What Trolling is all about

It’s definitely not making subtle jokes, taking a pot shot at the fish trying to get a rise out of it until it snaps and jumps out of the water to strangle you. That would be such a devious plan. Unfortunately, nobody on record has ever managed to drive a fish that mad with jokes alone.

But the very term “trolling” in the sense the international internet community knows it does originate from a fishing term. Today, I’m going to cover the basics of what’s behind that term.

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Trolling is an ancient fishing technique. It’s very simple in principle and it can be done even with a reel-less fishing rod. All you have to do is to swing the bait from side to side, and that’s it. If you do have a reel, though, you can cast that bait as far as you can draw it back, winding the line gently. Or, you can do that from a boat, you don’t even need a rod as long as the boat is on the move. They point is you draw a baited fishing line through the water, one way or another. Exactly how it is done is of little importance.

Most of the time, though, it’s done from a boat. That where the words “trolling motor” come from anyway.

This method has been known for a long time. In the days of old, fishermen drew primitive baits from their rowing boats, but with the emergence of outboard motors, trolling is much easier and requires less experience. In any case, trolling has been and is quite effective when it comes to catching trophy predator fish at great depths.

Key to successful trolling

The key to success is the knowledge of theoretical nuances, the right gear, and knowledge on how to use it properly, especially on a specific water body. Many beginner anglers think that trolling is too complicated for them, so they don’t even try to master it. But the truth is that it is actually simpler than the classic spinning fishing style. Just keep trying, and you’ll succeed. And if you want to succeed on the first try, you could use some of my tips.

  • Big water means big fish and big chances. It’s just easier to find deep water in a large lake or river, and they fish is likelier to bite if you’re far away from the shore.
  • Use deep-diver wobblers, preferably minnows as bait.
  • Keep the bait as close to the bottom as possible.
  • Use a fish finder to locate deep places and fish shoals quickly.

Picking a boat

You may have seen a large boat creeping forward slowly with a two-way rig or maybe a three-way rig unwinding behind its transom. That may be effective, but it’s hardly an efficient purchase for a beginner. You want something more affordable and less dedicated to give it a try. A three-way rig is a commitment. A large boat, even more so.

To start with, you need a small boat, a hard hull or an inflatable boat are more than enough for trolling.


This parameter is tricky when you’re dealing with trolling fishing. You can always look at the package and tell how many people the boat can hold. But if you want to do some trolling fishing, you need to divide that number by two.

For example, if you see a 2-seater in an online store, it’s going to be a one-person boat for you. The rest of the room in there is going to be taken by your gear and tackle. For the same reasons, you will need a 4-seater for two people. In both of those cases, you need a rigid bottom and a transom (so that you can install an outboard motor).

Rigid Boats

A rigid boat is going to cost you a little bit more, no matter if its a kayak, a canoe or something else entirely. They are safer than inflatables, and they also look better, they tend to have a bigger capacity and tend to be more streamlined. But aside from paying more money, you also need to get a trailer to transport your boat and a boat cover to keep it protected from the elements when not in use.

Trolling Tackle and Lures

The key difference between any trolling rod and an ordinary spinning rod is the extra strength trolling gear requires. The rod is given a severe load when you’re trolling, and that makes any lightweight spinning rods unsuitable for such fishing. That’s not just rods and lines, the same goes for the reels and other gear.

Of course, you can use simple fly reels, but they are unlikely to last you longer than one season if you’re using them for trolling. I would advise you something different, like a multiplying reel. Most standard fishing lines are also unfit for trolling because of their low strength and high stretchability. You want a stronger, more rigid line for trolling fish.

 As for the lures, they are usually paramount to successful fishing, as the outcome depends on what you chose. At the same time, there is no such thing as a universal minnow for trolling. The best lures are to determined experimentally. It can be easier when you know the basic habits of any fish.

  • When predator fish species are active, large lures work better
  • When predator fish species are passive, it’s better to try and attract their attention with smaller noisy minnows
  • in muddy water, bright colors are more effective
  • In clear water, it’s better to choose the lures that have more natural coloring.

Bottom Line

Catching a trophy predator using the trolling technique is exciting. But in order to do that successfully, you have to master the theory.

Follow the advice of those in the know take care to prepare yourself fully, and you’ll get your big fish.

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