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Baltic silvers on trolling

Baltic silvers on trolling
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March and April is a very good time to fish for seatrout in the coastal sea waters. It can be caught from the shore, but the best results are achieved when you fish from the boat and troll your lures. Most of the times we hunt for active feeding fish, which are in excellent condition and beautifully coloured. So the method is not only effective, but also very exciting.

This time fish are caught in the water not exceeding 10 metres deep, which makes the use of downriggers unnecessary. But there are other useful inventions from over The Pond that we can use, such as trolling boards, so called planers. They are used to drag away your lures from the boat for a dozen or few dozens of metres, and thanks to that you can troll your lures aside from the wake created by your boat and rake a wide area of water.

Most of planers look like a piece of board, cut at the angle (side planer board) or the system of two (dual planer board) or three connected boards.

Side planer board

is the usual board, with the line going through, one side (in-line side planer), which is mounted straight to the line. After letting out your lure at the wanted distance, you just attach your line to the clips and release the planer out the board. On the tight line planer drags both the line and lure out of the board and the wake.

When fish takes, it removes the line from the clips and from that moment planer is no longer creating any drag or resistance, which allows you to fight the fish. The main advantage of single planers is that they are not large and can be used on any boat, even hired one, without the need of attaching any additional equipment to the boat. Unfortunately their main disadvantage is that we fight not only the fish but also the weight of the board on the line, which undoubtedly have an impact on our experience from the fight with the fish.

On larger boats, that I have a pleasure to use when hunting for Baltic seatrout, which are prepared for trolling, we use larger, dual planers.

Dual planers

What is their main advantage over the line – through planers, is the fact that they are released on their own lines. Just for this purpose there are reels installed on the mast placed on the bow or on the quarter-deck, which allows release and retrieve of the planer’s line.

We start our fishing with releasing planers. Depending on the sea state we let approximately 25 to 30 metres of line from the boat. Then we release the lures, starting from the rod closest to the bow. When our lures reached wanted distance we attached to the snap on the planers line a clips and fishing line is attached to the clips.

Following lines are set evenly, using all of the water between the planer and the board of the the boat.

That way three or even four rods can be used on each board. At this point I must highlight the limitation of rods per person placed by the regulations.

During the take

Fish removes the line from the clips and we start the fight with the fish. But the outboards engine should be left running, not to tangle the other sets. We can just slow our boat a little, but only as much as will allow us to stay on our course. If fish is not very large, we can attempt to land it without reeling all of other sets before, not all of them or just the closest ones.

If fish is large all of the sets should be retrieved as fast as possible. Only after it is done (and after downrigger, if used is removed) we can stop the boat. After landing the fish once again we are setting this rod as the closest to the boat and adjust the settings of other rods.

The clips is an extremely important part of the set, it’s main purpose is to release the line when fish takes. Regardless of the possibility of placing the line less or more inside the clips, normal clips have ability to adjust the strength of the grip. Some manufactures have them colour coded – the strongest ones are red.

Regardless of ability to set the rods with planers, it should be remembered that it is always worth to set the rods on the stern, to fish the wake. Sometimes this area will produce good results. But if we feel that our boat can spook the fish, we should use the shallow running lures on the planers, on the sides, and deep runners on the stern.

For seatrout and salmon trolling multiplier fitted rods are used, usually carbon – glass composites.

Trolling rods

are usually 2,55m long and 30lb line. They aren’t expensive. They are not for casting the lures, so their weight is not a big issue. Except for the fight with the fish they are placed in the rod holders. Handle is usually made from a very practical EVA foam. Such rods are hard to get on many markets, but wide variety is available in shops in Scandinavia and USA.


Their main characteristic is the deep, slow action, which makes fight with the fish easier and is obligatory when fishing with downrigger. What is more, such rods with deep parabolic action make the fight with the fish safer. Such rod “forgives” you a lot during the fight. It’s slow action enables you to keep the line tight even when after the fish took the rod is still in the rod holder. Some anglers even leave the rod in the holder till they are finished with reeling other sets.


When trolling for salmon or seatrout the best option is to use a multiplier with the line counter, with 250 to 300 metres of mono on it. The use of a braid is possible, but much more expensive and you should keep in mind, that it is easier to loose a fish on a braided line.


When fishing in the sea, when boat is twisted and turned by the waves, line tangles or even line caught by the engine propeller is a thing to accept. Even though majority of fish caught around the polish shores are within 2 to 4 kilos mark, I think that the use of 0,35mm mono line is the best choice for sea trolling.


take a really important places in my trolling sets. It is crucial to choose properly the action of the lure to the boat speed. Undoubtedly my number one of the best trolling lures for seatrouts is the STING made by Salmo. I catch few dozen seatrouts on this lure every spring. Few of them you can see on the photos presented here.

As the most universal model, I can recommend Sting in suspending version, 9cm long. It’s main advantage is the ability to keep wanted depth regardless of the boat moving or not. With many rods set up and with other kinds of lures (floating and sinking) the sum of the change of direction and slowing down or stopping the boat equals lines getting crossed. If the suspending lures are used, even if the boat is stopped lines are not getting crossed.

I wish myself, as well as Baltic seatrouts, that Stings are become liked by salmons the same way as by seatrouts. And I will not hesitate to report You that fact. Ones willing to exchange experiences about fishing for salmons in polish Baltic are welcome to contact me at: saibling@poczta.onet.pl


Marek Stryk




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