Tip #36 #36 Salmon Trolling What Do I Need? Plan "B"
Salmon Trolling What Do I Need? Plan "B" By Capt. Jim Hirt I often get the question of what tackle do I need to get started in motor trolling for salmon and trout. This series of articles will take you from bare essentials to no budget all inclusive fishing equipment. The last article covered Plan "A" downriggers basic applications. This article will introduce you to an all stealth option plan "B". To tie this article together I will go back over rod and reel selection. Recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. Clean presentations offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two Okuma CGL-C-802M 8 foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are great quality fiberglass rods starting at $60 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them. A two ball bearing reel like the Okuma Magda MA-30DX is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $45 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test will also hold a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups. Types of presentations are endless and the budget minded fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where are the fish. You must be able to fish at all depths. More and more fishermen are going without downriggers. Stealth is the cutting edge and the savviest anglers use it in one form or another. Two $30 rod holders start this option. Here it gets interesting, due to the complex and simple choices. Slide Divers, leadcore, power rods and flat lines with all the individual variations of each will cover top water to the briny deep. A must have would be the $15 size #1 Slide Diver with a set of diver rings and weights. A reel loaded with 300 yards of 65 pound Power Pro at $30 with the Slide Diver will reach to over 100 feet in depth. This is a simple and very productive way to go. You may want to set up both of your rods for Slide Divers, one for each side of the boat. The line counter reels will give you the capability of knowing where your lure is and repeating that depth after every fish. Use this same rod, reel and line for your power rods. Remove the Slide Diver and tie on a three-way swivel. Use an Opti-Dodger snubber with a 9 foot Seaguar Fluoro Premier 28 lb fluorocarbon leader ($11) and a snap. By adding a variety of different size ball sinkers in 4 to 16 ounces to the last position on the three way, you will have total depth control. Power rods produce best when run off Big Bird Yellow Bird planer boards. In this application let out your line with weight and note the number of feet. Attach the Yellow Bird and let it go out to the side of the boat. Yellow Birds are manufactured to run left or right of the boat's path. They allow you to position your line in water undisturbed by boat noise. Flat lines are as old as the hills. Many anglers are coming back to them as an answer to catching fish on or near the surface. The same Power Pro rod as used for dipsys and power rods will also work for flat lines. On the end of the Power Pro use a uni-knot to attach 15 feet of 18 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. I recommend using an Opti-Dodger 2 x 2 ball bearing swivel/double-Lok snap for attaching the lure. A 50 pound swivel is large enough. Too large of a swivel will dampen the action of the lure. Here is very important note about fishing with all no stretch lines like Power Pro. Do not go for big hook sets, in fact no hook set is the best way to go. When the rod starts to bounce, just reel the fish in. I'd suggest backing off the drag so that the line slips a bit on the hook set, that way, you shouldn't tear the hook out. I will go into electronics and lures in part three of this article. Have a great fishing season. Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.