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Trolling tactics
Posted by: powerdive
Date: March 26, 2009 11:07AM
I'm planning to expand my approach to trolling with leadcore and flat lines this season. For the most part, I've confined myself to running diving crankbaits (shad baits, Reef Runners, Deep Thundersticks, etc.) on both setups, but I think there are times when other approaches could work better. To shorten the learning curve, I wonder if you guys have done any experimenting with these techniques, and would mind sharing what you've learned.

Leadcore:

Shallow-running stickbaits. When the water's cold, shallow, or even colored, I think Rogues, Bombers and Husky Jerks trolled slow (0.7-1.4mph) might be a better choice. I generally use very short (7-10') leaders on core...will I need to use a longer leader to get the right action?

Deep divers. So far I've only used moderate diving shad baits and Ripsticks on core. What about the big-lipped baits? Is there any advantage to running those on lead? For me, they've always been reserved for the flat lines...

Crawler harnesses/spinners. I know CW has caught a few doing this. Does a spinner blade create any lift worth worrying about? How fast can I go? What do I need to know?

Flat lines:

Shallow stickbaits. A few years back I tried running these on a 3-way with a dropper to a bouncer weight on the edges of the K Dock flats, and caught quite a few fish. I also lost a TON of baits, which I didn't like very much. I decided that the highest runners--floating balsa, Smoos, One-Minuses--were best; really gotta pay attention to their dive depth. I guess a smarter choice would be to adjust the dropper length, or just save this technique for less snaggy areas.

Extra-large baits. I've tried larger baits for larger fish, and it hasn't worked yet. But I believe it will eventually pay off.

Spoons. Behind a dipsy diver. Generally for open water. Started experimenting with this a little last year, and I like it--it's incredibly quick and easy to deploy. No takers yet, but most of my trolling is on contours. The approach so far has been to set the diver to run out to the side, off the edge of the drop at the same depth we've been catching fish on the contour. You board runners, have you caught fish on your cranks outside the drops? Perhaps a stickbait or harness would be a better choice for this--whaddya think?

In-line or snap weights. I've got 'em...haven't really used 'em. Cranks or harnesses...got the literature, just too lazy to tackle new depth computations, I guess. Do you like 'em, and when?

3-way/2 baits. A 3-way swivel...a Reef Runner 800 below, a small spoon above. Tried it a couple-three times. Kind of a pain to deploy and keep from tangling, and it hasn't worked yet. Keep trying?

Let's discuss some of this stuff before the season really gets going. Thanks!



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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: bumps2
Date: March 26, 2009 11:55AM
"In-line or snap weights. I've got 'em...haven't really used 'em. Cranks or harnesses...got the literature, just too lazy to tackle new depth computations, I guess. Do you like 'em, and when?"

I've got em and use em. Mostly because I don't have lead core equipment,,,,,,,yet. A little story.

Donna and I were staying at Southwinds for a few days late last August. Dale Jones told us about a very subtle hump on the west side of the lake between points 5 & 7. He said he'd been catching walleye there using jigs and half a crawler. Dale's a darn good jig and crawler fisherman so we took his advice and tried the spot. The hump was about 17' deep and surrounding water was 19-20'. Using 1/4 oz jigs w/small blade and crawlers we fished almost one whole day on the spot and some surrounding water and all we caught were bluegill. Only had one more day to fish but we tried the same spot till about 9:00 the next morning. Same results. So changed tactics. Using the 50/50 method for snap weights started trolling 400 series Rip Shads using 2 oz weights and trolling across the hump and 20-30' either side of it. We were ticking bottom in about 18' of water at about 2.5 mph. 45 minutes later we had 2 16" and 1 19" walleye in the live well. We were trolling parallel to the west bank and all the fish hit as I was turning the boat 180 degrees and it had just straightened out.

From what I've read snap weights rise and fall much quicker than lead core when speed changes so think the quick fall and rise while making the turn triggered the bites.

b2



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2009 12:02PM by bumps2.

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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: REELXTC
Date: March 26, 2009 12:19PM
PD,

I think you need to spend a day aboard the REELXTC with WRU and myself for some "remedial trolling" training.

We can cover all the above with a day on the water. :cheers:



...REELXTC...


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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: walleyerich
Date: March 26, 2009 12:21PM
CW and I used snap weights on one line while trolling in the second BS tournament last year and caught fish (too bad they were all shorts). To me, I like leadcore better because I think the baits follow the boat better. If I were open water trolling or had a specific spot like b2 was talking about, then maybe snaps would be a viable option.

Not sure about the leader length on leadcore for action. This is something I am going to experiment more with this year. My experience so far has told me that leader length doesn't make a difference, but I know many others would disagree.

I like running the big Reef Runners on lead. I like having less line out and have caught fish doing it. Might be different on BS, TR, or Norfork. I just haven't fished these lakes much.

CW and I trolled spinners on leadcore at the Melvern tournament last year and caught fish. We were trolling almost 3 mph and had gulp nightcrawlers on for durability. If I remember right we were in about 8-10' of water and just barely above bottom.

One thing I learned from Seelhoff on three ways is that you need a longer drop than what most people use. Even if your drop is three feet with a spinner - the spinner itself will be a foot off of the botttom depending on the speed of the boat. I would think a lure that dives would need an even bigger drop. What he was doing was very smart because we were fishing the old shoreline and needed to get the spinner rig just above the scrub brush on bottom.

I like using the big Reef Runners for big fish. I think sometimes it will make a difference.

CW and I messed with a jet diver a little last year. I think he liked it, but I did not because I could not see the rod tip vibrate like you could with leadcore. I ruled them out for future use myself. I think spoons might be a viable option on these lakes. I think Sirmanski and I are going to give that one a try because he is going to start carrying a line of spoons on his website.

I have used snap weight is conjunction with leadcore one day fishing Longview lake during the winter. Worked well and we caught walleye out of 80' feet of water. Don't know if this was the best way to do it or not - but we could use regular reels spooled with leadcore to get the bait down really deep.

I have never tried the three way - two bait thing. Probably won't. Would mind trying some drop shotting with two lures. Might be a little easier to use.

What about Gulp Alive! Likes - dislikes?

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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: REELXTC
Date: March 26, 2009 12:24PM
I'm "sold" on GULP alive.

I prefer the 3" leech along with 3" and 4" minnows.



...REELXTC...


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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: powerdive
Date: March 26, 2009 12:27PM
Quote
REELXTC
PD,

I think you need to spend a day aboard the REELXTC with WRU and myself for some "remedial trolling" training.

We can cover all the above with a day on the water. :cheers:

I personally fear having that much electricity coursing through my body...but my cardiologist would probably be all for it, so sure--that would be a hoot! :beers:



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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: REELXTC
Date: March 26, 2009 12:32PM
You'll leave with a "glowing personality" :cheers:



...REELXTC...


LUND PRO-V 2025 IFS POWERED BY YAMAHA

NPAA #547


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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: walleyerich
Date: March 26, 2009 12:35PM
ReelXTC - have you tried the chartreuse minnows or the five inch leeches?

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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: REELXTC
Date: March 26, 2009 01:34PM
The 5" leeches are too stiff. I have some for sale at 50% off if you want them.



...REELXTC...


LUND PRO-V 2025 IFS POWERED BY YAMAHA

NPAA #547


<*}}}}}}><
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: powerdive
Date: March 26, 2009 01:47PM
Quote
REELXTC
The 5" leeches are too stiff. I have some for sale at 50% off if you want them.

Looks like you'll have time to develop an exercise program for them, if you want full value...



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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: coyotewhacker
Date: March 26, 2009 05:57PM
The main thing I learned about snap weights is that I personally do not care for them. As Rich said, in open water they are probably very effective, but where we were fishing there was a lot of snap weight grabbing limbs and treetops, and I left several in Bull Shoals to pollute the environment. It's a personal thing, but I much prefer leadcore because of the lack of having to unsnap the weight, thereby reducing the risk of momentary slack in the line. They might work well in Stockton in places, but for me, leadcore is just more predictable and reliable.
The divers are sitting on the dash of Sweet Thang and will see considerable use when I need to troll a very specific and precise depth. The nice thing about them is that they will dive to an adjustable, pre-determined depth and won't go any deeper or rise any higher so long as you stay within a reasonable speed range. They also dive to the selected depth with very little line out, and you can use mono or superline interchangeably. There may be some issues about
them scaring or alerting fish, but they are made of clear plastic and don't vibrate , so I want to give them a fair chance to succeed or fail before passing final judgement. So far I like the way they perform, and the cost factor is a real plus.
Each one costs less than a medium price crank bait.
CW



A man has got to know his limitations.
"Dirty Harry" Callaghan

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: bullitt
Date: March 26, 2009 06:34PM
leadcore - You left out swimbaits and rattletraps. One of these days I'm gonna get one them with leadcore/traps. I also intend to try a texas rigged harness/spinner with plastic and drag it through the trees.

I absolutely subscribe to the big bait/big fish theory. I don't have any 900 series Ripsticks...yet.

flatlines - I do a bit of contour trolling and rarely catch a fish on the outside board. I often only run 3 rods and just switch one to the inside when I turn around.

I rarely troll faster than 2.2mph. Maybe I need to speed up.

It is difficult to experiment when my fishing time is so limited. Sometimes I want to go fishing and see what happens, and sometimes I want to catch fish.

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: fcso1253
Date: March 26, 2009 07:07PM
Three ways with a a bell sinker are a very good tactic for fishing contours and snags. It is one I use often. It is generally a slower approach as you want the bait which I will explain further to wobble slowly in front of the fishes face. Using the two fisted approach, and using your bow mount motor works great. Being able to handle your rod, enables you to change the action of your bait; sweeping it forward like a fleeing baitfish. It triggers alot of strikes. Use a baitcaster with a thumb release to adjust your depths.

I primarely fish fireline (ten pound). Use a leader length of 5 feet and adjust the dropper accordingly to how far off the bottom you want to be. Use a standard formula of 1 ounce for every ten feet deep you want to be. Usually its the sinker that gets hung, and for some reason I find bouncers hang alot more often than a three way. The three way usually pulls through the snags with a little pressure on the rod. You shouldn't use a braid line for the dropper. You should use a mono dropper in the 8 or 10 pound class in the event you do get snagged. It will either break off or pull loose.

I would suggest you reserve this tactic for floating baits, such thundersticks, rapalas or such. You really want to minimize them diving at all. Troll at a speed of around 1.4 or so for the one ounce-ten feet formula. Again. this is a slow approach, and it works in cold or warm water.

I have used this technique all over and it works really well in south dakota lakes, Lake Oahe and it tailrace. Used up to a four ounce bell sinker up there to fish the tailrace in only twenty foot of water. ALOT of current. Caught alot of fish up there with a purple ?descent? rapala. I have fished bottom bouncers alot too and I believe/I know they absolutely snag more often. I really think they are meant more for fishing rocks and not snags.

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: duckguy
Date: March 26, 2009 09:06PM
Gulp: I am sold on the minnows. I've had the best success on the 3" smelt. Like Gary, I haven't had any success with the leaches.


dale

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: walleyesrus
Date: March 27, 2009 10:32AM
FCSO has the right idea on 3-ways I only use floaters. I view that as mainly a river tactic so not something I often due. I personally think that lead core works best on lures with tight wobbling action, Flicker shads Shad Raps Static Shads Walleye diver jr's jointed shad raps, ect. I like fieline or mono for "searching lures" such as big Reef Runners, Hot N Tots, Tail Dancers ect. not that you can't catch fish on them with lead but generally you don't need lead to get them where you want them. As far as stickbaits and lead they definately work but it is an expensive deal because those baits have no snag resistance and from my experience once snagged aren't coming out.

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: foggy324
Date: March 27, 2009 10:45AM
Especially the really expensive stick baits casted 6 or 7 feet up in the buck brush, on the bank, at night ,in the rain..:devil: Gregg


P.S. Couldn't resist!!!

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: powerdive
Date: March 27, 2009 10:57AM
Just tell me specifically (in a PM) which banks you lost 'em on, and I'll go get them back for ya. Really, it's no problem, glad to help... :devil:



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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: foggy324
Date: March 27, 2009 12:22PM
PD,
I have a chart for 3-way rigs that tells dropper length for shallow stick baits. I'll try to scan it and post it, if I can figure out how. Gregg

Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: powerdive
Date: March 27, 2009 01:23PM
Foghorn, that would be great. Never seen a "3-way" chart. Thanks!



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Re: Trolling tactics
Posted by: coyotewhacker
Date: March 27, 2009 01:42PM
PD.....you wouldn't recognize a three way if you wuz in it.....:rofl: However, that chart might be very handy. Go for it, Greg.
CW



A man has got to know his limitations.
"Dirty Harry" Callaghan

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