Incorporating some fine-tuned trolling tactics and upgrading your trolling rig with the right teasers will work wonders in making your offshore fishing adventures more productive. Of course, every angler has their own go-to methods and gear, so if what you’re doing is working, you may want to stick with it. At the same time, adjusting your strategies is part of what makes trolling so fun — you never know when one minor adjustment could lead to packed coolers!
Here are 5 trolling techniques to consider adding to your repertoire.
1. Don’t Get Caught in a Rut
Be ready to change things up on the fly. One of the most crucial trolling tips that often goes overlooked is that what works today may not work tomorrow. While it’s important to learn from your successes and failures, results can shift dramatically based on many factors, including the season, conditions, location, and simply the chaotic randomness of the sea.
For example, if your usual trusty spread isn’t panning out, don’t just sit around — be proactive. Adjust your positions. Spread things out, or tighten them up. Switch out your baits and teasers. Adjust your speed. If you are running daisy chains, maybe switch one side to a dredge. If super calm, try adding a spreader bar. Pay attention — give your updated approach time to see if it works or not. Adapt fluidly when things get stale, but don’t rush a change until you’re sure it’s the next logical step.
2. Know Your Bait
One of the most critical trolling tips is simply to take the time to learn the ins and outs of your gear. Changing your trolling tactics probably won’t accomplish much if you’re not using the right bait for the job. Have a clear target in mind. Are you trolling for marlin? Use marlin lures. It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often anglers just toss the same spread into the ocean day after day and hope for the best. If your rigged ballyhoo baits are not working, try rigged lures. Kick up your boat speed a tad to cover more ground.
A well-stocked tackle box allows you to reevaluate your bait and make changes as needed. Our CustomZ teasers are a fantastic choice for those seeking a hassle-free way to build custom rigs quickly and easily. Being able to adapt to your immediate environment is one of the most essential trolling tips, and these teasers are all compatible with each other, so you can switch them out in seconds.
Additionally, you should always have at least one backup trolling spread on hand. Even if the first is producing great results, you never know when an aggressive predator could do some serious damage.
3. Work On Your Boating Skills
A skilled angler should also be a skilled captain. How you handle your boat can directly affect your success (or lack thereof). For example, one all-too-common blunder is altering speed immediately after hooking up. One of the more important trolling tips is to keep a cool head and a steady hand when the action begins.
Fluorocarbon and monofilament lines stretch, so after hooking up, you should maintain the same speed for at least 30 seconds to keep your bait moving with a steady balance and rhythm and also to boost your chances of a second hookup.
While all captains and anglers have their own trolling tactics when it comes to speed — between 2 and 9 knots tends to be the sweet spot — this is another skill that requires real-time finesse. Your speed affects how your bait moves and, in turn, how fish respond. Pay attention to your spread. It will show you what works.
Again, one of the most vital trolling tips is to know your bait, and that includes how its action is affected by your velocity. Swimming baits should be dancing right under the surface, while skipping baits should barely poke through. Learn about how your bait is supposed to act, and pay attention to its changing movements when you speed up or slow down.
Your goal is to master the art of mimicking baitfish. You may also want to experiment with the sink-and-swim technique — shift your boat into neutral for a minute or so and then go back to your original speed. This allows your bait to sink and then “swim” through the water. Also, watch your boat speed on the GPS. That can alert you to currents that affect the way the baits swim.
4. Use High-Quality Equipment
No amount of trolling tips will make a difference if you’re hitting the water with shoddy gear. The simple truth is that using tournament-grade tackle goes an incredibly long way in bringing more fish to the boat.
From saltwater trolling lures, dredge and teaser baits, and daisy chain teasers to dredge bars, complete dredge kits, and spreader bar kits, we stock everything you need to build a productive trolling rig.
5. Stick With It
Like anything else in life, there’s no guarantee that these trolling tactics will lead to immediate success. However, simply possessing the knowledge will make you a better angler. We hope these trolling tips help you catch more fish but take them with a grain of salt. Fishing is a personal endeavor. It’s a lifelong journey. Keep refining your approach — you’ll find what works for you. In the meantime, keep at it and use quality gear. Shop Fish Razr now.