John's Journal...

Trolling Successfully for Bass

Day 1: Trolling for Bass by Bottom Walking with Jack Wingate

Editor’s Note: If you’re a professional bass tournament angler, stop reading. The following killer bass-fishing method is not for you.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewForget for a few moments the tactics that professional bass anglers tout for catching prized largemouths and smallmouths. There is one method they can’t endorse, mainly because it’s off-limits to the pros. And it very well may be the most-effective way to take bass. Trolling is a method so effective that it’s been banned by most professional bass tournament organizations. So, that leaves us amateurs to capitalize on this simple, yet sure-fire method of hooking lunkers nearly every time out.

The late Jack Wingate, nationally-known bass-fishing guide on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, Georgia, at Lunker Lodge for many years and inductee into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, told me, “I encourage all my clients to troll, because trolling consistently produces more bass than casting and retrieving does.” Regardless of age or skill level, fishermen can catch bass on most days they troll.” Wingate trolls artificial lures for bass. However, trolling is just as effective for live-bait fishermen.

Bottom Walking:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewA highly-productive trolling tactic for bass involves a trolling rig such as the Gapen Bait-Walker, which is simply a piece of lead attached to two spinnerbait-like wires. The bottom wire holds the lead. On the top wire, a piece of leader about 2 feet in length is attached and a variety of lures can be used: a crankbait, a live bait, an in-line spinner or a jig. Slowly trolled, this rig keeps the bait near or on the bottom and in the bass’ strike zone. To fish higher-up off the bottom with the Bait-Walker rig, use a floater/diver type lure such as the Rebel Silver Minnow, Rapala Minnow, the Storm Wiggle Wart or any-similar crankbait. Using this rig, anglers can troll baits at almost any depth of water.

How to Bass Fish Like a ProHow to catch the Biggest and Most Bass in any LakeThese tactics are just a sample of what you’ll learn in the new Kindle eBooks, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” and “How to Catch the Biggest and Most Bass in Any Lake” by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Tomorrow: Trolling Points and Banks and Deep Trolling for Bass

Check back each day this week for more about "Trolling Successfully for Bass"

Day 1: Trolling for Bass by Bottom Walking with Jack Wingate
Day 2: Trolling Points and Banks and Deep Trolling for Bass
Day 3: Trolling Humps, Vegetation and Tailraces for Bass
Day 4: Selecting Your Trolling Speed and Belly Boating Ponds for Bass
Day 5: Trolling an Alabama Rig for Bassing Success

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Entry 684, Day 1