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How to Troll Crankbaits for Trout From Kayaks

The advent of pedal drive kayaks has made trolling a leisurely way to maintain speed and direction while covering tons of water. Wired2Fish staffer McKeon Roberts sets out on a scenic stream trout lake with the simple strategy of trolling crankbaits from a kayak. The pedal system in the Old Town Topwater PDL allows for hands-free fishing and the ability to dial-in speed while the crankbait does the rest. McKeon keeps a close eye on his electronics to avoid warmer shallow water and keep the crank running between 1- to 1.8 mph.


Stream trout are often stocked in small lakes that have a combination of pristine water quality, cool water and dissolved oxygen at depth. Many of these lakes are tucked off the beaten path which preserves their cleanliness — this also makes them more difficult to access with conventional boats. Kayaks are the perfect tool for accessing these ‘sleeper’ waters without compromising fishability.

McKeon relies on a limber rod to absorb shock from violent strikes and a thinner, lighter line to allow the bait to reach maximum running depth. This light-tackle setup keeps it simple and makes for a great fight against drag-peeling trout.