• Post author:
  • Post last modified:September 20, 2022
We thoroughly research all products to give you unbiased recommendations. Learn more about our review process.

Trolling is a great way to catch fish, and the average angler doesn’t realize how important speed can be. Different fish prefer different speeds, so it’s important to know what the ideal trolling speed is for the species you’re after.

The speed you troll at should be just fast enough to make your lure or bait swim properly. If you’re going too slow, your lure won’t look natural and the fish won’t be interested. If you’re going too fast, your lure will look unnatural and again, the fish won’t be interested. So, somewhere in the middle is usually best.

Now that you know the basics, let’s get into the chart.

Ideal Trolling Speed Chart

Fish Species     Trolling Speed
(mph)
Trolling Speed
(knots)
Albacore Tuna7 - 9.2 mph6 - 8 kn
Atlantic Salmon2 - 3 mph1.7 - 2.6 kn
Bass2 - 4 mph1.7 - 3.5 kn
Bluefin Tuna5.2 - 8.6 mph4.5 - 7.5 kn
Bluefish2 - 2.5 mph1.7 - 2.2 kn
Brown Trout2 - 2.5 mph1.7 - 2.2 kn
Blue Marlin9.2 - 11.5 mph8 - 10 kn
Barracuda7 - 10.3 mph6 - 9 kn
Crappie1.5 - 2 mph1.3 - 1.7 kn
Coho Salmon3 - 3.5 mph2.6 - 3 kn
Chinook Salmon1.5 - 3 mph1.3 - 2.6 kn
Mahi Mahi2.3 - 10.3 mph2 - 9 kn
Blackfin Tuna5.7 - 12.6 mph5 - 11 kn
Flatfish1 - 1.5 mph0.8 - 1.3 kn
Grouper3.5 - 5 mph3 - 4.3 kn
Herring1 - 2 mph0.8 - 1.7 kn
King Mackerel5.7 - 9.2 mph5 - 8 kn
King Salmon1.5 - 2.5 mph1.3 - 2.2 kn
Kokanee Salmon1 - 2 mph0.8 - 1.7 kn
Lake Trout1.5 - 4 mph1.3 - 3.5 kn
Landlocked Salmon1 - 2.5 mph0.8 - 2.2 kn
Largemouth Bass2 - 4 mph1.7 - 3.5 kn
Lake Erie Walleye1 - 1.5 mph0.8 - 1.3 kn
Muskie3 - 4 mph2.6 - 3.5 kn
Northern Pike1.5 - 3.5 mph1.3 - 3 kn
Perch1 - 1.5 mph0.8 - 1.3 kn
Pink Salmon1.5 - 2 mph1.3 - 1.7 kn
Panfish1 - 2 mph0.8 - 1.7 kn
Rainbow Trout1.5 - 2 mph1.3 - 1.7 kn
Redfish1.5 - 3 mph1.3 - 2.6 kn
Rockfish3 - 3.5 mph2.5 - 3 kn
Striped Bass2 - 3.5 mph1.7 - 3 kn
Spanish Mackerel5.7 - 9.2 mph5 - 8 kn
Sailfish7 - 13.86 - 12 kn
Sockeye Salmon1 - 1.5 mph0.8 - 1.3 kn
Yellowfin Tuna5.7 - 8 mph5 - 7 kn

Tuna

There are abut 15 species of tuna, including albacore, bluefin, bigeye, and yellowfin. Tuna are fast-swimming predatory fish found in all oceans.

The speed of your boat should be based on the conditions present, such as wind and current. However, six to seven knots is a good starting speed with when using live bait or a mix of live and artificial bait.

Salmon

Salmon is an anadromous fish, which means that it spends most of its life in salt water but returns to fresh water to spawn.

To have the most success when trolling for salmon, use a combination of bait and lures. Live bait such as herring, minnows, and sand shrimp are good choices, while hoochies, spoons, plugs, and large salmon spinners work well as starter lures.

Bass

Bass is a species of fish that includes both fresh and saltwater varieties. The term “bass” can refer to different fish in different parts of the world, but in North America, it generally refers to freshwater fish such as largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

The speed for bass crankbaits usually falls between 2 to 4 mph, but you may have to experiment a little bit before finding the sweet spot.

Bluefish

Bluefish are a species of fish found in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They are known for their voracious appetites and sharp teeth, which can make them difficult to catch.

Trolling for bluefish can be done with both live bait and lures, and a speed of around 2 to 2.5 mph is a good starting point.

Trout

Trout is a type of freshwater fish that includes several species, such as brook trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout. They are found in cold water streams and rivers throughout the world.

The best trolling speed for trout will depend on the type of bait or lure you’re using. For example, if you’re using live bait, a slower speed of around 1.5 to 2 mph is best. If you’re using lures, a slightly faster speed of 2 to 3 mph is usually more effective.

Blue Marlin

The blue marlin is a species of billfish that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are one of the largest fish in the sea, and are prized by sport fishermen for their game-fighting ability.

When trolling for blue marlin, a speed of around 8 to 10 knots is usually best. This will give the bait or lure a good action, while still allowing the fish to swim after it.

Barracuda

Barracuda are a type of fish that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are known for their long, toothy snouts.

The best trolling speed for barracuda is around 6 to 9 knots.

Crappie

Crappie is a type of freshwater fish found in streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the United States.

Trolling speed for crappie depends on water temperature. When water temperature is under 70 degrees, the best speed is around 1.5 mph. With water temperature rising above 70 degrees, the ideal trolling speed is 2-2.5 mph.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi is a type of fish found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are also known as dolphinfish, dolphin, or dorado.

The best trolling speed for mahi mahi is between 5 and 9 knots, although many offshore fisherman have success with speeds between 2 and 5 knots.

Flatfish

Flatfish includes species such as flounder, halibut, and sole. They are distinguished by their laterally compressed bodies and their ability to “swim” along the bottom of the ocean using their pectoral fins.

The best trolling speed for flatfish is around 1 to 1.5 mph.

Striped Bass

Striped bass, also called striper, linesider, rock, or rockfish, are found along the Atlantic coast of North America. They are distinguished by their horizontal stripes running along their sides.

The ideal trolling speed for stripers is under 3.5 mph.

Mackerel

Mackerel is a type of fish found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are characterized by their slim bodies and forked tails.

The best trolling speed for mackerel is around 5 to 8 knots. faster speeds will often result in the fish becoming tangled in the line.

Kokanee

Kokanee are a type of freshwater fish found in lakes and rivers in North America. They are a land-locked form of the sockeye salmon.

The best trolling speed for kokanee is between 1 and 2 mph. Slow speeds are often more effective, as kokanee are easily spooked.

Walleye

Walleye is a freshwater fish that is popular among anglers. It is prized for its delicious taste and fight when hooked. The walleye is found in many lakes and rivers across North America.

The best trolling speed for walleye varies depending on the time of year and the water temperature. In general, slower speeds (around 1 mph) are better in colder water and faster speeds (1.5 mph and above) are better in warmer water.

Muskie

Muskie, also called muskellunge or musky, are a type of freshwater fish found in North America. They are characterized by their long bodies and toothy mouths.

The best trolling speed for muskie is around 3.5 mph.

Pike

Pike, also called northern pike or jackfish, are characterized by their long bodies and toothy mouths.

The best trolling speed for northern pike is around 2.5 mph.

Sailfish

Sailfish are a type of billfish that are distinguished by their long, sail-like dorsal fins.

The best trolling speed for sailfish is between 6 and 12 knots.

Conclusion

These are just general guidelines, and the ideal trolling speed for a particular fish may vary depending on the time of year, the water conditions, and other factors.

But our chart should give you a good starting point.

Happy fishing!