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Slow-Trolling Live Eels for Monster Stripers on Cape Cod

Ryan Collins

Slow-trolling live eels is a super effective way to catch big striped bass on Cape Cod, especially during September and October.

The intricacies of eel fishing are many, and there are lots of tricks to the trade. However, slow-trolling is a relatively simple technique to learn.

In this post I'll first explain the technique to you, and then give you a link to a 12 minute video which I first published in 2014, where you can watch the slow-trolling technique in action.


Slow-Trolling Basics

When slow-trolling eels, I like to keep my boat or kayak moving forward at around 2 miles per hour.

Trolling this slow is most easily done from a kayak or a small tin boat. If you go any faster than 2 miles per hour your eel is not going to look natural in the water.

Slow and steady wins this race!

When slow-trolling, I am usually in water less than 20 feet deep, and therefore I do not add any additional weight to the eel.

I hook the eel up through the bottom jaw and out an eyeball or through the top of the head.

Toss the eel about 20 yards behind your boat or kayak, and experiment with the amount of line you troll until you find something that works.

You want to troll the eel just off the bottom, or in the mid-water column, without getting snagged.

Slow-Trolling Video Tutorial

My favorite spots to slow-troll eels on Cape Cod are in tight to boulder fields, and over rocky underwater reefs. However, slow-trolling eels also works along sandy shorelines and inside estuaries.

Slow-trolling is a great way to cover ground as you search for concentrations of bass. Trolling eels is a very effective way to locate the most productive spots in a boulder field, beach or estuary.

In the following video tutorial I will show you firsthand what this simple technique looks like in action. During this trip I got lucky, and caught more than a dozen bass between 10 and 40 pounds from the kayak slow-trolling.

This memorable trip happened 5 years ago.

Every so often here on MFCC I like to re-publish older content, because many new members have no idea there are more than 600 videos and 1,000 reports and articles in the archives!

***Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can access the full 12 minute video by clicking here.***

Click play below to watch the preview! 👇 

***Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can access the full 12 minute video by clicking here.***

Video timestamps

Watch The Full Video!

Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can watch the full 12 minute video by clicking the button below.

In Conclusion

The month of September is a great month to use live eels for bait on Cape Cod. Sure eels work well during other months, but for some reason the stripers seem to chew harder during September as they prepare for their big migration south.

Slow-trolling live eels (or dead eels) is a great way to cover ground and find fish. A well presented eel, trolled slowly is very difficult for big stripers to resists.

Best of luck if you give this technique a try. LMK how it goes!

Tight lines 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

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