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Trolling for bass can be an effective technique to add to your fishing skills. It’s also a heck of a lot easier than paddling!
While it may not be approved in many bass fishing tournaments (doh!), it can let you cover large areas of water pretty quickly.
The Basics: What Is A Trolling Motor, And Why Use One?
A trolling motor is basically a small electric (or occasionally gas powered) motor that can be fitted to a small fishing boat or kayak to help power it across the water. They are usually battery powered and feature small propellers.
While traditional boat engines, like outboard motors, can be noisy and create lots of wake, a trolling motor tends to be much quieter when it’s operating. This can be ideal for fishing because it can allow you to get to your fishing hole without scaring all the fish away in the process.
Using a trolling motor on your boat can give you more control over your vessel and can help you to stay in one place when you’re on the water, which can be particularly useful if you’re on a lake or water with currents.
Trolling motors can be used on a range of small fishing vessels, including kayaks and canoes. They can usually be dropped down and raised as required, meaning you can reduce the drag and make it easier to maneuver in the shallows, for example, if you’re using an anglers kayak.
Having a trolling motor attached to your vessel can let you maintain a more constant speed, especially if you’re in a yak or canoe. This can then let you move your line and lure through the water more effectively when trolling.
5 Different Trolling Tips, Tricks & Techniques To Catch More Bass
Using a fish finder can help you locate where the bass are by letting you know how deep they are, as well as giving you an idea of what the underwater landscape looks like.
This can then give you a better idea of what lures to use and what depths to aim for. It should also alert you to the location of baitfish, which could help you locate bass.
Because your vessel is actively moving when you’re trolling, a fish finder can also be useful in letting you know when you may need to let out more line or reel it in to fish deeper holes or avoid underwater obstacles.
A fish finder with GPS or a separate device that can allow you to mark waypoints can also be handy when it comes to marking locations where you had a bite. This can usually indicate that there could be more bass in that particular area and can let you find your way back to that spot later.
2. Try Crankbaits
Trolling with crankbaits, such as deep diving crankbaits, can be an effective way to catch bass and can often be easier than casting a crankbait, particularly if you’re on a large lake or on open water.
It can be a good idea to bring along a range of crankbaits, even in different colors, so that you can troll at various depths.
Video: Trolling Deep Diving Crankbaits For Largemouth Bass
Matching the depth of your diving crankbait with the depth of the structure where the fish are hiding, can be useful in attracting bites.
This can let you keep your lure close to the structure and let it knock into the structure to attract attention.
3. Find The Right Speed
Speed can be important when it comes to trolling, as the speed of your lure can affect whether or not the bass will bite. The behavior of the fish will often let you know how fast or how slow you should be presenting the lure.
Sometimes you might find that your particular lure will work best at a certain speed and may not work effectively if it’s too fast or too slow. Your speed may also affect the depth of your lure. So your lure choice can also be an important factor when it comes to determining the speed of your presentation.
4. Try Surface Trolling
Depending on the time of year or the temperature of the water, you might find that trolling with topwater lures could be effective in catching bass that are closer to the surface. Jerkbaits may be a good choice of lure to use for this because they tend to float.
Try trolling jerkbaits near large areas of vegetation or over flats but keep your presentation slow to make sure it maintains a more natural appearance, and stays in the water.
You may also need to work the rod a little to give it a more life-like appeal.
5. Choose The Right Line
Depending on whether you’re trolling in deep water or using surface lures, the type and length of your line can be important if you want a successful day of fishing. Think about the type of lure that you want to use and consider whether you want your line to float or sink.
Fluorocarbon line could be a good choice if you’re working with deep diving lures, as this will tend to sink faster than other types of line. However, braided line could be ideal to use if you want to use a fluorocarbon leader.
The length of your line can also impact the presentation of your lure. For example, if your line is not long enough, deep diving lures may not be able to dive quite as deep as if you were to let out more line.
Additionally, it can be useful to remember that you may want to keep a longer distance between your boat and the lure if you’re fishing in clear water, in case the bass get spooked by your vessel.
A trolling motor can be a useful addition to your fishing vessel, as it can let you get closer to the fish without scaring them away. It can also let you maintain a constant speed which can be useful when trolling.
Let us know how you get on when you’re next trolling for bass. We’d love to hear about any other tips you might have. If you want to help out your bass buddies, remember to share these tips with them.