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Thread: What is mooching?

  1. #1

    Default What is mooching?

    I have only been saltwater fishing a couple times down by Seward. I heard people refer to mooching for salmon in the salt. What does that mean? Is that just a term for trolling or drifting?

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    Bouncing bait off the side of the boat. Some people will use a jig with a piece of herring to add scent, others will just put some herring on a hook and drop it down. I usually mooch at depths between 30 - 40 feet.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    I always thought it meant, trying to get something for nothing...
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Uses a mooching rig. A banana weight with a swivel and a cut plug herring or hoochie. Can be done trolling real slow or usually drifting.

    Having a line counter reel helps if you mark fish at a certain depth you can repeat your drop. Lower the rig, reel up, repeat.

    moochingrig.jpg

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    Eat dinner at my place and the dogs will show you pretty quick.

    Actually Carolina boys explanation is close to how we do it. I just don't jig or retrieve. Use just get enough motion for the herring to spin at a given depth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    Eat dinner at my place and the dogs will show you pretty quick.

    Actually Carolina boys explanation is close to how we do it. I just don't jig or retrieve. Use just get enough motion for the herring to spin at a given depth.
    If a signer in Anchor Town is walking back and forth, they are trolling. If standing in one place, mooching.

  7. #7

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    YouTube mooching for salmon. There are a ton of videos.

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    you can or could buy a few years back a Mooching reg it was a section of mono line with 2 hooks you put on a small bait fish an drop it down with a float on the line , the distance down can be just about any distance an then wait , you hope to get a bite that is what I think other people
    could have a slight different take , fishing with bait sums it up . SID

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    Use just get enough motion for the herring to spin at a given depth.
    I don't think I've ever heard an actual definition of what "mooching" is but that's pretty much my thought as well. Many years ago in very early spring I was halibut fishing in about 20' of water.....letting it sit on the bottom for awhile and then sometimes slowly lifting the rod tip a bit. Next thing I know a 40 lb. king slammed my herring. So I went from halibut fishing to, what I would call mooching in a big king, in a matter of split second.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I Mooch a lot .... many Salmon fishermen down here is SE Mooch now-a-days instead of trolling. I like to do it because it's more hands on for my clients, than trolling. Let it down to the bottom and catch Rock fish and even Halibut ... work the water column for Salmon. Either on a wind drift, current drift or very slow power ... or just sit on top of a bait ball and work it .... Today I ran out of green label plug cut herring so I just angle cut larger bait herring into several pieces and it worked ....

  11. #11

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    It's an over-simplification, but I think of it as slow jigging. I adjust the depth I fish based on what I'm seeing on my fish finder.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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  12. #12

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    Adding another wrinkle.... This has actually been bugging me for awhile....what's the difference between jigging and mooching? I guess I have always assumed that jigging is on the bottom and mooching is higher in the water column....thoughts ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavokak View Post
    Adding another wrinkle.... This has actually been bugging me for awhile....what's the difference between jigging and mooching? I guess I have always assumed that jigging is on the bottom and mooching is higher in the water column....thoughts ?
    The way I think about it is that jigging, I impart action to the bait/lure with the rod or reel, though many if not most of my strikes are as the lure falls. For me jigging is not just lifting and dropping the rod. I will shake my rod tip for example. In mooching, the action of the bait/lure is imparted by the free falling weight though there is action on the upswing whether it be by lifting the rod or reeling up but the upstroke is mainly to reposition my bait for the drop. So for jigging, the weight is typically on or very near the hook like a jig. Mooching, I tend to have the weight several feet forward of the bait/lure. Since the weight is what I feel imparts the action, I often tend to use heavier weights than most. 6 to 10 oz for salmon since the heavier faster falling weight imparts more action. Very similar really, if not the same.

    Another twist in mooching is that off my kayak I often power mooch. its a hybrid of trolling and mooching. I speed up and troll, then I stop or slow down and the free falling weight "mooches". As my line reached near vertical, I begin trolling again to lift the bait up. Repeat. Works great for me at least.

  14. #14

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    Instead of trolling horizontally through the water column (I.e. Setting a troll rig at 30 ft down and using a motor to move the bait at that depth over a distance) Think of mooching as trolling either a piece of bait or hardware vertically through the water column. You will release the bait/lure from the top of the water column (I.e. The surface) and let it descend down to whatever depth you like (30, 40 ft) then you would slowly raise the bait/lure by reeling it back up to the surface. Another common strategy when mooching, if you know at what depth the fish are active, is to set your bait/lure at that depth and then slowly jig the bait/lure. Some folks will drift when mooching while others will anchor. But that in a nutshell is what mooching is.

    - Gambler

  15. #15

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    Good explanations Rudi and Gambler!

    For anyone doing web searches for more info, these are often referred to another way in articles:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    ...power mooch....
    You'll see it written up in Puget Sound as "motor mooching." It's deadly, and a great way to cover water, mixing trolling and mooching depending on the spot and what's happening on the screen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gambler View Post
    ... trolling either a piece of bait or hardware vertically....
    You'll see this written up as "vertical trolling." We catch an amazing number of kings "accidentally" while fishing dart jigs for halibut. The kings will grab it on the way to or from the bottom. On the way down, you know you've had a strike because it stops too soon. Set the hook quick! On the way up, you've had a strike because your line will suddenly go slack. Reel like crazy and keep setting the hook until you feel fish!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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  16. #16

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    According to an article I read yeas ago on the trusted internet, LOL. The current accepted "mooching" technique was probably intoduced in the Seattle area by oriental fisherman.

    Back when I was a boat owner I used to fish Pony Cove out of Seward with my family and friends. I would usually anchor and watch the fish finder to give those fishing an idea of the depth the fish were at. It was simple, put a red banana weight and cut herring on the hook and drop it down to the desired depth and slowly raise and lower the rod.

    Other times in more open water, I just looked for seagulls on a bait ball and set up to drift through it as we mooched. I like mooching as it is an easy type of jigging and the boats motion often does most of the work.

    Mooching for silvers is a hoot and an ocean caught silver tastes better to me then aby sockeye I ever ate.

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Well covered with lots of different or agreeing answers. Two more things, all regarding mooching for silvers: Using a bobber stop and fishing with that (float to some) is a hoot, like many of you have done for bluegills or bass in another life. And...try it with a cane pole if you have access to one or just a very long willow pole.

    Well, guess there is three: I have been using Owner Mutu Light Circle Hooks for 3 years now for mooching, and wouldn't use anything else. No more hooks in the gullet or stomach, gets em in the lip every time, so easy release if that's your plan. I use #3/0 or #4/0. And, I have gone completely away from double hook rigs, catch just as many and get just as many hookups on a single hook, and no more extra hook flinging around in the net or on the fish just waiting to sink its point into your hand.

  18. #18

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    The Mutu's sound like an excellent idea. Gotta try them. Thanks!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavokak View Post
    Adding another wrinkle.... This has actually been bugging me for awhile....what's the difference between jigging and mooching? I guess I have always assumed that jigging is on the bottom and mooching is higher in the water column....thoughts ?
    You can jig at any depth, I've used jigs to take coho and pelagic rockfish in over 200' of water at depths of 30-60'

    With jigging the jig is the weight, whereas with mooching the hook(s) and hoochie, herring, fly whatever are spaced out from the weight 2-3'. The action is totally different because the movement of the terminal tackle will be much more subtle than the movement of the weight due to the leader.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I don't think I've ever heard an actual definition of what "mooching" is but that's pretty much my thought as well. Many years ago in very early spring I was halibut fishing in about 20' of water.....letting it sit on the bottom for awhile and then sometimes slowly lifting the rod tip a bit. Next thing I know a 40 lb. king slammed my herring. So I went from halibut fishing to, what I would call mooching in a big king, in a matter of split second.....
    Well then, after all these other ideas as to what mooching is, I guess I was just bottom fishing......even though I would lift the bait slowly off the bottom and back down like we sometimes do for halibut rather than just let it sit there. Either way, that king sure thought it looked good.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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