Have things changed that much? Have things changed that much? Have things changed that much? Have things changed that much?
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  1. #1

    Default Have things changed that much?

    Being an older fisherman on this site, I enjoy reading forums and I am impressed by the number of trolling forums. I began in the 80's as a mate on a strictly drift only boat, then a mate on several trolling boats before obtaining my captains license and running my own rig for about 15 years. Now my port was in the southeast Michigan area and most captains there had an opinion on their thoughts of trolling vs casting, and few did both. But needing to visit this wonderful port in Ohio where I often needed to go as it was the nearest Baha parts dealer in the area, I noticed a little stronger opinion when talking to captains there. Now if you dropped in and banged elbows talking about flinging some weight forward spinners, that was cool. But if you waltzed up to the conversation and said, aw no man, I'm a troller. Well... if you didn't (accidently of course) slip into the pond, you may have been shown where the bear takes a dump in the woods so to speak. So my question to any oldies like me, has things really changed around there???

  2. #2


    I remember back in the 70's everyone drift/cast fished. Hardly anyone trolled for walleye. You didn't need to. Limit catches were very common. That's when the limit was 10 fish a day. You would see hundreds of boats in a pak drifting. Then the walleye fishing went bad. I remember back in the mid to late 80's ( I think) we gave up on walleye and concentrated on perch and smallies. That's when trolling became more common. Out of necessity. Now today with all the great hatches we've had the walleye population is back and we are catching them drifting again. I will admit trolling is much more productive than drifting. But not nearly as fun. Take today. My brother-in-law and I started the day casting. We picked up half of our limit then the bite quite. We switched to trolling and picked up the rest of our limit. Just another great day on the lake.

  3. #3


    I have always trolled. From slow trolling with harnesses and F4 Flatfish to cranks and spoons. Bought my first walleye boat in 1980 and started "longlining" crankbaits with great success. In 1981 I found plans for redwood planer boards and a crude mast in a magazine. Can't remember which one. If I could I would have it bronzed. In 81, you got some weird looks pulling boards and I used them everywhere for everything but walleye is where they most valuable. For me, the fishing from the early 80's to early 90's was better than it is now. It didn't matter where you went. Throw the gear over the side, pick a direction, and catch until you were limited (10 fish). Been some peaks and valleys since and fishing is good right now and for the near future.

    IMO the change from drifting to trolling has a lot to do with small board technology for small boats. The trend now seems to be in 16' to20' aluminum boats with limited space. Small boards allow you to run 3 rods per side a couple dipseys and maybe a center board with a bottom bouncer. This gets a max rod count for three people and is very manageable and most importantly way more efficient. You can cover more water and have more baits at different levels in the water column "hunting" for active fish. Small boards are also much cheaper to run. No mast, no dozens of releases, no big boards, clip catchers, snubbers, on and on.

    This old fart is way to set in my ways. Been pulling big boards for 40 years and will continue until I can't set a rod anymore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016


    Fished alot with dad back in the 80&90s ,we did alot of casting weight forwards and gold nuggets ,produced slot of fish ,now seems like trolling is the new gig .still produce fish and fun figuring the bite out

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