Lake Dartmouth is a gem! It’s very scenic, full of trout and a long way from the mayhem of Melbourne.
Springtime trolling at Dartmouth is a ritual for my family and friends.
Here are 5 tips for doing better:
- Go deep – a downrigger if you’ve got one. A paravane will suffice. We catch lots of brown trout around 30ft down and most often trolling over the top of submerged tree tops. Going deep avoids the need to flat-line early and late, making the very most of daytime hours.
- Mark spots – landed a fish or had a knock? Hit ‘mark’ on your sounder. Every time! We’ve had great success over the years by repeating trolling runs. One fish turns into two and then three. Marking spots also enables you to leave the area for a few hours and return later for another go, feeling 100% confident about your location.
- Use the wind – wind at your back or going headlong into the breeze? It can make a big difference to boat speed and the action of your lures. Try both and record what works. We’ve had sessions where we’ve actually driven to the end of a ‘run’ to troll it one particular way because it’s produced 80% more fish.
- Embrace bait – a dirty word to some, but trolling with bait is fun. And it works! A single worm behind a winged lure at 30ft or a bunch of worms behind Ford Fenders. Both good options. We’ve downrigged worms too, attaching Fenders to the bomb so a hooked fish is unencumbered.
- Love the electric – Slow trolling is fun and more peaceful with an electric. If we’re using Fenders with bait, it’s always done with a bow mount electric for ultimate control. Get those Fenders thumping over rhythmically, then sit back and enjoy the scenery!