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Hard Bait How-To's

How to Troll Hard Body Lures in Estuaries

How to Troll Hard Body Lures in Estuaries (Video)

Here is a detailed video presented by Jim Harnwell on the best techniques and methods to troll estuaries with hard body lures.... read more

Video Transcript

Jim Hanwell:
Good day, Jim Hanwell here from Fishing World Magazine. I’m here today with Chris Neville. Chris works in my local tackle shop, McCallums Tackleworld and we’re out on the shoal haven river, going to do a bit of trolling. Now, we’ve got some nice sandbanks along here and we’re going to troll a few deep diving lures, maybe hopefully get a Flathead or two.

Trolling’s a really effective way to catch fish; you cover a lot of ground that means you present your lure to as many fish as possible. A lot of young guys don’t actually do too much trolling anymore. This is actually going to be Chris’ first time he’s ever gone trolling. Casting and that sort of stuff’s really popular but learning how to troll is a really handy skill to have.

Trolling’s not a boring senseless thing to do. It’s actually quite a technical form of fishing. And once you get your troll run set-up right, you get your lure set-up right, you understand how far back the lure needs to be and you’re getting the right sort of country, you can actually catch some really good fish. It’s also a really good way of finding areas where fish are so then you can cast for them if that’s your preferred method.

But the first thing we’ll do now is basically outline what trolling is, and it’s basically tying a lure behind the boat. You tie the lure behind the boat, let out a certain amount of line, and troll in a nice, slow speed like we’re doing now, probably two, three, four knots and that gets the lure down.

And then depending on how deep you are—we’re fishing in around about three and a half meters of water. So if you have a lure that gets down around about 3 – 3.5 meters that means if you’re chasing Flathead like we are, you want a lure that actually touches the bottom every now and again and sends up a little puff of sand. Flathead being ambush predators will see that, come up, smack it, and you’re on.

So basically, what we do is let the lure out. I like to let the lure run a fair way behind the boat. Fifty meters is not a bad distance. Basically, cast the lure out, and then just feed it back. And the reason you let it go back about 50 or even more is because even though we’re in a nice quiet boat with a nice, quiet Honda four-stroke on the back, fish will still sense the boat moving through the water—you’ve got the hull slap, the engine noise, all that sort of stuff. So if you let your lure go back a long way, it enables the fish to get over the boat, actually going over the top of them.

Once you’ve got it back a distance, simply close the bow over or engage the gear if you’ve got a bait caster and you’re trolling. You can tell if a lure’s working or not by the vibration on your rod tip. Most people use braided line these days, braided line gives you ultimate sensitivity, also has a far thinner diameter than mono so it actually enables your lure to get down a lot deeper.

Chris Neville:
Oh! Oh!

Jim Hanwell:
Nice work.

Chris Neville:
Oh, looks like it’s a good size, Jim!

Jim Hanwell:
Yeah? What you get him on, mate?

Chris Neville:

Jim Hanwell:
Not bad, man.

Chris Neville:
Oh dude! Look at that!

Jim Hanwell:
That’s fine.

Chris Neville:
Flathead fish.

Jim Hanwell:
That’s a good Flathead.

Chris Neville:
I had no idea that trolling would be this effective.

Jim Hanwell:
It can be, mate, if you’re in the right spot. Well done, mate, that’s a good fish.

One of the great things about modern outboards is that they’re really smooth, and efficient, nice and quiet. Sort of have that clattery old, old-school two-stroke blowing up blue smoke ad all of that sort of horrible stuff when you’re trolling along. You can troll all day with these new, modern four-strokes that produce no fumes and hardly uses any fuel whatsoever.

One of the great things also about modern engines is that some of them offer cruise control. You can adjust your RPM so you can set your optimum troll speed and you just leave it. You don’t have to worry about constantly adjusting the throttle. Really nifty thing, makes a big difference during a long-haul session where you might be fishing for two, three hours.

Anyway, Chris we’ve got that Flathead out there a little while ago. I reckon if we keep working the bank here we might pull another couple, eh?

Chris Neville:
Yeah, hopefully.

Jim Hanwell:
Well done, mate. Well guys, I hope that little short video we’ve just done for you on trolling helps you understand what an effective method trolling is. It’s a great fun. Once you get into it you’ll realize it’s quite a technical form of fishing. And there’s heaps you can learn so I urge you to get out there and do a bit of trolling.

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Choosing The Right Bait And Lures (Video)
A video from Pro Angler Tom Redington discusses locating bass on cloudy or sunny days and the type of bait and lures to use to catch that big one. Presented by Boys Lift Magazine. ... read more

You can see its a little cold out here today and overcast. But really for fishing and especially bass fishing what I really look for are the overcast and windy days. The lower the light, the less the fish can see your lures, the less they can see your flys. They really roam, they’re going to be on the hunt, and they’re going to be active. So spinner baits, crank baits, lipless rattle traps, all those type baits are great and you can catch a lot of fish.

Now if it gets sunny and calm, it’s going to be more enjoyable for you but it’s going to be tougher fishing. With the bright sunlight, fish try to ambush they get in the shade around cover so fish close to docks, laydowns, weed clumps or trees - anywhere in the shade. Get your bait really close to that cover, get it in the shade and you might be able to pull out a few fish.

So cloudy – fish are active, cover a lot of water. Sunny – get close to that cover, make those fish bite.

Anytime that I am pond fishing there are a couple of baits that I always use that are going to help me catch pretty much anything that swims in a pond. They’re usually feeding on small forge like minnows and a beetle spin is great for pan fish, sun fish, croppy, blue gill they are really suckers for the beetle spin. Throw it around the shoreline, clumps of weeds, boat docks, any laydowns and you are definitely going to find some jumbo pan fish or maybe even a big old bass.

And speaking of bass, a lipless crank bait – boy are they suckers for it. Bass are in ponds all across the country. Shiny ones on the bright days maybe a chrome. One like this, a minnow type pattern on a more overcast day – it’s going to catch some big old bass, a bunch of pan fish – anywhere you live.
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