Planning a fishing trip on a large body of water like Lake Superior can be a bit intimidating for inexperienced anglers. With so much water to explore, finding fish can feel like a daunting task. But there is one technique: open water trolling.
Open water trolling allows anglers the ability to cover large amounts of water while searching for fish. Trolling methods have been used for decades with great success for almost all types of game fish. Not a whole lot of equipment is needed to get out and troll, other than a boat, but investing in a quality trolling mast can make your fishing trips go a lot smoother.
In bodies of water like Lake Superior you are allowed three lines per angler and the mast system allows you to spread out multiple lines and fish different water depths easily. The trick here is the mast system runs two tow lines (one off the left and one off the right side of the boat) and you can attach your fishing lines to these dragging them away from the back of the boat.
Trolling masts do not look sophisticated in their general construction (basically a set of reels and pullies), but the functionality it adds to your fishing arsenal is amazing. To be specific, adding a mast to your boat allows you to control the width (and depth to some point) of your lure presentation. This is especially effective when fishing for skittish game fish or when the fish are near the surface and flat lining can be used. Depending on the height of the mast you decide on, the tow lines can be stretched out as far as 100 feet from the sides of your boat. The mast is also a great way for organizing lines and can result in less line tangles as you reel in fish.
Just remember, if you decide on purchasing a mast for your fishing boat, the size and where you install it makes a huge difference with boat and line control. One important point to remember is the taller your mast is, the greater distance your tow lines will travel from the sides of your boat. Secondly, the farther forward you mount the mast toward the bow, the less distance your planers will travel behind your transom.
Trolling with a mast system allows you to cover a lot of water with varying presentations resulting in increased odds of finding the fish. With not a lot of start up costs, this can expand your fishing opportunities.