Lakecaster Online

White Bass Fishing
By John Plumb

Student becomes teacher Some time ago, I quit guiding. Burned out guides do not quit fishing however, as we all love to fish. The learning process never stops for me, and I like to pass along what I know, when I can. A good friend of mine, one Charles Nixon of Onalaska, has now moved to the teacher spot.

Chuck has fished all his life, everywhere he has been, using every known method to him. Like many people, he learned toward trolling as his method of fishing when on big water. It is an acceptable practice for some types of fishing, but usually it is practiced, when one does not know the waters, for the sake of locating fish. Personally, I think of it as a terrible waste of gasoline, and an excellent way of angering still fishers.

His fishing partner, Hollis Thornton, made mention that he wanted to troll. Chuck obliged, but it was short lived. I taught Chuck that driving the boat all day was a drag, and totally unnecessary. He agreed. He had no need to do that. I gave him all my GPS numbers so he could easily find productive spots without encroaching on other fisher's space. Pick a spot, go there, set up on it and fish. No fish, no problem. Repeat the process until one of the spots pays off.

He did troll to locate fish, but once located, the ignition was turned off, anchor put down, and real fishing commenced. His new fishing friend found out how deadly a Charlie Slab can be. With minor instruction both became busy campers quickly, and wound up with near limits in just a short time.

Where trolling may have produced the same results, it would have taken hours instead of 20 minutes. By the virtue of how it's done, trolling just takes too much time. It's terribly hard on a boat motor, and very time consuming. Make a pass, catch the fish, unhook it, turn the boat around and repeat the process. The guy sitting still has probably caught 6-7 fish while you were wrestling with the boat.

I do understand why some folks troll to locate fish. If you are unfamiliar with the area, it could save some time. I do not understand why folks troll through a bunch of boats, clearly catching fish with spoons, and sitting still and quiet. I can't think of a quicker way to get chewed out by the still fisherpersons.

What trollers have not learned is the fish will only bear so much intrusion before leaving. Running the motor through an active school will do it every time, thus angering everyone involved with that school Usually there will be other fishers present, and their rights are to be observed too.

Besides that, if trolling, especially in close quarters, someone has to stay at the helm, which usually eliminates the driver from fishing. Would it not be better for everyone to be able to fish? I think it would. Fishing is much more fun than herding a durned old boat all day.

Worse than that, you are ruining your motor. Constant slow speed causes excessive carbon build-up in your rigs, which causes premature engine failure. Outboard mechanics love you guys. It keeps them busy.
Some folks, when asked why they troll, say "because I don't know the structure. BUNK! They are driving the boat all over it, so how could they not know? They knew enough to get the boat there. Most have a depth/fish finder that goes beep, beep. How can they not know? The real visual lesson is all the boats sitting still catching fish.. Hummmm. Maybe I don't have to drive the boat to catch a fish. Right, you don't.

If you troll, take some slabs with you next time. When you get on some fish, bring her around and quietly anchor. Use the slab and have some fun yourself. You may be fairly amazed at the confidence you will gain by this process, and you won't be making everyone around you angry. Getting into arguments can ruin your day, OUT ON THE LAKE.

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