: Trolling speed for walleye crankbaits...

01-03-2002, 03:55 PM
Last season I was absolutely killing walleyes pulling Shad Raps at 1.5 mph. My results decreased as I went faster. Now I've heard that Mercury doesn't recommend their SmartGauge motors (mine is a 150 Opti) be trolled that slow because they are starving for gas. I have a 617 Ranger with no graceful way to mount a kicker. Soooooo....how fast can I troll successfully on a regular basis, and is there a crankbait that would work better than a Shad Rap for faster trolling? Thanks.
PS: This is trolling in MN, not on the great lakes, if that makes a difference.

01-03-2002, 04:02 PM
It really varies. This year the only way I could catch fish on a certain flowage was to troll shad raps at 3MPH. I rarely troll under 2MPH but have also done well around 1.8MPH trolling shad raps. but I would say 2MPH and up is a good average speed.

01-03-2002, 04:21 PM
As fast as she will run true. Reefrunners run good fast. Spinner W/livebait will run pretty good fast on leadcore.

A quote when asked how fast we should troll at the Glendo Get-Together, "I've been trolling too slow for walleyes my whole life." - Scott Golden, 2001

"Hunting 'eyes in the Three-O-Three"

01-03-2002, 04:50 PM

I use my front trolling motor for pulling raps. Works like a charm.

01-03-2002, 05:24 PM
Or if you need to go slower you could also put out drift socks. Just an idea

01-03-2002, 05:50 PM
Certainly Panther makes a Model 35 kicker mount for a 617. If memory serves it's a 35 LE. Doesn't get any more graceful than a Panther Mount.

01-04-2002, 07:05 AM
Dodge1. I troll a lot of extremely sharp dropoffs and use waypoint routes on my GPS to stay correctly positioned. The GPS is on the console, not the bow, so I'm a bit out of luck with the trolling motor. Otter

Marble Eyes
01-04-2002, 09:50 AM
I had real good luck running 1.5-2.5 mph GPS numbers.... using Hot-n-Tots and Husky Jerks. Actually I thought that If they were feeding the depth was more important than the speed. Atleast that is my opinion.

01-04-2002, 10:31 AM
I stick the trolling motor in, set the speed and steer at the helm. The big motor acts like a rudder. Works for me.

The Great Guide
01-04-2002, 11:50 AM
I troll #9 Shad Raps on Rainy Lake . 2.5 mhp on the GPS is the most effective speed.


01-04-2002, 03:42 PM

I have a Pinpoint 3700 which makes trolling the breaks a breeze. Now if I could only program it to follow GPS waypoints :)

01-04-2002, 04:18 PM
My brother and I troll quite a bit with stickbaits #11 and 13 raps, and we sometimes go as fast as 5 MPH. Doug Stange inspired it with a couple of his articles about speed. We hit them pretty well this fall with the water as cold as 39 degrees. At that speed the choice of CB that will run true is limited. The Rap sticks are the best, from what we've tried.-lb

01-04-2002, 08:00 PM
We were fishing a tournament once and this guy came flying past us numerous times like we had the anchor stuck in the mud. I made the joke that he must think the Muskie bite was going good right now. Well, you can guess who kicked tail and who's tail got kicked! Yep, he was pulling Hot-n-tots and Shad Raps as fast as he could and keep them running true. He won the Tournament and we all still couldn't believe he could catch fish at 4.5 to 5+ mph. He made us all re-evaluate our thinking of reaction strikes and how fast a walleye can really swim when it wants a bait. You can't pull'em fast enough to keep it away if they decide they want it.

01-06-2002, 04:55 AM
For those who troll fast, are you doing it right from the season opener or say from mid July and later?? Thanks.

"I fish cuz the voices in my head tell me to"

01-07-2002, 11:22 AM
I troll those Frenzy stick baits (perch pattern, deep divers) for walleyes up to 3.2 mph and do well. Whatever you use, run it alongside the boat at that speed first to see how it runs at that speed. Some lure blow out at 3mph--I can't run Reef Runners over 3.

01-07-2002, 01:15 PM
All of my life, I was told that I was "going too fast." Dad ingraned that in my head so I learned to go as slow as physically possible and still have boat control. This worked on occasion for smaller fish but I was not completely satisfied with the consistency.

One evening after fishing for a couple of hours at dusk and into the after dark hours, I decided that I had enough but would troll back to the landing. I had been trolling at about 1.6MPH for the evening but wanted to land the boat and get home. I cranked it up to about 3.5 to 4 MPH and within a couple seconds, WHAM! I nailed a 5lber. I set up again and WHAM, a 4Lber. This went on for several walleyes and when I got my limit of eaters, I realized that speed matters and a person should never get stuck at one speed.

After that, when it gets slow, I try different speeds until I find the one that triggers the fish. Usually 2MPH is the place that I start.

01-07-2002, 03:01 PM
I like to start at 2 mph no matter what time of the year. If we don't get bit, I slow to 1.5 range for a while. If that don't work, I like to keep bumping it up a couple tenths at a time until we're at 3.0 + mph and covering some water. I should note for you though that this is for cranks and not live bait. We vary rarely troll livebait rigs in my home water. It's a muddy off-colored lake and we are trying to give them something to zero in on with the vibration. Spinners just don't seem to work for people here. Due to these conditions, the Hot-n-tots usually work the best. They will run over a wide speed range and give off maximum vibration. Reefrunner line-up is much less forgiving above 2.5 mph. Shad Raps will run well at most any speed also.

01-07-2002, 04:25 PM
When are you walleye fishermen going to realize that speed kills.I've
been using a fish hawk for salmon for years and it tells me what the
speed of the lure is running instead of my boat.I've had dicussions
with captains of boats that hate trolling and know that is what you
have to do now to catch fish in the great lakes now.They all sort of catch their breath when I tell them I catch fish in both directions,
while they might catch them in one direction.I tell them that the fish
must be in one direction where their fishing.If you don't believe it
go with someone that has it on his boat and comes to depend on it.Oh
it also tells you where the thermocline is so you fish where the bait
fish are instead of all over the place.

Tight lines and heavy limits.

01-07-2002, 05:42 PM
You have made one of the most important statements there is on this post. Most do not understand that there is unique currents throughout the great lakes. You can view them on a weather page. These currents affect the way your lure runs. With a camera mounted on a rigger you can see a bait bairly move whan trolling with the current. Knowing the speed at the ball helps. I have studied my equitpment for the past twenty years and rely on resistance on rods and feel. For salmon on Ontario, speed at the ball is an absolute must for a full time angler to be successfull. Ontario has wicked currents. Erie is so, so, unless you are on structure,and that includes the trenches of Erie, PA.