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I'm a new boat owner since this summer, I've mostly been experimenting with bottom bumping so far. I've tried trolling lures a few times with no luck. <U>Since the new snapper regulations will be cutting down my bottom fishing</U>,:banghead:reallycrying I figure I better learn some new techniques. I have a few Ilander lures in blue/white and black/purple, and a few stretch 25' and stretch 30' lures also. The Ilander lures were rigged by Outcast B&T with 300#mono and 9/O hooks with a hoo noose. How fast do you pull these lures(in mph), do you let them skitter off the top bouncing in the wake? or do you put them on a planar and get them down deep?How far back do you pull them in the wake? I have a single engine, is it better to pull them in the middle rod holders directly behind the engineor put them in the gunwales where there is more turbulence from the wake? Does anybody put egg sinkers or inline weights instead of planar rigs?With the "Stretch" lures, would you use mono/fluoro leader (what # test) , or wire (what # test) ? If you use certain rigs for specifically targeted species please indicate if it's better for grouper/redfish in the bay, or kings in the pass, or wahoo, dolphin or tuna going to the edge. I would really appreciate any help since I'm green.
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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you will probably get a lot of advise but you would be better off posting a free ride to someone who has first hand knowledge of the trolling world and the specific lures in question. Then you can learn hands on.
 

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I'll add my .02, Stretch's etc. I would use something like 60# single strand about 3' long. The single strand will let the lure dive deeper due to less size compared to mono. Speed is slow enough as to not let the lure roll and come up to the top. Usually around 5 to 6 mph is tops. The islander type can be trolled up to 10mph or more depending on lure weight. I use 200# and very seldom get cut off, but 250 to 300# might be better. 8 to 10' leaders are my norm and typcial placement is 2nd and 3rd wake in the face of the wake work for me. This is just what I do and I don't know every trick. Some other I'm sure will give you and me I hope some more hints.:letsdrink
 

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Gone - You are asking for specific answers to a very broad quesiton. Everyone who trolls anything has a preference and what works for one crew on one boat may not work for another crew on another boat. My personal preferences are to rig ballyhoo with chin weights and run them behind appropriately sized skirts. You can run them on a downrigger or planer if you want. With downriggers we seem to have better luck with smaller skirts, up top, we use larger skirts and use spacing beads. Trolling speed depends on the boat, the sea condition, the water clarity/ color, targeted catch, and how the baits are swimming. Probably the biggest factor to me is how the baits are swimming at a given speed. They need to look natural and imulate a school of bait.

Simply put, there is no right or wrong answer. I have heard about people using flip-flops to troll for marlin, hot dogs as bait for bluefin, and all manner of craziness. My suggestion is take the time to keep a detailed log and put in every detail you can. It takes time, patience, and dilligence, but after a couple years, you will be able to go back through it and find patterns and form your own trolling knowledge library. Its not a short term solution, and you shouldnt expect to be able to hang with the more experienced guys right off the bat. Its a game you have to learn and that takes time.
 

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Wow, we are covering alot. The best post has been go with a friend or take someone w/ some trolling experience.

Here goes. King Mackerel -I troll 700 RPM, 100 rpm over idle(single 225 on a 23.5' boat) I mainly stagger my lines to avoid tangles, Kings don't seem to care where the lines are. If you like to turn right, put the shortest line on the starboard side of the boat (left flat - confusing? cockpits ignore marine protocol). I use one down rigger, one line with a weight (varieswith conditions) and stagger two lines. Start off trolling w/ two lines, as you get experience add lines. If I have a hot bite, or haveinexperienced help, or have heavy seas, winds etc, I may troll only 3 or even down to 2. 4 tangled lines do not catch fish. I troll with either what I call a traditional rig for dead bait (single wire, single hook, w/ a loop through a cigar minnow's eyes, and a decent sized skirt). With live bait, I use what I call an ambush rig, I think others call them South Carolina king rigs. I use 60# sevenstrand, two Eagle Claw 4xTrebles and one Mustad 94150 3/0. Both of these rigs are pre-made in tackle stores. Buy some and figure out how they are made, then you can make your own, plusthe forum or your favorite tackle shop will help. The live bait rigs have fairly small skirts or small squids. I also use the ambush rig w/ dead minnows.

I troll skirted ballyhoo from 5-7 knots. 2 flats, two rigger, one center rigger. If it is only ballyhoo and I like where I am, 5 knots. Typically I troll 7 knots, w/ 2-3 lures and two or 3 baits. Still5 lines on my boat w/ my crew, as more lines would cause chaos.

I don't really know what stretches are. When I troll Wahoo plugs I use Yozuri bonitas or Rapala 18s and troll about 8.5 knots (10MPH)

Again, king don't seem to care where the line is. The largest king I have caught ate at the boat.

Trolling offshore w/ lures and baits 2 flats on about the 3rd wave. Your want clean parts of the wake (very hard on outboards), then I run the outriggers where ever the baits look like swimming bait, same goes with the center and I try to avoid white water from the wake.. I try to set it up, where I do not have to worry about tangling lines, butit still happens........

If you are trolling offshore in high winds, you may want to add weight to some of your ballyhoo. Also, put the upwind lines shorter than the down wind lines. This works if you a trolling one direction, therefore, you have to adjust if you change directions in relation to thw wind.

Wahoo, if the lures are running deepplacementshould not make a difference, but be safe and run 'em long so they have a chance to see the lure. I guess for what it is worth. Whites and Dorado tend to like long lines. A blue doesn't mind scratching up the transom. Most of my wahoo have been long.

Fast trolling w/ planners or downriggers will be tough. Also, there's not much sport trolling w/ tackle that can hold up to the planner.

Look at Florida Sportsman, Saltwater Angler, etc and search for trolling articles. George Poveromo, editor of one of the mags has some pretty useful tips in his books and on his sites.

Feel free to ask questions.

Tight lines and good luck
 
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