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.
In this article, I am going to cover some of the best trolling lures, how and where to use them, and much more.
Top 9 Trolling Lures
9 Best Trolling Lures for 2021 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
- 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
- 1.5 pound bullet head for high speed trolling
- Red and black double skirt made from a premium grade vinyl...
- Made with 400 lb. cable for ultimate strength.
EatMyTackle has been the leaders of 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
- 12 Inch Wahoo Lures
- Intense Purple and Red Color Variation for Maximum...
- Fully Rigged with 7 strand wire + Lure Bag
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 comes 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
- The Nomad Design DTX Minnow 165/200 Sinking Trolling Minnow...
- Hydrospeed belly eyelet for perfect balance and faster...
- Patent-pending Autotune design for maximum depth and the...
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!
4. Rapala X-Rap Magnum Fishing Lures
Best Rapala Trolling Lure
- The massive diving-lip takes the X-Rap Magnum deep.
- Running Depth: 15-30 ft
- Hand tuned and tank tested
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
- Slow troll A7409R
- Perfect for all fishing conditions, in fresh and saltwater
- HOT SPOT apex trolling Lure is rigged with ideal leader...
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.
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.
7. Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk
Best Walleye Trolling Lure
- Deep Diving Lip
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
- 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.
9. Rapala Shad Rap 07
Best Bass Trolling Lure
- 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 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, 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.”
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