Trolling for Stripers in fresh water lakes and rivers is a tried and true way is to catch fish. While there are different techniques using downriggers and artificial bait. With the below method we will focus on using live bait and using you electric trolling motor to stay green.
Trolling with live bait when the fish are spotty & scattered, as they
often are during cold months and transition periods,
is an excellent way to find Striped Bass.
For our purpose we will say the stripers are showing around 30 to 35 feet.
(If you are not using line counter reels you can make a quick determination by pulling line from the top to bottom of your rod using the rod length as a measuring stick. )
Put the bait on the hook.
( If you are using shad or brood minnows hook through nostril / upper jaw or lips when trolling. )
Lets say we will be using 6 rods. See Photo
( six rods is a good number to start with when you get proficient start adding rods to the basic formation. )
When the first rod is baited simply drop line and weight over the side of the boat, pull your determined amount of line out.
(Remember In our example we are seeing stripers on our electronics at 30 feet. So we will let out 30 feet of line using the line counter)
When you have pulled the line out attach a planer board,
or balloon (
a planer board's advantage is to get your
line out to the side of the boat providing stealth as well as fishing versatility
simply drop over the side (reel out of gear and the clicker on) and start letting
the line feed out
(the speed off the
boat will pull line) until the planer board is moving out
from the boat. When the first planer board is out about 100 feet place the rod in the front
rod holder, reel in gear . Repeat with the second rod let out 70 feet and place in the middle rod holder
remember you need to trail each planer board about 30 feet or what ever
depth you are setting your bait to help keep from tangling.
A tip to Live bait Trolling, and a way to catch more fish,
is the increase of presentation to the fish. You can also varying the
presentation. I always try to run in a figure eight pattern as opposed to
running straight. This will cause the baits to speed up and slow down. As a
result, they rise and fall and do not trail right behind the boat. An
additional benefit is that you are covering more water with the figure eight
pattern. Another idea is to stop, slow or speed up your boat for a few
minutes which allows your baits to fall or rise a few
feet, then adjust the speed to where you have the most action. Many hits come while in the turn
as one bait slows (the ones you are turning into) or as one bait speeds up
(the side to your outside turn) and on the temporary stops. So pay attention
And most of all Create Cherished Memories.
"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart.....pursue those."
Arkansas Striped Bass