Trolling is a method much used by inshore artisanal fisherman as the modern parlance likes to call them(Euro speak). In other words full time professional fishermen who use small boats handlining for mackerel, trolling for bass and pollack combined with a bit of potting and sometimes even a bit of netting.

I have no argument with these guys because they work hard and most of them that I know care about the fish and its environment as much as I do. What they do not do is waste time and effort fishing fancy rigs which might or might not catch fish and one of their prime methods of catching high value table fish is trolling. Their 18 foot open boats are usually fitted with a slow running small diesel which will idle the boat along all day on a few pints of fuel…ideal for this style of fishing.

For those of us who fish from our own angling boats using rod and line instead of the handlines so favoured by the pro’s, a real problem is spreading the lines so that the lures which can be 70 to 100 metres astern, do not tangle. Some anglers import lightweight trolling poles from America, others have short stainless steel tubes fitted to the roof of their cabin so the rods can protrude outboard for most of their length. We have found that the rod holders which clamp to the gunnel rails do the job superbly well, with the added advantage that they can be moved around to suit conditions on the day, besides which the "fish on" rod can be instantly attended to.

There are several different makers of these rodholders and not all of them are good…. If you intend to buy and fit several, try and get a sight and feel of them first. Go for the heaviest plastic available.

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