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TOPIC: What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show

What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 26 Jan 2014 19:57 #1

  • Go Aweigh2452
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We attended the Seattle Boat show and as usual, I look up the seminars and take one or more depending on the subject. Last year Tom Nelson of Salmon University talked about the fishing around Vancouver Island and we went up to Port Hardy instead of Ucluelet on the west coast (Pacific) instead. It was a good choice in that we had many fish and Ukee had fewer.

Anyway, Tom had a seminar on How to Catch Puget Sound Chinook and Coho Salmon followed by Keith Robbins who is a master fishing guide here on Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon...

So, to make things easier, I did a quick note taking on both seminars and will put out what Tom and Keith said... (note, this is what they said, it is not necessarily what you and I do when we fish so don't shoot the messenger)... In any case, much of what they both do is not big news to many who fish PS but some small things may be worthy to take note of...

Winter fishing: Salmon feed all the time so there is no real best tide to fish. Summer: salmon get selective and will go days or more before they eat again
In either case above, best to fish with or across the tide
Fish an hour before and an hour after either high or low tides.
Fish within 10-15 ft of the bottom when trolling with the exception of humpies or pinks which are everywhere in the water column.
Fish 90-120 ft depth of water...
Flashers: green, black or purple are best...
Best flasher is Protroll because they can be found with sampo ball bearing swivels on the downrigger ball end. No others have them unless you change them out your self.
Both Tom and Ken use a sampo swivel on the leader lines of their fishing poles. Ken also adds a flair bead to prevent the knot from jamming in the first eye at the end of a pole.
Fishing poles: mooching: use light weight 8'6" like lamiglass and he prefers reels with counters (Shimano Tekota 300 LC) so you know how much line is out there. When mooching you will always have the pole in your hands so light poles are best. Tom likes 9'6" or longer.
UV flashers: any color because the UV is seen by the fish
If adding a skirt to any lure above the hooks but below the lure, be sure to put more bend in the metal flasher to get the same action as non-skirted lures.
Best speed to troll: 2-4 MPH and up to 6 MPH. Too many fishermen troll too slow.
Use ball bearing swivels as they are best. Sampo is the only ball bearing swivel maker in the US Tom recommends). He took a new flasher with regular swivel and one used flasher with a sampo swivel and demoed both. The used flasher swiveled many more times before stopping.
Flashers: prefer metal as the back 1/4 can be bent more thus providing more lure movement for lures or bait that have longer leaders.
E-chips work because of the "spark" they create, not the noise. That spark is the same as herring when they turn tail and run.
Use Smelly Jelly: best is shrimp, herring or mix. Tom adds garlic powder to all smelly jelly and mixes it in.
The only reason WD works is it masks the scent of your hands. (Do not use it as the USCG says it is a pollutant and you can be fined.
Never "set" the hook because we no longer use barbed hooks (legally). Setting the hook allowed the barb to penetrate the bone of a fishes mouth). The barbless hooks are ultra sharp and will set themselves as they don't have a barb that stops the hook from going through bone of the mouth...
Set drag light, let fish run to tire them. Only exception is if seals are in area, they may want an easy dinner.
Bounce downrigger ball off bottom to attract fish to the sound.
Double hooks should be close to each other, allowed to hang back from the skirt and never let them "hide" in the skirt of a hoochie.
Cut herring should have the forward hook in the center of the back and the back hook as far back through the body and dangling near the tail area. By running the back hook through the stomach and letting it drag back there minimizes the back hook getting caught on the front hook. (both trolling and mooching).
Do not throw old herring away once it starts to not roll correctly. It should roll about 70x/minute. Once it slows down, rehook the forward hook either side of the back but as near the back of the ridge as possible. Then recast and check roll rate.
Green herring seems to be the favorite size in PS. But always use the same size lure or herring that a salmon has that has been thrown up... (include hook length in lure length.)
For mooching: again, only use sampo swivel bearings.(size 4), use banana sinker 2-6 oz depending on getting a drift angle of about four o'clock as you drift up from deep water to low water (200'-90' or so)
When handling herring, always wet your hands and the cutting table to minimize loss of scales on herring and adding your scent to the bait. A good thing is to put smelly jelly on your hands to cover human scents. The more scales on a herring, the more they flash in the water. So hold herring at the back and stomach only when cutting at the 45* angles.
When adding scent to any lure, only coat the lure edges lightly. Salmon can smell at very far ranges. You can also add some scent to the red or Mustad hooks but lightly...
Moochers prefer Gamakatsu Octopus red hooks in the 2/0-4/0 range. Mustad Ultra Points are also great hooks.
When looking for frozen bait, look at the eyes. If red blood in eyes or in package, dig deeper. You want a white pupil in the center of the eye which indicates it was only frozen once.

As far as where to fish for moochers: Point No Point, south end of Jeffs Head, Alki Point off Elliot Bay and off Allen Bank north end of Vashion Island all on outgoing tide and going from deep water to shallow.

Mooching: Work your herring or lure when mooching from the bottom up to where you can see the banana weight then drop down again to bottom and work the bait back up two to four cranks at a time. Most hits will be on the drop. When it drops and stops suddenly, resist the urge to "set the hook" but reel in quickly to take up any slack.
Use 4/0 or 5/0 hooks in winter and up to 6/0 in summer.

If mooching at slack or very little tide, you can motor mooch to make the boat move through an area. use enough banana weight to allow a 4 O'clock angle on the line entering the water.

There is more but this is about all I think I need to post for you all... :whistle:
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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 26 Jan 2014 21:14 #2

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Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this. I for one hope to use some of the wisdom here this year.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 27 Jan 2014 02:21 #3

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I never realized that you can troll too slow.

My boat goes at 3 1/2 knots with one engine at idle.

I was going to buy trolling valves

Now I'm rethinking that purchase

Thanks!

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 27 Jan 2014 07:00 #4

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Thanks Doug, Good stuff!

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 27 Jan 2014 13:35 #5

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ksanders wrote: I never realized that you can troll too slow.


That's the part that's really changing to what I've learned over the years. Conventional wisdom has always been move fast to get in front of the fish, but troll as slowly as possible. I've heard that folks are trolling faster nowadays. I'll have to give it a shot.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 27 Jan 2014 22:48 #6

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ksanders wrote: I never realized that you can troll too slow.

My boat goes at 3 1/2 knots with one engine at idle.

I was going to buy trolling valves

Now I'm rethinking that purchase

Thanks!


We were up in Nootka Sound last August catching nothing on the same gear everyone else was catching fish on. A guide said "speed up you are trolling too slow". We did and started catching fish. Amazing!!! I never thought you could troll too slow. He said the flasher needs to move fast enough to "piss the Salmon off" and induce strike behavior.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 28 Jan 2014 00:51 #7

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I avoid bumping the bottom, I try to run one downrigger about 10' above the bottom, the other about 5' higher than that'.
I figure the fish can make 10' in about 1 second and have a great time with their little ambush.

I personally think lure action is more important than speed, so I always drop my gear about 10' deep, let it run, and then bring it up so I can watch the flasher & lure to make sure the action is right - then keep track of the boat speed for correct action. Once I have the right amount of throttle I drop them down to fishing depth.

I do this everytime I change gear.
If I am not catching, and someone else is, I speed up a little.

As dumb as it sounds - I have caught kings on coho killers when nothing else was working.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 28 Jan 2014 02:56 #8

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Kevin - fish all the time with our 490 with 330 Cummins and 24 X 22 props and no trolling valves. Troll between 2.5 and 3.5 kn, tabs all the way down and around 625 RPM's ( 700 for coho). This year we didn't get skunked once - always came home with fish. In a derby in june with about 200 fishers and on the first day only 55 springs weighed in, we hooked up with 14 springs ( long leaders or daisy chain flasher ). If you watch the com. salmon trollers, they are going 3 to 4 knots. Tight lines. Ted

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 29 Jan 2014 18:12 #9

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I have always speeded up if I was not catching. I will some timed hit the throtle hard and back off. This will sometimes trip the release, however many time it's a salmon

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 29 Jan 2014 18:21 #10

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In Resurection bay, AK I have caught salmon while headed inland that actually swim faster in my direction than I troll at, which is about 3.5 knots.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 29 Jan 2014 18:42 #11

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Thanks Doug! You have put in some considerable effort here and it's much appreciated. Good stuff here, much of which should work up in my neck of the woods.
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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 30 Jan 2014 18:41 #12

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:) Thanks Doug for the time and effort you put in getting this information out to the rest of the BOC members.
I for one will be trying some of these tricks when I get fishing again.
I normally catch my share of the fish but maybe I can start catching some bigger ones.
Skeeter
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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 01 Feb 2014 21:09 #13

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Thanks Doug!
Some really good stuff here - can't wait to get out there and try a few of those tips.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 03 Feb 2014 23:34 #14

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Thanks Doug. Lots of good information to use down here off the Oregon coast as well. Well appreciated post.
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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 25 Feb 2014 05:52 #15

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Man this salmon fishing looks way to complicated. But, since Im on my third year up here in the PNW, maybe I'll try it this year.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 19 Mar 2014 18:25 #16

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green650 wrote: Man this salmon fishing looks way to complicated. But, since Im on my third year up here in the PNW, maybe I'll try it this year.

It really is not all that complicated, it is no different than fishing for anything else. Right bait, right tools, right method, and a bit of experience.

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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 19 Mar 2014 20:53 #17

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Here's how we fish!!


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What I learned about fishing Puget Sound at the Seattle Boat Show 17 May 2014 01:28 #18

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Instead of starting a new thread, I thought I'd add to this one with more info on salmon fishing... good article... I had no idea...

salmonchronicles.com/2014/05/16/what-fis...er-different-colors/

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