View Full Version : New to the Sniffer and Trolling on lake Amador

04-02-2006, 03:40 PM
Hi every one I have been fishing Amador from the bank off and on for 1 year now. And finally i got a boat and i want to troll,and i have 2 times now and realized i have no idea what i am doing. I have a 12ft aluminum boat with a 4HP johnson,but no depth finder,GPS,or trolling motor. I was told by a person on my last outing at Amador that dragging a bucket would help slow my boat down to better speed for trolling,and i have found that it works. but still no fish,so do i need a depth finder or G.P.S. or even a trolling motor to help catch fish. Anyone who can help me i would be glad to listen, read, and learn.

04-02-2006, 03:50 PM
A fishfinder and GPS would be nice, but not a must have. I'd get an electric trolling motor, though. For me, its a "must have." Its much quieter, which is better for you and the fishing.

There's lots of info here on how to catch them. Do a search for "grub power troll" on this board and you'll get some good info ;)

04-02-2006, 03:50 PM
You will find many, many posts on lake Amador. Just scroll back a few pages. As for equipment, my understanding is that you need to troll at about .8 mph. your motor should get you that slow, maybe dragging a bucket, but you wouldn't know it unless you had a way to measure your speed. I just bought a handheld GPS for that, but if you are only looking for the mph reading I would suggest getting an accurate speedometer. They sell portable devices for this that are relatively inexpensive. If the bucket trick doesn't get you slow enough, you should look into getting a trolling motor. I am taking my boat, gps, bucket, 15 horse kicker out this week to test the speed. If I can't get down to .8 mph, I'm going to be looking for a trolling motor as well. Kinda sucks, cause I don't bass fish, so I probably will only use the motor for one lake - Amador. The fishing there will be worth it though.

04-02-2006, 04:06 PM
Fish_feeder32: The GPS is crucial...even if you dragged a bucket, it's very deceiving if you're trying to determine speed with your naked eye. A handheld GPS...nothing fancy should do the trick. A fishfinder is nice, but right now, toplining grubs is the hot set up so you don't have to worry about depth too much. Amador does have a lot of sharp drops and structure....especially in Jackson and the Mtn Springs arm so if the fish were being caught on riggers, then the depth finder would be a must. Both are nice...just depends on what you want to get right now. I'd say that the GPS is the most important right now...but both would enhance your fishing. When we've been trolling, we really aren't looking to mark fish..just trying to find key structure that we know fish would be lurking around. The fish are shallow enough that the boat would just spook any fish right under your gauge anyways. As the fish move deeper in the Spring, the fishfinder would play a larger role. We've been catching fish w/o a trolling motor either...just make sure your lure is at least 50 pulls out, I'd say 70 min actually....if it's manageable try 100 ft out. But usually Amador is crowded so navigating around with 100 ft. of line behind you can be challenging.

As far as you not having success....Amador has been slooooooow lately so it's not just you. What were you trolling anyways?

04-02-2006, 04:24 PM
I have trolled with 3 inch power worm(chartrues and white colors) with berkely power egg right above it with no weight. Also been pulling rapalas CD7 rainbow trout color. And dogers with needle fish and small piece of crawler. what determins the length of a pull?

04-02-2006, 04:35 PM
Many folks use the gas motor to get from the launch ramp to where they want to fish. *Once there, the electric trolling motor is dead quiet. *If I only had the $ for one item on your list, it would be the electric trolling motor.

04-02-2006, 04:49 PM
Try zig-zaging to see what speed the fish like on that day, hits on the outside line on the corner you need to speed up, inside slow down. I troll with my main motor and do fine slow for me is .8 and have caught them at 1.5.

04-02-2006, 05:03 PM
what determins the length of a pull?

Basically a foot. 100 pulls=100ft. Just loosen your drag and count the number of pulls out...really just a guestimate.....don't need to be really precise.

I wanna reiterate what cuhogn said. As you're passing over points, over structure, doing a "crazy ivan" or slowing the boat, then picking up speed, really seems to work. At least with grubs, because they start to descend slowly which the fish really seem to key in on. A crazy ivan has the same affect because as you veer left to right or vice versa, that will cause the lure to drop and then ascend. You just wanna give some action to the lure instead of just straightlining it.

04-03-2006, 10:45 AM
Excellent advise from chogun. work points and vary speed. A fish finder to me is more important than a gps. I can read structure and depth. I use an 8 hp motor for trolling and troll just fine for speed. I have an electric motor but battery life sometimes is an issue. I find i catch just as many fish with my regular gas motor. I make sure my lure
is at least 100' back behind the boat.

04-03-2006, 11:24 AM
When i use my electric motor i usually have the toplines out anywhere from 30-75 feet. The fish at amador aren't that boat shy at all. I have hooked into nice fish many times when the lure is only 15ft. behind the boat. We usually run 3 rods in the 30-75ft range then one out maybe 100ft. or more. I like that one to be the clean up hitter. ;)

04-03-2006, 11:36 AM
Crazy Ivan, wow, Now its the hunt for red october! ::) Engage the worm drive *oops I mean the trolling motor. Dang , I am a simple man..I just drag the dang grub behind the dang boat!


04-03-2006, 12:23 PM

Dang , I am a simple man..I just drag the dang grub behind the dang boat!

Exactly! Sometimes it's as simple as that. You don't need to have all the gadgets and doo-dads to catch fish. It sure is nice though. ;D

04-03-2006, 12:50 PM
You don't need to have all the gadgets and doo-dads to catch fish. *It sure is nice though. * ;D

But it can give you something to do while waiting for the fish...

04-03-2006, 01:36 PM
partner's made a good point. *Keeping it simple keeps you more in touch with with the tip of your rod and your surroundings. *I learned years ago I'd miss a lot of the real world when my eye was stuck to the viewfinder of a camera.

I'm a gizmo guy and will haul along everything I can fit in my kayak or tote bag if I'm a guest on a boat. *GPS is great not just for checking your trolling speed or recording your trolling path. *I use GPS on the road much more than on water. *Get a GPS learn how to use it for your everyday travels then you'll also have it for your boat.

Now that I've got quite a few cool weather trolling miles at Amador I've got a feel for the speed I like. *It's 1.2mph and unless it gets windy I rarely look at the GPS to check it. *Early on at Amador I was watching my fishfinder and spotting those deep mystery fish. *But those aren't the fish you're top lining for this time of year. *Unless I'm curious about the bottom depth of a certain spot I don't look at it. *I pay more attention as to how close to the shore I can maneuver and the path around the other trollers.

Guess I'm an old guy with attention deficit disorder because I can't seem to keep count of my pulls. *Got a gizmo for that on my baitcasting setup. *It's a small clamp-on counter that I can easily switch between rods. *It lets me accurately place my bait behind the boat. *How far? *Hehehehe ... depends on what I think my lucky number is for that time of day. *I've had my grubs and wooly buggers hit while pulling line out sometimes not far behind the boat, but I like to be about 60 to 100 feet back. *I won't tell you my secret lucky numbers but I will say I kind of like to see the first jump of a hook set cutbow far behind the boat and the reel cranking excitement of fighting to get my line back. *Just horsing 'em in is not fun for me.

No one mentioned VHF radio in this thread. *Most Sniffers who have 'em know they are not just fun for badmouthing buddies, but in the hands of helpful folks a way to put you on to fish. *Not only that, if you need help you got a way of getting it. *partner and jwilson saved me a long paddle after they learned by VHF my motor gave out.

A trolling motor will not only give you good control of slow speed it'll save your gas for high speed runs to the hot spots. *Then once you get there you can quietly converse with helpful Sniffers and not have to yell through a cloud of 2 stroke smoke.

So, once you got all that don't forget you'll need a fish shooting camera too.

04-03-2006, 03:24 PM
Lots of great advice I dont think I could add anything so I'll just say welcome to the boards..

04-03-2006, 07:21 PM
First let me say welcome to the boards fishfeeder.
Second good deal Yak mentioning the VHF radio.
Third let me make a suggestion not mentioned. A trolling plate for your gas motor. I have one on my motor and it cost me a $100.
It's cheap enough to let you afford to pick up another item or two mentioned here in the posts (gps, fishfinder)
I have an electric trolling motor too. It cost me $250 and then I spent another $200 on a lifetime rechargeble gel battery that you could drop from an airplane and it would still work. My dilema was everytime I went away for multiple day fishing trips I couldnt get the battery charged fast enough to get all the fishing I wanted done in a day.
Everybody has different set ups they prefer. Sort thru all the suggestions and pick one that fits your needs and wants. [smiley=angling.gif]

04-04-2006, 06:38 AM

But it can give you something to do while waiting for the fish...

Maybe that's why I just placed an order last nite with BassPro for some more "gadgets and doo-dads".....hahahaha ;) ;D

04-04-2006, 08:33 AM
n2trout, It sounds like a higher ampere charger might help you. If you get a charger that charges at 10 to 15 amps, and charge overnite for 12 hours you might be able to peak charge your battery for the next day. Another possibility is to buy a second battery that you charge during the day while you are fishing.. Larry

04-04-2006, 12:57 PM
I considered getting another battery, but there are so many other gadgets I still want. I am also trying to make sure whatever other equipment I buy will work on the next boat I buy. I am hoping to upgrade in the next year or so. [smiley=bananasplits.gif]

04-04-2006, 06:30 PM
Your set up sounds fine, I would suggest that you buy a fish finder Wal-mart for under $100.00 and follow the crowd. I too am a new boat owner and I fished the lake with no luck, my first two times out. I then became friends with the people at the cleaning station asked question like what were they hitting on etc... Hang on and you will soon be a pro on the lake, thats why they call it fishing. ;)

The Rev.

04-04-2006, 07:07 PM
Yep it looks like i will be trying to get an electric motor,GPS,and my brother in law says he may have vhf radio i can get from him.that should get me started in the right direction ;).may take a couple of weeks to get but i decided those few things are not going to stop me from getting on the water untill then. ;D. catch yall on the water 8-)fish_feeder32 8-)