Trolling for Bluefish in Saltwater: A How-to Guide

downrigger for saltwater

Saltwater fishing for bluefish can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to know the right way to go about it if you want to be successful. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about trolling for bluefish in saltwater. From the best techniques to the right bait and lure to use, we’ll cover it all.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

What Is Trolling?

What the heck is trolling, you ask? Great question. Trolling is a technique used for catching fish that involves moving your bait through the water by pulling it behind you.

There are all sorts of ways to troll for bluefish, but in general, you’ll want to use a heavier tackle than you would for other types of fish. You’ll also need to use live bait, which can be a bit tricky if you’re not used to it.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular trolling techniques for bluefish.

What Kind of Fish Can You Catch With Trolling?

So you’ve decided to try trolling for bluefish in saltwater? Great choice! This is a fun and productive way to catch these speedy fish.

But what kind of fish can you expect to catch? Well, bluefish are the primary target, but you can also hook striped bass, flounder, and black drum. Not too shabby, right?

The best way to troll for these fish is by using a spinner rig with a feather teaser. You’ll also need a good supply of fresh bait, like bunker or mullet. And don’t forget your sunscreen—you’re going to be out on the water for a while!

The Best Time to Troll for Bluefish

The best time to troll for bluefish is early morning or late afternoon. You’ll have the most success if you troll in areas where there are lots of baitfish schools.

Keep your trolling speed between 3 and 5 knots, and use a variety of lures to attract bluefish. Some of the most popular lures for trolling for bluefish are spoons, plugs, and spinners.

What Kind of Bait to Use When Trolling for Bluefish

When trolling for bluefish in saltwater, you want to use a bait that they’re attracted to. This could be anything from live bait, like worms or minnows, to artificial bait, like plugs or spoons.

Some anglers like to use a combination of both live and artificial bait. The key is to use something that the bluefish are hungry for and that will swim in the right way to attract them.

You’ll also want to use a rod and reel that can handle the fight of a bluefish. Make sure you have plenty of line on your reel, too, because these fish can really put up a fight.

How to Rig Your Tackle When Trolling for Bluefish

Here’s how to rig your tackle when trolling for bluefish in saltwater:

  • Choose a good rod and reel for trolling. You’ll want something that’s sturdy and can handle the big fish you’re going to be catching.
  • Rig your bait on a long shank hook. This will help keep the bait from getting eaten by the fish before you have a chance to catch them.
  • Make sure you use a strong leader when trolling for bluefish, as they can be quite leaders can be quite powerful fighters.
  • Use a sinker that’s heavy enough to get your bait down to the depth where the fish are swimming.
  • Cast your line out and let the bait drift with the current. Keep an eye on your line and reel in any fish that bite!

Pro Tips for Trolling for Bluefish in Saltwater

Now that you know all about trolling for bluefish in saltwater, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Here are a few pro tips to help you out:

  • Choose the right trolling gear. Make sure you have a sturdy rod and reel that can handle big fish. You’ll also need a good amount of line, preferably a heavy-duty monofilament line.
  • Use live bait. Bluefish are predatory fish, so they love to feed on live bait. You can use anything from small stripers to mullet or menhaden.
  • Use the right trolling technique. There are a few different ways to troll for bluefish, so find the one that works best for you. Some anglers prefer to troll with planers and weights, while others use downriggers or umbrella rigs.
  • Stay patient. This is definitely the key to trolling for bluefish. Be patient and keep your lure in the water as long as possible. You might not get a bite on every cast, but eventually you’ll get lucky.

Trolling Speed For Bluefish

When trolling for bluefish, you’ll need to use a faster trolling speed than you would for other types of fish. Bluefish are a fast-swimming fish, so you’ll need to match their speed in order to hook them.

Ideally, you’ll want to troll between 7 and 10 knots. If you’re going too slow or too fast, you’ll likely miss out on some bites. So keep that in mind when you’re out on the water and make sure to adjust your speed as needed.

best trolling lures for bluefish

So, you’ve decided to go trolling for bluefish in saltwater. Great choice! These fish are a lot of fun to catch, and they put up a good fight.

But what lures should you use? Well, there are a lot of different options, but we’ve found that the following lures are the best for catching bluefish.

First, there’s the bucktail. This is a lure that’s made of hair and feathers, and it’s popular among anglers because it can be used in a variety of different ways. You can troll it behind a boat, or use it as a jigging lure.

Second, there’s the spoon lure. This is a lure that’s shaped like a spoon, and it’s great for catching fish that are feeding on the surface. It’s also very versatile, and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments.


Third, there’s the jig lure. This is probably our favorite lure for catching bluefish, and it’s one that we always have with us when we’re fishing in saltwater. It’s a simple lure but it’s very effective, and it can be used to catch all sorts of different fish.


Ready to try your hand at trolling for bluefish in saltwater? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

First, make sure you have the right gear. You’ll need a sturdy boat with a casting deck, as well as a good rod and reel with enough power to handle bluefish. Next, learn how to rig your bait. Bluefish are aggressive feeders, so use a lively bait that will tempt them to bite.

Finally, find a good spot and start trolling. Keep an eye on your bait and make sure you reel in any fish that bite – you don’t want to lose any of these blues! With a little practice, you’ll be landing bluefish left and right.

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