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Lake Trolling Basics to Moderate Techniques

3 posts in this topic

Hi, this will be my first post. A buddy told me about this awesome sight. While I'm waiting for my boat to get ready, purchased late fall, I need some pointers for trolling. This season will be my first real season on the waters in a boat. I have a lund with a 40 horse and would like to know the basics of how to troll. I do have a handheld gps and a lower end fish locator. I've never trolled for walleye before so I'm clueless how the setup, trolling speeds, equipment, and basic trolling techniques. Can anybody give me heads up on what I need to look for or do to successfully troll on lakes, mostly the metro area.

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Welcome aboard Caleb !!! This is your 1st post and my 5000th post, that's funny.

Anyway, there are many notions to know about trolling, some of the Pro Experts will pitch in soon, in the meantime I suggest you get familiar with site and use the Search feature to lookup trolling techniques, you'll find a wealth of threads about it.

Good luck and welcome aboard.

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First, welcome to FishingMinnesota.

Second, quite a while ago (almost a year ago) there were several good threads on trolling in the walleye forum. If you haven't found it yet, scroll down the list of forums a ways, and search back.

What are you planning to troll for? I troll a lot, mostly targeting walleyes, but have not done too well with that on metro lakes. On most metro lakes the walleyes will be in the weeds, that's a tough situation for trolling. But trolling is a great way to cover water and will catch a lot of fish, of all different species.

The big thing with trolling is to pay attention to what you were doing when you catch fish, because you are trying to establish a pattern you can repeat. How fast were you going, how far back was your bait, were you making an inside corner outside corner or going straight, had you been bumping bottom, had you been ticking weeds, had you just pumped the rod and let the bait pause and fall back, etc. These are all keys, in additon to the water depth and the type of structure, and size and color of bait. Experiment and change things up until you connect with fish, then try to establish a pattern and repeat it.

Basic rules of thumb are slower when the water is cold and faster when the water is warm. 50-55 degrees is a good differentiation between cold and warm water. Stickbaits or straight baits like husky jerks and rogues are typically better when it's colder, shad style baits with more action are better when it's warmer. The shallow shad rap is a good in-between bait. There are lots of other good baits.

In the spring and fall the fish will usually be shallow, sometimes really shallow. Thin scattered weeds can be good, or along the edges of weeds. In summer mid-lake structure and open water can be good, although I haven't found much of a bite doing this on metro lakes.

Hope this gets you started, good luck.

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