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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This summer was my first attempt at trolling, and I did pretty well. Unfortunately that hasn't translated into any kind of success this winter trolling the bigger baits. Some reasons for this could be that I'm not putting in the hours needed to be successful, I've been dragging junky swede parachutes from BPS, and that my spread is not dialed in very well. At the risk of exposing my ignorance and newbie status in the world of trolling, I'd really appreciate some feedback / advice on my spread detailed below.

By "combined terminal weight" I'm refering to the total weight of the inline sinkers and lures together. I'm rigging 9" shad bodies on all lures, but do not include shad body weights in the combined total weight. Also, I have experimented with running umbrellas and spoons, though the core approach I favor is the tandem rig. Tandems are rigged with #40 mono 6' and 12' lengths, to #80 Power Pro running line. I try to keep the boat speed as close to 3 mph as possible.

Thanks in advance for help with this.

Norman

 

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Norman; first let me say I'm no expert. I know Greg (Bfaithfull) trolls without boards so he may be of better help.
I can see what your theory is by making each rod 20 ft shorter (for seperation) and also heavier (for covering different depths). When I don't run boards, I find I have to greatly exaggerate getting my lures away from the boat noise. I would start by running a wwb line 300 ft.(2 oz.); then come in one 260 ft.(4-6 oz.); 220 ft (8 oz. tandem); 180 ft. (10-12 oz. tandem); then two close rods with heavy tandems maybe just like in your spread.
Make big wide S pattern to keep your spread out of your prop wash.
Since I have moved to boards, my hookup ratio has really gone up!!! I realize it's the boards that have made me better, and the more I use them, the more input as a fisherman I can put into my spread. I hope this makes sense, I know someone else will be of equal or better service to you. Best of luck, 5th (Marty) Just occured to me; Capt. Wayne Morgan speaks Monday at PSG. He is Great Help. (Marty)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Be glad to help but could use more info, leader length, colors, etc.
Tandems are rigged with #40 mono 6' and 12' lengths, to #80 Power Pro running line. All lures are usually chart green.

Thanks

Norm
 

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The only help that I can offer is to suggest trying the pre-made tandem rigs by BFG tackle. They are the only lures I drag anymore. What I really like about them is that they come ready to fish, you don't need to add any weight, leader, nothing. Just clip your line onto the three-way swivel and you're fishing.

Here is the link

Tandem Parachute Fishing Rigs for Trolling by BFG Tackle

They sell them in the local shops and BPS as well.

-JB
 

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Norman,

Although I do believe good tackle certainly helps. I seem to catch fish on a variety of baits including some of those swede bucktails you mentioned including a nice one today on a white one. If you caught in the spring and not the fall with the same setup? Maybe it is a speed issue. I troll a good deal slower and make more turn and occasionally drop baits (ie put engine in neutral or drop speed) Again same lures as spring but maybe a different trolling speed.

Jim
 

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Are you just running Bucktails? It helps to throw a variety out there, I make Zig zags trolling and every now and then bump it in neutral for a sec. I run a umbrella or two and two rods with daisy chains. My tandems are chartreuse and white and If they don't hit I start alternating shad colors. I have a 13/0 crippled alewive on my main line running the furthest back. It doesn't always catch but when it does it's big.

When im not running planers I run many different colors off both sides. I know guys who only run chartreuse lures on one side and white on the other. I Don't totally agree with that but it works for some. I can't tell you how many times ive limited out on a pink shad or a black one with an odd color lure. So don't be afraid to change it up a bit with colors. Alot of lures nowadays are meant to "catch fisherman not the fish" And if my parachute tandem doesn't work I put on Bucktail tandem.


Im pretty free so if your headed out trolling soon Pm me and Id be glad to help.
moses
 

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Norman- Looks to me ya might be go'n too lite. Try:
100'- 20oz
120'- 16oz
140'-12oz
180'-8oz
maybe add a wb line-225'-6oz
It'd be worth a try.........................:))
 

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I put the buctails away come Novemeber and exclusively troll chutes and a couple of umbrellas with.. 1 with a single chute, one with a pearl 9" Storm shad. The Storm has caught each of the last 3 times out.

Close boat rod, 18 oz inline and 24 oz in line on the brellas.
 

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Some days the fish are up feeding from the surface to 20ft deep
Like yesterday, we had 10 fish off the boards shallow
Only two fish off the deep boat rods
Think about it this way, if we didnt run boards yesterday- we would have only caught 0-2 fish
Some days they will be deep, especially on weekends with 100 other boats running over them- those days the boat rods will shine
I used to be just like you and ran a 6 rod spread - very limited catching
Started pulling boards and now run 14 rods - Now we usually limit out and then some
This time of year you want to pull mostly large baits, 6-9 inch shads
Try using stinger hooks on your 9 inch baits as well, 4 of the 10 board fish were hooked by the stinger yesterday
Good luck out there
 

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My boat is pretty small, so I just run 5 boat rods - no planer boards. I'm no expert, but have read hundreds of posts here - overall they have been a great help, and the main reason why I've been successful.

Here's what I run:
Tandem bucktails on the two rear rods, 70 to 90 feet back, and 16 to 24 ounce weight. On 2 trips this fall, 3 fish - all on Chartreuse.

Two umbrellas on outrodders - 4 to 8 ounce weight, about 150 feet back - again, two fish. Again, fish have bit on the chartreuse baits.

All these baits are Chartreuse 9" shads, with stinger hooks. All fish have been hooked in the lip - most on the small fish on the stinger hook.

WWWB rod - switched to a Stretch 25 this year. Thus far, 4 fish - seems the most popular. I'm fishing out of the Rappahannock, which has a fair number of smaller fish. Largest fish was on the last trip - a 38" fish on the Stretch.

The Stretch is a pain to troll with, but despite the tangles it has caused, it has outproduced the other rods. Worth considering on a very slow day.

I tend to take slow lazy S turns to move the baits out from directly behind the boat. It does seem to improve the bite. WWWB line has been most productive, and it is directly behind the boat the least of all the baits.

Stick with it - these guys really know what they are doing, and have lots of good advice.
 

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Since everyday is different its critical to cover the water. With 6 rods I'd go with;
2-4oz WWB
4-6oz out 225
tandems of 3+5 out 175 and 4+6 out 150
deep and shorts I"d run umbrellas 20oz inline out 75' with a 2-4oz chute and 16oz inline out 100' with 2-4 oz chute.

When you see fish on the meter holding at a certain depth I'd adjust to get as many as possible at and above them.
Few trips back they were on the deep rods and last trip we had one swirling the top. Good luck.
 

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I've had better luck in the top of the water column this fall and last spring they were mostly all deep (with exceptions when the water was slick...then they came almost all on the surface). The more rods you run, the better you can cover the column. My boat rods are deep umbrellas and boards cover the mid to upper column (trolling mostly single chutes and daisy's). Board rods have been most productive. I have had to slow it down as well as many others have said. If I keep my spring trolling speeds (2.5 - 3) I get more knockdowns than hookups. Hope this helps.
 

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Don't know where you're fishing, but Capt Wayne Morgan had a great set-up sheet that labels rod locations, weight, length and lures. You can grab a copy from George at Tyler's in Chesapeake Beach.

That spread always catches fish, and can be customized based on number of rods you run and where you see the fish in the water column.

Good Luck-

Joe
 
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