Every year I am left out of the frenzy because I don't know the trolling tactics needed to catch big striper This is because I love light tackle casting, but this often leaves me fishing under the lights at night. I want to target the larger fish this year and start trolling in the bay. Could I get some pointers.
? Approach, what comes first trolling or finding fish?
What a good spead and depth?
What are the best rigs for trolling begginers?
Where should I target my attention given I always put out at Gloucester Point?
Im in the same boat as you, sort of, as that I was asking similar questions last fall.
You can get a Penn levelwind with a decent MH 6 or 6'6" rod for about $100 each, give or take, depending on sales. All mine were under $100 from Dick's 'cause they were on sale.
I use 40lb braid on the smaller rigs, with a 40lb mono topshot, that way I'm not trimming braid everytime I need to rig something. On the larger sized reels I've got straight 40lb mono for now.
Speeds about 2-3knots. Be mindful of the current.
Depth, generally 20' plus. Look for the edges of channels, deep points, and depth changes.
rigs: interent search "umbrella rig" and buy some pre-rigged ones. Check out the ubitiqous Mojo rig, as well, its basically a painted downrigger ball with a hook in it. Tie it under a 3 way, and trail a smaller bucktail or a Storm off the three way.
Another common lure is the Stretch 25 and 30. They are diving plugs.
You can just toss your lures in and start trolling, but if the fish arent' there, you won't catch anything. Devote some time to checking likely areas for marks first. If you see bait, troll around the bait, not through it.
The best approach might be to find an Anglers' Club near to where you live or work. You will find all kinds of helpful information and people at the club meetings. Trolling is hard work, big tackle and heavy rigs to pull thru the water; drifting eels and/or light tackle jigging is just as successful an approach. Sometimes, it is just necessary to troll, then one does what one has to do to catch fish. Tight Lines!
I was thinking troll untill you find the fish then start chucking the light stuff. I have some of the rigs mentioned above. I will try them. If anyone wants to go out and help me, my gas, my boat, 21 ft sea hunt. Lets go! Yea I need to join hunt club too, turkey fever!!!
If you are located on the Peninsula, the PSWSFA meets monthly at the plumbers hall on Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Almost any area that you are located in has an anglers club that would welcome a new member. If you live on the peninsula, bmail me!
Obviously nobody is "old school". All of the other rigs do catch fish. I personally love umbrellas, but for a new guy who wants to catch fish I have to reccomend the old tried and true "bottom bouncer" rig. Tie your running line to one eye of a 3-way swivel. Then tie a 4 foot section of 20 lb test to the second eye on the 3 way and attach a sinker heavy enough to keep contact with the bottom at trolling speed. Then attach 15-20 feet of 30-50 lb test to the last eye and tie on a bucktail or 4-6 inch Storm. This rig works best if someone actually holds the rod and jigs it, making contact with the bottom ever so often. This is a stand by method when trolling upcurrent of the pilings at the CBBT, but it has also saved the day for me in other locations when nothing would touch my umbrellas, mojos or daisy chains. I swear by it when I am north of the Cell or around the R-2 buoy out from the mouth of the Rapp.
You still have to mix it up and try many different rigs in many different colors. That will at least give you an excuse to buy more tackle.
Here is a pic of a typical 9 rod spread..Umbrellas and Tandems...The fish should be higher in the water..usually top 30 ft....The pic of the Tandem Rig shows a sinker...You wont need those in the spring normally...Leaders on the Tandems for spring are shorter..I use 18' on the light lure and 9' on the heavy. Try to keep your Tandems with the light lure at least 1/2 the weight of the heavy one. For instance 1 & 2, 2 & 4, 4 & 8 etc....Its ok to run a 2 & 8 for example...I try to keep lines at least 25 ft apart. Of course if you are using planer boards the spread would change.
I slayed them this winter and went simple. Two poles, each with 65 lb. braid with a short leader onto stretch 30+'s. Almost always did the job. Only one day when their was lockjaw, did I switch to a bottom 3 way swivel and drag an GULP eel near the bottom and scored when the trollers were doing anything.
I have really found braid so much better for trolling than mono since mono floats more. I can really see the difference in how fast braid sinks vs. mono.
Oh yeah - best of last year.
Last edited by john2254; 04-28-2009 at 07:55 AM.
Consider floating eels starting just after Thanksgiving or the first week of December. Mike, South Paw will be glad to show you the ropes.
Coastal Conservation Association Virginia, Stripers Forever