There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a fish on your fish finder at 10 to 25 feet below the surface… And knowing your topwater trolling presentation will never be seen by that fish. Getting your lure deeper and in front of that fish will only increase your odds of getting that fish to strike.
Skip the downrigger. Trolling leadcore line from a kayak is an easy and effective way of trolling for fish at deeper depths.
Leadcore line is a thin gauge of wire protected by a braided outer sleeve. The line is color coated every 50 feet easily allowing anglers to count the number of colors they are letting out, each getting your line further down into the water column.
For targeting trout (and even bass) in local lakes I use a lightweight Kokanee rod, an Abu Garcia C3 Ambassadeur bait caster reel, and 18-pound leadcore line with a 50-foot mono shock leader. The long 10- to 12-pound mono shock leader helps in not spooking the fish while giving your lure a natural presentation in the water. Small Needlefish spoons, spinners and even crank baits trolled behind depict live or wounded bait to predacious fish.
I maintain an average trolling speed of 1.5 mph while letting out one to four colors of leadcore. Each color puts your lure down roughly 5 to 6 feet in the water column but the depth can vary based on current, speed and water conditions.
Placing your rod in a forward rod holder will help you focus on the tip of your rod while the Hobie® MirageDrive® frees your hands to respond to the fish strike. Practice making gradual S-turns and reducing and increasing your trolling speed will help to trigger that next bite and hopefully land you that next trophy fish.
Years ago I remember experimenting with leadcore line for the first time. I was so afraid that this sinking line was going to snag the bottom. My line was roughly 15 feet down and 150 feet behind me. For several minutes I was so fixated on watching the tip of my rod for any action that I failed to notice that I was now in 18 feet of water. I turned abruptly and that’s when my rod bent over. I thought for sure I was snagged until I heard the splash of a fish going aerial behind me. As I reeled in the slack of the line, the fish leaped a couple more times and made several runs under the kayak before I netted my first 20-inch cutthroat trout.
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