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This topic and my answer to it taken from another board. Capt. Dan.

The last year or two I have started exprimenting with faster trolling speeds on both winnebago and green bay all year long. Sometimes upwards of 4 mph. I am thinking that this has been succesful for me for a few reasons. 1-i am covering more water and presenting my bait to more fish. 2- when I get a few fish these fish are generally very active since they are willing to eat a bait cruzin at 3 or 4 mph. 3- Its a reaction strike and the fish thinks that it has to eat that bait now or it will lose its oppertunity to eat. I would appreciate anybodys thoughts or opinions on this subject.

Brad Korth


In the summers of 2000/2001, during what was considered two bad year class's of fish for us on Saginaw Bay, I was having what was considered by many at my Marina as a couple of very lucky seasons. Just four pictures of the many I have is posted below, with one of them being a double 6 man charter and the most fish I ever kept (57) in one day. Forgive the quality as they were scanned. My charter catches those summers averaged 17 fish per trip and many were real dandys. My crankbaits of choice back then were 1/4 ounce tots in a variety of colors. But my fellow marina mates thought I was holding back key information of some type. But I was (I thought) sharing everything I was doing, much like I do here daily.

In the fall of 1999 I bought a new LMS 350 "A" Fish Finder and a new Raymarine GPS for my boat. I liked the way I could enlarge the speed, temp and other things I wanted to see from anywhere on the boat on the graph, while enjoying the excellent, large, refined depths and contour views of the Bay that the Raymarine and the C-Nav/chip/map/whatever feature gave me in Plotter mode.

So one day my bud asks if he can fallows me out to see what I'm doing different. Sure I said just hang back behind me out of the way some. I give him my trolling speed and we start fishing. Long story short I called him twice on the radio because he was hanging so far back we alomost lost each other several times. And all this time I was pulling fish while he was only getting one here and there. He finally pulled lines, caught up with me and started running even with me with his big motor. He calls me on the radio and says do you know how fast your trolling? I say ya, right now about 1.8MPH. B.S. he says, look at your GPS speed. Well, that was never easy on the Raymarine, as it was so tiny I had to squint to see it. It said 3.5MPH. :gasp: And there were days I'd kick up the graph speed read out to 2.2 before the fish would go. That must have been approaching Marlin Trolling speeds on the cranks. Yet for some reason I never noticed.

That same year I caught a walleye that was tagged in Lake Erie, in the relativley shallow waters I was having all this "luck" in, which would be considered the extreme S.E. corner of Saginaw Bay. Then almost a year later, I read in our DNR's Fall Trawlings Survey that our waters attracted a bunch of Lake Erie and Lake St.Claire walleyes those 2 summers because of our unusual abundance of baitfish during those 2 seasons. So both the competition for, and the feeding frenzys created because of these added new, hungry aggressive arrivals, could do nothing but reinforce the speed troll factor. ;)





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Good thread Dan.

We had similar success fast trolling salmon. My bros and I were fishing a tourney out of Harrisville when a friend told us to slow down. We just finished our radio chat and we were into a double. Needless to say he picked up the pace. We used to joke, "If the canon balls come out of the water we will slow down a tad". Fast trolling is a gr8 tactic when your searching, and sometimes that's the only way they will strike. We try and vary the speed and see what they want.:)

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I'm thinking the "reaction strike" had a lot to do with my success during those 2 years. And gunning and stalling the trolling motor has also put a lot of fish in my boat these last couple of years. All these fish back then had heavy layers of fat on them and with the over abundance of baitfish during those 2 summers, the walleyes could forage quit easily, efficiently and at their own leisure. This would shorten their aggressive feeding windows and your opportunity to catch them, especially if you were trolling at a slow speed making your own offering look much the same as all the other real ones, during times when they were not actively feeding. So I visualize all these fish just swimming slowly around fallowing and staying near their prey until that undisclosed feeding time arrived. Then here comes this school of hyper minnows pushing or sparking their feeding buttons.

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I spent several years trolling at 1-1.5 mph with sorry results! After some time I noticed that when we would take a fish (walleye) it was 2mph or more. My fishing partner was whining to slow down we would catch more fish. It is what I have always heard too. But now I do about 2mph or more and often catch my limit or close to it nearly every time I went out.

That was two years ago the best fishing season I ever had! (Caught 98 Lake Erie) Didn’t get out much last year and when I did the weather was not in my favor.

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