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Bluewater trolling, the basics.

Old 08-24-2020, 08:43 AM
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Default Bluewater trolling, the basics.

First, I know that there are literally hundreds of threads that cover the information Iím looking for. Not many are basic and comprehensive though. Just a bit of valuable information here and there. Someone help me please.
Iíve trolled in nearshore water for years, kingfish, ling, Jack Crevalle, bonito. An occasional Amberjack or Dolphin. Even fish a kingfish tournament now and again. I want to become competent at deep water trolling for Wahoo, Dolphin and tuna and up my numbers of ling. Maybe even get lucky and catch a sailfish someday. I have a 25í CC. I have somewhere around 12-15í telescoping outriggers on it. Iíve used them twice I believe and I understand the basics. My normal trolling spread for kingfish would be two rods in the tee top (kingfish) rod holders with surface or shallow baits, two more rods on the back corners with diving lures and/or trolling sinkers (non surface baits) and a daisy chain or something else down the middle.
A charter captain looked at my setup and said itís not very efficient for blue water trolling. That I should add teaser reels and use my outriggers and get some suitable lures. Can someone here elaborate please? Dumb it down, Iíve got thick skin. What Iím really interested in is line lengths on individual rod locations and Iím not at all certain how lines donít overlap each other if an outrigger rod is hit and the line is released? I have four gunnel rod holders, two kingfish rod holders and five on the leaning post. A diagram with lure recommendations and line lengths would be awesome. Thanks yíall.
Old 08-24-2020, 09:47 AM
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First off, where are you fishing?
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:48 AM
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I am rather inexperienced compared to many on this forum, but here are a few resources that have diagrams of species and location specific trolling spreads. Helped me a bunch when designing a spread for my small boat.

Mixed Bag
https://www.sportfishingmag.com/boat...hore-trolling/

Tuna (although specific to using wide trackers)
https://www.sterlingtackle.com/tips

Wahoo
https://www.saltwatersportsman.com/h...ahoo-anywhere/
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:14 AM
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How to Pick Your Offshore Trolling Spot? Beginner Offshore Trolling Article We wrote a pretty in-depth article here about picking where to go. If you scroll to the bottom of the thread we put in an image of what a basic trolling spread would look like for a 4-rod spread. Then you can find one more article back at our website https://www.sordtools.com/where-the-...ng-gear-advice with a few basic lures that work for us!
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Abel View Post
First off, where are you fishing?
This is going to be a big factor.
Old 08-24-2020, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jfish8 View Post
This is going to be a big factor.
Trolling for ling is more common in Texas so I am guessing that region.
Old 08-24-2020, 12:09 PM
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A center rigger would be the best single improvement you could make. The high line at the back of the spread is deadly.

Teaser reels can be put off until later. Teasers can be pulled from homemade setups or even from a cleat until you learn how they work for you.

Get a couple High Speed Trolling rigs put together and have them in the water when your traveling or scouting areas looking for wildlife.

Never drive straight.

Last edited by Lone Ono; 08-24-2020 at 01:42 PM.
Old 08-24-2020, 12:13 PM
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South Texas coast. Usually Corpus area but sometimes South Padre as well. I shouldíve included that.
Old 08-24-2020, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
A center rigger would be the best single improvement you could make. The high line at the back of the spread is deadly.

Teaser reels can be put off until later. Teasers can be pulled from homemade setups or even from a cleat until you learn how they work for you.

Get a couple High Speed Trolling rigs put together and have them in the water when your traveling or scouting areas looking for wildlife.

Never drive straight.

I have some Yo Zuri Bonitas. Have some trolling weights too that I usually pull live blue runners on. I know those wonít work together. I could combine weights and lures for my flat lines. How about for my outriggers? Or should I just continue using my kingfish rod holders and avoid the outriggers? How far back is a good length for each so that I can make turns without a huge mess?
Old 08-24-2020, 03:24 PM
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For high-speed you can pull one Bonita in the short position behind a 48 or 64 oz. sinker. Very few people use the outriggers for HST, often only pulling two or three lures straight from the rod tips. Staggering the length limits the tangles. Using 30’ shock leaders position your second sinker 30’ farther back behind the first lure, rinse/repeat.

First sinker 70’, first lure 100’, second sinker 130’, second lure 160’, third sinker 190’, third lure 220’. This is just a generic starting point, it puts “something” in the water every 30’, just pray they hit the wiggly ones 😉. Don’t discount the presence of the sinkers. If you only focus on the lures and end up with a sinker running close to the lure in front that lure will shut down.
Old 08-24-2020, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
For high-speed you can pull one Bonita in the short position behind a 48 or 64 oz. sinker. Very few people use the outriggers for HST, often only pulling two or three lures straight from the rod tips. Staggering the length limits the tangles. Using 30í shock leaders position your second sinker 30í farther back behind the first lure, rinse/repeat.

First sinker 70í, first lure 100í, second sinker 130í, second lure 160í, third sinker 190í, third lure 220í. This is just a generic starting point, it puts ďsomethingĒ in the water every 30í, just pray they hit the wiggly ones 😉. Donít discount the presence of the sinkers. If you only focus on the lures and end up with a sinker running close to the lure in front that lure will shut down.
Got it. And Thanks a bunch! All Yo Zuri Bonitas? Anything else I should get? Will anything other than Wahoo hit that spread?
Old 08-24-2020, 04:13 PM
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Read this article:

http://www.blackbartlures.com/xcart/...e=show_article
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Old 08-24-2020, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Thirsty P View Post

Thats informative. Thanks!
Old 08-25-2020, 05:09 AM
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A rod in each of your back corners. These will be your shortest, short corner and long corner. SC is where you'd want to run a yo-zuri, lipped plug, planer, etc. for wahoo. LC your line will be further back, Run either decent sized larger lure or a shallower sub-surface lure here.

Then a rod in each of your gunnel rod holders closer to the console. These go to to your outriggers and are short rigger (on same side as short corner) and long rigger. This is where you'll want to run small lures or preferably skirted ballyhoos (look up pin rigging ballyhoo with islanders).

Last rod most will put up in the t-top rod holders and is the shotgun down the middle. Put this 'way way back" with a little tuna feather or similar.

Lines go out in the order of longest to shortest. The hardest part about teasers, etc on a 25' boat is limited hands on deck and limited space to work. If you really want to add a teaser keep your short side of the boat on the starboard side. Move your long rigger rod to the furthest outside rod holder on your lean post (right behind driver with the handle outward). Use a short teaser or kite style rod with something like a 6/0 senator with 400# line in you gunnel rod holder. put a small pulley with a clip on your teaser line and clip it to your first outrigger eye. Run a squid chain on this back to just in front of your long rigger lure. When a fish hits the driver can easily reel this up to where the first squid meets the pulley and the rest dangle.

Once you dial that in learn to read hiltons / ripcharts / roffs / etc. If you are 300' and in you might focus your spread more to wahoo, deeper weedlines more to dolphin and rigs more to tuna.
Old 08-25-2020, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Southern Hooker View Post
A rod in each of your back corners. These will be your shortest, short corner and long corner. SC is where you'd want to run a yo-zuri, lipped plug, planer, etc. for wahoo. LC your line will be further back, Run either decent sized larger lure or a shallower sub-surface lure here.

Then a rod in each of your gunnel rod holders closer to the console. These go to to your outriggers and are short rigger (on same side as short corner) and long rigger. This is where you'll want to run small lures or preferably skirted ballyhoos (look up pin rigging ballyhoo with islanders).

Last rod most will put up in the t-top rod holders and is the shotgun down the middle. Put this 'way way back" with a little tuna feather or similar.

Lines go out in the order of longest to shortest. The hardest part about teasers, etc on a 25' boat is limited hands on deck and limited space to work. If you really want to add a teaser keep your short side of the boat on the starboard side. Move your long rigger rod to the furthest outside rod holder on your lean post (right behind driver with the handle outward). Use a short teaser or kite style rod with something like a 6/0 senator with 400# line in you gunnel rod holder. put a small pulley with a clip on your teaser line and clip it to your first outrigger eye. Run a squid chain on this back to just in front of your long rigger lure. When a fish hits the driver can easily reel this up to where the first squid meets the pulley and the rest dangle.

Once you dial that in learn to read hiltons / ripcharts / roffs / etc. If you are 300' and in you might focus your spread more to wahoo, deeper weedlines more to dolphin and rigs more to tuna.

Thanks for the information. Just a couple of questions. Drivers side of the boat is in the Port side, itís a Center Console so thereís actually not much difference. If a fish hits the rigger thatís on the same side as the daisy chain, with that rod being in the leaning post, will that line not pull into my corner rod, possibly making a mess? Iím not knowledgeable enough to disagree with you, just trying to understand how it all works together. I use skirted ballyhoos for kingfish on occasion so that part isnít an issue. Should all lines remain staggered around 30í as was mentioned above in this particular trolling spread?

Thanks again
Old 08-25-2020, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Southern Hooker View Post
A rod in each of your back corners. These will be your shortest, short corner and long corner. SC is where you'd want to run a yo-zuri, lipped plug, planer, etc. for wahoo. LC your line will be further back, Run either decent sized larger lure or a shallower sub-surface lure here.

Then a rod in each of your gunnel rod holders closer to the console. These go to to your outriggers and are short rigger (on same side as short corner) and long rigger. This is where you'll want to run small lures or preferably skirted ballyhoos (look up pin rigging ballyhoo with islanders).

Last rod most will put up in the t-top rod holders and is the shotgun down the middle. Put this 'way way back" with a little tuna feather or similar.

Lines go out in the order of longest to shortest. The hardest part about teasers, etc on a 25' boat is limited hands on deck and limited space to work. If you really want to add a teaser keep your short side of the boat on the starboard side. Move your long rigger rod to the furthest outside rod holder on your lean post (right behind driver with the handle outward). Use a short teaser or kite style rod with something like a 6/0 senator with 400# line in you gunnel rod holder. put a small pulley with a clip on your teaser line and clip it to your first outrigger eye. Run a squid chain on this back to just in front of your long rigger lure. When a fish hits the driver can easily reel this up to where the first squid meets the pulley and the rest dangle.

Once you dial that in learn to read hiltons / ripcharts / roffs / etc. If you are 300' and in you might focus your spread more to wahoo, deeper weedlines more to dolphin and rigs more to tuna.

Is it essential that the shotgun rod go up so high? It will be very difficult to remove from the rod holder with a fish on because itís so hard to reach. On my boat, your on your tip toes and stretching to get to those rod holders even without tension on them. Iím 5í11Ē. Anyone shorter, has to stand on my under-the-leaning-post Yeti to reach those rod holders.
Old 08-25-2020, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 7hetexsan View Post
Is it essential that the shotgun rod go up so high? It will be very difficult to remove from the rod holder with a fish on.
Thatís where the center rigger comes into play.
Old 08-25-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
Thatís where the center rigger comes into play.

That makes sense now. Thanks!
Old 08-25-2020, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 7hetexsan View Post
Thanks for the information. Just a couple of questions. Drivers side of the boat is in the Port side, itís a Center Console so thereís actually not much difference. If a fish hits the rigger thatís on the same side as the daisy chain, with that rod being in the leaning post, will that line not pull into my corner rod, possibly making a mess? Iím not knowledgeable enough to disagree with you, just trying to understand how it all works together. I use skirted ballyhoos for kingfish on occasion so that part isnít an issue. Should all lines remain staggered around 30í as was mentioned above in this particular trolling spread?

Thanks again
2 reasons - if you're right handed its easier to deal with a rod on the port side of the lean post and most CC steering wheels are on the port side of the console

No the line will be higher and further out. Also why you want the lure behind the squid chain.

All lines should be staggered as to where your baits/lures look the best. I think the post about 30' was referring to high speed trolling.

As far as the shotgun, I like it to be at-or-higher than the rigger lines. On a big boat you have to have a center rigger to accomplish this (although i have seen guys run it straight off the bridge and pass the rod down). I've never seen a center rigger on a small CC. As long as you're fishing 30/40lb line and a metal or slick butt its really not that hard to jump up on the gunnel and snatch it down or pass it down. I understand some might be agility challenged though. With a long rod though the lean post rod holders would probably get you enough height to work.
Old 08-25-2020, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Southern Hooker View Post
2 reasons - if you're right handed its easier to deal with a rod on the port side of the lean post and most CC steering wheels are on the port side of the console

No the line will be higher and further out. Also why you want the lure behind the squid chain.

All lines should be staggered as to where your baits/lures look the best. I think the post about 30' was referring to high speed trolling.

As far as the shotgun, I like it to be at-or-higher than the rigger lines. On a big boat you have to have a center rigger to accomplish this (although i have seen guys run it straight off the bridge and pass the rod down). I've never seen a center rigger on a small CC. As long as you're fishing 30/40lb line and a metal or slick butt its really not that hard to jump up on the gunnel and snatch it down or pass it down. I understand some might be agility challenged though. With a long rod though the lean post rod holders would probably get you enough height to work.


Perfectly explained. You answered my questions. Thanks so much!

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