One important factor when trolling is speed. Some baits are meant to be trolled slow, like a crawler harness. A typical crawler harness is 5 to 6 feet in length with two or sometimes three hooks, colored beads and a plain or painted blade that spins on a clevis.
In the shallow waters of the Western Basin, these harnesses are attached behind an inline weight that is then attached to an inline planer board that is designed to take the baits out away from the sides of the boat.
Speed is critical when using crawler harnesses. 1.0 to 1.3 mph is the norm. However, some of the larger charter boats are not able to get their boats to run that slow without the help of drift socks, which can be a pain, so different baits are often used that will allow them to run at faster speeds like 1.6-2.2mph.
I’ve recently started using a new crawler harness with much success. It’s a custom painted double willow leaf wire harness that I run behind 2oz inline weights, 30-40 foot back over 32-34 foot of water.
The wire harness itself is only about 9 inches long, so a 6 foot leader made of 17-20 pound test monofilament line is needed between the inline weight and the bait.
Larry Lambert, a local Charter Captain, tournament angler, and a custom lure painter, has painted blades and sold them in the area for a number of years. These double bladed wire harnesses are his creation and can be found at various local area bait shops.
So, if you want to troll faster with live bait, this new harness is something that is sure to help you put fish in the boat.