Finesse Trolling for Paddlers, Rowers or Trolling Motors

Discuss Kayak fishing basics including how to properly load your kayak, what to bring along with you, how to fish from a kayak without drowning know...the basics...
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Finesse Trolling for Paddlers, Rowers or Trolling Motors

Post by BulBob »

Finesse Trolling for Paddlers, Rowers or Trolling Motors

These techniques are very stealthy and are the most FUNctional way to fish I have ever experienced. They can work for kayaks, canoes, row boats, drift boats, belly boats and for lazy guys with electric trolling motors.

I have an Old Town 3 seat Sportsman canoe with oars that I can turn on a dime since I sit in the middle seat. I use BulletBobbers on both rods placed in rod holders on the sidewalls near the oar locks for easy reach. Row boats are perfect for trolling because you face backwards. If you have a Kayak and fish rivers you can finesse troll by going slower then the river (back paddling)and letting the current push the BullletBobbers outward. This keeps them in front of you where you can see them. The other option for kayaks is to troll backwards. I have the rod holders pointing straight up and use 9’ rods so I can set the bait up to 10’ deep and still net a fish. It is really cool controlling the location and depth of 2 baits or lures at the same time by how I maneuver my canoe. With the baits or lures planing out to the sides and the rods pointing almost straight up I can spin my canoe up to 175 degrees and not effect the speed of the BulletBobbers or cross lines.

I do the best using small jigs tiped with minnows but tipping with crawlers works well too.

I usually use a slip-rig so I can stop or back up and let it drop down deeper. I can even have one drop down and keep the other one moving by circling around the down bait! I like trolling one BulletBobber close to the shore and if there is a tree sticking out I flip the BulletBobber, by giving it a little tug, so it planes the opposite direction. Once past the tree I tug it again so it runs back toward the shore. My rods fit loosely in the rod holders and just giving them a little bump (quick wiggle) will usually flip direction. If a tree is overhanging the water I run the BulletBobber under it. I can also put one BulletBobber back further and run both lines on the same side.

Sometimes I just row very slowly and frequently pop the rods to flip direction. Changing speeds and direction gets the fish to strike. I get a lot of hits just after my lure reverses direction. BulletBobbers change speeds as they swing from side to side. They go faster then my canoe when they are cutting across the wake and return to canoe speed as they reach their maximum angle off the wake.

It really is a great way to fish and you get a little physical and mental exercise at the same time! It took a while to get the hang of watching both rods and BulletBobbers at the same time and coordinating the right stroke/s to get the result I wanted...especially when there is some wind and/or current but I got it down pretty good now and get better every time out. Like I said, I have done the best using small jigs tipped with minnows or small spinners tipped with crawlers under small BulletBobbers. I’ll usually use of a variety of small hard baits if I don’t have bait and use a medium, large and sometimes an X-Large BB if I want to use bigger lures. But using live bait allows you to stop at anytime and still have something that the fish will hit.

Old Town Sportsman canoes have oar lock mounts for the front and middle seats and I’ll move the oars to the front seat if I have a guest and let them tend to all 4 rods from the middle seat while I work the oars. I really like watching a good friend or family member having fun steering the baits and catching the fish as I row. I haven’t tried having two guest in my canoe yet but the more the merrier!

If I didn’t need and have a good day job and a wife that doesn’t want to move, I’d find a place where I could be a guide! I live near Akron OH...IO and fish on Portage Lakes the most because it is the closest and my son just moved to a place on the lake. The fishing is ok but the area is heavily populated and a bit over fished. I have caught about every species there is except Musky but I am getting the gear together to go after them. There have been a few huge Musky caught there but it takes a lot of hours and the right gear. I’ll try some big chubs or shiners to improve the odds because that is what I heard works the best. I will use DualFin in-line planers so I can use heavier sinkers to run faster and deeper.

It really is FUNctional.
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