Trolling Multiple Lures

My favorite way to fish is trolling.  As I often fish with friends often in my boat we’ll use multiple rods while trolling.

One thing I sometimes see guests in my boat do is pick out a lure from their tackle box, tie it on, drop it in the water and start letting out line.  All without taking into consideration a fundamental thing – will their lure work well with the other lures in the water.

You see, each lure has a given speed range (which I call it’s performance envelope) in which it works.  For example if the lure is a spinner, then that spinner needs to be spinning.  If it is a plug (like a flatfish) then it needs to be wiggling.  If it is a spoon then it needs to be wobbling back and forth.

Lets take a spoon – it is supposed to wobble back and forth.  It is this action that is one of the key things that make that lure trigger bites.  If you are going too slow then it will not wobble.  If it is going too fast then it will start spinning.

When you are trolling all lures are going the same speed.  So you need to pick lures that have overlap in their performance envelope, and your trolling speed needs to be in that envelope.

How do you know what the performance envelope is of a given lure?  Well it is mostly trial and error.  However there are some basic guidelines you can use to get started with:

  • Spinners work best medium to fast
    • Larger blades usually start spinning at slower speeds

  • Plugs, such as Flatfish usually work best slow

  • Spoons work best slow to medium
    • Heavy casting spoons may need more speed

  • Flies work best slow to medium

  • Bait usually is slow to medium

Other types of lures I’ll leave up to your experimentation to figure out.

So when selecting a lure to put on, consider the speed it will be moving and select one you believe will work at that speed.  After attaching the lure to your line, make sure to put it in the water next to the boat and make sure it is working.  Only then should you start letting line out.

That will ensure that all your lures are working properly and maximize your catching.

Remember, if you start trolling at a different speed, you should reel it in and check that it still works at that new speed.


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