Coho Salmon

Saltwater Coho Fishing – Trolling Spoons

Like other salmon species coho love spoons.  That wobbly action reminds them of bait fish – just the thing for a salmon trying to bulk up for spawning season.  Trolling spoons can produce some savage strikes, and produce big fish.

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 coho spoon
  • Leader material

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

Popular spoon colors are similar, but also include white and silver variants which look like bait fish.  There are a few different brands and models of spoons, but my favorite are Coho Killers.

Coho Killers

For leader you want to 20-30 pound line.  Since the spoon has its own action you don’t want the flasher action overwhelming that.  I use Maxima Ultra Green mono.

Tie the spoon on with a knot like the Improved Clinch Knot.  On the other end make a loop with the Surgeon’s Loop Knot.  The leader should be 40-50 inches long.

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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