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Trolling for Salmon

Trolling is a method of fishing where a hooked lure or bait is trolled behind a moving boat. Although often confused with Trawling , this is different, because a net rather than a lure is dragged astern.

Some basic actions for trolled lures are:

  • Spinning (spinners)
  • Spiral revolutions (rigged baits and flashers)
  • Wobble (spoons, and dodgers)
  • Wiggle (plugs)

There are many trolled lures that may incorporate a combination of two or more of these actions.

  • Proven rules for catching large Chinook when trolling are:

  • Run your lure or bait deep.
  • Troll your lure or bait slowly.
  • Keep your lure or bait close to shore or bottom.
  • Use a lure or bait 5 inches or larger.

Of course, Dodgers or Flashers may be used with trolled lures or baits, but they are not necessary at all times. Typically Dodgers and Flashers are simply used for attracting salmon or for added erratic action. Most sport trolled lures or baits are fished at speeds usually in the 2 to 4 knot ranges. Likewise, It is best to try to vary your Trolling speeds since trailing salmon will often strike when the speed of a lure or bait is suddenly increased or decreased. Therefore  If you troll in a series of turns this will help to vary the speed of the rigs.

Most salmon sport catches taken in coastal waters are landed using fresh or frozen baitfish trolled whole, or cut plug. Very popular baits are Anchovies 4 to 6 inches, Herring 4 to 7 inches, and Herring either whole or cut plugs 4 to 5 inches. The most productive way to rig these baits is to use a¬† ‘Krippled’ baitrig because of the rolling action that it produces.