Trout Trolling Tips & Tricks: Easy Way To Effectively Troll For Trout

The most effective method of fishing for trout is trolling. By doing so, you’re able to lure in bigger fish living in deeper water. It also allows you to fish in a wider area than other methods. However, you will need a trout trolling setup for doing so.

Trout Trolling

So, here are the steps you need to follow if you want a complete trout trolling setup.


Trout Trolling Setup

First of all, trolling boats are expensive to purchase. Furthermore, casting from the bank is more difficult logistically. But trolling can be a worthwhile investment due to the benefits it offers.

It offers the advantage of catching more fish with less effort, so why not give it a try? Basically, trolling lures disrupt the normal environment. And while doing so, it attracts fish and makes them aware of your lure.

Your trolling lures should also be targeted toward shorelines and points where trout are likely to be found. So, you’ll have a much greater chance of hooking a fish. Once you perfect trolling, you’ll have no trouble getting fish.

As a second method, you can either troll or cast to catch trout. A shallow area is usually good with traditional methods or with a new technique like vertical fishing.

You can find baitfish easily and identify them visually in shallow water. You can also experiment with different depths and styles of fishing.

And, you will also need to change the way you present your lure. To determine the best technique, it is best to experiment with a few options.

Also Read: Trout Fishing At Night

Why use a Trout Trolling Setup?

Trolling for trout has two main purposes. First of all, you can fish deeper when trolling. In addition, you can cover a larger area when trolling.

In summer, trout move to deeper water as the water temperature rises. These fish could be as deep as 25 feet, depending on how deep the water is you are fishing. So, using conventional gear, it is almost impossible to catch these fish.

However, summer trout are easy to catch on trolling rigs that help to fish deep. The depth can also be controlled more easily once the fish have been located.

The trolling method is also very useful when it comes to finding fish. Many schools of fish travel in constant motion. Finding these schools by blind casting involves both luck and skill.

But, trolling allows you to search large areas quickly since multiple lines can be in place at different depths. The depth of your other lines is easy to maneuver once you locate the school.

Types of Trout to Catch While Trolling

It is possible to catch several types of trout when trolling for trout, depending on where you go. The following list will give you a quick overview of the different types of trout you can catch.

Rainbow Trout

rainbow trout

North America’s most common species of freshwater trout is the rainbow trout. It’s possible to find them in lakes as well as rivers, even though they’re mostly present in streams.

You can identify rainbow trout by their pink stripes. They also have many black and brown spots. Most rainbow trout grow to be between 4 and 6 lbs.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

The brown trout do not belong to the North American habitat. They are there in 1883.  And, they mostly live in deeper lakes and waterways.

It is not uncommon for brown trout to grow to be lakes’ apex predators, only being outsized by very massive lake trout. Insects and other smaller fish are the main sources of food for brown trout. These fish often eat frogs as well.

Lake Trout

Lake Trout

North America was first introduced to lake trout in the 1800s. Its size is larger than that of other relatives. They are also excellent trout to catch while trolling.

They live for a long time compared to other kinds of trout. Lake trout make excellent trolling targets. You just need to determine your trolling speed correctly.

How To Troll For Trout?

Trout trolling is a great way to catch trout if you’re new to fishing. In freshwater, troll fishing is easy to learn. There is a wide variety of options you can choose from.

Trout trolling has many advantages. Firstly, it does not require special equipment. Almost any kind of boat can be used to troll, as long as it has a rod holder. In addition, you can fish shallow waters and smaller bodies of water.

Also, you can decide where to place your troll. During the summer, when the runoff water is murky, trout are most active. You can increase your chances of hooking some fish during a troll by remaining at the edge of clean water.

You can also use flies that imitate natural forage. Bugs, larvae, and other insects are preferred by smaller trout, whole crustaceans, and leeches are preferred by larger trout. There are also many types of flies to choose from.

Best Trolling Rig for Trout

There are a lot of different rigs you can use to catch trout besides the standard poles. When lake trout are pushing into shallow water between 20 and 30 feet deep during spring and fall, jigsaw rigs are excellent for near-shore trolling.

You can adjust the weight of the line and the length of the line using this type of trout rigging. This type of fishing is ideal for the jigsaw swivel.

You should choose a lure that is appropriate for the lake you are fishing if you want to have a successful fishing trip. Fall is a time to go for natural patterns, rather than bright colors during the warm summer months.

Combined with large Rapalas, spoons, or needlefish lures, you can effectively mimic large tempting meals. The lures can be purchased in gold, silver, or copper, and mimic natural patterns.

With a downrigger rig, you can use large bait. Typically, it’s used for minnows that are between five and eight inches long. Behind the head of the minnow is the forward treble hook. Two barbed hooks are located mid-bait or near the tail of the bait. These types of rigs are designed to strike quickly.

How Deep Should You Troll for Trout?

Trout are often caught with downriggers when trolling. Sometimes this doesn’t work, however. The majority of the year, trout can be caught using other methods.

Trout do not expend more energy than they need to feed, which is a crucial point to remember. The fish will pick a meal that is easy to catch even if they are cruising the lake for food. As a result, you will have more luck if you place your lure close to the trout.

You can start by setting downriggers to depths where you’ve previously caught fish by fishing a lake enough to learn the fish’s behavior. Otherwise, you will need to change the depth of the downriggers until you find fish. You can then adjust your rigs.

For each season, here are some general tips to help you locate trout:

Spring: Trout will breed in shallow, nearshore areas when the water is cool. When the trout move around the lake, most likely they will be found near the surface of the water.

Summer: As the water cools, trout will move further out from the shore. This can range from 25 – 60 feet depending on the species.

Fall: Temperature cooling will cause trout to move to shallow areas or to higher levels in the water column. Fish will migrate towards spawning naturally as they cool. So look for spawning areas near rivers and streams.

Winter: The initial drop in temperature causes trout to scatter. There is simply too much water for them to be confined. Following the bait, they tend to stay within 10 – 15 feet of the surface when temperatures stabilize.

During the summer, the upper water columns are also home to trout except for when the temperature is at its highest. You can fish in this area without a downrigger.

How Fast Should you Troll for Trout?

There is a lot of debate among anglers about this issue. Trolling speeds between 1.5 and 2.5 mph are popular among many experts. However, some say this works well for predatory fish, but trout cannot keep up.

Fish will generally spend as little energy as possible to catch their next meal. Warm water is especially conducive to this activity. The bait or lure needs to remain in the strike zone for a longer time.

It may be necessary to trot slower, perhaps as slow as 5 mph, when fishing for trout. Depending on the conditions, the type of lure used, and the wind, your chances of catching fish will differ. Determine the optimal speed for the conditions that day by changing your speed.

A lure’s performance will be best based on the speed range it is set at. Whenever possible, use lures of similar designs so you can catch fish at the same speed when running multiple lines.

Where to Troll for Deep Trout

It is important to look at as many lake maps as possible before you hit the water. Check your local shop to see if they have old-style topographic maps of the lake where you fish.

As soon as you get to the lake, begin scanning the surrounding areas with your quality fish finder. Plan out a trolling strategy and move from spot to spot. This will allow you to maximize your time.

To scan the lake’s sonar with quality fishing sonar, you should definitely invest in one. There are various depths where trout will be suspended. From the given structure they can be found between 30 and 90 feet deep.

Deepwater is evident by the steep shorelines, bluff walls, and channel swings close to the shore. A string of islands and long-submerged ledges also contain deep water and drop-offs. So, don’t fish over these areas, but parallel to them.

How to get Lures Deeper when Trolling

Fish can sometimes be present deep in the water. These are the places where they might be. So, it is natural that you will have to fish deep.

And, you may not realize how easy it is to dig deeper. Several options are available for that. And some will also complement your water setup. Here are some of the most used options.

Switching lures: Switching lures is one of the first steps in fishing deeper. By using a lure that dives, you will naturally catch more fish than you would with a spinner or spoon.

The shape and size of the lure’s bill determine how deep a lure will dive. Deeper diving lures have longer and larger bills. A sharper pitch will make the lure dive faster.

Adding weight: You can get deeper with your bait or lure by adding weight. You can choose from several weights. However, snap weights and keel weights are the two most popular.

You attach also kell weights directly in front of your lure on your mainline. Weight can be adjusted only by removing one and adding another. As a result of the shape of this weight, the keel reduces line twists.

When fishing lakes with different depths, snap weights are added or removed depending on the need. When fishing in different areas, you can adjust the depth easily. Generally, one snap weight should be applied every 50 feet until you reach your desired depth.

However, how do you determine the amount of weight to add? Most often, it involves experimentation. However, if you have a logical starting point, figuring out the right weight combination will take less time.

Trolling for Trout in Still Water

It is difficult to locate fish in still water. There are no trout hides in the stream because there is no current. In such cases, structure and temperature should instead be considered. Look for natural hides such as drop-offs and ledges. Trout like to hide and ambush passing prey in these areas.

Trout move deeper as temperatures rise. Temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees are ideal for most trout species. Even though they can survive in warm water, they become less active and more difficult to catch.

Once your search area is clear, you should focus on the available food. There will be more trout in areas that have an abundance of food. You can see birds diving to catch baitfish as an indicator that baitfish are active.

Trolling For Trout In The Wind

You may need a drift sock or bag if you have trouble slowing down your motor sufficiently so that you can catch trout. Though they are more commonly popular for casts on large flats, they are also great for slow trolling for trout.

If your boat acts like a parachute under the water, then a drift sock is what you need. Your boat’s drift will be significantly slowed down when deployed. This allows you to keep your lure in the strike zone for longer.

The best thing about drift socks is that they have no moving parts. They are completely silent. Trolling for trout, which are easily spooked, gives you the upper hand.

In general, drift socks have a similar design, mainly due to their construction material. Drift socks are less durable and made from paper-thin nylon with flimsy straps. On the other hand, others are from thicker vinyl with web straps. These are more commonly present in trolling.

Also Read: A Complete Guide To Lindy Rig Fishing

Trout Fishing with Leadcore Line

It is possible to reach greater depths by using a lead line without downriggers. It sinks at a predetermined rate due to the line itself. Regardless of what lure or bait is present, lead lines typically reach a depth of 30-50 feet.

Line markers are present at 10-yard intervals to help anglers determine the depth of the line depending on how much the line is out.

The lead line does require some specific techniques because of its lead outer sheath. Start by attaching monofilament backing 2/3rds as heavy as the lead line used.

Once the backing is attached, connect the lead line. A hundred feet should be sufficient. The backing should then be finished with 10-15 yards of monofilament. You can tie the backer or leader to the lead line after removing the sheath and using the hollow braid core.

Other Effective Ways to Troll for Trout

You can also get your lure really deep using various diving devices. You can get to a depth of 90 feet or more with some of them. They are available in different models.

Dipsy Diver: Divers can use this device for a variety of underwater activities. For instance, it is beneficial for multiple-line fishing from a small boat. You can control each line by adjusting the fin. Trip releases allow divers to float freely when fighting fish, reducing drag.

A Dipsy Diver’s size determines its depth. It may be necessary to have multiple at your disposal. During future trips, you can simply repeat your setup on your favorite lake as soon as you know how it works.

Jet Diver: The angler can increase or decrease the speed of the floating diver to adjust the depth. The diver will dive to the bottom when it is moving. When it stops, it floats to the surface.

Decreased Line Diameter: While trolling, your lure will be dragged toward the surface based on the diameter or width of the line. For this reason, faster speeds lead to shallower water.

You can counter this by reducing the diameter of your fishing line, thus gaining a few extra feet. Modern braided lines allow you to accomplish this without sacrificing strength.

Rod & Reel Setup for Trout Trolling

Trolling is possible with almost any rod and reel setup. However, fly rods to ultralight tackle is popular among successful anglers.

Also, sensitivities are not an issue. Therefore, you can invest in extra durability at the cost of sensitivity. Your reel will be able to withstand snags and hard strikes.

The spinning reel is not the first choice for trolling. A baitcasting reel is a much better choice. It is best to go with a model that includes a line counter if you can afford one. By knowing the length of your line and where your lure is, you will be able to adjust your fishing accordingly.

A large spool is also necessary no matter what type of reel you choose. Trolling involves letting out a lot of lines. Moreover, you will be in the backing before you realize it if you are using a normal spool.

Last but not least, choose a quality drag system. They are more expensive, but they are worth every penny. You need not only more drag to catch big fish in deep water but also a strong line so it doesn’t hang up as well.

Final Words

Fishing for trout by trolling is a fascinating activity. Since it attracts more hungry trouts, it is a worthy investment. However, keep in mind that it is better to do Trout fishing in a clean body of water. In this way, you can increase your efficiency. We hope that now you have got a great idea about the trout trolling setup.

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