Artificial lures are an effective weapon for catching large game fish and the most spectacular of all. In many cases it is the most effective. The best news is that trolling lures is very easy to do. A novice can be very competitive with just a basic knowledge of lure trolling.
When using Iland lures for big fish like Albacore, Dolphinfish, Tuna, Bonito, Spearfish, Swordfish etc, the biggest difference is the speed. In blue water these lures are trolled at effective speeds from a minimum of 6 knots, mostly between 5 to 8 knots and some lures like the Iland Sea Searcher as fast as 16 knots with the accompanying noise, vibration and white water. These components actually combine to attract fish.
Many anglers, because of their previous experience with other forms of trolling, run their lures way back out past the end of the wash, fearing that the boat noise and wash will scare the fish. In this form of fishing this is not the case. The action is concentrated in the area between the transom and the end of the prop wash and turbulence. this is known as the Strike Zone. This area is where you should run your lures. White water is at its deepest at the transom, with the maximum depth at the props. Along the side of the prop wash there are alleys of clearer water with little or no white water turbulence; a nice place to run a lure, as it would be very visible.
In the Strike Zone are the waves following the boat. These are pressure waves kicked up by the boat and vary in size depending on the boat size and hull type. These waves are the most important part of the wash for trolling skirted lures, as they are run and carefully positioned or tuned on the leading face of the pressure wave. Some boats do not have pressure waves, in which case the positioning of lures is less critical.
A lure that is working properly comes to the surface, greps air 'breathing', dives down leaving a long bubble trail, 'smoking' and when it stops smoking, it comes up for another breath. It should not run under the water without a smoke trail for any length of time, if it does; it is called lazy. Also, it should not come out of the water, blowing out when breathing. Smoke trails vary from pencil thin to almost creating their own prop wash. This mainly depends on the shape of the lure head, lure length and trolling speed. How often a lure goes through the working cycle depends on sea conditions, boat speed, lure position, line class and rigging.
Trolling lures only results in catching fish given certain situations. In fact they are the same situations that lead to success in every other form of fishing. Quite simply fishing where the fish are, and even more than that, being where the fish are at the time they are feeding.