I was out at Esther hatchery last summer when the chums were in pretty well. It was getting a little later in the run but even the chums we caught that were turning were really nice and firm and smoked up fabulously.
They seemed pretty fickle to catch, though, given how many were around. And they weren't in there thick enough to bother with the snagging hooks.
My best luck came with barely weighted small, whole herring on a double-hook leader and we motor mooched them (slow trolling the baits back to near the surface, then cutting the motor and letting them flutter down). But we trolled all kinds of hoochies and flashers, as well as tossing spinners and pixees. Maybe some buzz bombs would be good to try given our limited success w/ motor mooching?
Still surprised we didn't catch more. I'll be out there again for a few days around the same time this year and I'm looking to take a few more.
What works for you? I'm sure potbuilder will say a gillnet.