Shallow Water Trolling Mistakes That Cost You Fish
Note: This blog post on Shallow Water Trolling Mistakes was originally posted on June 18, 2022, but we’re sharing it with you again so you can avoid making these same mistakes this fall. Oh, and be sure to check out all of the HELPFUL comments below this article!
Stop committing these shallow water trolling mistakes out on the water!
Trolling motor mistakes are major reasons why anglers lose out on tons of fish, especially in shallow water.
Learn how you can fix these errors and catch more fish right here!!
Shallow Water Trolling Mistakes [VIDEO]
If you aren’t making the proper adjustments to your trolling motor, you risk missing out on tons of fish up in the shallows.
For this demonstration, the trolling motor I have is a Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive (55lbs, 48″ shaft).
Mistake #1 – Depth Adjustments
The biggest mistake most commonly made by anglers is that they don’t adjust the depth at which the trolling motor is sitting.
You need to adjust the depth of your trolling motor to accommodate the depth you are fishing.
This takes a bit of playing around to get the depth just right for where you are fishing.
The objective is to have your trolling motor and its propeller just below the surface of the water.
It is critical that the prop remains under the surface and does not make a bunch of noise.
You want to have the motor as high up in the water as possible without it cavitating or creating unwanted noise.
Also, you can then get as shallow as possible without worrying about hitting or dragging the bottom.
In addition, you also should take into account the draft of your boat.
You can only go as shallow as your boat can go.
Mistake #2 – Adjust Speed Too Often
Another major mistake that is commonly made is starting and stopping the motor quite often.
If you start the trolling motor at a very high speed, you’re creating lots of unwanted disturbances in the water.
Sudden bursts in the water can easily spook fish in the shallows.
If you are stopped, be sure to turn the speed down to zero before proceeding and moving.
Then gradually increase your speed.
Mistake #3 – Moving Too Fast In The Shallows
Do not fall into the trap of moving too fast in the shallows!
You risk bumping into things you can’t see below you and you risk scaring off potentially hungry fish.
To avoid this, try keeping your trolling motor set to one standard speed.
You want to sort of crawl and not move too fast or you will miss fish.
On the flip side, you don’t want to go too slow and miss out on further spots of interest down the shoreline.
Also, when you have your trolling motor on lower speeds, you can get away with stops and starts on the water.
If you have your trolling motor set as high up as it possibly can, you do want to remain cautious of incoming waves or heavy winds.
Before those wakes and wind come through, you should turn the trolling motor prop off in case it breaches the surface.
That is an easy way to make noise and completely blow out an area with fish.
Moreover, it is also incredibly important to take weight distribution into account.
If you have your trolling motor set as high as possible and you then walk to the back of your boat, it will affect the depth positioning of the trolling motor prop.
This is critical to keep in mind when you are out on the water.
On the other hand, if you are fishing in slightly deeper water, it can be a good idea to have your motor set to a slightly lower depth.
That way you can avoid constantly readjusting it if boats or wakes pass by.
You won’t have to worry about bottoming out in deeper water.
The biggest takeaway here is to adjust your trolling motor in order to get the absolute most out of its use.
You would be surprised how shallow you can get with a trolling motor and remain super stealthy.
Just always pay attention to what is below you and out in front of you because the last thing you want is your trolling motor getting caught in bottom structure.
Do you have any more questions about trolling motors or how to correct these common mistakes?
Let me know your thoughts down below!!
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