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Thread: Query on downrigger basics

  1. #1
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    Default Query on downrigger basics

    Well, my family is headed to Ketchikan again this summer and I get to learn more about how to fish up there, since we're going the self-guided rental boat route again.

    1) When trolling a large spoon, should I still use a flasher on the line & if so, approximately how far apart should they be? Also, when using a cut herring or a hoochie & bait strip, about how long should the leader from the flasher be?

    2) I gather from some other threads that trolling speeds are normally 2-3mph - is this correct?

    3) My mom is tickled with catching pink salmon on a deep six type planing device (she hates using a downrigger), but for cohos and chum, what depths should I be trying the downrigger lines at? 40-60? 60-80? 80+?

    Also figured out the solution to the problem my mom had last year when she couldn't feel the fish due to the sideways drag of the hot spot flasher ... gonna rig her up with one of the spinner type flashers unless anyone here has a better suggestion.

    Thank you all - looking forward to another wonderful trip to your gorgeous state!

  2. #2

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    If fishing spoons for silvers I run the flasher of the DR ball and clip above it a few feet. That way I can fight the fish and not the flasher.

    For Coho generally the upper 50ft more often not deeper than 20ft.

  3. #3
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    Default goog article

    Check this out..this will help you understand the basics.
    http://www.pugetsoundanglers.org/fis...ontrolling.htm

    Provides some great advicea and tech that work.

    I have learned from trial and error over the years and finally have what I like to use on the boat and what works for me.

    Every boat owner that trolls for Salmon has a different approach..you will have to develop yours.

    Good luck..PM me and we can chat more on what I do if interested.

    Lines tight!
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  4. #4
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    Couple thoughts for you, bear in mind i've never fished that area but for pinks and silvers i've had great luck fishing the same way both in Washington and here so I think its fairly universal. My comments refer to trolling for silvers/pinks, both inhabit the same water in the salt.

    Try varying your trolling speed from 2-5 mph, some days their lazy, other days slower speeds won't give you enough action to get them to bit.

    When i'm trying to locat fish one cut plug hearing or spoon on a 6 oz. bannana weight, approximately 10' fishing depth, a deep six down which is usually fishing 20-30' deep, a down rigger at 40 and one at 60-80. Once I catch a couple fish, i'll start tweaking the two downriggers to match whatever depth i'm catching at. Many times in seward we were getting into fish so fast the downrigger became an impediment and we went to all deep six and bannana weights.

    I typically run the smaller 8" hot spots for silvers, it doesn't take a lot to get their attention. The smaller flashers don't impede your fight as much. As another post said, a second option is to put your flashers on a line off the down rigger, if you put one on each down rigger that will be enough to bring the fish into all 4 lines off the back of the boat and then no need for flashers on any lines.

    When using a lure that has its own action like a spoon, you can run it basically what ever distance from the flasher you want, put it close to the flasher and it will have its own action plus some from the flasher, put it farther away and you'll get just the spoon action. If you only want the spoon action stick with lighter leader between the two, if you want the dual action go heavier.

    When you get into the fish, if their schooled up decent, try mooching, 4 oz. banana weight and a cut or whole hearing is my all time favorite way to catch them since you get to feel the hit!

    No gospel here, just how I fish! Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Check this out..this will help you understand the basics.
    http://www.pugetsoundanglers.org/fis...ontrolling.htm

    Provides some great advicea and tech that work.

    I have learned from trial and error over the years and finally have what I like to use on the boat and what works for me.

    Every boat owner that trolls for Salmon has a different approach..you will have to develop yours.

    Good luck..PM me and we can chat more on what I do if interested.

    Lines tight!
    Awesome site, thanks - the deep six/fish flash rigging looks to be perfect for my mom's preferred fishing.

  6. #6
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    Couple of other tips

    I usually fillet my herring in thin strips and just attach it to the treble hook on the 6in Coyote spoon/ Brads bait plug etc. Works great!

    You can never have enough quality swivels on board. You need to keep that line from twisting...if you think it will twist, put a swivel in there..lolmost of your lures have quality swivels and usually the basic setup will cover this.

    Hooks, never really paid to much attention to size..I have not lost many over the years and most of the ones I did.. I didnt contribute it to the hook..more likely operator error with boat/net or rod..lol

    I ususally have about 8-15ft of line behind the snaplink, then a flasher 8in or 10in with echip, then 36in leader to bait plug, spoon or mooch. Seems to work pretty well. I have trolled with just a spoon 12ft behind the clip..with a fillet of herring and done pretty well with that.

    I am going to try attaching the flasher to the downrigger this summer on one side and see what it does. would make things easier for fighting fish along with netting etc. Always more fun for the wife and kids if they can feel the fish and not have to worry about the drag of the flasher when netting.

    I would also buy a few of these http://www.lakemichiganangler.com/st...t_Cut_Plug.htm

    just found a link with pics etc...these things rock..are a little expensive if you go loosing a lot. Last year, for some reason I could not keep the Salmon off the hot Pink..wife decided it looked cool...wanted two, and we got em...I had some blue and solid silver ones out for flash...and nada..as soon as this pink would hit the dept...fishon!..was crazy...after three. I changed and although we occasionally caught some on the other rods trolling..the two downriggers were dancing all day with those. I would have never bought them..but with or without her this year..there will be at least 6 on the boat..lol

    so even though it looks strange, odd with colors or whatever..buy a few of these and give them a try. Same hookup, just attach to the leader, put a fillet of herring in there and let her rip...have fun and fill the freezer.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  7. #7
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    Some general things that work for me:

    No spoons larger than a 5.0 coyote behind a typical 11" plastic flasher. Any larger and I use dummy flashers rigged 8' back from the cannonball.

    Long leader length for spoons - 6 to 8 feet. Old habit adapted from West Coast Vancouver Island fishing where you run a rigged anchovy 8' back from the flasher (or more...); makes for a fun time landing the fish! Hoochies get a shorter (and heavier) leader for me: 33" (three flasher lengths) to 42". Heavy leader helps transmit flasher motion to the hoochie.

    Fun fact: a big, hot king will put a huge load on the gear between the flasher and the fish's mouth, because the flasher adds a ton of drag when pulled fast through the water. Case in point: This season I had a good king visibly straighten the 6/0 eagle claw SS siwash hook on my hoochie setup. Landed the fish, but afterward had to bend the hook point back to where it was supposed to be. Use strong hooks and leader (no less than 40#) for kings behind an 11" flasher. Others may advocate less leader strength, but my opinion was formed after watching friends lose several nice kings at Nootka on 20# and subsequently 30# leaders behind flashers. If you're using the Qcove or jim's breakaway flashers, different rules may apply - I've not used them.

    Terminate your cable at one side of a giant barrel swivel. Look up ways to terminate cable - don't just loop it over and crimp. I use two brass oval crimps spaced 1" apart, crimped with a good bluewater leader crimping tool. I also use one or two scotty rubber bumpers for both electric and manual riggers - helps cushion the impact if the ball is pulled in with too much enthusiasm...

    On the other end of the swivel, run 2' or so of light cord from the barrel swivel to another corkscrew swivel. This is easy on the hands and provides an electrical break between your stainless cable and lead ball. Thread your cannonball onto the corkscrew swivel.

    I use the scotty green-jaw releases. Rig one of these with about 3' of 200# mono to a longline clip, and clip the assembly to the gangion/cord just above your ball.

    Keep an eye on your cable! Any kinks or broken strands - rerig NOW.

  8. #8
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    Good tips thanks guys. Can't wait for the Silvers to show up in Seward!!!

  9. #9

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    Every boat and sea state is different, but we have the most happiness with our downriggers set up so it stops with the weight still in the water and the release at a comfortable height above it. Lotta guys put releases right on their weights, but for us there's too much flailing around and weights banging against the side of the boat in rough water. My wife will run the downriggers all day long with them set so the weight stays in the water, but won't go near them with a release on the back of the weight. I trail about 2' of parachute cord off the back of my weights for ease of handling when swinging them aboard or setting, but that's it.

    Separate topic, but we rig ours with a length of 200# mono (barrel swivel at the top and clip at the bottom, both crimped). It's long enough so when the downrigger stops the weight is in the water. We don't use the same releases most guys us, rather we use these mounted right on that 200# mono with a crimp above and below to set the height. We were introduced to them when trolling for bluefin tuna at up to 8 knots off the southeast US, and they kinda stuck. No other release would stand up to the speeds or the size of the lures in use, yet these are sensitive enough to adjust all the way down for salmon.

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