^Top of Spreader : Chain Swivel > Duo-lock Snap > 36 ” long 40 pound-test fluorocarbon leader > Duo-lock Snap > Spinner with Salted Anchovy Strip . Bottom of Spreader : Snap Swivel > 36 ” long 10 pound-test mono dropper leader > Snap Swivel > 4-ounce trolling sinker . Speed : 3.0 to 3.7 mph with the current .
^Top of Spreader : Chain Swivel > Duo-lock Snap > 36 ” long 20 pound-test mono leader > Duo-lock Snap > Kwikfish with Sardine Wrap . Bottom of Spreader : Snap Swivel > 36 ” long 10 pound-test mono dropper leader > Snap Swivel > 3-ounce trolling sinker . Speed : 2.1 to 2.6 mph with the current .
^Top of Spreader : Chain Swivel > Duo-lock Snap > 24 ” long 80 pound-test mono bumper leader > Pro-Troll ProChip 11 Fin Flasher > Chain Swivel > Duo-lock Snap > 24-inch long 40-pound test fluorocarbon leader > Cut Plug with Anchovy Fillet in Chamber . Bottom of Spreader : Snap Swivel > 36 ” long 17 pound-test mono dropper leader > Snap Swivel > 8-ounce trolling sinker . Speed : 3.0 to 3.7 mph with the current .
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How to Troll for Salmon in the Sacramento Area
S almon are by far the most popular seasonal fishing attraction in the Sacramento Metropolitan Area . Decent fishing will be available between August and November , with October being the peak of the fall-run . Casting off the bank , anchoring , or jigging can produce salmon , but trolling will give you the best chance of putting fish into your boat . In this article , we are going to cover the basics including speeds , tackle , and boat setup . To begin with , you need a boat capable of trolling between 2 and 4 miles-per-hour . If your boat won ’ t troll down that slow , a trolling plate will usually solve the problem . Ideally , a bow-mounted electric motor with autopilot can be used for steering purposes . You need a sonar unit to see snags and monitor depths . Another requirement is GPS for tracking your trolling speed . Lastly , get a large landing-net with a long handle . Once you have these items , your boat is set ! Up next is your rod and reel setup . Get a medium-heavy salmon / steelhead rod between eight and ten feet in length . Attach a clicker-equipped bait-casting reel spooled with 65 pound-test braided line . At the end of your main line , thread a plastic bead , and then tie on a duo-lock snap . Snap your main line to a v-shaped wire spreader . Our local bait and tackle shops will have them . On the ‘ bottom ’ side of the spreader , you will want to tie a 36-inch long monofilament dropper leader to your trolling sinker . This will keep your lure up off the bottom and in the faces of approaching salmon . The dropper leader should be lighter than your main line . The idea is that the dropper will snap off on snags so you don ’ t lose your entire setup . On the ‘ top ’ side of the wire spreader , you will attach the leader that runs back to your lure . I recommend that you cut the barrel swivel off the spreader , and replace it with a high quality chain swivel like the ones made by P-Line . You will notice in my photos that I use a lot of duo-lock snaps to connect the different leaders . I have dozens of pre-tied leaders in my box so I can quickly change them out when they get twisted , kinked , nicked , or tangled . From this point , we are going to cover the three most popular styles of lures : spinners , wobbling plugs , and rotating plugs . Everything I have described up until now will work with any of these lure setups . Look at the photo captions to get a detailed rundown of the individual rigging setups . Here , we are going to dig deeper into some tips and tricks for each type of lure .
by Jack Naves
Spinners If you are new to salmon trolling , try spinners , as they are the easiest to master . Many spinners will work , but I ’ ve had the most success using double-bladed Silvertrons . Silver or chartreuse blades are my colors of choice . I will rub some Atlas Mike ’ s green ‘ Salmon ’ Lunker Lotion on the insides of my blades for some added scent . Additionally , I will pin a 1-inch long by ½-inch wide saltcured chunk of anchovy to one of the hooks . On the Silvertrons , I cut off the stock hook and rubber sheath . Then I add a size-4 split ring , to which I attach an Owner size-1 black chrome 2X-strong cutting-point stinger hook ( model ST-41 ). I like to run a stiff and heavy leader to prevent line-twist , like 30 to 40 pound-test fluorocarbon . For spinners , let the side rods out 40 feet . Set the rear rods 60 and 80 feet back behind the boat when trolling with four rods . If you see a snag on the sonar , speed up and raise the rods to clear the snag .
Wobbling Plugs Kwikfish , Flatfish , and Brad ’ s Killer Fish are different brands of wobbling plugs . I like to use the ones that have rattles inside . Chrome with a chartreuse head and tail is my favorite color pattern . The K14 size is the standard , but the K15 also seems to run well at Sacramento Area trolling speeds . I make several modifications to my plugs . For one , I add an extra split ring to each hook . The second split ring puts the hook farther back , plus it helps to swivel when a hooked salmon head-shakes . In addition to the extra split rings , I change out the stock hooks with Owner black chrome 2X-strong cutting-point stinger hooks ( model ST-41 ). Use size-1 on K14s , and size-1 / 0 on K15s . Using magic thread , wrap a sardine or anchovy fillet centered to the bottom of the plug . This is called a ‘ sardine-wrap ’, and you can watch a video online to get a good idea of how to do it . After the sardine-wrap is in place , run your lure at the side of the boat to see if it is running straight . If not , make sure that both hook eyes are straight . Next , adjust the front eye that the snap connects to using pliers . Keep turning the eye until the lure runs straight . This is called ‘ tuning the lure ’. Wobbling plugs dive , so you only need a 3-ounce sinker to get them down . If you see a snag on your sonar , slow down and raise the rods