Trolling with the SonarPhone
Though I had spent most of the summer months using it, I still hadn't actually used my SonarPhone T-Pod bobber from Vexilar for my intended purpose when I purchased it and that was for trolling. By that, I mean using cranks, lindy rigs, bottom bouncers, or other means that didn't involve any casting as I've done most of the summer.
With the bite still hard across the region, I decided it was time to actually do it. I picked Sheridan Lake, where I'd done some trolling last summer, sans SonarPhone, and had some success as the place to try it.
I rigged up some Northland Tackle pre-made leaders and Bait Image blades with Lindy rig style sinkers onto a pair of trolling rods and made sure both the spare phone I use with the T-Pod as well as the T-Pod itself were fully charged before I left.
With two rod mounts and a small transom trolling motor, my pontoon has an ideal set-up for trolling in a small craft. I can cover a good amount of water and area with it and with the T-Pod, I can better tell the depths and structure below me and adjust accordingly.
With the fish being deeper still due to the water temps being in the high 60s, I decided when I launched to concentrate on depths of 15 to 20 feet and see what happened.
Trolling along in the bay, I watched my phone as depth and structure changed periodically and adjusted my lines and direction as needed. After passing over a weedbed that looked promising, one of the rods suddenly snapped back and starting shaking.
I stopped the motor quickly and grabbed the rod from behind me and started reeling in. One quick surface breach a few seconds later showed it was a good sized rainbow trout. After hauling it in, getting a quick pic, and then releasing it, I had to readjust the line on the other rod as the trout had pulled me a little ways after I'd stopped the motor. It's always funny to see how far a good size fish can pull me in the pontoon when the anchor isn't down.
I trolled along the shorelines the rest of the morning and managed to catch a few more small trout and crappies before heading back to town. Being able to see structure and maintain a consistent depth were key in what fish I did find.
Without the T-Pod, seeing these wouldn't have been possible. While the fishing was by no means on fire, what I did catch I attributed to the device and the information that it provided me. We fishermen and women love technology, especially when it helps put more fish on the end of the line.
Vexilar is certainly leading the way in helping those of us with smaller boats find fish and structure in the most mobile way possible. It's a great device to have with me on the pontoon and I'll be looking forward to using it more in this manner in the future and hopefully conditions will improve as fall approaches. Here's hoping for the return of cooler weather and a great fall bite.