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Trout Fishing Tips: Alter Your Trolling Speeds

Trout Fishing Tips: Alter Your Trolling Speeds

By Danny Coyne,

Most anglers are aware that paying attention to trolling speeds is critical in achieving a successful day of fishing. If we troll too slow, some of the gear we use won't work correctly. And if we troll too fast, our gear can actually repel fish rather than attract them.

There are numerous factors to take into consideration when selecting your trolling speeds, such as the lure you're using, the species of fish you're targeting and the time of year, to name a few.

Change up your trolling speeds when targeting trout

The one trolling technique that remains consistent when targeting predator fish, such as rainbow trout and mackinaw (lake trout), is not to troll the same speed for the entire time in which you're fishing. We hear and read all the time that precise trolling speeds can be ideal, however this doesn't mean that you only troll that one speed consistently.

Use your trolling speeds to create more action on your lure

Predator fish like to chase their prey! When a baitfish is trying to escape a predator, it doesn't swim exactly at one rate, but rather they make quick bursts through the water. Think of casting a spoon, such as a Hum Dinger 1/8 oz., and how we retrieve it. We don't just keep reeling the lure in at one speed — we jerk the line and speed our retrieve up-and-down to create more action to the lure.

Many anglers experience very good results when using planer boards and there's a reason why — when the planer board surges in and out of the water with waves, it transfers erratic, burst-like action to the lure, which encourages a striking reaction from the trout.

Alter your trolling speeds while long lining and using a downrigger

Introduce this trolling technique regardless if you are long lining or fishing off a downrigger. Find a consistent speed that is making your lures work the most effectively. Then, every couple minutes, adjust your throttle to mimic a baitfish bursting through the water trying to escape from a predator.

When practicing this method, be sure to select lures that mimic a baitfish, such as plugs, spoons or a vast array of Mack's Lure products, including the Pee Wee Wiggle Hoochie. I can guarantee you that this will increase your hook up ratio and put more fish in your net.

For more articles from Danny Coyne, visit or follow on social media at @BCFishn on all platforms.

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