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I usually fish with just my sons (11,14 and 16) on our small 21' center console. We have loads of fun livelining and jigging, but I have attempted a couple of times to do the trolling thing with poor results. I find it nearly impossible to maintain control of the boat, set and troll our 8 trolling rods using planer boards, and avoid other boats. Other than bringing another adult, any suggestions on how I could make this work?

One big issue is getting the lures on the rods and in the water in an efficient manner. I have been attaching lures just before putting them in the water, but this greatly slows the time to set the spread. I do this because of a previous bad experience when I pre-rigged the rods, resulting in problems with tangled leaders and bleeding of shad colors. Thanks for any help.
 

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Carry the flattie with Wii, X-Box 360, internet service, texting..... sorry had to answer, I think trolling is dull until I hear ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
 

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Mako Mike,

Ever consider teaching the older ones to operate the boat while you put out the rods? Just a thought.

I am not a fan of trolling, but sometimes its the best game in town.
 

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I usually pre-rig the rods the night before... and just attach inline weights while setting out the spread. If I have someone driving the boat, I can have 6 rods out in less than 10 minutes. Just rig them the night before, and set them in the rod holders (keeps shad bleeding from happening). I almost never have a problem with tangling or anything. I would imagine that you would have more of an issue keeping the kids occupied while trolling... and with that, I have no ideas... sorry:D
 

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I have had my son driving the boat since he was 7, now 11. He can't maneuver, but he can holler if he senses trouble or something is getting to close.
MUSIC, is key. All kids these days have I-pods and handheld games. I bought some cheap I-POD speakers at Radio Shak, so my kids are in charge of the music. i don't care what they play, because I do not usually pay attention to the music.
It also helps to find the birds or school before you put the spread out, that way there is immediate action.
I also made lures specific for each kid, which keeps them interested as well.
Binoculars help as well, I ask my kids to keep an eye on the other boats to see if anyone else is catching.
 

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the two older boys should be able to contribute it might take them a few mistakes but you gotta learn sometime you know how hard it is to watch you son miss crab after crab after crab on a trot line.......but hes preaty good now just let em learn
 

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trolling is a pain in the butt. to compound the problem maintaining control is a never ending chore. i would have to get customers to steer the boat when i was putting out lines or helping with fish. one thing i did was tell them to look a some fixed point and steer for the target, also i tell them it does not take a big effort....don't over steer.


now the problem is solved....i have autopilot, would never have another boat with one. the ray1000 can be purchased for $800-900. e-z install, even a caveman could do it.
 

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My G-Sons take their cell-phones & Ipods. If not listing to music, they're texting their girlfriends.:D The older one likes to drive, & the other one is good at moving the lines around when needed. Take lots and lots of snacks.:thumbup: George.
 

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The key is get them in on the act. Try wrapping your tandems around the reel and secure with a small bungee, that way you won't need to add the lures to the line before you put them out. At the age of 10 I was learning new fishing knots so they should at least be able to attach leaders to a 3-way swivel. Also, let them put the spread out with your direction, they can count the bars and that way they learn how to put each rod out and how far/dep it runs. You will be surprised how quick they will catch on, plus it helps to have an experienced crew in case god forbid anything happened to you. Each time you go out teach them something new, first teach them how to use electrincs and the vhf to call for help.
 

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----1 tangle Kills the enjoyment expected that day for youngsters --A over kill of lines to begin with makes for trouble --Fish 4 lines , 2 deep , 2 long --And rig up 2 Dummy lines --Allow them to do all rod sets & Bar counting ---Have a pad & pencil so they can jot down any Bar changes they may make at YOUR request ---Let them be the Fishermen ---Your job is to Find the fish, Steer etc. punch in the bites & work the area --If theu can't understand how long the line goes out by bars --Take a rod home , hook the line to a tree & let them see how far 5-15-20-25 bars of line goes out ---On the Deep rods with 20-24 oz --teach em to bounce bottom & Count the bars it takes --Etc. if over 8 leave the ipods home & Pick up the Binocs & look for Gannets --
 

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Tie some non tightening loops in some 1/2 in braided dacron, loop it around their chest just under the arms....hand them the rod with the lure pre rigged...deploy over board...when they get the Fish, close haul them in and then let them land the fish...you'll have a blast...they might not be too thrilled but then you did say how to make trolling "WITH" kids fun....
 

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Try downsizing your setup. Maybe you should try not running planers when you dont have someone onboard to help. Try taking some foods that your kids like, and always try to maximize your chances of catching fish ( ie. fish the current changes, less windy days, morning or evening when temps are more comfortable)..Good Luck
 

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Have some sort of painful (to yourself) accident. My kids always get a good laugh out of that.
 

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Draw up a diagram of how the rods should be placed in the boat w/numbers, what lures/weights on each rod, and how far back the rods go, make a couple copies. Get some cloth medical tape and a fine point sharpie and mark each rod with it's number and how far out it goes.
Go over the scheme with the boys one evening before you go out, including why certain baits,weights and distance for each rod.
When you get out let them do the work, they'll be glad to help and knowing the competitiveness of teenagers your spread will be out in no time flat.
Teach them to drive the boat (even the young'un)....turn off the GPS and break out the chart and compass....teach em to navigate and to read bottom features from the chart.

Bottom line get them involved and active, get them hooked for life.
My boys have been lost to college, girls and beer, but every time they get home the first question is "when we going fishing?"
 

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I would start with a small spread. 3-4 rods....Concetrate on getting them involved....Each one has a job

son A- drives
son B- fish on...he clears the lines
son C- Ready with the net...

alternate jobs....Its more fun for them if they have a job and are directly involved...watching you rig, drive, net etc isnt much fun.

I rig everything...22 rods..the night before
 

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Wow. I have a 4 year old and took him trolling several times without too much problems. I may be lucky. For those of you with younger kids a couple helpful tips. First of all, you may want to go trolling when you know action is pretty good or has been good for you lately or other boats. In other words, don't just go out one day if you haven't been in several weeks hoping to catch fish and keep your kids entertained. I would fish one day and within a day or two take your kids after you know an area has been producing. --Of course things change, but have a plan and go with what worked or is working for others. Don't just throw lines out and hope for fish. Kids will expect fish. I personally am just happy being on the water and my son does a lot of non fishing (boating) so I am lucky but I can see how it can be tough for some. I agree that the kids need to be involved. "watching" doesn't work. Even if you have a little one, let them help set the lines out. --You need to do your homework and have everything pre-rigged. I put my tandems on the day or two before with leader, weights and everything. With umbrellas, have them easy to access, clean and tangle free ready to go. I keep them in a mesh bag all pre-rigged with lured for the day. My son is happy just moving the lever to let out the line, and likes to hold the rod while line is going out. Of course you need to supervise and make sure you are holding rod too or close by in case a fish hits or wave and rod doesn't go swimming. I don't like the idea about video games, movies, or texting. The point is getting them involved and knowing what is going on. You can't expect them to like fishing or know what is going on if your kid is down in the cabin with a video game. If fishing is slow, after lines are all set, MAYBE they could play for a little, but after a few minutes try to let them do a radio check, play with fishfinder, use binoculars, and check a line to make sure no debris. Again, get them involved. Little kids are limited, but even when I do projects at home, its the little things that makes the kids happy. If I am hanging a picture I let my son grab the nail and hand it to me and hand me tools, get pencil, level, tape measure whatever. They don't have to do the critical stuff, even something little they love to help. I also think going on a no so windy,rough day unless you have a die hard kid who has done it before it a good idea.
 

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I don't think kids make very good lures. You should probably try trolling with parachutes and umbrellas this time of year.

Seriously though, when I was a kid trolling was what we did most of the time. My brother and I put out the lines, reeled in the fish, drove the boat, etc... Those were the days of the moratorium, so we were generally trolling for blues. Once we were a little older(later teens) we didn't go as often as we did when we were younger. If you have the room, you could have them invite friends along, and just make sure you have them involved. With a decent spread, there is always work to do, checking lines, etc... Of course, catching fish helps too!

Good Luck
Mike
 

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whiskey...
LMFAO :clapping2:

That brought tears to my eyes ... lol

Me and my GF go fishing alot and i tried to get her son into fishing when he was young but what are you going to do when a kid screams bloody murder at the site of even a small perch or even a worm for that matter?? Hell he screamed when i went faster than 5 miles an hour.

I wish i would have been more patient with him cause he's 15 now and wants nothing to do with fishing. I was just relieved when he finally got an interest in girls ... lol.
 
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