Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3614 June 23- July 7 2017 - Page 10

10 FRESHWATER June 23 - July 7, 2017 HOW TO By Cal Kellogg Special”, narrow PENN Senator or the PENN Fathom Lever drag in either the 25 or 30 weight size. In the past anglers used to shy away from using braided line, asserting that it resulted in more lost fish because such lines feature little stretch resulting in hooks pulling free. These days braid has been accepted by the angling mainstream, including ocean salm- on trollers. I believe that you are much more likely to lose a king as a result of fighting it too long rather than pulling out a hook. When trolling we are usually using large barbless J-Hooks. Once these hooks are buried in the salmon’s mouth there is little chance of pulling the hook free. On the other hand, during a prolonged fight, the fish will have the opportunity for extended head shaking that may result in a thrown hook. I like to put a max- imum amount of pressure on the fish when trolling from a charter boat in order to get the salmon into the net as quickly as possible before it has a chance to shake the barbless hook. 60 to 80 pound braid allows me to do just that! At the heart of the California salmon trolling rig is the sinker continued from page 11 release. The most widely known sinker release is the copper tube va- riety called the “dog whistle”, since it looks like a silent dog whistle. Pull on the rear of the release and the tines of the cotter pin in the rear of the release and the tines retract and slide behind a slot in the tubing. The eye of the sinker is placed into the slot, the tension is relieved on the cotter pin and one of tines will skewer the eye of the sinker, hold- ing it in place. When a salmon hits, it pulls on the cotter pin, the tines retract and the sinker falls out. Now that we’ve reviewed the rods, reels, lines, and hardware of salmon trolling let’s take a look at some end tackle. Salmon off the California coast feed heavily on anchovies, herring, and other bait- fish. As a result, rigged anchovies and herring are favorite baits among salmon enthusiasts. The crowbar rig and its variations, which is based on inserting a long needle shanked hook or section of steel cable through the baitfish, was the traditional trolling rig for many years and still works wonderfully well today. The shank of the hook is bent slightly before inserting it through the bait. This bend causes the bait to slow- ly “roll” when trolled. Thus rigged, the baitfish was attached to a 7 foot leader. It often takes a good deal of experience and experimenta- tion to achieve the proper bend in the hook for the best action. Luckily when fishing from a char- ter boat, you’ll VOL.36 • ISS. 14 fish fight the rod tip for 5 to 10 seconds before making a move, this ensures that the salmon is firmly hooked and allows the sink- er time to fall away. After waiting, remove the rod, keep the tip high, and work the reel. Don’t pump the rod, since this often result in lost fish. As you work the reel listen to the instructions of the deckhand and your salmon will be well on its way to the grill! This will make charter skip- pers, deckhands and experienced charter boat trollers all scream in pain, but here it goes anyway. You’re on a charter boat out on the ocean. There is water and salmon all around the boat, so it shouldn’t matter where you are positioned along the rail right? Wrong! I’ve spent hundreds of hours trolling from charter boats and I can tell you from direct observa- tion that the guys fishing off the rear of the boat, particularly the back corners and the guys fishing off the bow often hook the most fish. Baits trolled off the bow theo- retically encounter the fish first. Guys fishing off the transom have the luxury of fishing deeper than anyone else on the boat since they don’t have to worry about snagging an angler fishing behind them. Both of these advantages can be huge when it comes to compet- ing with 25 other anglers to hook fish. The early bird gets the worm. Likewise, the early arrivals to the charter boat get to camp out on the prime locations and are often the guys dining on salmon fillets! have the expert experience of the deckhand to dial in the proper spin on your bait. On today’s market, there are some commercially produced bait rigging devices available that make getting the perfect rotation on your bait super easy. The best known of these devices is the Ro- tary Salmon Killer designed and sold by Dick Pool at Pro Troll. To use a Rotary Salmon Killer all you need to do is snap a tray bait anchovy or herring into the RSK’s plastic clip/head harness and you’re ready to troll. All in all, I prefer the natural appearance of crowbar rigged baits, but I’ve caught my fair share of kings while using RSK’s too. On days when salmon shun natural baits, substituting natu- ral bait with a Krocodile spoon, Silver