Trolling, mooching, and jigging are the three main techniques used to catch salmon.
Trolling – Trilling is Ketchikan’s historical method of salmon fishing. Trolling covers the most area, especially when fishing in May and June for king salmon. Using one of the 4 electric downriggers on the Rosemary June, we set gear down to multiple depths fishing for a run of kings.
We will “troll” between 1-3 knots under power from the motor. Our strategically selected bait and lure gear will be flipping behind the boat hoping to attract fish. When a fish strikes the gear, it will most often separate from the downrigger. That is when you grab the fishing rod and pull up the downrigger line that caught the fish while reeling in the big one.
Mooching – Mooching is also used for salmon fishing. Mooching is where you hold your rod typically while drifting. We will send the gear down towards the bottom with a small weight and then bring it back up slowly. The thing with mooching is it is completely up to you to hook the fish. If you aren’t patient and jerk too quickly to try and set the hook, you will rip of the lips of the fish.
Jigging – Jigging is a technique typically used for bottom fishing. When jigging will likely anchor the Rosemary June and send down into the depths our bait and create a trail of scent away from the boat. When you’re holding the rod, you move it up and down to mimic moving bait. This lures a fish to strike.
Sometimes you might catch a rockfish and five minutes later hook a 75lb Halibut. Also we find if its slow to keep working the bait and the fish will find us! You never know what you might hook into next…pacific cod, rockfish, skates, dog shark, flounder, in addition to countless other species.