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Using bait from the shore...in saltwater?

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  • Using bait from the shore...in saltwater?

    Normally, I fish the rivers for fall run Coho but last year the month of August saw little rain on POW to fill any streams, creek or rivers. It all came in one day mid September and the record return of Coho promptly left the salt and headed inland.

    Until then the shore bound anglers (myself included) were left to cast along the shorelines in hopes of catching some Coho hugging the shallows. It worked but with much more effort than the confined waters of a river.

    Early on my second day last fall casting lures into the salt a dad and sons stopped to fish near me and plunked some eggs under a bobber about 10 yards out and 4 feet down. Within minutes they had bites - caught a few jacks- then the bobber went down with authority! Fish on! In minutes compared to my hours of casting everything I had. Then to rub it in even worse they tied on a mooching rigged sardine under the bobber and cast it out. Bam! Another nice fish.

    Then after that the rains came, the fish moved into freshwater and catching was easier.

    So how many of you successfully fish bait - eggs, herring, sardines, or whatever - in the salt from shore? I haven't done much of it and find little info about it either. All the bank fishing with bait seems to done in freshwater and bait fishing from a boat is done traditionally by mooching or trolling.

    would love to hear from anyone who swears by it. It obviously can be done successfully as witnessed by me but is it a regular technique?

    TIA,

    Steve

  • #2
    # 1 the corret spot #2 the correct time, #3 then the correct bait , when you get all 3 together you will catch fish , if either one is off, no fish,
    my 2 cts SID roud:

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    • #3
      Add a bobber as #4, and that's a pretty good list.
      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
      Merle Haggard

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      • #4
        I know that guys in Whittier hang a herring under a bobber for silvers. More times than not, these guys are catching fish when others are growing every piece of hardware in the box.

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        • #5
          I've hooked coho off Dayville road in Valdez with a glob of cured eggs floating up from a sinker (basically a spin-n-glo river rig with enough float to keep the eggs hovering about 18" up from the sinker. Haven't tried a bobber as saltwater is constantly in motion from tide, wind, and waves, so you'd never be able to keep the bait in the spot you want. But, when flashy steel isn't working, bait often does.
          Winter is Coming...

          Go GeocacheAlaska!

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          • #6
            NEVER use the red and white round bobbers. Use slip bobbers large enough to offset a decent amount of weight. But add enough weight the bobber is mostly submerged. I like thinner ones versus the bulbous ones. This lowers the drag a fish feels. Slip bobbers allow you to fish as deep as you want. I start about 8 ft deep.

            The heavier weights allow for the bait to pull line through the bobber more quickly and to allow you to lob your bait out instead of whipping it out.

            Spectra line floats which is perfect for bobber fishing. Also Instant contact when you reel up the slack.

            I've done well off the rocks past Lowell falls. Last week of August through mid September on a typical year. I go through more herring but I rig it so it hangs horizontal. 2 hook rig. One in back. One in head.

            You don't have to cast very far. Think of the shoreline, as a fence. Especially off the rocks because it drops off in a hurry. If you cast a mile out, they could be there, but you are fishing pretty much in the middle of the ocean instead of their travel corridor.

            Just have to be patient or be willing to move around. I hear Homer is hot now close to shore. Seward should be by the end of August as should Valdez.

            I've tried a lot of things and my personal winner hands down for shore fishing cohos in the salt is with a slip bobber and herring.

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            • #7
              There are a few jetties in WA and OR that we fish with a float with a herring under it. Fun way to catch the coho! I've fished eggs in tidewater plenty of times but can't recall ever fishing them in straight up salt water. Glad to hear it worked.

              Scott

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              • #8
                Thanks! So far guys, keep 'em coming. I'm not a resident but have fished the same island rivers for 15 years. Some years we bait fish eggs, but mostly cast hardware. And almost exclusively freshwater with the occasional late season halibut chater.

                Last year was the freak, dry, August where the rivers pretty much croaked. One, the Klawock, actually did croak and my resident friends there who witnessed it described the audible event as ALL the fish panicked due to lack of oxygen and "boiled" the river for a few minutes before going belly up. Humpies IIRC.

                The drought lasted a month plus...and then midweek of my trip a storm of Biblical proportions arrived...50-60 mph winds (not uncommon for SE AK in Sept) coupled with nearly 3" of rain. The Klawock went from a trickle full of stinky dead fish to over the weir blown out in one might. The hatchery guessed thousands of fish shot over the weir.

                The Coho were the target species and were "stuck" in the salt until the rivers filled to guide them home. POW island is somewhat sheltered so the wave action is minimal. The waves at the shoreline are minuscule just a few inches. Glass is common unless there's a big blow and then only chop. The motion might actually help herring bait movement or jig/milk the roe. However is a l- o- n- g cast needed to simulate a slow trolling retrieve? Or just cast and jig retrieve? Or let the ocean work it?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by carolinaboy View Post
                  The motion might actually help herring bait movement or jig/milk the roe. However is a l- o- n- g cast needed to simulate a slow trolling retrieve? Or just cast and jig retrieve? Or let the ocean work it?
                  All will work, but when it comes to trolling, think "vertical trolling." A bud of mine is a master at it from shore. He uses a bobber stop, a big bobber, a half ounce of weight above a mooching leader, and plug cut herring.

                  He sets the bobber stop for about 30' if the depth will allow it, less if needed. Then he casts and lets the weight carry the plugcut down until the bobber hits the stop. Let it rest a minute or so, then reel in pretty quick to cause the herring to rise and spin back up to the bobber. Stop, feed line and let it sink again. The big bobber is needed to help keep it from coming toward you too fast as you retrieve the leader back toward the bobber.

                  He catches more silvers than anyone I've seen. Just an unbelievable show when the fish are on hand.
                  "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                  Merle Haggard

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                    All will work, but when it comes to trolling, think "vertical trolling." A bud of mine is a master at it from shore. He uses a bobber stop, a big bobber, a half ounce of weight above a mooching leader, and plug cut herring.

                    He sets the bobber stop for about 30' if the depth will allow it, less if needed. Then he casts and lets the weight carry the plugcut down until the bobber hits the stop. Let it rest a minute or so, then reel in pretty quick to cause the herring to rise and spin back up to the bobber. Stop, feed line and let it sink again. The big bobber is needed to help keep it from coming toward you too fast as you retrieve the leader back toward the bobber.

                    He catches more silvers than anyone I've seen. Just an unbelievable show when the fish are on hand.
                    That certainly sounds worth trying. The roadside cliffs on POW have the room and depth to do it and I'm familiar with slip bobber rigging. I started this - even though the island is getting plenty of rain - so that I can pursue the silvers before they get into the rivers for several reasons.

                    One- to not have to get up at 400AM to secure a great fishing spot on the river by sitting in the woods on the bank for two hours waiting for daylight and the bite to start.

                    Two - much less culling of dark/blushed fish.

                    Three - very easy access with way less competition. Not that I'm lazy but the angler foot traffic the Klawock River gets turns the entire trail into a shin deep quagmire of sucking muck. Sometimes you can rinse off, sometimes not and gutting or cleaning the fish around the river is pretty nasty.

                    Yeah, it's what we've done all these years but I do want to take the utmost care of my fish from net to freezer to table from now on and from salt to ice is way more appealing than from stinky river to bank, IMO.

                    Hopefully, in 30 or so days, I 'll have a report of my efforts.

                    thanks for the replies!

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Vertical trolling is really a variation of mooching right under the boat, letting your rig sink slowly to the bottom, then slowly reeling it back up. Another look at approximately the same thing is motor mooching, which involves some forward movement of the boat. It occurs to me that using a bobber and stop is kind of a cross between the two.

                      One thing I forgot to mention: You have to stay pretty alert, because a big portion of your hits will come as the bait is sinking rather than rising.
                      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                      Merle Haggard

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                        One thing I forgot to mention: You have to stay pretty alert, because a big portion of your hits will come as the bait is sinking rather than rising.

                        Yep, just like using Aerojigs -lead headed marabou jigs on the river. Cast, jig up, pause, drop, get the bite, set the hook. Will keep that in mind.

                        The guy beside me last year took a green label herring right out of the tray, hooked it in the back and tossed it out 10 yards from shore. It was bent at 90 degrees and just looked like a stiff dead herring.....less than 5 minutes later.....DOWN goes the bobber. in comes the Coho. Go figure.

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                        • #13
                          Definitely a slip bobber and bait, be it eggs or herring. Fish this way every year down at Allison Point in Valdez as I've gotten too lazy to continually chuck metal at'em. Even with the tide moving the bait back and forth, its not too bad to keep it in front of you when the fishin' is tight.

                          I'll have to keep the maribou and slip in mind as well...While I have never tried it yet, I've heard that a slip bobber and white tube jig work well too.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pk_in_ak View Post
                            ...I've heard that a slip bobber and white tube jig work well too.
                            Oh yeah. We use them mooching lots of the time. Even better when you hang a strip of herring on the hook within them.
                            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                            Merle Haggard

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                              All will work, but when it comes to trolling, think "vertical trolling." A bud of mine is a master at it from shore. He uses a bobber stop, a big bobber, a half ounce of weight above a mooching leader, and plug cut herring.

                              He sets the bobber stop for about 30' if the depth will allow it, less if needed. Then he casts and lets the weight carry the plugcut down until the bobber hits the stop. Let it rest a minute or so, then reel in pretty quick to cause the herring to rise and spin back up to the bobber. Stop, feed line and let it sink again. The big bobber is needed to help keep it from coming toward you too fast as you retrieve the leader back toward the bobber.

                              He catches more silvers than anyone I've seen. Just an unbelievable show when the fish are on hand.
                              True to form, I'm not getting this. What do you use for a bobber stop and how do you cast if its set 30' from the bait? I'd think it would get hung up in rod guides or the reel's level wind mechanism when you cast. I must be missing something.

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