Bluewater Trolling

Offshore Trolling is a very effective way to catch some really big fish as well as a variety of species from wahoo, to blue marlin and mahi mahi, even spearfish and grouper. For years trolling both lures and natural baits at variable rates of speed have proven to be extremely successful techniques. Lets further breakdown the technique. Trolling is a simple and effective way to keep an angler’s bait in the strike zone for longer periods of time and greater distances, while targeting species that also cover an excess of water when feeding. Pulling these baits create an unmatched presentation that will out fish many others presentations. Trolling gives the anglers advantages to cover a vast amount of water, increasing the odds of roaming over different schools of fish. When targeting tide lines, surface structure, temperature changes and drop-offs, and even running with the direction of said mark, will increase the odds for multiple strikes when trolling areas of high feeding activity. There are a few different techniques of trolling aimed at targeting different species, the first is skipping ballyhoo on a circle hook and popping chugger, these rigs are perfect for targeting hungry mahi mahi and tunas near the surface. Second technique is using a down rigger to run baits typically in depths of 30ft-70ft on a steel wire stinger rig at a slow troll of about 2.5 knots, covering a lot of ground, done for targeting fish hanging over reefs such as kingfish. The third technique is called high speed trolling, typically done to target wahoo and tunas, in this presentation the the troll pace is set at about 12-17 knots and covers drop offs and vast amount of water this technique often produces violent strikes on artificial lures. The last technique and the most common is for marlin fishing and requires a 15-30 bait dredge as well as a couple daisy chain teasers both the dredge and teasers are just part of the distraction of the spread, when fishing for marlin the common bites come on the small ballyhoo or tunas bridled on a circle hook being dragged just underneath the surface some with venting and bubbling heads. These ballyhoos and tunas trigger the bite, and this technique can often times bring a marlin to the surface showcasing its true apex status. These marlin burst through the surface piercing the bait with their bill, sending it sky rocketing and then pouncing on the bait repeatedly. Once you have a big fish like that hooked up game on as this is an aggressive fighting fish!

The reason why trolling is proven effective; is because your lure or bait never stop moving. In return triggering aggressive feeding strikes from just about any species in the water that can visualize the lures. In addition the speed of the presentation for artificial baits, tricks the fish into an aggressive reaction bite because they don’t have much time to decipher if the bait is real or not. When trolling Anglers often use a small to medium size circle hook, bridled or wired with both live and natural baits. The natural baits have a higher success rate. In the case of live bait, the smaller & safer circle hook will help eliminate a deadly hook set for big fish that fully engulf the natural baits, such as marlin, swordfish & sailfish do. Ex; terminally gill hooking a billfish that will not survive after the release. Lastly during the troll, the anglers baits never leave the water, simply put, the more time your bait spends in the water the more likely the angler is to get a strike.

Another advantage that trolling offers is having multiple lines in the water at once. multiple lines out, provide a few benefits, first more bait will attract bigger schools of fish. Secondly, when a school of fish arise to the surface, at a moments notice and your pulling lines through the heart of it, Anglers can hook up with multiple fish with just one pass, even before they get a second chance on the Williamson, when  the school disappears moments after. Trolling really offers a platform to lure and catch many different species that may be difficult to target because they feed with either the current or even higher or lower in the water column. Trolling is a simple and effective way to keep an angler’s bait’s in the strike zone for longer periods of time and greater distances. Falling in align with species that also cover excessive amounts of water when feeding & migrating. Pulling these baits, create an unmatched presentation, that will out fish many other techniques.


-Ryan Collins

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