How to Troll Using Fishing Line

How to Troll Using Fishing Line
Trolling involves the presentation of a bait or lure to a deeper level in the water where game fish are either holding or feeding. One popular method of trolling involves crank bait lures that are imitations of bait fish and are designed to dive to predetermined depths. Using crank baits attached to the end of fishing line allows an angler to precisely work different depths in the water simply by changing lures. Rigging a line and lure for trolling is a simple process, making this a suitable way for many anglers to fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium heavy to heavy 7-foot rod with matched reel
  • Fishing line (monofilament, braid or fluorocarbon)
  • Crank bait lure
  • Scissors
  • Boat, kayak or canoe
Step 1
Determine where you feel fish are holding or actively feeding and select the appropriate crank bait. Use an electronic fish finder, topographic maps or personal experience to find the fish. Crank bait packaging will typically be printed with information on diving depth.
Step 2
Attach the lure to the end of your fishing line with a Palomar knot. Tie the Palomar by feeding 6 to 7 inches of line through the eye of the crank bait. Turn the line back through the eye of the lure so that there is a double line on one side and a loop on the other. Tie an over hand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop around the end of the lure, moisten the knot and pull down tight. Trim excess line from the free end of the knot with sharp scissors.
Step 3
Position your boat over or near an area where you believe the fish are located. Cast the line into the water behind you or opposite the direction you will be moving when trolling. Allow the fishing line to freely spool from the reel as the lure dives.
Step 4
Begin moving the boat in a straight line no more than 1 mile per hour or so. Allow the lure to begin to dive, taking line as it goes. When the lure reaches its predetermined depth and is no longer taking line, engage the spool or close the bail to prevent more line from spooling off the reel.
Step 5
Steer the boat in a straight line as you troll the area with the fishing line and lure. Continue working the area by making multiple passes in straight lines as you move across an area in the water. If fish are not located, change the lure on your line to work deeper or shallower in the water.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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