Home General Fishing

Help Me Understand Trolling...

haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,412 Captain
I'm more interested in "shallow" water live bait type trolling. However, some of the principle questions are the same.

What is the purpose of trolling?

If motors bother fish, why and how is trolling effective? Species specific?

Is it important for live bait to be alive? How does the bait not drown?

I ask because I was given some curious advice on fishing downtown in my area. Specifically, I was told to slow troll shiners on the edge of channels, and next to the seawalls during high tide.


  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,337 Moderator
    Yes the bait must be alive if you are trolling live bait. If tyou troll too fast the bait will die. The trolling you are talking about would be sub surface, and dragging the bait just off the bottom. To keep the bait alive, you would bump the boat in gear and then back out of gear just enough to keep the lines behind the boat. It's the same as trolling live ballyhoo in the keys for sails. I call it power drifting, rather than trolling. The purpose of trolling is to cover more territory. If you are anchored, stationary, you can only cover so much area. Trolling allows maneuverability that a stationary platform does not. I troll for pelagics, and some are so bold, that they will come right to the transom with the engines running. Some will shy away from the engines, but hunger and food availability (bait) beat the engine noise most of the time.
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    Slow Trolling bays, channels, lagoons & creeks (esp.for Grouper & Speckled Trout around here) can be very effective, although the gear (& techniques) is quite different...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • chronicbreakchronicbreak Posts: 1,185 Officer
    Chartreuse curly tails are deadly for trout. Trolling will help you discover places you never realized hold fish. Good luck and looking forward to hearing how you do.
    National Marine Fisheries Service
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,412 Captain
    Chartreuse curly tails are deadly for trout. Trolling will help you discover places you never realized hold fish. Good luck and looking forward to hearing how you do.

    I've never caught a trout downtown. I asked the old man at the tackle shop about the downtown/river snook this time of year and trolling shiners was the response I got. He said I would catch plenty of jacks, which I already do anyway :mad and have a good shot at any resident tarpon around this time of year :crossed I mainly fish with mullet down there.
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,427 Admiral
    If you start idling around those ports with live mullet on the top you'll get hammered.

    If you wanna troll plugs for grouper in the shipping channel , you'll want mann's stretch or mirrolure 111MR's.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now