Coho Salmon

Saltwater Coho Fishing – Trolling Hoochies

Trolling hoochies is probably the primary way that people target coho in salt water.  The motion of the hoochie and pulse of the flasher really lure them in.

Rod And Reel

Between the potential to hook into a large fish, the drag of the gear and speed of the troll it is good to use a downrigger rod with a bit of backbone  – say a rod rated for 10-20 pound line.  A Lamiglass Classic Downrigger rod would be an excellent choice.

For line I use 20 pound Maxima ultragreen, but if you have a different favorite that should work too.

For a reel it is worth the money to get a high quality reel, like the Shimano Tekota.

Terminal Tackle

The terminal tackle is pretty simple.  It consists of:

  • An 11 inch flasher
  • A hoochie
  • A couple of hooks, usually size 2/0 to 4/0
  • Leader

For the flasher the most popular color is called Red Racer, but other colors like Purple Haze or Chartreuse can work great too.

For the hoochie popular colors are green splatter or purple haze.  An Ace High Fly is similar colors can also be used.

For leader you want to use at least 30 pound line, so the action of the flasher transmits to the lure.  If you go above 30# then using fluorocarbon is best to avoid spooking the fish with the larger line.  I typically use 40# Seagar fluorocarbon.

Tie the 2 hooks onto the line using the egg loop knot.  Space them so the second hook is a near the back of the hoochie.  Then slide on the hoochie.

The leader length should be 27-30 inches long.

At the end the setup should look like this:

Coho Hoochie Trolling Rig

How To Fish It

If allowed by the regs then add a bit of scent to the flasher and hooks.

This setup is commonly fished with downriggers.  Let out 20-25 feet and then put the line in the downrigger clip.

Then lower the downrigger to the desired depth.  This is usually about 40 feet in the morning and later in the day may be as deep as 100 feet.

You should troll with the tide, and the speed over ground should be in the 2.5-4.0 MPH range.  Many fishermen judge the speed by the angle on the downrigger line.  45 degrees is typical, but does depend on the weight used, type of downrigger cable, depth, etc..

When a fish hits it should be obvious, and often pop the line out of the clip.

For more information about fishing for coho salmon please see the coho page.

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