are usually planning their course based on your implied course. *You have to submit to the fact that when waters get crowded you canít always troll exactly where you want to. *Sometimes boats are going in all directions and you have to pick the course that will be the least likely to cause a tangle. *Sometimes when you have to slow down or make awkward turns to avoid traffic you will actually draw unexpected strikes when your lures rise and fall in the water column :)

The worst combat trolling zones that Iíve seen are the mouth of the American River during salmon season and the west bank of the Sacramento River during striper season. *Those places are pretty much Thunderdome Ė no rules.

03-09-2009, 11:48 AM

I didn't realize my Rapala could fetch $20. I think have have a business model developing of purchasing lures for $5, having my lines severed, and profiting $15. I love fishing! :D

Fat freakin' chance DG! But I am going to replace your lure with one that has proven to catch fish. The hooks are a little rusty and the paint is a little worn off, but it's a fish catching lure! ;) ;D

03-09-2009, 12:00 PM
Note: Payback is a bit#h. Two years later my lines were clipped while trolling for stripers on the delta...$15 in lures gone. The offender just waved and kept on trucking. :-/

I get that quite often. They have no idea what they are doing or what they have done. :(

03-09-2009, 12:55 PM
calamari - I agree...there are times where you have to use common sense over navigation right-of-way laws when fishing. If you are trolling a gentle curve your lines will not be directly behind the boatÖobservance is key.