Slow-Trolling Live Bait | Boating Magazine

Slow-Trolling Live Bait

Five tips for increasing your offshore fishing success.

Slow-trolling live bait is a great way to cover water and increase your offshore success. Pacific Coast anglers slow-troll sardines and mackerel to hook up with tuna and dorado, while Atlantic and Gulf coast anglers troll live menhaden, goggle-eyes and blue runners for king mackerel, mahi and sailfish. Try these techniques on any coast.

1. Hearty live baits, capable of swimming while being dragged at 1 to 2 knots without spinning or tangling, are required.

2. After the initial flurry of bites on a trolling stop wanes, nose-hook some baits 150 feet behind the boat and slow-troll a large circle.

3. If you have to, bump the engine in and out of gear to keep your speed down.

4. Keep the reel in free-spool with enough thumb pressure to maintain control of the bait.

5. Be ready to feed the bait back for a few seconds before setting the hook.

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