The 10 Best Trolling Lures for 2023

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Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just getting started, trolling with lures is a great way to catch fish. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which ones to choose. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 best trolling lures, based on our own experience and feedback from other fishermen. So read on to find out which ones are worth adding to your tackle box!

Top 10 Trolling Lures

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

10 Best Trolling Lures for 2023 Reviewed

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.

1. Eat My Tackle Bullet Head Fishing Lure

Best Trolling Lure

EatMyTackle has been the leader in providing solid products at an affordable price. This trolling lure is no different. It has a 1.5-pound bullet head weight that allows you to really cruise while you troll.

The cable on it is 400 pounds, so you know it’ll handle the biggest fish to hit it. It’s rigged with two stainless 10/0 hooks that are offset at 180 degrees. If you’re looking to pull in a monster Wahoo then this is your lure!

2. MagBay High-Speed Wahoo Lures

Best Wahoo Trolling Lures

MagBay does it again with their two-pack of affordable wahoo trolling lures. These are twelve inches long and come in both intense purple and red colors, which, as you know, attract wahoos like crazy!

They are secured with seven-strand wire and come with lure bags so you can store them properly after use. These don’t just snag wahoo but also dorado fish and tuna!

3. Nomad Design DTX Minnow

Best Minnow Trolling Lure

We love this lure and consistently use it to grab a yellowtail and bonito fish. It’s a beefy and durable lure that will last you a long time. You’ll need to attach your favorite hooks to it, but that should be par for the course.

Some fishermen have been having problems getting this lure to depth. Try trolling at 10 knots and attaching it with wire. That should do the trick!

You could also use a live minnow as a lure.

4. Rapala X-Rap Magnum Fishing Lures

Best Rapala Trolling Lure

This is one of our favorites to use down in Baja. It doesn’t take much time before you’ll be hooking up with bonito and yellowtail left and right.

We like the bonito color and some of the mackerels. It’s hard to beat a Rapala, and everyone should have a few in their arsenal on any trip.

5. Luhr-Jensen Ford Fender Lake Trolls

Best Lake Trout Trolling Lure

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.

6. Hot Spot Apex Salmon Killer

Best Salmon Trolling Lure

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. A 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.

7. Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk

Best Walleye Trolling Lure

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.

8. Bay State Tackle Striped Bass Trolling Tube

Best Striped Bass Trolling Lure

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.

9. Rapala Shad Rap 07

Best Bass Trolling Lure

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 that the bass has some of the best eyesight of any fish.

10. Rapala DT Dives-To Series Crankbait

Best All-Around Freshwater Trolling Lure

With a side-of-side action, this Balsa wood crank bait cast easily and retrieves even better. Waited perfectly for quick dives, this is easily controlled imitating small blue gill in a variety of colors. 

With an internal rattle that is complemented beautifully by 3-D holographic eyes, this lure is perfect to troll behind the boat in search of large freshwater predators to bite down on the solid VMC black nickel hooks.

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 dependent on the type of fishing you are doing.

Many saltwater fish respond better to a faster troll, whereas 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 oceans 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 a 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 varies, though many anglers agree that one to two miles per hour is a good starting point

When trolling, it’s important to change speeds if success is not immediately found. Putting the boat in and out of gear to allow lures to settle lower in the water column is an incredibly successful technique.

The faster the boat is going, the higher weighted lures will sit in the water column. Alternatively, when the boat’s movement is slower, lures will sit closer to the bottom of the water column.

Visibility or water clarity also plays 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 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 varies greatly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you troll with live bait?

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

How fast should you troll?

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.

Can any lure be used as a trolling lure?

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

Where is the best place to buy trolling lures?

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 lures 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 muskellunge fish, 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 is, 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 fishing.”

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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