With the success of last summer's experiments in trolling small Salmo Hornet crankbaits out of my pontoon, I decided to try it again and see if the numbers could be repeated. Armed with my trusty Sonarphone T-Pod sonar bobber to give me the depth and sonar feedback on my phone, my new Fortis net from Clam Outdoors, and some 2" floating Hornets, I trolled along at varying depths of 7' to 9' along and above weeds, keeping the 3' diving cranks in the middle to upper third of the water column.
Several rainbows were reeled in on the first couple of trips along the shorelines. I anchored in an area where I was having the most success trolling through and cast Northland Tackle's Buckshot Rattlin' spoons around and found much success as well.
Unlike last year, however, none of the bigger rainbows were around. Compared to the trips later last summer, the fish averaged 15"-16". But the bite was strong, and I could not complain. Casting gave me a break from the constant back twisting I must do when trolling two rods as well as test out my new reel, a Viper II in 1000 size from Piscifun matched with a St. Croix Triumph light action rod. They performed flawlessly, with long, accurate casting and a good drag when something ran on it.
Overall, it was a very good morning of catching fish on the Hornets and enjoying some time on the water. With the trouble I have been having finding fish, it was a welcome time to be outdoors. And as I have been saying many times over the last few months, any time outside is great right now. So be sure to enjoy it when you are outdoors. Maybe wet a line and try something different. These little Hornets are certainly worth trying out on panfish as well as trout. Might even tie into something bigger!