Trolling with a Trailer

trolling crankbaits with a trailer
Slab Knocker Crankbait with Trailer Treble added and a Tinsel Trailer all by Rambling Angler Outdoors

For years I trolled crankbaits for crappie. I always tied a grub off the back and it worked like a charm. I never told anyone about it. Until now. I have been wanting to introduce this technique when I had the right stuff, and now I do. The TRAILER TREBLE attaches to the back split ring on your crankbait. The swivel in the center of the treble hook helps keeps the leader from twisting up. The crankbait gets it to the depth you want as well as produces a vibration and visual in the water to draw the fish in. The Slab Knocker Crankbait also has knockers inside to bring in the fish. It works, I promise. I got the idea from when I lived on my boat in Alaska and used divers to get my herring down to the salmon. Once back stateside I figured why not try it with a crankbait for crappie.

slab knocker crankbait with trailer treble and tinsel jig
Slab Knocker Crankbait with Trailer Treble with a Tuffy Trailer works great By Rambling Angler Outdoors

Summertime Crappie Tactics

When the water heats up the crappie and other fish begin follow the shad to deeper water. Baitfish will suspend to eat the zooplankton that grows on the surface and the crappie, white bass and others will suspend in open water following their food. By getting your presentation to the correct depth you can pick off these fish. There is no better way to cover water and catch these fish than trolling crankbaits.

By attaching a leader and smaller bait to the back you will maximize your catches. The Trailer Treble allows you to attach a leader and a bait to trail behind the crankbait. As the crankbait gets to depth, regulated by amount of line let out, it presents a large target for the fish to key in on. The Slab Knocker crankbait also has knockers inside to get their attention even better. When the fish comes to investigate they will see the smaller bait trailing and strike. When using a trailer, which I have always done when trolling crankbaits, the trailer gets most of the bites.

LiL TUFFY Swimbait Trailer

The LiL TUFFY Swimbait has been a hot bait now for a couple years. I have been using the LiL TUFFY Swimbait as a trailer behind the Slab Knocker Crankbait and it works very well and not just for crappie. I catch all species with this setup from catfish to drum. The sauger population has exploded here on Kentucky Lake and I have been catching one or two nearly every trip this summer. One sauger swallowed the LiL TUFFY on the trailer then came up and ate the crankbait. I have had some really nice white bass do the same.

I have a special jighead to use when using the LiL TUFFY as a trailer. It is a 2/0 strong hook with a wire keeper. The lighter weight on the larger hook is hard to find so I modified the mold and now pour my own and will be offering it in my store soon. This jighead will also be perfect when throwing the LiL TUFFY Swimbait up shallow in the spring for spawning crappie as well as those big spawning smallmouth. Smallmouth bass love the LiL TUFFY Swimbait.

TUFFY Trailer
TUFFY Trailer attached to Trailer Treble and Slab Knocker Crankbait by Rambling Angler Outdoors

Tinsel Trailer

The Tinsel Trailer is a flashy bait perfect for the Trailer Treble. Tied with a tungsten bead to help keep it swimming upright and to keep it from tangling as easily when letting out line. The Tinsel Trailer has proven to be a very effective bait to catch crappie, white bass and I have been catching sauger as well. The Tinsel Trailer comes in all the great colors that crappie love. Start with different colors and figure out what the fish are keying on that day. Troll these baits at 1.2-2.0 mph and at the depth you find the fish. Remember to keep the bait running a little above the fish. Crappie and other predatory fish species look up to find their prey.

Rambling Angler Outdoors Tinsel Trailer
Rambling Angler Outdoors Tinsel Trailer

Watch your electronics to locate baitfish and you will find hungry crappie. When you see a brush pile troll over it, the more brush you can mark and troll your crankbait over the more bites you will get. After a while you will have a trail set by waypoints to troll over to increase your catch. It is an effective way to catch summertime crappie. Give it a try.

Get Your Slab Knocker Crankbait To The Right Depth

I vary my depth by the amount of line let out and this will vary by line size and material. Troll at 1.0 to 2.0 mph depending on what the crappie wants that day. I have had to go to 2.2 or a little faster to get strikes. This is usually when the crappie isn’t feeding and you need a reaction strike. When the crankbait zips by they react to it, and you will get more strikes in this situation. I have found that for 90% of the day they hit the trailer and for the other they hit the crankbait. This is why I wanted to leave the hooks in place and with this treble hook, with the swivel out the back, it’s the perfect setup. Also check out our new Slab Knocker Crankbaits, they are nice.

The Li’L TUFFY Swimbait is selling like crazy and this setup will only help in that department. Trailing our Li’L TUFFY Swimbait behind our new Slab Knocker Crankbaits have been proving to be dynamite. I don’t sell anything I don’t use myself and this combo works. Check it out and if you have any questions feel free to ask. Our mission is fishing! Selling Fun One Fish At A Time

Slab Knocker Crankbait
Slab Knockker Crankbait by Rambling Angler Outdoors

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