Lake trolling question -- lure selection
One of my favorite ways to fish for trout in lakes is trolling. Beside covering more real estate, it just seems to catch a better size of fish, and this is particularly helpful in the stocked lakes of southcentral where you have a few larger fish mixed in with a lot of little ones.
Usually, I'll fish with either cowbells or a ford fender and a nightcrawler set back on about 24" of leader. It works well, but most everything is deep hooked, so releasing any fish isn't a very good idea. Sometimes, I use a spinner on the set back, which helps prevent the deep hooking but I need to find some with a single hook to make release easier (and easier on the fish). When fishing with worms, I've upped the hook size significantly (I can't remember what size I'm using, but it's almost as large as the hooks that comes with the common, pre-tied, 2-hook salmon leader), which seems to help keep the dinks off, but the larger fish still manage to get deeply hooked some of the time.
So, I'm looking for other trolling lures or set-ups that will help keep the fish from getting hooked too deeply so I can let the ones go that aren't bound for the frying pan.
For better sized fish, I have had excellent success with Yozuri Pin Minnows. The rapala minnows also work but for me they don't seem to work quite as well as the yozuri's.
There is always the stand by krockodile spoon that has worked very well in lakes.
Both lures typically large enough that very rarely are they swallowed.
Replace the treble hooks on your spinners with larger single hooks (#4), and pinch the barbs so when they are deep-hooked you don't have to turn them inside-out. No bait is still the best way to keep em' from swallowing the whole kit and kaboodle, IMO.
Best of Luck,
I like to troll flies behind willowleaf cowbells using about a 2 ft. leader(when I'm in a boat instead of a float tube). Yellow marabou muddlers in a size 6 or a black leech imitation are my top two favorites. Vary speed and troll in a zig-zag pattern. Most of the hits seem to occur when either speeding up or slowing down.