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Catching chums at Esther

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  • Catching chums at Esther

    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.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

  • #2
    Pixie... every cast a fish!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
      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.
      Guess i had the right color and action
      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Originally posted by potbuilder View Post
        Guess i had the right color and action
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]78100[/ATTACH]
        It's all about leader length!!!

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        • #5
          I caught one off of Cochrane point out in front of Surprise trolling a hootchie and cut herring down 55 feet week before memorial day weekend.

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          • #6
            It really depends on what they are in the mood for on any given day. We've had days when the only thing they would touch were spoons...other days it was Tomic plugs...and yet other days it was herring. Don't hesitate to open up the tackle box when things get slow.

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            • #7
              We fished the area around Esther Island and the hatchery June 8th last year. Slammed the chums. All super bright, but we found all of our fish 50 ft and deeper down to 100 ft. We did manage a fish or two on the flatlined gear, but I bet 80% or better were caught below 50ft. Barely looked at spoons, almost all of them came on trolled herring. That's where the marks on the sonar were so that's where we fished. Super bright fish.


              AlaskaKayakFisher.com
              Guidesak.blogspot.com
              My personal pages...I'm not a guide.

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              • #8
                Color. When we were in there, we could catch them on just about any type of lure as long as it was green. Not saying green is always the color but on that day it was.

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