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Thread: Ocean Coho rig questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Ocean Coho rig questions

    Guys i am heading to Homer this summer and am going to be tying up some trolling rigs for Silvers in the ocean. I am wondering if i should use 3'' or 4'' squid skirts (hoochies) for them and in what colors. Also what are your favorite flasher colors? Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    homer, alaska

    Default 3" should be fine.

    when the silvers are thick it doesn't make much difference, they will hit just about anything flashy as often as it takes to hook themselves
    if i am just targeting silvers i use a spoon, or the sparkliest blue/silver/flash hoochie i have.
    i also just rig them with one BIG salmon hook, instead of a double hook rig.
    i use a hook big enough that with one bead for a head, the bend of the hook comes out of the hoochie right where the skirt begins. not only does this rig make for solid hook-ups, but it is quick to get out of the fish and tangles minimally in your net, allowing you to get back in the water faster.(or to get the net back in action again)
    i never use anything lighter than #50 test on my leaders, cause you never know when or where you might hook a monster king or a nice halibut...
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"

  3. #3
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Bait Station, Alaska 99801


    I like using tube flies - sliding hook set, herring strip off of the top hook - behind a 00 dodger.... leader at roughly 1 1/2 length of the dodger. Gives it a whipping tail that looks snake-ish going through the water.

    I watched Alaska Outdoor Television last week (fishing Seward) and it looked like one of the guys was using a similar setup.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  4. #4
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default favorite.

    Like Homerdave said, if you find a big school, they'll hit pretty much anything you throw at them. I've even had them hit just my hook after losing my bait. For general trolling, everyone has a favorite, so my biggest recommendation is a fish-finder and downrigger. If you know what depth to fish and can get down to that depth with some precision, you greatly increase your hookups. Not that silvers won't chase something, it just increases your odds to drag it right through them.

    If you have a school located that just doesn't seem interested in biting anything, stick a whole troll herring on a 4 or 5/0 octopus hook and dead drift it through them. Personally I just stick the hook through the gillplate directly behind the eye. No weights or anything, herring will slowly sink on its own, just let it free spool with the current until a fish takes off with it or it hits the bottom, then mooch it back up. I've had crazy good success with this technique while no one around me is catching anything. It's also a good shore technique...cast it out and let it settle, reel just enough to keep slack out of the line.

  5. #5


    Have at least five colors of hoochies tied up, as they always seem to want one particular color the best. If you're not catching as well as everybody else, start changing stuff until you are. I have my best success with 30# leader with twin 4/0 gamas tied solid. I smoke the guys who are fishing a commercial rig.

    If I'm not trolling hoochies I've been known to go Bait Buster or Coyote 4/0 behind an 11' hotspot. A few years ago, you could not keep the coho's/kings off a green/white coyote. Every year is different and they seem to favor something different every year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    For flashers, I tend to use "Hot Spots" and their post-patent imitators. For flasher color, I like red and chartreuse, with the oldschool silver sides with the tiny square pattern. The prism-tape sides work fine, too.

    For hoochies, it's more a question of what doesn't work. I like fishy colors - light on bottom, dark on top. One that was really good to me last year had a dull olive back and the opaque "purple haze" belly. You can tell the "purple haze" versus the pearl white as the purple haze will have a trace of blue looking at it in normal light. You can also run "twinkle skirts" inside the hoochies - I cut them off flush with the end of the hoochie's tentacles, and cut away 2/3 to 3/4 of the twinklies, leaving a dozen strands or so. A little more subtle.

    I use a single 4/0 or 5/0 stainless siwash hook on a barrel swivel. When they get hooked on this, they stay hooked, and the barrel swivel helps with tooth scars on your leader. Large, single hooks are easy to remove when the fishing is fast. Don't go too large with hook or swivel or it will look weird. Space your hook back from the head of the hoochie with enough beads or coffee straw so the back of the hook is even with the back of the hoochie.

    I use a leader length of ~3x the flasher length (30-36"), and heavy leader (50-60 lb). The heavy leader gives the hoochie more action as it's flung around by the flasher.

    Google a dude named Captain Downriggin - he sells rigged hoochies that look really good. Find one you like, buy the components, and make your own. He uses two close-tied 5/0 or 6/0 salmon hooks - that's fine and it works great, but it's a mess to untangle from a net when you want to get back in the water fast. He fishes in WA where it's barbless hooks only, hence the double hooks. Good strategy for kings, though - good hookup rate on the double hooks, and not so much a hurry when it's in the net.

  7. #7
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Captin Downriggin

    That guy knows his hoochies


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