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hey guys,
question (actually alot of em :rolleyes: ) about trolling rattle traps for weakies, i've done plenty of trolling in my day just never for weakies. I'd really like to try this. Is this a spring and fall thing exclusively? night and early morning? any suggestions on the spread lure selection etc. If anybody has mastered this technique i'd really appreciate it if you post some specifics or shoot me an email
thabks-mike
 

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I have seen a guy do this for about 3 years now, he trolls the inland water way from behind North Wildwood all the way to Cold Springs Inlet, and have seen him get Blue's and Weakies and have heard he has even gotten a fluke or two
 

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Originally posted by fishpole5:
I have seen a guy do this for about 3 years now, he trolls the inland water way from behind North Wildwood all the way to Cold Springs Inlet, and have seen him get Blue's and Weakies and have heard he has even gotten a fluke or two
He also gets Striper's that way
 

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Hey flukerat.

Trolling traps is my all time favorite way to wack weakies.

I run a 21 CC SeaPro and I have it set up to troll two lines. Forget about any rod holders that come with a boat. They keep the rod almost vertical and that just doesn't work in the back.

I have two rod holders that I mounted where I can get to them quickly from the controls. I do almost all fishing alone so it has to work real easy or it won't work at all.

The rod holders can be adjusted so you can swing them in just about any direction and lock them down. I position them so they keep my rod pointed out horizontal to the water and slightly towards the stern of the boat.

I use two spinning outfits that are very light but strong. Both reels are loaded with 10 - 15 pound mono or ten pound test Fireline. I only use Fireline on my Okuma baitrunner reel. With this reel I can set the back drag very light for the hit and then flip to the front fighting drag for the fight. Fireline has no stretch and if you troll with it in fight drag the rattletrap will almost always tear right out of the weakies mouth.

Best times for me is always early morning before the traffic starts or evening after the traffic and water has calmed down. Weakies will spook and boats with big outboards screaming underwater doesn't help.

I prefer the high water for one reason. It is almost always cleaner. Biggest problem with trolling the back bays is weeds. Low water has a tendency to collect most of the weeds in the areas you want to troll. You will still catch fish at low water but it will be a lot more work.

I run a 15 pound mono leader about three feet long to a snap swivel. Some anglers like to tie direct but it has one big flaw. Many times I can troll longer because the weeds will collect on your line and slide down. If you tie direct the weeds will slide directly onto the rattle and you are finished. Weeds will stop the noise and effect the motion of the trap. Bu using the swivel the weeds will still gather on the line but give you a longer troll because the swivel can and will intercept the weeds and keep the rattle free for a few more minutes.

I try to stay away from shallow water. The rattle will draw fish up from down deep and you have less weed problems in deeper water. I try trolling the deep drop offs along sod banks and all through the main channel.

I troll as slow as I can and will keep taking the motor out of gear for a few seconds about every minute just to change speed.

I point the boat in the direction I intend on trolling and start moving. Take one rod and cast as far as I can off the stern. Stick that one in the rod holder and take the second rod and cast it a little shorter than the first. Now I have two lures running different distances and depths behind the boat.

Critical. When you hit a fish instantly take the motor out of gear. If you keep moving and fight the fish the hooks will tear free from the weakies soft mouth.

I use just about any color rattletrap I can find and all have worked. The two I always start out with are a blue top and silver bottom and sides and a pink top with the same silver.

Spring, summer or fall are all good times to troll. During the late summer and fall I will use a jointed bomber on one of the rods. Doesn't do as well as the rattletrap on weakies but on some days it will kill the flounder.

During this time of the year we have huge schools of peanut bunker and mullet in the back. These are all near surface swimmers. During this time flounder will begin to cruise below the surface feeding on them. There have been days when I have limited out on flounder with the jointed bomber.

Pick The area you intend to troll and work both sides of the channel or both directions of the sod bank. When you hit a fish reduce the area and work it hard. I have had some tremendous catches of weakies where they only hit in an area about a hundred feet long.

Spring and fall are great times to catch some stripers trolling in the back. Over the years I have caught hundreds but very few keepers. Seems like the smaller fish are the most aggressive when it comes to feeding in the back.

Hope this helps.
 

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I agree with most of what Chunking says but have a couple of variations
I"ve trolled the ICW and numerous channels with drop off sod banks from OC 34th to Paddy's hole in Avalon for over 5o years
Rattle traps are usually always used on the rod sitting in the rod holder.While I didn't catch many weaks last year on rattletraps I did catch numerous Bass and Bluefish including one bass over 20lbs on Black/chrome Rattletrap
My other rod is in my hands with either a bucktail with plastic worm or a Pentrator on the end of the line.
I troll this rod BUT jig it while trolling and constantly watching my fish finder. When I see structure with some fish I will drop the line quickly back and pick it up return to the troll
It produces some big fish.
I try to troll at 1.2-1.5 mph or slower,if going against a strong tide I will jig the lure a little harder.
I would say my catch ratio on the 2 rods is 3-1 with jig rod on the 3 side.
Tide--I like the last 2 hours of outgoing and first 2 hours of incoming. High tides do produce cleanest water it also has fish scattered and they don't hold in a pattern.
Lower tides has the fish holding in deeper holes where structure is found.Another sign of potential fish is small ripples on surface surrounded by calmer surface,this is clear indication of a unlevel bottom which is causing a little rip.Fish hang on down tide side of the ripples.
You will also catch big flounder trolling this way including the rattletrap.
Must work as I tagged and released almost 500 bass including 9 over 20lbs and a total of 965 tagged Bass, Blues Flounder ,and weaks.
One last point I'll make,fish are not always in same spot in this area,I usually go back to spot I caught fish yesterday but if I don't see fish on my screen I'm off to another spot quickly.
Color will make a difference and I have some thoughts on color but keep those thoughts to myself other than to say if not catching fish I'm changing colors
 

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One day it's with and the next it may be against.

Truthfully I will have my spot picked and troll both ways before I move on.

I pay more attention to the wind. Many fisherman don't realize it but even in tidal water the wind effects the bait and the fish that feed on them.

Tide is running north. Wind is out of the west.
Baitfish will be pushed ever so slightly to the east side of a channel like a sail in a breeze.

At the beginning of the tide I will troll the west side of the channel because the tide and wind will push the bait off the flats or shallows.

After the tide has run it's course for a while I will troll the east side because that is where the bait will congregate.

Baitfish on the east side of the channel will come off the flats and hold along that side for the entire tide. The only difference will be that the bait will exit the flats about 45 minutes behind the bait on the west side.

Wind has so much to do with the movement and position of baitfish. Tide is the force that moves the water. Wind is the steering wheel.

Fish the tides but work the wind. :D :D :D
 

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Fred - excellent post and it is verbatim to what you told me at CMF back in 2000.

I just might try your tactic down here for spotted seatrout. I'll let you know how it works.

BTW - an added benefit down here to using high water would be that it always brings an influx of clean clear ocean water into the IRL. The outgoing is horrible because it brings all that polluted brackish murky freshwater from Lake Okeechobee that the South Fla Water Management District dumps into the St Lucie River system.

Mark
 

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Chunking,great post.I have seen the bait stacked up against sod banks blown in by the wind.But you just added alot to my knowledge.I troll with an electric motor when conditions allow.I use the gas motor they way you told me once, to shift into neutral to slow down and have had sucess on bass.Gone to do alot more of it next year, Thanks.
 

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I've not done the trolling thing in the back the last 2 years... Will get back to it this coming year. My experience was that a trolled bucktail with a grub or twister worked the best for trout, out did anything else in the box. I have caught a lot of nice trout that way, numerous bass, bluefish, and a huge flattie. As Bucktail said, the rod in your hand (assuming you're jigging it) will out perform the one in the holder by a lot. I like white bucktails...
 
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