Categories: Saltwater

Kayak Trolling Tips

Kayak trolling can be quite effective, and that goes for paddlers as well as peddlers. Yes, you will need a kayak rigged properly, particularly when it comes to having multiple rod holders. And this form of fishing will be a rather constant workout. But before you know it, there’s a good chance the workout will change from propelling your watercraft to pumping your fishing rod on a fish. Here are five tips that will help make it happen.

Kayak trolling can be quite effective, in a number of situations on a number of different species. Photo courtesy of John Veil.

  1. Stick with lures that have plenty of action, and run at an identifiable depth. For most anglers, this means lipped crankbaits are an excellent choice. They swim as they move through the water, and most models will dive to and remain at a more or less consistent depth, as long as the kayak’s speed remains consistent. Learn more about controlling lure depth while kayak trolling.
  2. Pay close attention to contours, and shadow them. Fish like to stage at and around drop-offs, and trolling along drop-offs is a good way to catch them. If your kayak doesn’t have a depth finder, look at charts online or on your phone the night before you go fishing, to get a feel for how the contours lay in any given area.
  3. Don’t worry too much about maintaining a perfectly consistent speed. Yes, speed has an effect on lure depth. But how often does a consistent retrieve catch more fish than an erratic one? Erratic-moving lures often do better.
  4. Use braid line, if you want to get deeper. It cuts the water better and has less water resistance.
  5. Probe the waters untouched by powerboats. On a kayak you have one major advantage over most of the competition – you can go places they can’t go. If you spot a shallow bar with a slough behind it, crank your lines in, cross the bar, and re-deploy them. If there’s a salt pond with an inlet too tight for a 20-footer, go through that inlet. Use the fact that you’re in a kayak to your fullest advantage.

BONUS TIP: When trolling crankbaits, choose floaters with diving lips as oppose to sinking lures. That way, when you hook up while trolling multiple lines you won’t snag bottom.

Lenny Rudow: