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Old 09-03-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default trolling speed

what is your best trolling speed. General spread of 4 rigged ballys, a yozuri, a big mold craft marlin lure, and a teaser.

Any thoughts? I like8.5 knots but the ballys seem to wash out too fast. 7 maybe? Are thre speeds which different species prefer? tuna, marlin, dolphin? I know the wahoo want as fast as you can go but other than the wahoo? Does time of day or weather matter how fast the best trolling speed is?
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
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Default RE: trolling speed

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GaffShot (9/3/2009)what is your best trolling speed. General spread of 4 rigged ballys, a yozuri, a big mold craft marlin lure, and a teaser.



Any thoughts? I like8.5 knots but the ballys seem to wash out too fast. 7 maybe? Are thre speeds which different species prefer? tuna, marlin, dolphin? I know the wahoo want as fast as you can go but other than the wahoo? Does time of day or weather matter how fast the best trolling speed is?


that spread you described is a cockblock spread.one half needs to be slower.hard to target bills and hoos with the same spread.if your running rigged ballys run 2 of them and run some big horses bridled behind a good chugger if the water is flat.

some lures that need to be slowed down will be good but when you run the lures that require higher speed they run funny.i like a well rounded spread that can go 7-8 all day.

if my lures wont produce ill make em better.i love cathing big wahoos and seems we catch them consistently when we have a spread set just for them.
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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Default RE: trolling speed

run your ballys 2 or 3 behind Ilanders.. pull a bonito & a cedar plug al at 8 to 9 knots... I'm thinking Williamson plastic hoo's are just about as good as real at these speeds ??much easier
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default RE: trolling speed

I think a lot has to do with the individual boat and engine properties. Inboard diesels with large slow props can troll much faster and still have great looking clean lanes for your baits, i.e. 8+ knots, try doing that in my twin engine Contender and the prop wash is crazy and the boat is starting to squat and think about getting on a plane. So in my boat I have to troll something south of 6.5 knts to get any thing near a decent propwash for my baits. If I dont troll at least 5 knts most plastics (i.e. Moldcrafts, Black Bart 1656, Sprockets etc..) will not run right. If I am trolling all natural baits (which I rarely do) I can get away with <5knts but would only do that if I knew I was in the zone and the fish were hungry. 99% of the time I am searching with plastics around 6-6.5 knts.



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Old 09-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Default RE: trolling speed

First and most important is . What are you using to set your speed. GPS or true water speed indicator. If you are using GPS you will only be able to get SOG and not the true speed that you are traveling on the surface. If you are going against a 1 knot current and pulling 6.5 ind on gps (SOG) you are traveling 5.5 knots on the surface.That'swhat the fish see. Now let's turn 180 degrees with the same 1 knot current. You are now going 7.5 knots with the current and NO power change. But the fish see's your lure at 8.5knots. When Tim and the crew set's out lures they let me know what kind and now it's my job to set speed.IE... combo's,live Different speeds for bridled small YFT,BFT,hardtails,peanuts and mullet. If they are setting plastic it will require a lot more speed. And it might just be a day that the CC will not be able to troll at because of dirty water (prop wash). If you are working an area with other boats like the nipple and 131. You will be making alot of turns. That's a wholeother subject. Turns and speed, always adjusting.I would suggest to start for wahoo and dolphin. Combo's trolled at 5-6.5 knotsif you are in a CC or small boat. If you are going for the big girl. Live bait at 2 knots always adjusting your speed for current watch you bait they will tell you if you are going to fast,. If you know she is swimming in the area live bait is your best bet in a small boat. Keep after it. Will be looking for your wahoo and dolphin post. Gene
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default RE: trolling speed

I have a question about prop wash. Is it best to keep all the baits in the spread out of the prop wash? I have seen posts where people say something along the lines of pulling short corners in or just out of the prop wash. Given that speed and attitude of the boat (plowing in rougher water) tends to change where the prop wash is, should I be adjusting speed (or baits) to stay in clean water?

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Old 09-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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Default RE: trolling speed

Play with it. You want your baits in the cleanest water you can get so they can see it better from below.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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Default RE: trolling speed

Trolling speed really boils down to...whatever speed your lures swim best at. If you're running 6.5 knots and your plastics are chugging every 5 seconds or so and your ballyhoo have their tails wiggling, game on! If they're just dragging through the water, bump up the throttle until you find that perfect RPM and speed for your boat. Anywhere from 6.5 to 8.5 knots is where most boats run (depending on sea conditions and types of lures pulled). Ballyhoo require slower speeds to prevent washing out, but putting your hoo's behind an illander will greatly extend their lives and allow you to troll faster. This will most likely allow you to pull some larger plastics in the mix and end up with a well-rounded spread. Try to keep your lures out of the propwash as much as possible. Think about it like this: You're a fish swimming along at 250ft deep and you hear a noise. You look up to see what's going on, and what do you see? Shadows of larger lures close to the propwash, ballyhoo swimming in the clear water, and something causing a ruckus way behind the boat. Now imagine all your lures are in the propwash. That same fish looks up and sees the dark shadow of the hull of the boat and a bunch of frothy white water behind it with nothing else, because the light can't penetrate the propwash and effectively show the shadow of of your lures.

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Old 09-08-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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Default RE: trolling speed

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bellafishing (9/8/2009) Ballyhoo require slower speeds to prevent washing out, but putting your hoo's behind an illander will greatly extend their lives and allow you to troll faster. This will most likely allow you to pull some larger plastics in the mix and end up with a well-rounded spread.


I am going to partially disagree with you there, Bellafishing. Although putting a ballyhoo behind a hawaiian eye lure definately prolongs its useful fishing life, I personally don't feel like it allows you to up the speed of your troll and then throw in your standard spread of marlin plastics. Here on the east coast when we have come across a good weedline in the gulf stream, if the plastics aren't producing and we are seeing life, especially schools of good dolphin, we will change the spread out for some naturals. But when the spread changes, so does the speed. Whether our ballyhoo are rigged naked or behind lures, if the naturals are out, the speed decreases. You really need to decide whether you want to cover some ground and put out a spread of plastics; or you opt for rigged naturals (split-tail mullet, ballyhoo, spanish, and the like) and slow it down a good couple knots or so.



In The Bite magazine had a recent article on underwater cameras that revealed some pretty interesting information about how a fish views a spread. Next time you're pulling a big chugger such as a Big Blue Breakfast or similar lure, or even a teaser such as a chain of bowling pins, watch how deep they actually dive. You'd be surprised how well they can both be seen from the prop wash as well as the ability to chug, dart, and dive underneath it before surfacing. We have had some absolutely fantastic strikes on those close flat lines.



But I guess, to each his own. Good fishing to you.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:00 PM   #10
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Default RE: trolling speed

Well this is certainly a question that should draw plenty of responses. Basically, your responses so far provide good info, you have to find out what works on your boat and under various conditions. I have caught billfish in boats ranging from 19' to 72' feet and even fished on identical boats. They are all different! One 46'Bertram raised fish at 7 knots and another stunk at 7 knots, we had to run around 8.5 knots. Same engines and the same GOM! Wahoo will eat live bait at 2 knots and dead bait at 4-5 knots. I've had my best luck with them around 8.5 knots and up. 5 knots is good for just Ballyhoo and 7- 8 knots work well for a combo spread. One poster did not like the lure and bait spread, I think w/ the right lures (slow) and baits is a pretty good combo for trolling the GOM. Good luck and keep us posted.
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