Kayak Fishing

Pro Talk: Tips for Trolling Tube and Worm from a Kayak

Pro Talk: Tips for Trolling Tube and Worm from a Kayak

We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Joe Higgins to discuss fishing from a kayak with a tube and worm. Here's what we found out..

Why do you like using a tube and worm combo for kayaks?

Fishing a tube and worm from a kayak in 5 to 20-feet of water is the most effective way to cover a lot of water and find big stripers along the rocky coastline of the north shore. Once I know where the fish are, I can throw other lures (probably Hogy's) in the area I have found fish or simply continue to catch fish on the tube. 

What's the best kayak for tube and worm and why?

There really isn't a wrong kayak for fishing tube and worm. It is very easy to put a rod holder in the front of any kayak, paddle of pedal. I prefer to hold the rod while using a pedal kayak to thumb the reel as I let line out. But make sure you've got a good grasp on the rod as it'll likely get a good tug from a big bass. 

How fast are you trolling?
I vary my trolling speed but tend to troll at 1 knot which we know is very slow. Although I have caught many bass on a somewhat fast retrieve, this works best when trolling in a kayak. 

Do you have a favorite season for trolling tube and worm?

Hot, lazy summer days when I’m not seeing any surface feeds or bait are my favorite times to troll. I will troll a tube and worm getting from point A to point B.

What is the best rod for kayaking with tube and worm and why?
I use a nice 8-foot medium/heavy St. Croix musky rod. It’s sensitive enough for me to feel what is going on as I troll tube and having the length to maneuver the fish over the bow of boat is important to me.

What reel are you using?
I use a Penn 965 bait caster reel — I find thumbing the reel is the easiest way for me to get line out.

What kind of line do you use?
I use 40lb Powerpro braid tied to 4 feet of 25lb. fluorocarbon.

How deep do you fish them?
I tend to fish in 5 to 15 feet of water and have never used lead core. The slow speed of kayak can get the tube down to the depth i am finding fish.

What kind of swivel do you use?
If I’m using a swivel, I will use an owner ball bearing barrel swivel.

What length tube do you like and why:
The bigger the tube the bigger the fish. I use tubes from 18 to 24 inches long– I think the longer tube weeds some of the smaller fish out.

Do you fish with a spinner in front of your tube and if so, why?
The only reason I will fish with a spinner out front is that i think it helps detect seaweed or debris in an area– I’ve been fishing the SI tube without a spinner and and haven’t had that much issue with weed. I’m beginning to think maybe the spinner is actually a weed attractant. 

Is the worm necessary?
Definitely. And the bigger the better no matter what the bait guys say. I think having that little extra wiggle at the end of the tube is important. The tube is the appetizer and attractant but the worm is the meal.

What’s your biggest striper on a tube and worm?
My largest striper is a 48-inch striper caught a few years back. But the summer is not over and I’m hoping for a bigger one in the coming weeks.

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