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Trolling without Outriggers

Times are tough and some of you may have just bought your first boat and hadn't figured in the extra cost of riggers. I know a neighbor's wife choked when she heard the price of riggers after she asked me about getting them for her husband last Christmas.

If you are fishing without riggers, no worries as this is not a large problem especially if you are trolling lures and if you have multiple places to put a rod. I currently fish a 25' Center console, and she is equipped with riggers and strangely enough, the last several trips I have made, I left the riggers off of the boat. These trips were also very succesful.

First, understand the reason for riggers. They are used to:
1. Give an automatic drop-back to the fish, which you do not want with lures and is not 100% neccessary with
    baits.
2. Spread your baits apart, which can be done (adequately) simply by having rod holders mounted to angle 
    away from the boat.
3. Keep your baits at the surface, which can be done by running your baits closer to the boat or speeding up a
    half knot.

I almost always troll without riggers when fishing for Yellowfin Tuna as outlined on our Yellowfin Tuna Page.

To troll for Dolphin and Billfish without riggers (figuring you are on a smaller boat) follow these steps:

  Trolling 6 lines

1. Fish one line WFB (around 200 feet back) and I would use: Steel Head, Smoker, Smoker Jr, Dart, Mini
    Tuna Dart, or a Cone Head. If there are heavy weeds I would use the MTD or the Steel Head. You may wish to
    Fish this off of your T-top if you have one, BUT, I usually fish it from my leaning post which is elevated only around
    20 inches higher than my gunnels. I have the best luck with a MTD or Steel Head!
2. Fish two (left & right) long flat lines between 60 and 70 feet back. Fish them the same distance back so that
    they will not tangle on tight turns. I will use a number of different lures depending on what I am looking to 
    catch, the conditions, etc. I will fish these from my two forward rod holders which are angled outward at 45
    degrees. This is also the position I might fish Ballyhoo from if I am using bait.
3. Fish two short flat lines (left & right) around forty five feet back and keep them at the same distance also so they
    will not tangle. These will usually be Daisy Chains.
4. Fish a very short flat line around thirty feet back right down the center and fish this out of a leaning post rod
    holder (assuming you have one). This will usually be a Daisy Chain but may also be a Steel Head, Smoker Jr,
    Tuna Bandit, or a Marlin Lure.


Now you are fishing 6 lines without chance of tangling from a small boat without the use of outriggers and if you are fishing all lures your chance of missing a strike will minimize greatly as there is no chance a fish will grab one at the tail biting it off and leaving. Chances are he will stay and eat until the hook finds its way into the fish's mouth.

 

Trolling 5 lines

1. Fish one line WFB (around 200 feet back) and I would use: Steel Head, Smoker, Smoker Jr, Dart, Mini
    Tuna Dart, or a Cone Head. If there are heavy weeds I would use the MTD or the Steel Head. You may wish to
    Fish this off of your T-top if you have one, BUT, I usually fish it from my leaning post which is elevated only around
    20 inches higher than my gunnels. I have the best luck with a MTD or Steel Head!
2. Fish one center flat line between 60 and 70 feet back. I will use a number of different lures depending on what I am looking to
    catch, the conditions, etc. This is also the position I might fish Ballyhoo from if I am using bait.
3. Fish two short flat lines (left & right) around forty five feet back and keep them at the same distance also so they
    will not tangle. These will usually be Daisy Chains.
4. Fish a very short flat line around thirty feet back right down the center and fish this out of a leaning post rod
    holder (assuming you have one). This will usually be a Daisy Chain but may also be a Steel Head, Smoker Jr,
    Tuna Bandit, or a Marlin Lure.

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