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Thread: King trolling rigs

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Default King trolling rigs

    I want to start trolling for kings this summer out of Homer. What would you recommend for the terminal end? Flasher, bait, hoochie, plug?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by idakfisher View Post
    I want to start trolling for kings this summer out of Homer. What would you recommend for the terminal end? Flasher, bait, hoochie, plug?
    You will undoubtedly get about a dozen different suggestions here, but the rig that I go to the vast majority of the time (summer, fall, winter and spring) is a flasher with a threaded herring about 3 ft. back. It is by far the most productive set-up I use. But I also have a number of different spinners and spoons I'll try as well. Especially if I have more than one line out. My favorites are TeeSpoons and Northern King spoons. Both in "rainbow" colors. I also have had a lot of luck with a small squid imitator behind my flasher. It probably catches the most kings for me below threaded herring.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    If you want to get it right book a trip with Josh Brooks on the Huntress 399-3775, I like to call it pay to play! you will learn more in one day then you can get on here in a year.

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Get a couple of buddies together and try 3 rigs(if you have 3 riggers) and see what gets hit, flasher/grand slam bucktail, or flasher and coyote spoon, or flashe /herring? once you get a rig that consitanly produces, change on of the rigs over to the one that gets hit.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    Get a couple of buddies together and try 3 rigs(if you have 3 riggers) and see what gets hit, flasher/grand slam bucktail, or flasher and coyote spoon, or flashe /herring? once you get a rig that consitanly produces, change on of the rigs over to the one that gets hit.
    Yeah, if you can do it that's a great way to go. When I have a number of clients on board I'll run a different set-up on each line and then whatever produces first will switch to that set-up on all the lines. Some days herring will be the ticket and some days something else.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  6. #6
    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Say Mutt, When you say you troll a squid imitator, are you talking about a hoochie? Last spring I fished for five days out of Sitka with a friend/guide. We caught kings every day, mainly with hoochies. We also fishing whole and cut plug herring, which caught fish, but not any better than hoochies.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by idakfisher View Post
    Say Mutt, When you say you troll a squid imitator, are you talking about a hoochie? Last spring I fished for five days out of Sitka with a friend/guide. We caught kings every day, mainly with hoochies. We also fishing whole and cut plug herring, which caught fish, but not any better than hoochies.
    No, it really looks like a small squid. I get mine through Cabela's and they're called Tsunami Holographic Squid. They come in a few different sizes and colors, but my favorite is the 6" Glow Fleck. I do use hoochies at times, too, but seem to have the most luck with the Tsunamis and threaded herring.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    This topic is a giant, wriggling can of worms.

    Based on what I've seen in king bellies fishing out of Seward and Whittier, you are liable to find anything from tiny candlefish on up to footlong herring, and in between are a couple different species of slender forage fish (eulachon etc.) and smaller herring.

    This from kings caught in the same day, from the same spot.

    I'm not up on winter forage out of Homer. Muttley is your guy there.

    I'm of the opinion that it's less about what you use and more about how you use it. A 4/0 or 5/0 coyote spoon is about the same profile/size as the eulachon. I've got kings on cop car, pearl, and patterns in between. A 4.5" hoochie is about the same profile/size as the eulachon. I've got kings on various shades of green back over a clear or UV belly, with or without a twinkle skirt. A 5" tomic plug is about the same profile/size as the intermediate sizes of herring, and I've got kings on pearl patterns and patterns with a green back and white bottom.

    They don't all fish the same. Hoochies need to be behind a flasher or dodger - They're dead to the world otherwise. Dodgers troll slow (so they don't roll over), flashers can go pretty fast - up to and over 3knots. The coyotes work at a wide range of speeds - best for me is around 2.5 knots. Plugs need to go fast - 3 knots or more. Keep this in mind while running different rigs on different lines.

    There's a ton of info on rigging and such out there - I'd start by reading stuff from Salmonuniversity and snooping other forums where myriad hardcore trollers lurk - the washington state forum at bloodydecks, various canuck sites (fishbc, etc.) and others. They do a lot more sport trolling down there than here, and what works there works here for the most part, aside from obvious differences in forage - there are no pilchards up here and seemingly fewer intermediate forage species down there.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    No, it really looks like a small squid. I get mine through Cabela's and they're called Tsunami Holographic Squid. They come in a few different sizes and colors, but my favorite is the 6" Glow Fleck. I do use hoochies at times, too, but seem to have the most luck with the Tsunamis and threaded herring.
    Mutley, you really can't beat a nice brined herring behind a flasher or dodger. I use to fish Hoochies with a lot of success and my favorite colors for Kings are Purple Haze, Green & Chartreuse.

    You might be on to something with these holographic squids

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Tsuna...h-All+Products

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Trolling for Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    No, it really looks like a small squid. I get mine through Cabela's and they're called Tsunami Holographic Squid. They come in a few different sizes and colors, but my favorite is the 6" Glow Fleck. I do use hoochies at times, too, but seem to have the most luck with the Tsunamis and threaded herring.
    Mutley, you really can't beat a nice brined herring behind a flasher or dodger. I use to fish Hoochies with a lot of success and my favorite colors for Kings are Purple Haze, Green & Chartreuse.

    You might be on to something with these holographic squids

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Tsuna...h-All+Products

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelieguy View Post
    Mutley, you really can't beat a nice brined herring behind a flasher or dodger. I use to fish Hoochies with a lot of success and my favorite colors for Kings are Purple Haze, Green & Chartreuse.

    You might be on to something with these holographic squids

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Tsuna...h-All+Products
    I'm not a big fan of brining. I've tried it off and on over the last 20 years and have found it might be more useful when using a double hook mooching rig. But I prefer to use herring straight out of the pack and threaded with a treble hook. My hookup rate is far more productive than with mooching rigs and about 95% of the time you get an excellent hook set right in the corner of the salmon's mouth. It makes them a lot easier to release if you want to do that and a lot easier to de-hook when you get them in the boat.

    And I DO love those "glo" Tsunami squid, too! They have caught a lot of kings for me and it's hard to argue with success.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I'm not a big fan of brining. I've tried it off and on over the last 20 years and have found it might be more useful when using a double hook mooching rig. But I prefer to use herring straight out of the pack and threaded with a treble hook. My hookup rate is far more productive than with mooching rigs and about 95% of the time you get an excellent hook set right in the corner of the salmon's mouth. It makes them a lot easier to release if you want to do that and a lot easier to de-hook when you get them in the boat.

    And I DO love those "glo" Tsunami squid, too! They have caught a lot of kings for me and it's hard to argue with success.


    You have a picture of how you are threading the herring with a triple hook? You using a bait biter?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    You have a picture of how you are threading the herring with a triple hook? You using a bait biter?
    I've never heard of a "bait biter" before, so not sure exactly what they are. All I do is thread a bait threading needle through the anal opening up through the herring and out the mouth. Then pull my leader with a 1/0 treble hook attached through the body and push the head of the hook into the anal opening then embed one of the hooks of the treble hook into the body between the tail and the anal opening. This leaves the other two hooks exposed with one hook on one side of the herring and the other hook on the other side. Then I slip a nose clip (I can't remember what they are actually called, but they're just little aluminum clips they sell at the Gear Shed and probably the Sport Shed, too) onto the line and squeeze it together over the herring's mouth to keep it from opening as it's being trolled. Then tie it all to my swivel. A herring will last for hours (if you don't catch anything) like this as long as you attach the nose clip properly.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  14. #14

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Those are the ones, but Mack must be making a killing on them at 10 for $2.69. At the Gear Shed you can buy a box of 100 for a little over $8, so maybe if you poke around a bit on Google you might find them in bulk. You'd want to have a lot of them anyway because they tend to break when you bend them more than just a few times.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  16. #16

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    BTW---I'm pretty sure those clips are actually used to hold sheets of paper together, so you might find bulk boxes of them at an office supply store.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  17. #17
    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    How important are flashers as in size and color? I have tried trolling several times in PWS with flashers and they always seem to just twist with the line headed to the hooch or break off in front of the flasher and I loose everything. I am not to experienced with flashers at all if ya couldn't tell. What should I be doing different? Also any flasher suggestions?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy82Hoyt View Post
    How important are flashers as in size and color? I have tried trolling several times in PWS with flashers and they always seem to just twist with the line headed to the hooch or break off in front of the flasher and I loose everything. I am not to experienced with flashers at all if ya couldn't tell. What should I be doing different? Also any flasher suggestions?
    It kind of depends on what you're fishing for. When I'm fishing for kings I very rarely won't use a flasher. My favorite is a Pro-Troll (with the "e-chip") 11" flasher in the Glo/Chartreuse color, but everyone has their own favorite flashers and colors, so you'll probably get about a dozen different answers when it comes to that. A lot of people think the "e-chip" is more of a gimmick, but I have had notable success using them vs. a non-e-chip flasher.

    If you're getting line twist and they're breaking off then you need to use a swivel between both your main line and your leader. I buy ball bearing swivels and won't use anything but ball bearing swivels. Sure they cost a little more, but it's worth it to me not to lose a $15 flasher or a nice salmon.

    If you're trolling for silvers flashers will work, but I prefer to use a dodger instead. I like Luhr-Jensen dodgers in sizes around 4" to 5" and in various shades of chrome and/or chrome and a color. Pro-Troll also makes their flasher in a 4" size and I have a number of them that I use successfully as well.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy82Hoyt View Post
    How important are flashers as in size and color? I have tried trolling several times in PWS with flashers and they always seem to just twist with the line headed to the hooch or break off in front of the flasher and I loose everything. I am not to experienced with flashers at all if ya couldn't tell. What should I be doing different? Also any flasher suggestions?
    It's really variable from day to day and place to place, but in general yeah, they help. I've spooked fish in the shallows with them on bright sunny days, but gone fishless in the same spot until I put them on when there was chop on the water or the sun was behind a cloud.

    Then you get into the whole world of "customizing" them for conditions and what you're dragging behind them. When using big herring or big hoochies I bend them across my leg for some extra kick. I can just about double my catch of silvers on hoochies when I drill a hole in the back end about 1/2" from the centerline hole and move my swivel over there, then go to a longer leader. I get lots more "kick" from the flasher while the longer leader really changes the way a hoochie swims. This can be a killer with lots of other boats around and fish that have memorized the patent numbers on the stuff everyone else is trolling.

    Best answer is to vary them from one rod to the next in a spread, then go with what works at the moment-flasher or not, big or small, colored or not, custom or standard. Seems like some combo will always work, but not always the same one from one day or one place to the next.

    And the twisting/breaking is a sure sign you need to buy better swivels.

  20. #20
    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Muttley, I was trolling for silvers in the past but I was asking cause I wanna learn and maybe catch a King, well and of course stop loosing stop loosing tackle!

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