Troll Scanning for False Albacore
Notes: When you are drifting, your main focus – in addition to blind casting – is to study the above water life and watch the fish finder when you are cruising in between “sits.” I view troll scanning as taking this method to the next level in that you are seeing more water below the surface and the same amount of life above surface. Furthermore, you are effectively getting two uber-blind casts with the lures trolling behind the boat. Lastly, if you mark fish down deep, you have the ability to drop those lures to the targets and have anglers cast while the lures sink.
- When: I am a fan of troll scanning when the fish seem to get really scattered and there is no semblance of a pattern
- How: I know some people will question the engine noise and the easily spooked fish in this situation. I run a diesel engine boat and feel my engine noise is not an issue; the pitch is different and quieter. My RPMs are consistent but I also believe it to be important with gas or diesel engines. I think outboards but they are more likely to pick up and bury the throttle — hence the bad rep on spooking fish. I bet if anglers ran their outboards like diesels while cruising around, less spooking would occur.
- Variable depths: You want lures that will fish close to the surface on the troll but drop quickly when the boat is out of gear. For that reason, I like the Hogy Pro Tail Paddles series for the job. They have a lot of drag so they rise to the surface when trolling but they come in heavy weights up to 16oz, so they drop fast when out of gear .I will simply put (2) 6.5” Hogy Pro Tail Paddles way back and idle along, vectoring toward anything that looks juicy.
- Look for signs: I “break for any targets” when troll scanning around scattered pods.
- Flat line clips: I use flat line clips because it makes it easier to belt a cast off over the trolling lines. Otherwise, you’ll have to maneuver around line at a 60-degree angle with a 7’ rod tip.
- Cast on every stop: If you are stopping and dropping, chances are there’s a reason. If it’s good enough to stop, it’s good enough to blind cast.