How to troll effectively for salmon

Trolling is one of the best ways to catch the most salmon as you cover lots of water and make noise and flash. Salmon will be attracted to the thump of either the flasher or the spoon you are trolling. When you set up for the day, notice which way the current is going and also which direction you going to get the most strikes. If you are not having success trolling in a certain direction, you may have to speed up or slow down. Sometimes it looks like your downrigger wire is off at a good slant, but in reality the flasher and hoochie or spoon are barely rotating. Make sure you are watching your Speed over Ground on your GPS to see how fast you are really going.

If you are fishing close to shore, make sure you are watching your depth sounder for bait close to the bottom. Sometimes getting your canon ball as close to a ledge or area that changes depths will be the secret to catching the big one.

If you are trolling for Chinook and not getting much, try speeding up and slowing down. Many people have it in their head that Chinook bite best going slow. This is not so, or you wouldn’t see commercial fisherman trolling at 4-5 knots. While I don’t troll quite that fast, once in a while I will try it to see what happens. If you still aren’t getting much, try lengthening or shortening your leaders between your flasher and hoochie or flasher and spoon if using them. More often that not, this is the key to getting the salmon to strike.

Remember when fishing, salmon are creatures of habbit and react to what is happening around them. Make sure you take into count what bait is below you so you know what lure to put out. If you aren’t sure, ask the fisherman in the area. Some will be secretive, but most will share information. Most of the time, it is hard for a fisherman to keep a secret!

Thanks for reading,

Fishing Guide

Sam Vandervalk