While many Minnesota fishermen focus their time on fly fishing or bobber fishing, trolling fishing is one of the best fishing methods on both rivers and lakes. Trolling involves drawing one or more fishing lines continually through the water, sometimes behind a moving boat, sometimes sweeping a line back and forth from a standing position on a dock or a jetty. This method of fishing is used by fishermen looking to catch pelagic fish (those that remain close to the water’s surface, not on the bottom of the river or lake), such as the great northern pike and walleye.
The most popular technique used in trolling for pike on Minnesota’s lakes and rivers involves drawing a number of trolling lines behind a moving boat, using a special trolling motor and an outrigger/planer board to spread the lines evenly and avoid tangling. This technique can be very effective in catching high numbers of fish, especially in the fall when they are feeding ravenously and more likely to take the bait.
It is important to have the right line and tackle for trolling, because as you troll behind a boat, your line bounces off the sand and rocks, causing a lot of wear and tear. You need strong trolling lines such as 14-lb Crystal Fireline, and crosslock snaps to firmly connect the crankbait to your line. Sometimes, also, you need your baits to run deeper, so splitshot weights can help you reel in a fish (or many) in faster-running river waters.
Trolling is an enjoyable and productive fishing method for spring, summer, and fall fishing in Minnesota. With the correct rod and tackle and a good setup on your boat, you can bring in a great catch and have a great fishing experience.