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Chinook action heats up

Dee Shurtleff and Neil Rodgers of Brookings fished just outside the whistle buoy out of the Port of Brookings-Harbor Wednesday and nailed limits of lingcod and rockfish.
 

The action-packed salmon fishing out of the Port of Brookings-Harbor that has brought anglers 20-minute limits in the past few months has suddenly taken a nose dive, however there have been a half-dozen nice Chinook being filleted every day at the port’s cleaning station.

Most of the kings have been averaging in the 20-pound category, and almost all of the fish have been caught less than 20 feet from the surface.

Jim Bithell from Charthouse Sportfishing reported catching two Chinook and one coho on Wednesday, while fishing in 205 feet of water, with his diver set at about 20 pulls, which puts his fish within 20 feet from the surface, and between 5 and 6 miles from the whistle buoy.

One of Jim’s Chinook weighed approximately 27 pounds while the other one was in the low 20s.

Generally, August is when some of the best salmon fishing of the season can be encountered, so don’t be too disappointed if the salmon fishing has been a little lacklusterin the last few weeks. That means you just have to kick up your “A” game a notch or two, be persistent, and keep switching the depth in which you put your anchovy until you find some willing biters.

Large balls of baitfish are finally being relocated on people’s fish finders again, and that’s a great sign.

Meanwhile, anglers have been puttin’ the hurtin’ on limits of big rockfish and humongous lingcod.  So if you want to have some serious fun, try trolling for these bad boys.  That way, you will stand a chance at catching a halibut or a salmon as well.

Trolling for rockfish and lingcod is a real hoot using the rig that was described in last week’s column. While I was trolling for salmon with a friend, I caught a 10-pound ling, and two nice rockfish (one black rockfish weighing about 6 pounds) while trolling right off of Bird Island in about 105 feet of water.

Remember that this year, you have to remain within the 30-fathom curve if you want to keep any groundfish aboard your boat.  Here’s a quick recap of this really cool rig.

Using a stout rod and 65-pound PowerPro braid for your mainline, run your line through a red 6mm bead, then through a Glide-O sliding spreader, through another red 6 mm bead, and then tie the rig off to the small end of a size 6 Danielson Dual Lock snap.

For your dropper line, tie one end of an 8-inch piece of 40-pound Berkley Big Game clear monofilament to the dropper eye of the spreader, and then tie the other end of the dropper line to a size 44 Duo-Lock snap. Attach a 24-ounce cannonball sinker to the snap.

Attach a size 000 Les Davis Herring Dodger (8-inch dodger) to the large end of your size 6 Dual Lock snap. I take the old tape off the dodger and then replace each side with a piece of Brad’s RT-04  green tape.

The size of your leader is important.  You want your bait to spin while it is being whipped to and fro by the action of the dodger, so I tie a double sliding hook mooching leader between 32 and 35 inches long.

I also like to slide down a chartreuse-colored Bechhold Rotary Bullet Bait Holder onto the leader to spin the anchovy.  If you don’t care for using bait holders, make sure to adjust your anchovy so that it spins as tight as a drill bit.  To better prevent line twist, I like to tie a size 5 ball bearing swivel at the top of my leader instead of using a bead chain swivel. Attach the ball bearing swivel of your leader to the end of the dodger and you’re good to go.

Make sure you’re about 10 feet above the bottom in about 115 feet of water off of Bird Island. Troll at 1.8 knots and you’ll either tie up with a salmon, rockfish, lingcod or possibly even a Pacific halibut.

Tight lines!

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