The last topic of discussion is technique. One can have the right reel, line, and lures along with optimal tide conditions and weather, but if one does not know how to present the lure correctly, one might be in for a very boring day on the water. While the technique for trolling isn’t a science, it is often one of the most overlooked aspects in trolling. Start by letting out the desired amount of line based on the depth of water being trolled and the lure being used. For example, if the water is fluctuating between 7 to 9 feet, I’ll either use a B16 Bomber or Yo-Zuri F8 Crystal Minnow with 140 to 160 feet of line out. Next, make sure that you are trolling the proper speed. Based on the lure used, trolling speed will vary. Going back to the previous example, the trolling speed will be between 4 and 6 mph. Please refer to the previous section about lures to see the optimal trolling speeds for other lures. Once the proper speed is achieved, place it in the rod holder that is 90 degrees to the side of the boat with the rod parallel to the water as shown in the picture below.
By now, you should see the tip of the rod vibrating from the action of the lure. Be sure to keep a careful eye on the tip of your rod because it will help you detect whether or not there are weeds or grass on your lure. With the rod in the rod holder, be sure to turn on the clicker and set the drag. I typically set the drag so that I can pull it out with only my thumb and index finger. If I can’t do that, then I have set it too tightly and need to back the drag off. Next, the captain (or driver) of the boat needs to pay attention to the handling of the boat and the depth of water being trolled. The captain must maintain the proper depth and watch out for any sudden shallow fluctuations or snags that may appear. The captain must also troll in gentle “S” patterns. The purpose of this is to give the lures a varied action and to keep the lures out of the prop wash and being spooked.
There have been a lot of the basics for Striper trolling in this article, and hopefully it will help improve your trolling success. While I cannot guarantee that catching Stripers will be easy, I can guarantee that putting your time in on the water is a must, learn from your experiences each day on the water, and refer to these basic techniques when trolling to help improve your chances of having a banner day trolling. Good luck!