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Trolling speed for walleye

Old 06-13-2020, 10:23 AM
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Default Trolling speed for walleye

What is the best speed for trolling for walleye? I have a hard time keeping the boat under 3 mph (twin 300ís but only running one). Should I worry?
Old 06-13-2020, 11:32 AM
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Usually depends on the water temp, colder water requires slower speed. In the very late fall and very early spring, I am most successful at slightly over 1 mph, which requires trolling bags on my boat to attain. This time of year (water temp in the mid 60ís according to my Garmin, in the Western basin), I donít need the bags, and my idle speed is typically 2.2 to 2.5 mph, depending on wind and chop. Three mph might be a bit fast, even for this time of year, but before I spent any serious money to reduce it, I would have a few different baits from inline planer boards and give it a shot. If you catch fish, great; if no takers, then add bags to slow the boat. Doing ďsĒ turns also allows you to slow the inside baits as well, at least temporarily.
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:48 AM
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Retired gave good advice. 3 mph works OK in warm water, say July August and September. Other months you will want to be closer to 2.0 to 2.5 mph. I have twin 454s and troll down to 2.0 mph on one engine and a 48" bag.
Old 06-13-2020, 03:08 PM
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Not sure he'll have warm water in Canada, LOL. Bags are the way to slow you down. One on each side. Simple to use really. I prefer trolling with worm harnesses so my speeds are down anywhere from 1.3 to 1.8. You can run stickbaits and spoons at speeds to 3.0 or more, just not sure how your catch rate will be.

Do you plan on trolling for them in Georgian bay? Generally how is the bite there?
Old 06-13-2020, 04:00 PM
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True Georgian Bay never gets above 68 or so in deep water in the heat of summer (air temps in the 90ís) In shallower bays itíll be in the 70ís.
when Iím trolling I catch pike more than anything.
the only walleye Iíve caught have been casting. Fishing in the South East part of the Bay is probably over fished and itís tough going for me but others seem to do better than me. If you get North itís very remote and fishing is amazing
the biggest Bite is bass.
my goal is to improve my trolling success with walleye
Old 06-13-2020, 07:26 PM
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3's a little fast. Try over trimming your motor and dropping your trim tabs if you got 'em. If that doesn't work, go with amish made trolling bags. You want no faster than 2.5. Even a little less if you can. As long as your lures have action..
Old 06-13-2020, 07:49 PM
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Trim tabs is a great idea. Iíll try that and report back
Old 06-13-2020, 09:31 PM
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Trim tabs do almost nothing to slow my boat down, I just upgraded from 42" trolling bags to 48" but I still can't get under 2.5MPH unless I'm going into the wind/waves. Whatever bags you buy make sure they are big enough, my advice is buy bigger than you think you are going to need. For my boat I have to drag 2 bags, dragging one I can't steer against the drag of the bag.
Old 06-14-2020, 01:42 AM
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Don't know what boat you have Pelagic, but if your really serious about trolling you also have the option of an electric trolling motor. There are TM's now with much longer shafts for larger boats (96" shaft is newest from Rhodan).

I put one on my boat this past winter and it's great for trolling. I can troll at <1 MPH if I wanted.
Old 06-14-2020, 10:17 AM
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My son and I went out this morning and he kept bumping it in and out of gear and speed between 1 to 1.5 mph. Success!
Old 06-14-2020, 02:58 PM
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What ever works. Great job!
Old 06-14-2020, 07:40 PM
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Nice job Pelagic! what lure? bumping in and out of gear has to be a pain. Get some bags! All the charter guys use bags to slow them down, many with twin engines.
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:49 PM
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Absolutely want the bags. Pursuit 295 DC with twin 300ís (using one engine to troll). What size? Iím seeing measured in inches and from what I see I would order two 36 inch? Any advice?
Old 06-15-2020, 06:14 AM
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A pair of 36" bags will be about right.
Different speeds are required (typically) for not only water temperature, but for bait action. WRT water temperature, early spring and late season color water temperatures make both the walleye, and the bait fish they eat somewhat lethargic. Blade baits like crawler harnesses work best at speeds down to the 1 mph range. That slow flipping of a blue like a colorado spinner blade is only possible at slower speeds. Drag them up in to the 2.5 mph range and they may stop all together on you. Willow leaf blades can be trolled pretty fast.
Spoons should be pulled no slower than 2.0 to keep them making good action. Some spoons need to be run a bit faster. I have a couple of NK spoons that hang up and don't do anything below 2.2/2.3. Drag all your baits next to the boat to make sure you're getting the action you want out of them before dropping them back. I really like 2.3-2.8 mph trolling speed because just about all baits can be ran in this envelope effectively. It's a bit fast for Colorado blades, but willow leaf baits run fine. Stick baits work well at these speeds too.

Good luck!

We do make trolling bags, but are currently sold out. Due to a planned shop shut down, we won't be in production again for a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:34 AM
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I too would use bags (Amish Outfitters) to slow you down considerably, but what is your weapon of choice when trolling? Are you using spinners, if so, way too fast in my opinion! If you plan on using cranks, you're in the ball park depending on what you're using, but don't over look spoons as the water warms. You can use a number of different methods from tadpoles, snap weights, mini disks and jet divers to get you in the right depth. Look at adding some lead core too!

Here on Saginaw Bay, we use 2 to 4 colors depending on depth and can run core with spoons from 2.5 on up to 3.5 mph. You can also use cranks and crawlers too with core, but again, that will be depth and speed dependent.
Old 06-15-2020, 02:07 PM
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Bags do more than slow you down, I have multiple bags for boat control.

Be careful in bag sizes. There is not a standard between different makers.

I use all Amish Outfitters Beefy Bags
My preference, have no issues with other makers.

I carry the following:
early spring and fall 2 - 48" speeds below 1.7 mph down to 1.0

mid spring, add in a 36" bag and may run one 48 and one 36.

Then the 48s come off and I bring on a 28" and 22".

This sets me up for the summer and fall.

I use 2 different sizes of bags. Larger bag is used to offset crabbing. Some days you may notice all fish are coming off of one side. Most likely you are crabbing and cannot get the other side at the correct speed on both sides.

Autopilot has no problem with offset bags.

Think Boat control, not speed control.

Plus larger bags allow more prop thrust and better control.
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:38 PM
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I have to say that the helpful info Iíve received on this thread has restored my faith in THT.
I try lots of different tackle. Iíve seen on here that spinners are good so Iíve got that going on as well as spoons and stick bait. Someone mentioned cut bait- like to hear more about that?
we have spreaders (outriggers) off the hardtop and although I can run 6 lines I usually run 4 and each line has something different to see what works.
I found Amish outfitters and Iíll order the bags from them
the advice about water temps is difficult where we are. In among the islands the water was as high as 68. Out in the wide open Bay it was 52. It seems like the warmer shallow water might produce better just now.
i also appreciated the advice about checking speed against the tackles intended speed / action. I do check but now weíre talking smaller refinements
The catch rate you Erie guys get is crazy. I hope to get 1 or 2 per trip and Iíve got a lot of work to do to get there.
Old 06-15-2020, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelagic295 View Post
I have to say that the helpful info Iíve received on this thread has restored my faith in THT.
I try lots of different tackle. Iíve seen on here that spinners are good so Iíve got that going on as well as spoons and stick bait. Someone mentioned cut bait- like to hear more about that?
we have spreaders (outriggers) off the hardtop and although I can run 6 lines I usually run 4 and each line has something different to see what works.
I found Amish outfitters and Iíll order the bags from them
the advice about water temps is difficult where we are. In among the islands the water was as high as 68. Out in the wide open Bay it was 52. It seems like the warmer shallow water might produce better just now.
i also appreciated the advice about checking speed against the tackles intended speed / action. I do check but now weíre talking smaller refinements
The catch rate you Erie guys get is crazy. I hope to get 1 or 2 per trip and Iíve got a lot of work to do to get there.
I would call Amish outfitters and tell them your size of boat, engines and speed without bags. Desired speed. They should be able to help you. Like BlackH2Odog says though, you might want a few different sizes......... Consider ordering from Classic25 as he's a member here
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:58 PM
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X2 on calling amish, they will get ya dialed in right!
Old 06-20-2020, 05:01 AM
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nice fish, where are u fishing , that looks like a dark eye for lake erie.
I usually troll at .8 to 1.5 but that's in northern Michigan and n.e. Ontario.
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