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Trolling worm harnesses?


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When I think worm harness, I think of setting up a drift with harnesses upwind on bouncers when deep or with splitshot when shallow, while I jig downwind.  I've never given much thought to actually trolling with them. All of my (limited) walleye trolling so far has been with sticks/cranks, and I've had some success when none of my drift tactics are working - or when the wind doesn't want to cooperate.

 

What I'd like to know, is if trolling with worm harnesses is something that folks do with any regularity and success.

 

I've only been chasing old marble-eyes for a few years and am still a novice. I used to chase those green carp (the bass guys call them largemouth), and I've decided that they don't offer anywhere near the challenge that walleye do.

 

Anyhow, I'm still learning and have some questions that I'm hoping some of you more experienced guys can answer,  just to get me pointed in the right direction with trolling harnesses. I'm not looking for your fishing spots, favorite color patterns, or any of the things that folks like to keep to themselves, rather just things to think about and things to try under different conditions when my favorite programs aren't cutting it.

 

First - do folks actually troll harnesses?

 

If you do, how do you rig them? (riggers, planers, copper, LC, bouncers, snap weights, etc)? 

Combinations of above (e.g. copper with in-line planers)

 

which is better for powered trolling: Colorado or Indiana style blades... or it doesn't matter? (I don't have any willow leaf)

 

What kind of speeds can they handle, or rather, do they perform well at?

 

Any help is much appreciated. if you feel the need, I'll even allow you to call me Grasshopper as you teach me about such things :)

 

Thanks gang.

Edited by jonboat
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General rule of thumb is based on water temp IMO. 50 deg is the number to determine what you want to put in the water. Under 50 seems as if they really prefer Stix and over 50 deg harnesses. This is not set in stone and depends on the body of water you are fishing. We troll harness on riggers and all different length lead cores off inline planer boards. And no matter what you are pulling slow speed is the key, usually 1.3 - 1.8 is most productive.

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I forgot to mention that if you are looking for different trolling tactics to put eyes in the boat, don't be scared to run spoons on riggers, divers, and lead core. And some days jet divers will out produce everything.

Edited by JakeyBaby
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1. Absolutely. Staple for me on Lake Erie. I troll harnesses 95% of the time.

2. You can fish off all the above. I love bottom bouncing with my electric but also fish off lead core, dipseys, jets, and riggers.

3. I use boards when fishing suspended eyes in open water.

4. Colorado, Indiana, willows, and hatchet. Every dog has his day. Mix of different sizes and colors depending on conditions. Colorado are better at slower speeds and willows when you turn it up a notch. Sometimes small blades, sometimes bigger blades with more thump.

Colorado typically .9-1.5. Willows for 1.6 to 2.2 or so.

Not sure what body of water your on. This is just what works on Erie for me.

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I fish Oneida mostly - get out a couple times/month during soft water season.

I hadn't even thought about spoons! I have a bunch of Stingers that I use for spring browns up on Ontario. Betting they're a good size for eyes too.

Sent from my E6782 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Harnesses work very well trolled on any of the above mentioned methods, but often times off target catch rates are so high they are tough too fish imo. Great tool but deep divers and spoons will let you cover more water while you are learning. Keep in mind I'm trolling suspended fish and depth control and covering water are the keys. My recommendation is figure how like to fish for them most and then master that. Tough to be really effective with multiple techniques unless you fish an insane amount....at least getting started. Maybe on Oneida....Where are you fishing? Some lakes give you a lot more options...

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Answered my question while i was typing. Check miss em's posts from Oneida. He does well trolling stingers off riggers and deep divers off boards together. Captain Jeff gives all the details in his post to get you started. I also use a very similar spread there but havent fished it as recently as he and others.

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I troll harness' all the time too. Best way to run them behind boards is with an offshore tackle tadpole. Look them up. They have an aggressive dive curve and run behind boards with very little pull. They are an absolute staple for me.

Scott

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I troll harness' all the time too. Best way to run them behind boards is with an offshore tackle tadpole. Look them up. They have an aggressive dive curve and run behind boards with very little pull. They are an absolute staple for me.

Scott

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Thank you! Had no idea off shore came out with these

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I troll harnesses on Oneida quite a bit. Early in the year (May/June) I think bottom bouncers work the best. This time of year I would focus higher in the water column and run harnesses off of those offshore tadpoles or snap weights. I troll them from 1.5 - 2.5 MPH, generally slower when running bottom bouncers and faster when running them suspended.

Edited by reeleyz
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I troll harness' all the time too. Best way to run them behind boards is with an offshore tackle tadpole. Look them up. They have an aggressive dive curve and run behind boards with very little pull. They are an absolute staple for me.

Ill Check them out thanks!

Scott

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