Friday, November 29, 2013

Twitching For Coho

Twitching is a technique for catching coho. I have had some amazing success using this year. In the article below you will find all I can explain about it. The fish in the pictures below where all caught using this technique.

To order this coho killer go to

"Where to Twitch"
Areas where the current is mild, such as deep pools, back eddies, and areas around submerged wood tend to be prime jigging zones. Coho Salmon love holding in areas where there is cover, so any area where the current is moving slowly and has some depth too it can be prime.
Coho Salmon Holding Water…
- Slow current
- Deep water
- Submerged logs & woody debris
So if you stumble upon an area that has all three, you’ve got perfect Coho holding water, thus a perfect place to twitch jigs.
"Color and Size"
Once you’ve pinpointed an area where Coho are holding, the main two things that need to be considered are jig choice and jigging method. Consider your fishing situation. Are the Coho super aggressive? Are the Coho lockjawed? Is the water clear? How close to tidewater? Have the fish been in the river a while? How deep is the water? These are just a few of the questions that run through my mind while I’m considering jig choice. I might fish a large bright pink jig near tidewater if I think there are aggressive Coho nearby, but if I am upriver and Coho have been in the river a while, then I might downsize to a smaller profile jig that is a dark blue or purple.Typically salmon jigs that are ¼ oz, 3/8 oz or ½ oz are preferred. Salmon jigs can be tied with marabou feathers, rabbit fur, or just be a jighead pushed into the head of a plastic squid. Color patterns vary from river to river so experimentation is sometimes needed when you trying to get fish you know are there to bight.
"Twitching or Jigging"
Jigging is a very universal term in the fishing realm, lifting the rod tip to lift the jig, and then dropping the rod tip to allow the jig to fall. To trigger a strike from Coho, it is all about the lift & fall. The rising and falling motion of the jig creates a reactionary instinct that is triggered. Depending on the demeanor or the fish in the river at that time, they might want an aggressive retrieve or a more mild retrieve. I’ve seen quite a few methods for twitching jigs. Some anglers prefer a short-quick lift and fall method, while other anglers prefer a big-quick lift with a slow fall. Experiment untill you find the preferred method. Recognize that Coho will hold near the river bottom, or suspend near submerged wood. If there is wood in the river, then an accurate cast near the structure is very important. Coho will often hold so tight to the wood that drifting anything could mean an instant snag up. But pitching a jig and letting it fall can often lure Coho out of those tight spots.
Rod: Look for a rod that is 8’6" to 9’ in (you don’t want a flimsy rod that bends when you’re trying to lift the jig).
Line: 20#-30# braided lines offer strength paired with thin diameter. They also offer zero stretch, which is beneficial when jigging. The control over the jig is much greater with braid plus if a jig is snagged, there is a better chance that you can get it back.
When fishing near wood, lures often get snagged up. If a jig is retrieved but the hook is bent straight, only bend it back into fishable shape once or twice. Be aware, every time that a hook is bent, it loses its strength a little more each time and is more likely to bend out when a fish is actually hooked. I would reshape a jig no more than two times.
Focus on areas where there is ample depth, slow current, and woody structure.
Experiment with jigging speed. Coho will sometimes best respond to an erratic speedy retrieve, and other times a slow lift/fall tactic is most productive.
Jig color is a key factor and the preferred color can change from day to day. Generally speaking, Pinks, Red, Blacks, Purples and Blues are the best colors.
Choose braided lines over monofilament. The control over the jig is much greater with braid plus if a jig is snagged, there is a better chance that you can get it back.
Loser Takes All!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Float Fishing For Winter Steelhead

Basic Float Fishing Setup

1) Float size and jig size. Standard steelhead jig sizes are 1/8 oz to ¼ oz. Standard steelhead float size is 3/8 oz to ¾ oz. While a smaller 1/8 oz steelhead jig offers the perfect profile, often these are too lightweight to anchor the float (submerge half the float) or to sink quickly enough. Including a sinker to the setup is almost always needed, whether it be an inline weight, snap swivel/slinky, or split shot.
2) Keep your mainline from impacting the natural drift of your float. If the float is tilted downstream, the mainline on the surface of the water down-current can be pulling your float faster than the speed of the drift. If the float is tilted upstream, then you might need to let more mainline out so the setup is not held back. The goal is to see your float pointing straight to the sky, or completely vertical. When the float/jig setup is drifting at the same speed as the current, then we’ve found the best presentation possible.
2) Appropriate depth of a Steelhead Jig. Winter Steelhead will hold in the soft currents that lie closest to the river bottom. Even the smallest of cobble or boulders can break the current and offer an easier place for a Steelhead to rest which is usually within 2 feet of the bottom. Set the distance from your float to jig so that your jig is within a couple feet of the bottom.
3)Floating braided mainline is crucial. A quality floating braid allows us to manipulate the line on the surface so that it doesn’t negatively impact the drift. Floating braid can be mended and manipulated in the same way a floating fly line can be controlled.
4) Dancing or leaning floats. If you notice your float is dancing or leaning, that could mean that the jig is dragging along the bottom. If you are managing the mainline properly, and the float is also tilted down-current then this is almost a surety. Shorten the float-jig distance 12 inches at a time until you get a natural drift.
5) Losing floats? When fishing in areas with extreme snags, if you find that you are losing bobbers because your weight setup breaks off, place a bead/stop below the float.
6) Hookset? When a steelhead pulls that bobber down, think about what a hookset will actually accomplish. If you have plenty of slack line on the surface (lack of a direct connection), it might be better to reel quickly to get the line tight then set the hook.
"The Rod"
A float fishing rod is usually the longest rod that a fisher will have in his collection. One of the most important aspects in float fishing is line management. A longer rod will allow for easier mending and manipulation of the mainline to provide the perfect drift. The exact length of the perfect float rod truly depends on where you fish. On larger rivers where long distance casting and serious line control is the standard, a rod 10’ or longer might be perfect. When fishing smaller brushy streams, a rod as short as 8’6 might be perfect. Typically 9’6 to 10’6 is the perfect range for an all around float fishing rod. Look for a rod with a medium power: 6-12lb, 8-15lb, 8-17lb are perfect options for most fisheries.
"The Reel"
As with many techniques, the first question is whether to go with a spinning or baitcasting setup; both have their advantages. When using extremely light tackle, such as 1/8 oz to ¼ oz floats, a spinning rod can offer easier casting for most anglers. The advantage of baitcasting reels, however, is that they can be left in casting mode so that line will flow easily from the spool and allow the drift to continue. Spinning reels allow for this also but when you see a “bobber down!” and need to disengage the free spool it is more cumbersome to flip the bail over, especially once a steelhead draws the line tight. I prefer spinning setups almost exclusively for personal use due to overall ease of use.
"The Main Line"
Monofilament or Braid?
Braid. Floating braided mainline offers so many advantages over monofilament that there isn’t even a question of what to use. Many braided lines come in a high visibility color such as white, yellow or bright blue. Being able to see your mainline will allow you to more effectively mend and manipulate your line for better float control. I would recommend a line that is between 30 lb and 50 lb; we never need that kind of breaking strength for steelhead, but the thicker diameter of 30 lb to 50 lb matches a typical 8 lb to 15 lb monofilament. Bobber stops might not properly grip thinner braid, plus thin braided line can cut into itself on the spool causing major headaches while fishing.
"The Leader Line"
Monofilament or fluorocarbon leader material between 8 lb and 15 lb covers our spectrum of steelhead situations here in the Northwest. Favor 8 lb or 10 lb when water conditions are low and clear. Favor 12 lb or 15 lb when water conditions are high and muddy, also when targeting trophy steelhead later in the season. I will typically use a leader between 24” and 36”.
"Bobber Stop"
Slip on bobber stops made of string are popular for steelhead fishing. They can be tightened around the braided mainline and easily adjusted for changing depth. On floats with a wide opening, a bead may be needed to keep the stop from sliding through the float.
There is a wide variety of steelhead floats available including balsa, foam, cork, and clear plastic. Float style selection comes down to personal preference. Using a sliding float (versus a fixed float) and a bobber stop will allow the fisher to easily adjust for depth. I typically use floats between 3/8 oz and ½ oz for winter steelhead fishing.
"Float Weights"
Inline float weights, pencil lead or slinky weights are often needed to balance out the smaller 1/8 oz steelhead jigs and larger ½ oz floats.
When using a leader greater than 24” I almost always add a small split shot weight to my leader. A split shot will help the entire setup to sink and bottom out quickly, which is especially helpful when fishing faster water where you want your jig to get down immediately.
"Jig Patterns"
There are a great variety of jig patterns available, and the great news is that many of these are extremely effective. Generally speaking, 1/8 oz to ¼ oz are the preferred sizes. The beauty of steelhead is that they tend to not be too picky, there are a variety of colors that will tempt winter fish: hot pink, light pinks, blue, purple, red, white, orange, shrimp, black and any combination of these can be effective. I have found that one of the greatest factors to success is matching the size of the jig profile to the water conditions. During low and clear conditions I will tend to downsize my presentation, a Comet, Bearded or other micro jigs.

In deeper or dirtier use full body rabbit or marabou might be the better producer

Overall, float fishing with jigs can be an extremely effective way to catch Winter Steelhead, and it’s a great tactic for anyone from a beginner to an advanced Steelheader. Regardless of experience, once you dive into this technique, you will realize why it has become a favored tactic for riverbound anglers.
Loser Takes All!
Loser Takes All!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A recap of Humptulips

I found Coho love logs and frog water. My dad and I landed 3 chinook and 5 coho. All of the coho were hooked in water with little to no current. The chinook were taken on eggs the coho on twiching jigs.

Loser Takes All!

Skokomish chums and coho

Lately the river has been low and clear. A single red corkie has been highly effective. I have also nailed a few coho with twiching jigs and spinners with red somewhere on them.

These are the coho caught using the spinner shown below.

These guys sucked in red corkies

Loser Takes All!