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Best Trolling Lures for Catching Huge Fish

Trolling has long been a method of fishing used by both saltwater and freshwater fishermen alike.

Trolling in itself is not a very complicated method of fishing. However, knowing which lures work best for trolling is still up for discussion.

Top Trolling Lures:

best trolling lures to catch fish
Trolling for big fish is a thrill! Source: Dave Marquard

In this article, I am going to cover some of the best trolling lures, how and where to use them and much more.

Best Trolling Lures Reviews

There are far more trolling lures available than we can possibly cover in one article. We will address some of the best trolling lures as ranked by user feedback and ratings.

There are a number of artificial lures that are designed with trolling in mind. However, both live and dead baits produce great results.

There are four main types of lures to use when trolling for fish offshore.

  • Skirted lures
  • Spoons
  • Plugs
  • Soft-plastic lures.

Each of these has very good results overall, but skirted trolling lures are the most commonly used.

Best Walleye Trolling Lure

Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk

The Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk is one of the best walleye trolling lures. The Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk is the deep-diving version of the Husky Jerk, designed to reach depths approaching 20′ on the troll and more than 10′ on the cast.

Best Salmon Trolling Lure

Hot Spot Apex Salmon Killer

Hot Spot Apex 6.5 Reg Watermelon
  • Slow troll A7409R
  • Perfect for all fishing conditions, in fresh and...
  • HOT SPOT apex trolling Lure is rigged with ideal...

When fishing for salmon, the Hot Spot Apex Salmon Killer ranks easily among anglers as the most popular artificial ocean salmon lure on the west coast. They are very durable and highly effective.

Another good option for ocean salmon is the P-Line Mini Squid. Add inserts made of a combination of mylar and crystal flash, which are then embedded in a soft rubber head. These trolling lures are easy to use and effective.

Moonshine Lures

When it comes to salmon trolling rigs, Moonshine Lures Trolling Plugs offer very good results. They also harness the power of the sun thanks to their highly UV-reflective finishes for heightened daytime attraction. Cupped face reduces the erratic action more than a traditional plug to run well at spoon speeds.

These trolling lures are ideal for salmon trolling, trout trolling and steelhead trolling.

Best Trout Trolling Lure

Pro-Troll Trout Killer

Pro-Troll Trout Killer Fishing Lure, 1 5/8-Inch, Holographic Black
  • 3D eyes now on each lure
  • New slow speed rigging hole for improved action
  • Fully rigged with 36" of 10 lb. test leader, bead...

For trout lures, Pro-Troll Trout Killer Holographic Pro Series are some of the best on the market. The EChip, along with holographic tape and 3-D eyes, makes it a top pick among trout anglers. An effective trolling lure for all species of trout.

Best Muskie Trolling Lures

Rose Kuli Fishing Lures

ROSE KULI Fishing Lures for Bass Life-Like Trout Swimbait Hard Crank Bait Rainbow
  • TOPWATER BASS LURES - 3D realistic looking eyes...
  • MULTI JOINTED BODY - The body pieces connect with...
  • ARTIFICIAL SOLID SWIMBAIT - Reusable environment...

Muskie trolling lures and pike trolling lures are widely varied among different crankbaits.

Lixada Fishing Lures 5-12″ Multi Jointed Life-Like Swimbait Hard CrankBaits are among some of the best selling muskie trolling lures available.

Best Lake Trout Trolling Lures

Luhr-Jensen Ford Fender Lake Trolls

Luhr Jensen Model A Ford Fender Lake Troll Spoon, Brass
  • Premium plating and polishing for maximum flash...
  • Rigged with heavy duty split ring with metal...
  • The Coyote spoon performs exceptionally well...

For lake trout trolling, Luhr-Jensen Ford Fender Lake Trolls offer top-notch lures. They are reliable and attract fish to your trolling rig. The original blade design has been attracting fish for over 70 years.

Best Striped Bass Trolling Lures

Bay State Tackle Striped Bass Trolling Tube

Bay State Tackle Striped Bass Trolling Tube (Solid Red, 12 Inch)
  • 135 lb. flexible thru wire design
  • 6/0 stainless hook
  • 260 lb stainless steel ball bearing swivel

This lure imitates an ocean sandworm and will put a lot of stripers at the end of your line. Both the 12 and 18-inch models will work fine.

Best Bass Trolling Lures

Rapala Shad Rap 07

Rapala Shad Rap 07 Fishing lure (Silver, Size- 2.75)
  • The world's best running hardbait, hand-tuned and...
  • Balsa Wood Construction
  • Natural Baitfish Profile

This Rapala is an all-around solid casting and trolling lure. If you get this lure in a school of shad you’ll have the bass biting in no time.

Bass trolling lures are another widely varied topic. Many pro anglers, as well as weekend anglers, have their “favorite” or go-to bass lure. With that being said, there is one thing to keep in mind.

Topwater plugs often produce better results in warmer weather/water while diving lures produce better results in cooler weather/water.

Color and action also play a factor in the results you will get when using bass trolling lures. Keep in mind, the bass has some of the best eyesight of any fish.

What Is Trolling?

Trolling is a method of fishing where you have one or more lines being trolled behind a boat for example or pulling a baited line through the water at a steady pace while in a stationary position.

Trolling offers the best results in areas where there is not much possibility of becoming snagged on debris.

Different sized weights are used depending on the type of fishing you are doing. The weight of the bait you are using makes a difference in the amount of weight to be used. Heavier baits, for example, require less weight when fishing freshwater fish such as walleye.

In some cases, if the bait or trolling lure is heavy enough, no weight at all is required. In saltwater situations, more weight may be required to keep the bait or trolling lure from riding on top of the water. This is true in the case of pulling a troll line behind a boat.

The speed at which a line is trolled is also dependant on the type of fishing you are doing.

Many saltwater fish respond better to a faster troll, where freshwater fish respond to a slower troll such as from a stationary position with a slow to medium retrieval.

How to Troll for Fish

Trolling is most often associated with saltwater fishing. In many cases, trolling is the preferred method for fishing open ocean and large bodies of water.

Fish species with high predatory drive will often respond to a trolled lure better than stationary or bottom fishing.

Having more than one line in the water at the same time will drastically increase your hook-up odds. Depending on the size boat, for example, you can easily troll three to five lines.

Sonar or “fish finder” equipment greatly increases your success rate because it is crucial to know the depth of the fish you are trolling for.

Fish rarely swim to or change depths suddenly. For this reason, if you have the general location of where they are, you can set your trolling depths accordingly.

Once the location, lure, and the number of lines have been decided, rods are cast and set up in the back of the boat.

Trolling Speeds

The speed at which trolling lines are set to vary, though many anglers agree that one to two miles per hour is a good starting point

Visibility or water clarity also play a factor in deciding how fast to troll. If the water clarity is not very clear, it is harder for fish to see the lure going by at a higher speed.

When trolling freshwater and smaller bodies of water, trolling is most often done from the bank or in a boat with the lure being pulled by retrieval of the line by the reel.

Bass fishing is the most well known of the freshwater trolling method for freshwater trolling. The lure is cast and retrieved at various speeds to produce a strike.

The speed and technique vary depending on the lure being used, which vary greatly.


Q: Can you troll with live bait?

A: Yes. In some cases, live bait or cut bait will produce better results than artificial lures.

Q: How fast should you troll?

A: Trolling speed can vary depending on the type of species you are targeting, water conditions and choice of lure. As a general rule, start at around one to two mph.

Q: Can any lure be used as a trolling lure?

A: Most can. We have used different combinations, lures, and rigs that we simply “created” that worked very well.

Q: Where is the best place to buy trolling lures?

A: Sporting goods stores are a good place to shop. However, by ordering online, you can see reviews from other anglers to help you make a more informed decision about which trolling lure will fit best for your target fish.

Insider Advice

There is no shortage of trolling lure on the market. Some good, some bad. In this article, we have just scratched the surface of what is available and have been proven to produce results.

Trolling for tuna or big muskie, for example, is one of the most exciting adventures you will ever go on.

If you are not accustomed to trolling, we highly recommend it. Most species of fish can be trolled. So no matter what your fish of choice, in most cases, trolling will produce results.

If you have any comments, suggestions or comments, we welcome all reader feedback. Feel free to drop us a line and let us know “how’s the fishin”

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johnny Harvill

Jon Stenstrom

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