Rough Trolling - Fast Trolling
Having had such terrible weather over the past week what looked like a window of weather opened so out we went looking for a few dollies and even a marlin but that window slammed shut while we were out there and made it a little rough but was still fishable.
Picking Up the Crew, What a beautiful harbour even in ordinary conditions!
As we got to north head we were greeted by a big run out tide which made getting out a little bumpy and lumpy but when we passed that section and were clear of the port it calmed down slightly but was still a little lumpy. We had a new technique to try and today would be perfect, high speed trolling!!How many times do you simply travel out to the ‘fishing grounds’ at 20-25knots? How many fish do you think you are passing over fish? What if the fish were in close and you drove straight past them? These were all the questions we were asking others and ourselves… Most game fish, whether it is Tuna, Dolphinfish or Marlin can catch a lure at 12-15 knots!
So we decided to heavily rig a few Scent Blazer Bullet heads with double chambers loaded with sinkers/weights and the addition of a trolling sinker in front of the leader.
Whilst we weight our lures by filling the chamber with weights, we also add a weight in front of the leader to help it stay down at high speeds, 12-15knots!
This technique works a treat as you never really know where the fish or bait will be, they could be in close, they could be out wide! Temp breaks are another factor in the reason why we troll at these speeds.We troll around looking for bait, temp breaks or even flotsam and jetsam (floating debris) then just slow down to 6-8 knots and drag the lures past, if we hook up we continue fishing the area if not we pick up the speed and off we go again, searching for fish or bait!
Adding an extra chamber to our Scent Blazers allows us the room to add more weight to the lures which will help us in these rough conditions.
This technique is great when you don’t really know where the fish are holding but also saves the time in putting the lures out and bringing them back in. your simply fishing the whole way out to where you think the fish are, it might take an extra 25 minutes to get out but also might just saving you going out there for nothing and catch the fish in close.
So after loading the lures with pilchards, mackerel and striped tuna we put them in the water just inside north head and headed to the Sydney FAD at 14knots. The water temp was 23.4 but we were greeted by a stiff nor’easter of 25-30 knots and a short and sharp swell of about 1m at 7seconds. This didn’t affect the heavily weighted Scent Blazers as they were swimming nicely in our wake.
Preparing and baiting up our high speed trolling spreads, notice the bullet heads. this will help by adding little resistance while trolling at high speed.
The water inside the 100m mark was an odd shade of green and lifeless, as we approached the Sydney FAD the current was pushing the right way North to South but was filthy, as we already had the lures out (benefit of high speed trolling) we slowed down to 8 knots and did a few passes, with no joy we made the decision to run up to the Manly Hydraulics buoy. As we headed nor east the water colour lightened up from the horrible green to a shade of aqua then around the buoy, Blue!!
The Wave Rider buoy a little hard to see under all the chop and swell, but was holding fish none the less.
With the buoy in sight we slowed down and dragged the lure past the buoy, the first pass saw a hook up on a small dollie, which was soon released. The second pass didn’t see us hook up, being so rough it made surface strikes a no show.
The first fish of the day, a nice Dolphin Fish caught on one of the weighted Scent Blazers (Nano bullet head in a Sardine patten).
The dolphin fish were sitting deep so the weighting of the lures and slowing down allowing the lures to sink did the trick. As we high speed trolled our spread nor east the water rapidly dropped to 22.0 and the sky became overcast but looked fishy with birds working the area and the odd bait flicker on the surface we added LED’s to the head of some of the lures to make them more visible then continued to work the area eventually coming across a floating drum which was holding dollies!!
We have added some LED lights to the head of our lures to help them stand out as the weather was becoming overcast and rougher.
The first pass was made at 14knots, which resulted in a hook up on the long rigger, the lure was a Scent Blazer Small bullet head weighted with sinkers and loaded with bait and an LED in the head of the lure!! Shortly after a legal dolphin fish was brought over the side, we continued to work the floating drum at high speed and convert each pass into a fish.
Weighting your lures and trolling subsurface can be the difference between catching fish or not!! This Dolphin fish fell the a Scent Blazer Nano loaded with bait, weight and LEDs.
Soon after the weather increased and the fish were sitting deeper so a change in tactic was in order, we’d pass the drum then pull the boat out of gear for a few seconds allowing the lure to sink then we would take off and pull the lures away. This seemed to work and we got a few more before then shut down.
With the weather increasing to a tad bit uncomfortable we decided to work bigger lures across the shelf towards Sydney heads. Before we swapped a few lures in the spread we added LED lights to them to help make them visible in the quickly fading light. We added blue LED’s to the purple stiripy coloured lures to imitate the blue / purple colours stripies display.
Imitating fleeing baitfish is one of the important things to look for in a lure, thats why Scent Blazers catch more fish as the give you the ability t imitate a bait fish right down to the important details of colour and smell. The LEDs in this Scent Blazer imitate the colours of a striped Tuna.
With no joy we trolled the lures to the dirty water and through it for zeros, I personally don’t blame the fish for being scarce as it was pretty awful on the surface. As we were pulling the lures in you could clearly see the lures with lights in them in our spread. I guess that’s the good thing about Scent Blazers, they are so versatile you can use them in any condition and still catch fish!!
Having a wide range of lures and a game plan will see you succeed in catching fish. These Scent Blazers actually look and taste like the baitfish they are imitating.