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Importance of Boat Control - Part 3 - Trolling

Hello again fellow anglers. This is part three of the “importance of boat control”, where we will be concentrating on trolling. Trolling is yet another method which can be very productive and the bonus is that anyone can easily do it.


The beauty of trolling is that you can troll anywhere, in any direction, and cover a ton of water!

Unlike drifting, you do not need to rely on wind or current – you can troll anytime you want. There are different ways to troll. For example, the simplest way is to put your boat in forward, toss your fishing lure behind the boat, let out some line, close your bail & hold on. This is called flat lining.

With this method, you should not troll in a straight line, but rather, zig-zag your way forward. While you are zigging & zagging along, your fishing lure will be moving to different depths as well as to different speeds. This changing of depths and speeds will help trigger fish to strike your lure. Also, the noise of your motor may spook some fish, so again, by zig-zagging your way around, you will be moving your lure over “un-spooked” fish. Just do not make sharp turns, as this will most likely tangle up your lures and cause a mess. Make gradual turns & “zig-zag” gradually as well.

Another way to troll would be with the use of a down-rigger. Here, you are now able to control the depth at which you want your fishing lure to run. When you’re flat lining, your lure will only go as deep as it is designed to do. Using downriggers allows you to get your lure down to any depth you want. You can also “stack” extra lines on your down rigger, giving you more lures to troll with.

While down rigging, you can also “zig-zag” along & I suggest doing exactly that, as again, this compensates for the “spook” factor. Otherwise, using planner boards would be an even better way to avoid “spooking” fish. A planner board will take your fishing line and lure off to the side of the boat first, then behind the boat. In this case, your motor is making noise which may spook fish, pushing them off to the side of your boat – right where your planner board has taken your lure – perfect!

To get your lure down deep while using planner boards, you can either just rely on the depth your lure will run at – or for example, you can use such things as lead core line or jet divers. These will take your fishing lure down to deeper depths. There are smaller “in line” planner boards which can be hooked right up to your main fishing line, or larger planner boards which are run off a planner mast.

Perhaps down the road we can talk more in depth on down riggers & planner boards and perhaps even such things as Dipsy Divers – but for now, I wanted to be able to give you some general tips on trolling & hope that this information has been helpful.

As always, best fishes


PS: you can read about Part 1 -> Anchoring

PS: you can read about Part 2 -> Drifting

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