Questions for the Pros

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
#1
So I am relatively new to bass fishing in general and have done considerably well the last couple years, but there is a lot to learn and a hack like me is just kind of piecing it together as I can. After spending one of the slowest weeks I've had on powell I have a few different questions that maybe some of you more experienced anglers could help out with.

1. What is a typical trolling speed for stripers? Do you vary speed? Different speeds for different times of year? What is your go to speed when trolling for stripers?

2. Help me read this graph.
graph.jpg
Over the last week I saw tons of shad balls on the graph. But in some areas, I saw this. It looks to me like maybe shad that are being hammered by stripers? That would expain why they are broken up? The problem with this assumption for me is I don't see the typical bigger wavy lines I typically see with stripers. However, if this assumption is correct is it even worth it to drop spoons? Or are they too interested in the real goods? Or maybe it's the perfect time to drop spoons because they are super agressive? Honestly I drove right over these just thinking all we had were shad under us and then today as I was driving home I got thinking that it could be more. What are your thoughts?

3. Umbrella rigs? Who has used them? I saw some guys trolling with them this week and were killing it and we were trolling in the exact same area and only caught a few. I tried looking up if they were legal or not, but could not immediately find the info. If I remember right, they are legal only on Powell?

I look forward to hearing the comments!
 

Kbass

Active Member
#2
I'll try to help not a pro though.
#1. I troll from 3-5 mph for stripers. If in shallow water, I long line the lure out about 100-120 ft. Water temp and availability of food determines fish aggressiveness I believe so I vary the speed somewhere in the range mentioned. Also lure depth is important. Generally I use the deepest diving lure to get to the fish I see on the screen.
#2 Your screen looks like a pretty relaxed school of shad. They'll ball up tighter when pursued by predator fish. I don't see any stripers there. Just my initial observation. It also depends on whether you are moving or not. If the boat is stable then this looks like a school of shad moving through under the boat.
#3 I have trolled umbrella rigs with good success. Usually I use them with a down rigger. If other lures are working then I use them. Sometimes umbrella rigs are too cumbersome and I'm basically a lazy angler. Hope this is helpful
 

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
#3
Thanks for the info KBASS. I initially thought the graph was just shad which is why I didn't stop and fish it, but then I had seen so many groups of shad that were just balled up that I was wondering what I was seeing. Your info is very helpful and confirms that my initial thoughts were likely correct. Looks like I have likely been trolling too slow. Usually about 2.5 -2.8 MPH. I'll try speeding it up a bit next time. That is nice to know as I can cover more ground more quickly.

Still open to others thoughts.
 

Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
#4
Yeah, definitely need to speed it up. We are around 5 as well. One trick that can work for us is varying the speed slightly at times. This can sometimes entice a bite if we are averaging 4.5 say we bump it up quickly to 5 all of a sudden. Also don't be afraid to pass through the same spot more than once, we've adopted more of a figure 8 style route in certain areas rather than just one direction. This will vary the speed of your baits on turns as well which can also produce a strike.

Wish I could help on the graph stuff, I'm a novice myself.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#5
I'm sure I have asked this before, but what type of line are you using to troll at those speeds? I know the light weight stuff I use would get all stretched out at those speeds.
 

Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
#7
We've used both mono and braid. 8-10lb in mono works fine and in fact the stretch helps at those speeds, gets good hook set and doesn't tear out as easy.
 

Dorado

Well-Known Member
#8
Also, your trolling speed is Going to vary tremendously depending on the water temperature. when the water temperature is Low to mid 60s or lower, you Will do well trolling slower around 3 mph. I also find that the walleye diver type Lures, that can be effective, don't run true when you start trolling much more than 3 1/2 miles an hour....like Dundee said, I think the key is to find the speed that the fish want and to Curve and swing around to vary the speed and presentation.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
#10
First the graph looks like the dark background which shows shapes rather than the graph picture just above this post that shows marks. I usually have the 2 screens going at once but pay more attention to the marks and only look at shapes when the marks are not definitive as to what I am seeing. Do you have the option to change screens on your graph? I cannot identify what you are looking at in that mode as I have much more experience looking at marks.

Trolling information has been well reported. Troll at 3.5 MPH and adjust as needed. Troll in a figure 8. If the outside lure gets hit more often speed up. If the inside lure gets hit more often - Slow down. When a striper is caught, turn around and retrace your track hoping to find the school. I usually cast or drop spoons as quickly as possible when a striper is hooked hoping to find trailers escorting the hooked fish. It works half the time.

I have trolled umbrella rigs but like Kbass find them a bit complicated. My goal is to catch many as stripers as quickly as possible. I troll a lure mostly to find a school then I use the best technique to catch fish quickly. Some times it is trolling but often I can switch to casting, or spooning to work on the active stripers below the boat.
 
#11
MTNPULL's picture is a down imaging screen and not a sonar graph like SDPJ showed. I can see the shad balls on my down imaging screen but not the stripers. That down imaging is good for identifying structure (trees and rocks) not so much fish.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#12
Depending on my rig, I am usually between 4 lb - 8 lb mono. 4 and 6 is way too light for those speeds.

So, if I am reading this right, you guys are telling me I need to buy more equipment, right? I'll have to get my wife to read this thread.....
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
#14
I use 12 pound fluoro on my trolling rods and 8 pound fluoro attached to braid on my spinning outfits. I troll with both but usually use the level wind and heavy rod.
 

SDPJ

Well-Known Member
#15
Depending on my rig, I am usually between 4 lb - 8 lb mono. 4 and 6 is way too light for those speeds.

So, if I am reading this right, you guys are telling me I need to buy more equipment, right? I'll have to get my wife to read this thread.....
not necessarily. You just need to get your unit into the right mode and you'll get wormy, arch marks. You should just buy new equipment because it's fun
 
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mtnpull

Well-Known Member
#16
MTNPULL's picture is a down imaging screen and not a sonar graph like SDPJ showed. I can see the shad balls on my down imaging screen but not the stripers. That down imaging is good for identifying structure (trees and rocks) not so much fish.
That is correct. I have my larger fish finder set to show both. BUT, the mount for my larger one broke that day and I was stuck with just the smaller one. I did not know that about the down imaging. However, you can see on my side imaging below that the stripers are definitely visible.

stripers.jpg
 
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