Jump to content

Trolling Bag Size Recommendation


Recommended Posts

Just got a new 22 ft. pontoon with a 115 hp motor, and I think I will need to slow down the troll speed using a trolling bag, also known as a drift sock or drift bag.  I don't know what size to get.  I think the slowest I can go now is about 2.5 - 3.0 mph on the Finger Lakes.  Would like to get down to about 1.0 - 2.0 mph.  Is it better to go with 2 smaller bags, or 1 large bag?  With 2 bags, there's one more obstacle in the water to deal with, plus added cost, but that's ok I guess.  What size should I go with for each of these options?  Thanks for your help.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are tons of pontoons trolling on Otisco and I'm not sure I know if one that needs bags.  I would definitely be looking for a trolling motor and with that you should be able to get your speed right and have boat control while running lines.  If you are any bit serious get a 36v unit.  24v is marginal on that size boat and what I started with.  I was one of the first to setup a pontoon for trolling and for small water there's nothing better.  Also I would put the batteries right under the tm as you will want weight up front.  If you don't have enough weight the wind will push you all over compared to a boat weighted properly for trolling. I made a battery box, mounted it on the deck, and mounted the tm on the box.  the box also has the on board charger inside and a shutoff switch.  I use my talon as a drift sock if it's really windy and fighting fish often.  I'm planning on adding a couple tractor suitcase weights under the front deck this year as well because on the windiest days I fish I'd like more control.  Also adding a bigger keel to your tm helps.

KIMG0087.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Justin.  I guess that another option would be one of those trolling plates (Happy Troller, Easy Troll, Trol-A-Matic, etc) mounted to the motor's anti-cavitation plate.  Not sure if you or anyone else has thoughts on one of these.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 20' Robalo center console and I troll with 2 bags and they work great.  You can call Amish Outfitters and tell them what you have and they'll recommend the right size for you (1-800-473-1748).  I tried a spring loaded trolling plate and it worked fine for a while.  Then I was trying to control my boat when docking on a windy day and had to give it some gas in reverse.  The plate got sucked in and damaged my prop and ripped a chunk out of my cavitation plate (and the trolling plate went to the bottom of the lake).  That's when I decided it was bags or a kicker!  Obviously, bags are much cheaper.

I also agree with Justin, I had a pontoon set up for trolling for a lot of years and it was a great setup.  I just wanted to try something different.  I may go back to the pontoon at some point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Troll plates are fine as long as you remember to flip em up immediately after lines are out of the water.  Ive heard lots of horror stories and all are result of leaving them down when not trolling.  I do 1.6 to 1.9 when at an idle in flat conditions depending on how long it's been since a bottom wash and number of people.  In nearly all applications the trolling motor is used for speed adjustments and steering.  Cruise control is wonderful for a feeding troll pattern and for reaction bite trolling I like the fluctuations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is to go with Justin's recommendation for setting up a pontoon boat. If that is to pricey for you then go with bags till you can afford to do it right. I have a used large Happy Troller plate if you want to go in that direction but two 28" - 30" bags should work for you and you don't have to drill any holes in you boat.

 

PS: two bags will give better boat control in the wind than just your main engine will do but not as good as Justin's setup.

Edited by stinger
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my trolling bags.  Good investment.    I troll with a Yamaha 115hp 4-stroke on my 19'.   They work extremely well.  I own the 28" Amish outfitters bags.  I run once on each side while trolling.  I feel mine are prolly one size to big for my configuration but rpms stay high and i have a lot of control.  Bags can be run a variety of ways.  One off that back is also popular.    I hope this helps.

Edited by vogel451
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kickers are a good investment and it can also save wear and tear on your larger main engine. Trolling for extended periods on the big motor can load up the plugs and is less fuel efficient.. I use my 135 Optimax mainly for traveling back and forth and only  for trolling when extremely windy going against the wind. I can troll down to 1.8 or so with the Opti at 550 rpms if I have to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...