View Full Version : Need Trolling Help!

03-31-2005, 08:48 AM
How do you know how much weight to use on the line when trolling to get your jigs down to a certain depth? Are there any rules of thumb? Say Iím trolling at about 1mph and I want to get my jig down to about 15 feet?? I tried trolling a little yesterday for the first time and I had my 12í rods in my holder with the tips of the rod about 2 feet off the water and their was quite a bit of line exposed above the water and based on the angle that the line was entering the water I donít think my jigs were getting down very deep even though I had pulled of probably 20 feet of line and had a couple of split shots attached about 18" above the jig. I hate guessing and thought that maybe you guys had some system of estimating jig depth based on trolling speed and how much weight you have on the line. Thanks!


03-31-2005, 12:19 PM
Well I adjust my speed depending on if I am hitting the grass or not. I want to have my jig just above the grass most of the time, however if it ticks the grass every now and then that is good.

Also can use a heavier jig to get deeper and smaller one for shallower water. When I catch fish I know it's right so that is where I try to keep my speed.

Just my personal like, but I use a 1/32 OZ. marabou roadrunner most of the time in water 4' to 6' deep this time of year.

03-31-2005, 01:06 PM
Man Tom if you only knew what I went though this morning to try to reply to this question. LOL. Just suffice it to say that I had to reinstall my drivers for my scanner. LOL. Windows XP is a bitch and using it with ZAP in advanced mode is making me suspecious that I have a hacked OS right now.


To get deeper go with a thinner line diameter and or a heavier weight or else slow your boat speed down. Go easier on the motor or use some drag socks behind the boat. A few 5 gallon plastic buckets or a long rope with a heavy 6ft lenght of chain will slow your boat down.

I think that skiptomylou had a good point. What I like to do is find an area of known depth using my depth sounder. Then I drag the line along and let out more and more line until I can feel the jigs or baits just brushing along the bottom or ticking the tops of the weeds. Then I know the depth. What you can then do is mark the line at the reel with a black or colored magic marker pen. That way when you let the line out next time you can let it out until you see the mark and know you have the right amount of line out to get to that depth. Keep your boat speed and line diameter and rod angle the same when fishing as when you did your testing.

Here is a weight that I like to use when trolling. It's obtained from Bass Pro Shops catalog. They call it the Finesse Drop Shot weight. Here is a scan of the weight as it appears on my HP scanner bed.

Note the wire at the top of the Drop Shot Finesse Weight. You stick your line though that hole formed by the wire and then put it up into where the wires are very close together at the top of the weight's wires. That will hold the line inbetween the two wires and then I tie an overhand knot on the end of my tag line for good measure. If the drop shot get's snagged you can easily pull the rest of the rig out of the snag only loosing the lead weight. It's quick and easy to add another weight to the end of the line again. And then you are back fishing again. I don't loose very many of these weights as they are shaped to come though snags easily. They cost a bit more but man I think that they are worth the extra money for what they do.

Remember to get deeper do three things. Slow the boat down or decrease the line thickness or diameter or add more weight to the end of the line.

About the only way to really control the depth of a lure precisely and Accurately is to go with a small downrigger that has a device that can get your lures down to the right depth and accurately repeat that depth over and over again on each fishing trip. The downrigger uses a diving like device on the end of a rope or wire and then there is a quick line release device attached to the downrigger plane. You attach your line to that QR device and then lower the downrigger device to the depth you wish to fish. The lure attached to the line and qr device can be allowed to trail a fixed distance behind the downrigger device. You can adjust the amount of space between the lure and the downrigger device by cliping the fishing line to the qr device at various sections of the fishing line. You can find the downriggers online at www.bassproshops.com (http://www.bassproshops.com) or at the www.cabelas.com (http://www.cabelas.com) web sites

03-31-2005, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the help and advice. Sorry about your computer problem. Fortunately since switching over to a real computer (Mac) 4 years ago I don't have to deal with those issues although my wifes PC contantly reminds me of why I switched.


04-01-2005, 02:00 AM
Calculating trolling depth (http://www.lithosjigs.com/depthcalc.html)
Tom> I rig 3 ways to begin the day. Starting at the bow I rig 2 poles 10# test with a 1oz bank sinker 1 1/2' below a 3-way swivel. I tie a 4# test 1 1/2' leader to the swivel and one to the bank sinkers eye. I always use a jig on the sinker leader but sometimes use a plain minnow on the swivel leader.

Next 2 rods I use a 3/4oz bullet or egg sinker and trail it with a jig. Don't tie the weight but loop it thru the sinker twice so you can adjust the trailing jig shorter or longer. another way is to put the sinker above a swivel and a 4# leader below.

next 2 rods I use a 3/4oz bank sinker under a 3-way swivel. Tie a 2' 4# leader on the swivel and use a plain minnow.

I also put out 2 long line jigs out the back when trolling one direction.
When trolling in and out of tight areas I reel them in for turning.

Using the heavier sinker lets me fish more vertical and you can turn easy without getting the lines tangled. Using the different weights helps to separate the lines even more IMO. In all I have 10 baits in the water and have little trouble this way.
Whatever way they bite the best is the way I rig my poles for the day. That is untill they change.lol

here is a website about Calculating Trolling Depth if you want a headache read it. Just kidding. It is a great article Moose posted earlier this year.

04-01-2005, 07:38 AM
Thanks for the info. I'll have a little better grip on how deep my jigs are next time out. I bet it will wear you out when you accidentally hook a 5-7 pound hybrid when you are trolling for crappie on some of these long rods and light test. OH well....they both taste good!