What’s the best trolling direction and how do you find it? In this article we will discuss how we find it as well as how we know when we do. The right direction of troll is perhaps one of the most important ingredients of a successful outing while trolling on Lake Ontario.
Eliminate The Crabbing
When we first set up on a charter fishing trip, the first thing we usually do is to either troll into or with the prevailing wave direction. On our end of Lake Ontario, nine times out of ten it will be north west or west. Once the riggers are in, downrigger cable angle must be observed. Ideally, cables should be angled perpendicular to the stern for the best trolling direction. If they are off angled to port or starboard, you are crabbing! We then adjust the trolling direction to eliminate the crab if possible.
If your rods start popping, then you know you’re doing it right. Problem is, most times, you can only troll in one direction for a limited amount of time. A few reasons include running into other boats, running out of the fish’s preferred water depth, or losing preferred water temperature. There may also be sudden current changes that introduce crabbing.
Running Out of Fish
Once you stop getting bit, we call it running out of fish, it’s time to turn the boat. The kicker is that the opposite direction most times will cause crabbing. So a complete 180 degree turn is not always the right answer. Watching your cables or a shoot rod after the turn is completed will tell you if its the right thing to do. You usually have to keep adjusting trolling angle to find the best direction of troll. A typical morning for us when on a north west troll after we run out of fish is to turn south to eliminate the crab, not south east.
The Final Direction
As Stated before, the fish will let you know if you’re doing it right. Getting bites is always the key. Often we find that one direction will be the best trolling direction and outperform all others. Again, the fish will tell you. On a side note, did you ever notice that you mark all kinds of fish going one direction but when you turn around they are gone? We have, too! Perhaps another indication that your trolling in the right direction is when you’re marking them on your graph.
You may also like to check out some of our previous articles such as https://acecharters.com/blog/find-fish-on-lake-ontario/ Another Boat Trolling Trick Maintaining Speed In Rough Water