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Thread: Trolling skill vs client skill

  1. #1
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    Trolling skill vs client skill

    I'm not into trolling much. Not that there is anything wrong with it where it's legal. I would not say it's an easy thing to do either if you are doing it right. And there is no question that it does put numbers of fish in the boat as well as pigs.

    But I do have a question for those that do it and are successful at it. How much on a percentage basis would you say that it is the knowledge of the guide (rod placement, use of boards, feet of line out, lure choice, trolling speed, bait depth, areas to troll....) and the cooperation of the fish that particular day versus the skill of the actual angler in the boat paying for the trip that reels the fish in? Is it 97% guide skill combined with fish cooperation and 3% actual angler skill??? 90/10? 80/20?

    For me I enjoy the one on one challenge of casting trying to trick a fish into eating a piece of wood with hooks on it. I love seeing fish react and take those big swipes at baits. Even when they miss it brings a smile to my face (sometimes followed by cussing if it was a big fish!!!) I love the feeling of that savage, crunching strike that you only get casting baits. But that is just my opinion and is why I fish for these fish. Good hunting!!!!

  2. #2
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    90% guide
    10% client

    Why don't you and a few buddies try some flat line trolling with the rod in hand? You still feel them eat it, and you have a nice long fight in most cases.

  3. #3
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    OCONESOX,

    I have done that, but the majority of my fishing is done on a very stumpy flowage where casting is the better choice unless you want to spend a lot of time bumping stumps and using the lure retriever!!! On areas of big weed flats and working the weed edge, it does for sure have merit. I just don't have that structure. I have small patches of weeds surrounded by stumps for the most part. I'm talking about a flowage where running into stumps in 15-20 feet of water can happen if you don't know the water well. Thanks for the reply!!!

  4. #4
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    I can think of a few reasons to hire a guide, and none of them has to do with application of your skill ability/level.

    Reasons to hire a guide:
    1. A one off trip on which someone just wants to catch a fish.
    2. To learn something about a piece of water you plan to fish.
    3. To learn how to improve your own skills, be it casting, trolling, presentation, identifying 'fishy' areas, etc.



  5. #5
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    99% guide
    1% client

    I know this sounds like a big jab to the clients out there but hear me out.

    I have had hundreds of people in the back of my row troller over the last 20 years. Most of those people have ZERO fishing experience. They are friends of friends or family or business associates that have seen pictures or heard stories and wanted to catch a musky with me.

    They sit in the back of the boat and enjoy the ride until a rod doubles over and then If I do everything right they pretty much cant loose the fish even if they try.

    I love the fact I can give this thrill to people and that they dont need to have any experience to catch what to them is in most cases a fish of a lifetime.

    Over the years some of these people have gone on to actually become fishing enthusiasts but most just put the picture up on thier wall and have it as a keepsake of that one trip.

    I have always felt that musky fishing has a factor to it that excludes the less then able from really contacting and catching one. the fact that you can troll and catch one in some ways corrects that.

    Thom

  6. #6
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    I would agree with the 99% to 1%. Trolling is about location, speed, and lure selection. Once these are dailed in, anyone can pick the rod up when it bends over.

    Jed V.

  7. #7
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    Catching one casting with a guide:
    75%guide 25%client

    catching one trolling with a guide:
    75%guide 25%client

    It's ridiculous to assume a percent of the credit, but in my mind, you are getting to cast to the guides spots, with his knowledge of recent patterns, in his boat and with his direction.

    Although it feels like more of an achievement to catch one casting, most do not give the proper credit to the guide for THOSE fish verses trolling.

  8. #8
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    Hard to answer that one, I suppose it differs with the people involved.

    We troll a lot in Canada and I always explain my rational to my partners, why we are fishing there when we do, what the parameters are as far as thermocline, bait fish, visibility, why we are trolling at the speed we are and I make sure they have full access to the graph. They pick the lures they want to run, the amount of line out, whether or not to pump the rod or whatever. Often they kick my butt doing this. Always friendly competition and we share all the info eventually after a catch.

    It is my spot, my boat, my skills at boat control, and my call as to when we move. It is their knowledge of lures, running depths, colors and how to fight the fish that puts them in the boat for them. I don't see it as one person deserving the lion's share of the credit for a catch, it's more of a team effort. But then again, I'm not a guide with a paid client either, just a fisherman having fun with his friends.

  9. #9
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    >Catching one casting with a guide:
    >75%guide 25%client
    >
    >catching one trolling with a guide:
    >75%guide 25%client

    I can almost agree with those numbers. I think the clients need a little more credit and sometimes it's just their luck and not skill.

    I have a client that catches big fish every time he comes up, 5 years in a row he's caught in order 56, 50.5, 54, 50, 53.5 even though last year he was here for only 2 days vs 6 the previous years. I must also mention we were fishing early November and the fishing was tough every time with small numbers.

    I have another client that even though he's caught 55, 52 and 50 inchers the year he got the 50 he lost a 52 + boatside the day before and the year he got the 55 he lost one the same size a few days before on the same spot and lost another one at least 53 a few days later boatside again.

    One guys got a horseshoe always gets a big fish and never loses fish while the other loses half his big fish even though all were caught trolling. And I may ad the lucky guy has a lot less experience muskie fishing as the not so lucky guy is in his 60's lives on a class A lake in WI and been fishing muskies all his life.

    So even though the guide drives the boat the angler still has to fight the fish and get it the net.

    We can also compare guided fish to anyone fishing in another's boat it's the same deal no? Only difference your buddy only wants gas $$$.

    Keep releasing them all
    Richard Collin
    www.trophymuskiecharters.com

    Catch and release them all
    Richard Collin
    http://www.trophymuskiecharters.com

  10. #10
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    RE: Trolling skill vs client skill

    The guy controlling the boat has LOCATION + PRESENTATION +KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAKE turn that over to the client and your in for a very long day!Different day different way, may sound like hog wash, but sometimes letting out 2 more feet of line can make a big difference sometimes going from 2.5 mph to 4 can make a huge difference.Sometimes going from 4mph to 1.5 is what gets the rip again credit to the person running the boat.Let the clients, run the boat set the lines and let the boat operator, sit in his chair and drink coffee when he gets back in the drivers seat is when youll see sucess!Trolling isnt just running down points and reefs all day its an art.I left a spot this year,I was done SPENT, so to speak heading for the dock 2 miles away and turned the boat around my nephew, looked at me, like I was crazy, we had been on the lake 8 hours with only 1 dink.Got hit in the head, with I wasnt trolling fast enough we caught and released 3 fish between 35-42 inches within 15 minutes.I wont troll this time of year, so all I can do is talk about it but come fall its Deer in the am, and Musky in the afternoon! O.S

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