How to troll spoons in fresh water for Striped Bass Feb 2, 2019 19:48:06 GMT
Post by Virginia Striper©® on Feb 2, 2019 19:48:06 GMT
How to troll spoons in fresh water for Striped Bass
Trolling with spoons is a technique practiced and enjoyed everyday by thousands of fresh water anglers across the country. It's an easy-to-learn and use method which is particularly effective in lakes and reservoirs for large fish such as coho and Chinook salmon, brown, cutthroat and lake trout, striped bass and several varieties of rainbow trout including landlocked steelhead and Kamloops.
Spoons are effective because they closely resemble and imitate the action of crippled baitfish . . . food which makes up a large part of the diet of predatory gamefish.
Anglers who employ trolling as their #1 technique and understand fish and their habits usually will outfish anglers using other techniques. The reason is simple: You cover a large area of water thoroughly in a short time, pinpointing concentrations of fish or scattered lunkers with minimum effort. Trolling allows you to cover more water faster, easier and more completely than any other fishing technique.
A spoon should wobble from side-to-side and will produce its best all-around, fish-catching action when trolled at speeds between the slowest that produces a wobble and the fastest darting action that does not cause the lure to revolve or spin. For fast trolling try the Tom Mack®. Medium speed trolling spoons include the Diamond King and Rattlesnake. For general trolling at all speeds, the Flutter Spoon, Krocodile®, Loco®, Super Duper® are excellent choices.
The best trolling spoons are lightweight and thin which will provide the most erratic, darting baitfish action in the water. Many spoons such as the Krocodile® and Super Duper® are manufactured in casting and trolling models and it is important that you select the lightest weight models. For example, one die may stamp several different thicknesses of a spoon, such as the No. 5 Krocodile®, which produces 3/4-, 1-, 1 1/2- and 2 1/2-oz. models. For trolling, you would choose the lighter 3/4- or 1-oz. size.
SPOON TROLLING RIGS
FLATLINE - With the surface or flatline technique, the spoon is tied directly, via its attachment device, to 8- to 20-lb. test main line. No additional weights are used or, at most, a small 1/8- to 1/2-oz. keel-type sinker may be placed 6 feet up the line from the spoon. The spoon is let out behind your moving boat 50 to 200 feet and the troll begun. This technique is particularly effective when trout, steelhead, stripers or salmon are feeding near the surface, especially during low light periods
SHALLOW TO MEDIUM - With the addition of a keel sinker 4 to 6 feet up the line from the spoon, shallow to medium depths can be trolled effectively. Sinker weights, depending upon the depth desired, usually run from 1 to 8 ounces with main line testing from 12 to 30 pounds. As in flatlining, let out 50 to 200 feet of line behind your moving boat and begin the troll.
DIVERS - One effective way to get a spoon or spoon/attractor rig deep without lead weights is with a diving sinker such as the Pink Lady®, Deep Six®, Dipsy Diver® or Jet Diver. The Dipsy Diver® is particularly unique diving sinker as the lead weight in its base plate can be shifted in degrees to produce starboard, port or behind the boat running. With the Dipsy® you now can troll off to either side of the boat without interfering with flatlines or downrigger lines and cover an extremely wide swath of water. Divers also act as fish attractors due to their color and shape. Standard rigging with a diver is 4 to 6 feet of leader between spoon and diver and 20- to 30-lb. test main line to your rod.
A second way of rigging a diver adds a #0, #040 or #00 small Jensen Dodger 24 inches up the leader from the spoon. Use 48" of leader between the dodger and diver.
DOWNRIGGERS - Spoons often are fished off a downrigger, either by themselves or in conjunction with a dodger or flasher. With a downrigger you will be able to work all depths and will have the added advantage of no weights between you and the fish once hooked. Anglers who troll spoons by themselves behind a downrigger, especially when seeking wary fish such as Chinook, lake trout or browns, often prefer 10 to 29 feet (some as much as 40 to 60 feet) between the line release and spoon.
Dodgers can be used as attractors in conjunction with a spoon behind a downrigger with good results. Size #0 or #1 Jensen Dodgers are recommended. Allow 12 to 18 inches of leader between spoon and dodger. Shorter leaders produce more frantic and faster spoon action while longer one result in slower action.
Flashers are yet another kind of attractor that can be used with a spoon behind a downrigger. Flashers such as the Alaskan Eagle or Abe 'n Al® produce a deliberate, slow roll which often is favored by species such as Chinook and lake trout. Because of the rotating nature of the flasher, spoons trailed behind must have more leader than that used with dodgers.
STRIPED BASS - Fresh water striped bass can be found in almost every state and their popularity among sport anglers continues to increase. Stripers are much like salmon and large trout in their eating habits, preferring to dine on baitfish such as shad or smelt. Stripers commonly are found in 20 to 40 feet of water during most of the day. They are constantly on the move during daylight hours and roam open water in search of baitfish schools. However, during early morning and late evening low light periods, stripers frequently will be in the shallows chasing schools of bait. Blues and greens in combination with nickel (either hammered or plain) are proven striped bass colors for medium to deep water trolling, with Chartreuse, Green or Red Prism-Lite® or painted finishes effective near the surface along with standard metallic finishes.
TEMPERATURE AND OXYGEN
In large fresh water lakes and reservoirs time of day isn't nearly as critical as locating the preferred temperature level for the fish species you are seeking and the thermocline. Lakes stratify into three separate layers with the onset of warm weather and generally stay that way until fall. The middle layer of water, where there is a large concentration of dissolved oxygen, baitfish and therefore predator fish is called the thermocline and can generally be found from 10 to 80 feet down. This is not only an oxygen-saturated layer, but a temperature layer as well and fish relate to it as both a comfort zone and a zone where their body metabolism functions efficiently.
SPECIALIZED FINISHES & COLORS
Fish definitely see color and/or shades of color and can be very fussy about it. One of the big advantages of trolling with spoons is the wide variety of specialized finishes available . . . there's a color to fit every angling situation.
GENUINE SILVER PLATE - The ultimate in metal finishes, Genuine Silver Plate, is available on the Flutter Spoon and Diamond King. This finish produces a highly reflective shine not achievable with nickel or chrome plating . . . it simply reflects a much higher percentage of light, like a baitfish, under a variety of different light conditions and at different depths.
FISHSCALE® - The natural, iridescent look of baitfish scales has been captured on the FlutterSpoon and Loco®. This finish has proved extremely productive at all depths. GLO FINISHES - Both the Flutter Spoon and the Loco® are available in a Glo/Fluorescent Green Stripe finish which is particularly effective in deep water.
"HOT TAIL" FINISHES - The Krocodile® and Diamond King now are available in special Hot Tail finishes including Crystal/Hot Tail Pearl/Green/Chartreuse, "Hot Tail Nickel/Fire, Hot Tail Brass/Fire, Crystal Hot Tail/Chartreuse/Fire, Hot Tail Silver/Fire and Hot Tail Gold/Fire. These finishes focus strikes to the rear of the lure, where open hooks ensure more and better hook-ups.
One of the easiest and least complicated things you can do to improve your fishing results is to make sure all hook points are stick-sharp. The majority of lost fish can be traced to dull hooks with prevented proper penetration into the fish's mouth. A small file such as Luhr Jensen's Sharp Hook File is the absolute best hook sharpening tool available. Hold the file parallel to the hook point and, with gentle one-way strokes, remove a small amount of metal from at least two sides of the point. This results in both a sticky-sharp point and a knife-like cutting edge.
You should always use a premium quality monofilament line such as Trilene XT which has superior knot strength, small diameter in relation to pound test and which is abrasion resistant.
Purchase a quality depth sounder, such as one of the Bottomline units, which will help in locating fish as well as prime underwater fish-holding structure which can't otherwise be detected.