Trolling lures


One of the most effective applications for swimming plugs is trolling, which is something of a lost art. It works both inshore or along the beaches, where it’s fun and effective for a large variety of fish. As a general rule, when trolling, select a lure and trolling speed that allows you to get to the strike zone without hanging bottom. Obviously the faster you go, the deeper a big-lip plug will dive, but at some point the lure is moving too fast for fish to catch it. Most anglers prefer to troll at 2 to 4 knots on inshore waters.

Plugs with small lips will swim anywhere from three to ten feet down. If you’re trolling for grouper or trout along a channel edge in 10 feet of water, you can slow your speed an get the lure to swim seven or eight feet down, putting it right above bottom and directly in front of fish. When seeking big redfish in the inlets, the water will be deeper, so a swimming plug with a big lip works better. For chasing stripers and jumbo blues off the beach, the big lips that dive 20 feet or more are the best.