Trolling a lure is one of the best methods for covering miles of water and maximizing fishing time. Not only does the angler hit the best fishing spots, but the lure never leaves the water, increasing the odds of encountering a fish.

On the other hand, trolling lures is also one fo the most complicated ways to catch a fish. RAM Mounts representative, Brad Hole trolls for walleye in Northwest Washington where swift current and deep water keep him on the move. “My biggest walleye was 33 inches,” he brags.

Hole pulled the trophy ‘eye from below a dam, working his lure into the current along a drop. To snare big walleye, he drags deep diving plugs up to 200 feet behind the kayak.

Trolling improves chances of finding the fish. Hole recommends a high-power fish finder and GPS to identify structure and fish. Since the angler is searching and fishing at the same time, when a significant drop or rise appears on the screen, he can mark the spot on the GPS and pull his baits through prime water.

It’s best to set the combo unit to split screen to monitor the fish finder and the kayak’s track. When the screen lights up, mark the waypoint on the GPS to make a circle back through the productive area.

Trolling doesn’t mean set it and forget it. Hole instructs, “Watch the rod tip the whole time.” Reading the rod bouncing and bending will reveal the lure’s action or indicate a bite.

Trolling doesn’t mean ‘Set it and forget it’. | Photo: Brad Hole
Trolling doesn’t mean ‘Set it and forget it’. | Photo: Brad Hole

With hundreds of feet of line behind the kayak, boat handling skills are key to keeping lures straight. To keep the lines from crossing, make wide turns and stagger the distance and depth of the lures. Most important, never stop moving forward. “A pedal kayak has an advantage for trolling,” Hole insists. Moving ahead while adjusting line, holding the rod or working the lure makes trolling even more effective.

Many times, trolling requires the angler to use thin mainline to cut through the water and a heavier, clear leader to fool the fish. Hole’s favorite line-to-line knot when fishing braid to monofilament is a double uni-knot. He says the uni-knot is easy to tie, making it more reliable than a complicated knot with a higher breaking strength.

Setting up a boat is key for trolling. Angle the rod holders to spread out the lines and keep lures untangled. Hole suggests placing track-mounted rod holders ahead of the seat to keep an eye on the rod tip while pedaling.

Trolling a lure maximizes fishing time.  | Photo: Brad Hole

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