How To: No Outrigger Trolling Spread #504

Outriggers work great for setting up a traditional trolling spread! But lets be honest, outriggers can be a pain to deal with. Especially if you’re sole experienced angler or fishing in rougher conditions. That’s where our No Outrigger Tuna Trolling Spread comes into play! We want to simplify the game for anglers, and this trolling spread does just that!

Gear Breakdown

You don’t need much to get started with this No Outrigger Trolling spread. A handful of light-tackle trolling rods rigged up with Hogy Directional Bird Bars and your ready to troll!

  • Rods: 3-4 light-tackle trolling rods
  • Reels: Conventional reels
    • Capt. Mike uses the Avet LX6 2-Speed
  • Line: 65lb Braid
  • Top Shot Leader: 65lb Mono
  • The Spread: 3-4 Hogy Directional Bird Bars
    • (1) Starboard, (1) Port, (1-2) Center Line

The Bird Bars

You will need 3-4 Directional Bird Bars to fish this spread. We recommend a four rod spread, but three rods will also work.

Center Line

This is your center line bird bar. It will be positioned directly behind your boat. If you are fishing two of these in your trolling spread then it is a good idea to stagger the distance between them. We recommend fishing one in close near the wash of your boat, and the other one a bit further out. This way you make sure that you are maximizing the surface area of your spread.

Port Directional

This is your port side bird bar. We made sure to color coordinate each directional bird bar so you don’t get confused when setting up your spread. The port side bird bar is a redish pink color, similar to that of port wine. So think “Port wine” for the “Port side”.

Starboard Directional

This is your starboard side bird bar. This bird bar will track out to the starboard side of your boat due to the fixed directional wings featured on the bird itself. All of our directional bird bars are self-righting, so even if you let out any part of your spread upside down, it will correct itself automatically. All of our bird bars also float, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your spread if you come to a stop to fight a fish or for any other reason.

The Setup

Now that you know what gear you need, it’s time to setup your spread and start fishing! This can be done in 3-4 quick and easy steps

  1. First let out your Center Line Bird Bars. If you are running a 4 rod spread, let out two of these bird bars. It’s a good idea to stagger the lengths of these two bars to cover more water. I prefer to keep one closer towards the wash, and one farther out.
  2. Next, let out either your Port or Starboard Bird Bar. Each directional bird bar is color coordinated so you know which side of your boat to let it out on. The Port side is a redish/pink color, think “port wine” color for the “port side”!
  3. Let out the opposing directional bird bar. Again, try and stagger the length of these two lines, you want to cover as much water as possible. You are now trolling and ready to fish!

No Outrigger Trolling Approach

The name of the game with this spread, along with any type of trolling is focussing on the life. Keep you eyes peeled for birds, whales, bait, and of course tuna. You’ll want stay as close as possible to all this life to enhance the likelihood of a fish seeing your spread.

Don’t be afraid to use your electronics to your advantage. If you see fish down deeper, or a cluster on your side scan you can try and “tease” them into your spread by imparting a little action your bird bars. This can be done by simply cranking a bar in a few feet or picking up the rod and giving the bar a bit more action.

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