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Trolling for Silvers

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  • Trolling for Silvers

    I need to put some silvers in my freezer before summer is gone, but I think I'm going to need some help from y'all to get it done. This year, I bought a boat, which I run out of Whittier. I'd like to use it to troll for silvers, but I don't have much (any) experience trolling. I'm hoping that a few of you good folks might be willing to explain how you set up a trolling rig, the most appropriate speed for trolling, depth of the line, etc.

    Last weekend I tried attaching a banana weight to my swivel and a large flasher to my banana weight, followed by about two feet of line leading to double hooks. Both hooks went into a green trolling herring, one in the mouth and one near the tail. I let out about fifty feet of line and trolled at about 2 knots. We were 300 yards from shore. The little buggers were jumping all around me, but I had no luck. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    The easy "do all" solution in strange waters or when first starting out is put on a 6 oz chatreuse banana sinker with a medium or small Apex trolling lure behind it. Best colors for silvers are usually black, green or pearl. Set your boat for 3 to 3.5 knots, let the line back 50 feet, prop your feet up and pour a cup of coffee. Watch the tide. Incoming is best most of the time.

    From your description it sounds like you were going way too slow, the flasher needs to be about 18" back from the sinker, and the leader to the hook no more than 24-30 inches. Hook the front hook of a sliding hook rig from bottom up through the lower jaw and nose to hold the herring's mouth shut, take the leader to the back hook 1/2 turn around the herring and hook it about even with the vent with so the hook lays flat along one side of the spine rather than passing through it. Now hold the front hook and pull on the leader in one hand and pull gently on the leader in front to slowly draw the leader tight between the two hooks. You want a very slight bend in the herring. To test that the bend is right, hold it under water at trolling speed and see how fast it spins. About one turn per second is just right with or without a flasher.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard


    • #3
      All we ever used is either jet planer with a large spinner attached to it via a 5 foor leader. If we are using downriggers we just use spinners.


      • #4
        Trolling speed

        A few years ago a Commercial boat, who was trolling through the same spot as I was, kept almost running over me. When the boat was very close on one pass, the Captain impolitely explained faster bait speeds for silvers to me. While rude, he was also correct, Silvers like to chase down thier food. Another method that silvers go for is mooching, which is effect when they are feeding deep. Also, I have had better luck, when I decide to fly a herring, using red packages.


        • #5
          July 15th

          We Trolled With Four Rods Out On July 15th In Seward. I Noticed That Earlier In The Day The Fish Were Biting Shallower And Later They Were Deeper, Because The Shallow Planers Were Catching More Early Then Later The Deep-six Planers Were Winning. Also On That Day The Planers With Just A Dark Green #5 Vibrax Were Beating The Chartruese Skirted Herring 2:1, So I Switched To All Dark Green Vibrax And We Got 21 Silvers, Seemed Like More Than Other People We Talked To That Day.
          Hike faster. I hear banjo music.


          • #6

            I think your best option if you're not using downriggers is to pick up some pink ladies and squid (hoochies). Like the others said, pick up your speed, you'll kind of have to with pink ladies anyway, they'll get you down where you need to be, you can run your flasher right behind it with a squid and herring right behind that, before I got downriggers I did this all the time and it works just fine, not quite as fun as off the downriggers as you're pulling up that pink lady with the fish but effective. Luck


            • #7
              silver trolling

              All good suggestions. However, I gotta tell ya a funny story. We were out of Whittier last weekend (Perry Island Area) and were slamming silvers. I was just pulling herring on the downrigger. We were sitting still in the water rigging up another line and I flipped a fresh herring in the water and put the rod in the holder while I prepped the other rod. I had yet to set it to the down rigger. It was just laying there behind the boat, maybe 5-8 ft under the boat. As you may have guessed, it got hammered. From then on, the lady and I just flipped herring behind the boat and let them slowly float down (zero weight). It was ridiculas as we hit silvers every time. goofy stuff!


              • #8
                At that point, just mooch. Last summer in Seward we did that also. We stopped at a spot that looked good outside of the bay, i put a rod in the holder and let the banana weight sit in the water and three silvers were hitting the lead. We had four people on the boat and limited out both days there just mooching. That's a lot of fish.


                • #9
                  So far this year Crodile spoons have worked awsome for me. Better then herring. Beginers luck I gusses.
                  Living the Alaskan Dream
                  Gary Keller
                  Anchorage, AK


                  • #10
                    Try em all

                    All of these methods will catch silvers at a given time. I prefer to set up as many different outfits as legal (people in the boat) after an hour or so it will become obvious which is going to produce, then switch em over. Troll speed is a major factor. From my experience if the silvers are around you should be catching them. Try a slower or faster troll, be patient and it usually will all come together. Then you have to clean all the buggers!


                    • #11
                      Thanks to everybody for the good advice. The wife and I are headed out again this weekend, and we'll see if our luck doesn't improve.

                      Now, we don't have to share with y'all if we bring in our limit, do we???


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AK_Kid
                        Now, we don't have to share with y'all if we bring in our limit, do we???
                        You bet you do! Only after they have been filleted, smoked, vacuum packed, and labeled!

                        Let me know when they are done. )

                        The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


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