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Thread: Trolling herring

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Default Trolling herring

    Just wondering, has anyone rigged herring like we rig ballyhoo's for blue water? I've caught Kings on swim baits, they move about the same. It' just wierd, we chase fish on the est coast, it has to swim naturally, couldn't get the stripers to hit any of my king baits except spoons. So will kings hit a herring rigged to swim? I know the silvers will, they'll chase down just about anything.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I don't see why they wouldn't, other than keeping the bait deep enough.

    Problem I see with kings is they are generally not in big schools like silvers. Once you find feeding silvers, they'll take about anything you throw at them. The kings we catch trolling are just kind of random, lonely fish in likely spots for the most part. Basically, it would be more difficult to locate kings, drop them a bait, and have them still be there by the time you do. Trolling allows you to cover a lot of water which in theory increases your chances of locating a patrolling king.

    That said, I could be wrong, too. I've never tried it. One of these days when I get rich and have my boat built to my specs, I'm going to have a live-well just so I can experiment with live herring. I think it'd be interesting to see what would happen if you dropped them to the bottom, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Just wondering, has anyone rigged herring like we rig ballyhoo's for blue water? I've caught Kings on swim baits, they move about the same. It' just wierd, we chase fish on the est coast, it has to swim naturally, couldn't get the stripers to hit any of my king baits except spoons. So will kings hit a herring rigged to swim? I know the silvers will, they'll chase down just about anything.
    Yes. Do a search on "cable baiters" for info on rigging a herring for salmon trolling. In central California there are still a few people, mostly oldtimers, that swear by this rig. It is fussy and time consuming to rig right compared to many other productive ways of trolling for salmon, so most people now use RSKs or FBRs with whole baits.

    Stripers will hit J plugs and apexes, but neither is anywhere near the top of my list in terms of catching ability. I have never tried to catch a striper on a hoochie and flasher. My guess is that that would be hard.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Slayer, what I was thinking was trolling them the same way we do now, just rigged to "swim" instead of roll. No flasher, just run the bait swimming off the rigger, or stacked above a flasher. Usually rigged with a single J hook, and weighted with jst enough lead to keep it sitting upright, lokks like it's swimming. Hook point comes out just below the gills.

    I pulled lots of stripers on other salmon baits, but never on the flashers, dodgers, etc.... But a big squid all buy itself, or fly worked.

  5. #5

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    I played with it quite a bit, sometimes "accidentally." Number one, if you're putting a flasher in front of it, it's not likely to swim straight unless your leader is so long that the flasher is not moving the bait. And rig a herring with no spin or too much spin, it's going to catch fewer fish or none alongside herring rigged with just the right spin.

    My dedicated attempts to get them to swim straight involved a bunch of really large herring I jigged up while the herring were spawning. They were over a pound each and the water was shallow. Kings were around crashing the schools and we tried casting rather than trolling. Only got one to hit the big straight-rigged herring, and it did so as I was letting the herring sink rather than on the retrieve. Missed it, too. We switched to 5" troll herring rigged to spin after that, and casting them my wife and I shagged three kings from among the herring schools and missed a couple of others. Even with the bay full of big herring, they seemed to prefer the smaller ones and with a little spin.

    Next time out, they might work just fine. Kings are funny that way, and one success or failure doesn't tell you much about what will happen the next time you try it.

  6. #6

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    Some of the guys on here mooch with those GULP! pogys.

    Those things have a 'swimming' action to them instead of the rolling one and from what Ive read, works just as well.

    I know what you mean about fishing the east coast and trying to imitate a live fish, but on the west coast, we try and create this really odd looping thing that we would never see a fish do.

    Have no clue why it works but it does.

    Before I went to Alaska the first time, I wanted to bring all my bombers, and yozuri crystal minnows etc for surf casting but was told to just use spinners. So I did, and I caught tons of fish on them.
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    Only problem with Cable baiters is they are all barbless thanks to the Calif. commercial guys. I used to use them (still do as a matter of fact) and was fishing out of Moss Landing the year they went to barbless.
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    I know what you mean about fishing the east coast and trying to imitate a live fish, but on the west coast, we try and create this really odd looping thing that we would never see a fish do.

    Have no clue why it works but it does.
    In my opinion, any herring pulled through (or near) a school of silvers will get eaten, regardless of how it's rigged. I think that a herring rigged to roll out fishes a herring rigged to swim only because the rolling herring will catch the fishes attention quicker based on motion and/or flash.

    But what do I know, I'm not a fish.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    The Pogy's is actaully what made me think of this again. Always wanted to try it, just never did. Maybe this summer when I get to Kodiak I'll give it s hot for silvers.

    Pulled lots of fish on crank baits in Ketch the years I was there.

  10. #10

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    Which crank baits did you use? Were you trolling them?

    Ive always wanted to try surf casting with some crank baits but didnt know if I'd be wasting my time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    The Pogy's is actaully what made me think of this again. Always wanted to try it, just never did. Maybe this summer when I get to Kodiak I'll give it s hot for silvers.

    Pulled lots of fish on crank baits in Ketch the years I was there.
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    Brad's cut plugs work great for me. The blue and silver ones seem to do the best. I soak a bunch of canned tuna in herring oil and use that as the filling. The filling lasts a lot longer than a piece of real herring so you don't have to check your bait as often. We destroyed the silvers at pony cove and el dorado last year with them. http://www.croutdoors.com/bstpscp.html

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Thundersticks, Jr. Thundersticks, Rapalas, Deep Thundersticks, wiggle warts and hot n tot's, J-plugs, then there's always the Flat/kwikfish. best colors usually were Blue/chrome, soem or of chartruese or firetiger, purple here and there or glow, usually casting. i would run my planer boards in shallow water like Herring Cove in Ketch, caught lots of term fish in 3' of water that way. Casting ws usually my go to method in front on the streams though.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Which crank baits did you use? Were you trolling them?

    Ive always wanted to try surf casting with some crank baits but didnt know if I'd be wasting my time.
    Brad's Wiggler crankbaits are great for casting and trolling for silvers. Try them in Valdez or Seward when the Silvers are in August. Casting works best from a boat. You may have a harder time casting them far enough from shore. Metalic pink is a go to color. I use a Sharpie to color the bill section black.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    on the west coast, we try and create this really odd looping thing that we would never see a fish do.Have no clue why it works but it does.
    The theory is that it's supposed to look like a wounded fish that is falling/escaping after being bashed by big Spring who charged into a school of bait.

    As theories go it's a bit thin.....

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthrcave View Post
    We destroyed the silvers at pony cove and el dorado last year with them.
    Silvers will he a hot dog with a hook thru it too.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Silvers will he a hot dog with a hook thru it too.
    A friend landed over 30 kings on the Rogue River in Oregon with them in one season though, and they won't eat a hot dog.
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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Didn't say kings would eat HDs (they have discriminating taste!), but a friend caught a silver on a HD in the saltwater. I remember catching a silver on an old novelty budweiser lure too - a spoon shaped like a bud bottle.

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