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Thread: Ling cod prioritization?

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Default Ling cod prioritization?

    Ok, I'm not looking for tight-lipped secret ingredients. I'm just looking to hone and refine my ling presentation and get it done on a fly.

    If you were to prioritize your ling cod presentation, how would it go? Color? Size? Action? Depth?

    Meaning, for muskies, it's speed, size, color and then depth. Tying ling flies, what do I concentrate on? This past year was my first season for ling on a fly, and I struck out. Did fine on rockfish (of course) halibut and salmon on fly, but ling evade me here on Kodiak. Help a guy find a ling...and I'll even release it so you can go catch it again yourself!

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    Color = White
    Size = Big = 10 in or bigger
    Action = jigging
    Depth = 60ft to 100ft
    Lings like current, that is why we drift and jig them off of rocky structure. You will need to be out off Cape Chiniak to have a shot.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Thanks. That's one more reply than I expected, so thank you.

    Here's an example of what I'm using. They're 16-18" and fished down to 100' on a super fast, super deep line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    Color = White
    Size = Big = 10 in or bigger
    Action = jigging
    Depth = 60ft to 100ft
    Lings like current, that is why we drift and jig them off of rocky structure. You will need to be out off Cape Chiniak to have a shot.
    I concur, but have also had good luck with yellow and chartreuse.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    White. And when you dont have white use white lol. I have limited experience with lings but a big white jig was always the ticket. A very reputable source told me about it and says he will never use another color for lings.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    White. And when you dont have white use white lol. I have limited experience with lings but a big white jig was always the ticket. A very reputable source told me about it and says he will never use another color for lings.
    I agree that white does work well. I've used the other colors because I had them. This was caught on a chartreuse jig.Morgan's lingcod.jpg

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'll go against the grain and say that lings aren't terribly picky regarding the color of your presentation. While they will definately hit a white grub on a leadhead, they'll also hit just about any other jig you dance in front of them.

    The two lings I hooked this summer took this little gibbs jig



    A buddy hooked one on one of these shads.



    The biggest ling I've taken hit one of these (unfortunately my 3 pack of those jigs was all lost to the rocks over the years)



    So I'd say get consider some presentations that have some green or blue with white and or some silver to them. So long as you can get them down and put some action into them, you should be fine.
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    Member NeverLand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post



    The only difference between this rig and what I use is that I use either yellow or chartreuse shad. I bought about 50 of them for stripers and brought them to Alaska when I sold my boat in Virginia. The work fine for lingcod and rockfish. Come to think about it, in the Chesapeake they call stripers rockfish.

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    What weight fly rod would it take to cast one of those jigs?

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    Ok, I'm not looking for tight-lipped secret ingredients. I'm just looking to hone and refine my ling presentation and get it done on a fly.

    If you were to prioritize your ling cod presentation, how would it go? Color? Size? Action? Depth?

    Meaning, for muskies, it's speed, size, color and then depth. Tying ling flies, what do I concentrate on? This past year was my first season for ling on a fly, and I struck out. Did fine on rockfish (of course) halibut and salmon on fly, but ling evade me here on Kodiak. Help a guy find a ling...and I'll even release it so you can go catch it again yourself!
    Action, Depth, size, color. For me I observed customers who just let the bait sit vs the guys who work the bait constantly thats why I say action. I also troll a bait that rolls and noticed if it aint rolling it aint getting bit! I also got to get to the right depth, bigger is is better(mainly so the rockfish dont bite) I just minic the fish around, black for rockfish, brown for grnling.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverLand View Post
    The only difference between this rig and what I use is that I use either yellow or chartreuse shad. I bought about 50 of them for stripers and brought them to Alaska when I sold my boat in Virginia. The work fine for lingcod and rockfish. Come to think about it, in the Chesapeake they call stripers rockfish.
    I've got the shads in most colors they come in, but on that day the red and white one seemed to be the hot one. I also like the rig up the mongo shads on 16 and 24 oz lead heads.



    And yes, I'm aware these are not flies. But in regards to the question of what colors will take lings, I'd say you'd have a harder time finding a color combo that won't work than you will one that will work. Here's a selection of what I'll drop down to entice a bite.





    But back to flies, the question is what depth can you consistently present the flies at? And at what point is it still fly fishing vs. putting a jig on the end of a fly line? I'd say your biggest challenge is finding lings in shallow enough water to get a fly to them. I don't think I've ever taken a ling shallower than 50', and most have been between 150-300'.

    Many lings that are taken on flies are taken on boats that have people catching rock fish on conventional gear and the lings follow the rock fish to the surface where they are take the fly.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    they all look great but where is the FLY ???????????? SID

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post

    But back to flies, the question is what depth can you consistently present the flies at? And at what point is it still fly fishing vs. putting a jig on the end of a fly line? I'd say your biggest challenge is finding lings in shallow enough water to get a fly to them. I don't think I've ever taken a ling shallower than 50', and most have been between 150-300'.

    Many lings that are taken on flies are taken on boats that have people catching rock fish on conventional gear and the lings follow the rock fish to the surface where they are take the fly.
    That's interesting. I've caught all of mine in under 100'. Mostly under 50'. Then again, I never fished deeper for Ling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    Action, Depth, size, color. For me I observed customers who just let the bait sit vs the guys who work the bait constantly thats why I say action. I also troll a bait that rolls and noticed if it aint rolling it aint getting bit! I also got to get to the right depth, bigger is is better(mainly so the rockfish dont bite) I just minic the fish around, black for rockfish, brown for grnling.
    Thank you sir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post

    And yes, I'm aware these are not flies. But in regards to the question of what colors will take lings, I'd say you'd have a harder time finding a color combo that won't work than you will one that will work. Here's a selection of what I'll drop down to entice a bite....
    No, thanks. That's why I posted this here and not in the fly section. Yes, I'm all fly fishing, but fishing for what and where I do, I try my best to emulate what gear guys use and have success with. That's specifically why I asked here...the colors/size/presentations that work on gear will work for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post

    But back to flies, the question is what depth can you consistently present the flies at? And at what point is it still fly fishing vs. putting a jig on the end of a fly line? I'd say your biggest challenge is finding lings in shallow enough water to get a fly to them. I don't think I've ever taken a ling shallower than 50', and most have been between 150-300'.

    Many lings that are taken on flies are taken on boats that have people catching rock fish on conventional gear and the lings follow the rock fish to the surface where they are take the fly.
    I've caught halibut off the bottom in 200' of water on 100% fly gear. It was a pain in the neck, but I can do it. I'm obviously not a purist, but I do insist on maintaining a 100% true fly gear...and that means no jigs, sinkers or significant (only weight on a fly can be a bit on the head to get the fly to "dive" between strips...but not enough to actually facilitate sinking the fly) weight on a fly. The main thing to keep in mind is casting the fly line, and the fly line delivering the fly....not the fly sinking the line. I use super fast sink lines up to 850 grains. Yeah, you have to count them down and you can't feel bottom (unless you snag it!) but you can get down. Current is of course an issue amongst several other things from boat control and angle, and timing the sink to hit the pinnacle on a drift...I won't lie; it's a labor of love to fish at depth.

    But I can comfortably deliver to, and fish to depths of 100' and still get action on the fly. And I've caught black and dusky rockfish at those depths. I'm tying new ling flies right now with tails and blades trying to up the profile, presence and signature in the water. We'll see how they pan out.

    For rockfish, well of course that's easy and I fish them down to 50-60' and they're happy to oblige most anything I get down to them. Goal this year is rockfish on a topwater popper.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    What weight fly rod would it take to cast one of those jigs?
    Something in the neighborhood of a 45-50 weight! LOL

    I use 11-13's for my purposes.

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    Thanks again guys.

    Next question...how close to I need to get to shoving the fly in their face for them to come hit it? I can't feel bottom or rock (unless, like I say, I'm snagged on it) so I'm swimming the fly just off the bottom or off the side/top of the pinnacle. A fly presentation is lateral and not vertical, so it's tough to get down "in" the rocks and dig the fish out.

    How often will a ling get out in open water and feed?

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    Thanks again guys.

    Next question...how close to I need to get to shoving the fly in their face for them to come hit it? I can't feel bottom or rock (unless, like I say, I'm snagged on it) so I'm swimming the fly just off the bottom or off the side/top of the pinnacle. A fly presentation is lateral and not vertical, so it's tough to get down "in" the rocks and dig the fish out.



    How often will a ling get out in open water and feed?
    Think I got 2 way out off rock pile twice all the times I been out, good surprise tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    Thanks again guys.

    Next question...how close to I need to get to shoving the fly in their face for them to come hit it? I can't feel bottom or rock (unless, like I say, I'm snagged on it) so I'm swimming the fly just off the bottom or off the side/top of the pinnacle. A fly presentation is lateral and not vertical, so it's tough to get down "in" the rocks and dig the fish out.

    How often will a ling get out in open water and feed?
    I've picked up well over a dozen in the last 3-4 years trolling the reefs at buoy 4, so it is doable for sure. Good Luck!!!!
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

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