Outdoors

Using rotating flashers for Chinook

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Using rotating flashers for Chinook

By the time the Columbia River Fall Chinook run had reached its peak last year, the rumor finally got out to the masses.  A number of guides and a select group of private captains that were in the know had been slaying the Upriver Brights on a method developed and employed for years by Tri-cities anglers.  No longer must one rot on the hook just outside of the slot and go 0 for 1 because he didn’t get on the river at 3AM.  Or worse yet decide not to fish at all because “the tides aren’t right this weekend.”  The success we saw on the lower river last fall was no fluke and its use expands far beyond the URB’s of the Columbia, so let’s take a look at how to employ this killer combo.

Rigging this setup is similar to how one rigs a fish-flash and herring for spring Chinook but there are a few important differences.  Perhaps the most important one is what makes this tandem so effective.  What’s different about the rotating flasher is that instead of spiraling through the water like an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass it swings around in a wide arc.  Because of this, the standard 12”-16” bumper between your swivel and flasher won’t do, we need something closer to 24”.  This allows the flasher to move in a larger circumference and therefore impart more action to the bait.  Conversely, we need to shorten the leader from the flasher to the bait.  36” is a good starting point but remember that the longer you make the leader the less action your bait will have, not to mention it gets pretty difficult to net a fish with a total leader length of more than 7’.

After their introduction around a decade ago, the Superbait and Super Cut-Plug had become somewhat of a forgotten lure on the lower Columbia.  But recent success with this method has brought these colorful plastic lures back into the spotlight.  As far as I can tell it seems that color doesn’t seems to matter a ton as long as you follow the basic rules of available light (solid colors in overcast or low light, metallics in direct light).  Pack them with canned Tuna, Sardine, Herring, or Anchovy.  Toss them in the river and troll them downstream while waiting for your rod to fold over.

Superbaits aren’t the only lure that works behind a rotating flasher.  Small trolling spinners and plug-cut Herring proved very effective for Spring Chinook this year at times.  I definitely plan on running Anchovies at Buoy 10 this year with them this season too.

Now that you have the rigging down you just need to find some fish to put your gear in front of.  This is where good electronics are worth their weight in gold.  Unlike early season Springer trolling you can forget dredging the bottom with your lead.  In the summer and fall months Chinook will suspend off the bottom during the tide changes and the flood.  As a result, all you need to do is clip enough weight to your slider to get down to the depth you’re marking fish at.  During the ebb is a good time to start fishing deeper.  Work your gear within 5’-10’ of the bottom to locate traveling fish.  Line counter reels are almost a must here.  It also doesn’t hurt to have a few buddies on board so you can stagger depths until a biter is found.

Though it was the Fall Salmon season last year that brought this technique to light in the Portland area, it’s proven quite versatile in other fisheries as well.  Spring Chinook in the Willamette harbor, Buoy 10, and Ocean Salmon all lend themselves well to this tactic.  With Summer Chinook beginning to show up, I’m certain this will have a place for those looking to avoid the 3AM launch time at Bonneville that’s necessary to grab one of the relatively few anchor spots.  Good luck out there!!

Videos from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

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NBCSNW

Videos from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

If you missed any Outdoor GPS Day at the Park check out these videos that were shot live from the event.

LIVE from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park: Owin and Dave bring you a special edition of the show live from Blue Lake Park. Tune in on your đź“ş- NBC Sports Northwest

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 21, 2018

 

LIVE from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park: Chris Nordling of Chris Nordling's Fishing Guide Service gives us his tips and tricks for salmon fishing at Buoy 10

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 21, 2018

 

LIVE from Outdoor GPS: Jason Hambly of Pro-Cure Bait Scents is giving us all the details we need on egg cures.

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pre-Register now for Outdoor GPS Day at the Park!

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NBCS NW

Pre-Register now for Outdoor GPS Day at the Park!

NBC Sports Northwest invites you to the 6th annual Outdoor GPS Day at the Park, with host Owin Hays and co-host Dave Calhoun on Saturday, July 21st at Blue Lake Park!

Pre-registration:
We encourage you to pre-register for the event to avoid long lines. One lucky pre-registrant will win a North River Rod from Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor! Pre-registration form is at the bottom of this page. 

Information: 
This year's event features a LIVE Special Edition of Outdoor GPS show, an expo with all Outdoor GPS sponsors and multiple non-profits, food provided by Otto's Sausage Kitchen and Bardo's Grill, Coke product beverages and so many incredible special guests! NBC Sports Northwest will be streaming the event live on the Outdoor GPS Facebook page!

Post pictures, comments, and engagements with the hashtag #OutdoorGPSDay2018 to stay connected on social media!

'Huge Raffle Prize: A new studio makes for an OLD studio table that we’re raffling off! Enter this raffle at the NBC Sports Northwest tent on July 21st'

Non-Profit Organizations:
Fallen Outdoors
Home with Heroes
Raise 'em Outdoors
Rods n' Reels
Oregon Tuna Classic
Y.O.U. Outdoors

Charitable Opportunities: 
We will do canned-food drive with Oregon Tuna Classic! 
Last year we had 600 lbs of canned food goods. Let's outperform last year!
Rods And Reels For Kids is collecting fishing rods for children 
Raise 'Em Outdoors is collecting any camping gear for underprivileged families who can't afford it
Youth Outdoors Unlimited is looking for those to attend their charity dinner banquets

Schedule of Events:  (Download a PDF of the schedule here)

10AM: Event check-in opens

10:30-11:15AM: Jason Hambly, Pro-Cure Bait Scents, Topic: Egg Cures
*Seminar Stage is presented by Encompass Wealth Advisors

11:15-12:15PM: Meet and Greet with Owin and Dave

11:30-12:15PM: Chris Nordling, Chris Nordling's Guide Service, Topic: Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing: Angling Tactics and Boater Safety
*Seminar Stage is presented by Encompass Wealth Advisors

1PM: Special Edition of OUTDOOR GPS - live! and RAFFLE PRIZES at the Finale 

2PM: Event concludes

Note: 
- The event is free for EVERYONE
- Kid Friendly
- Parking is $5 (cash/card) and is covered with your Metro Parks 
Pass if you have one. 
- Dogs are not allowed at the Park.
Kona Ice of North Clackamas will be providing shaved ice for dessert! 

Engage with us on the Facebook Event Page 

Outdoor GPS Bottom Fishing Sweepstakes Winner

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NBCS NW

Outdoor GPS Bottom Fishing Sweepstakes Winner

Congrats to the Outdoor GPS Bottom Fishing Trip Sweepstakes winner Tom Berg of Damascus, OR.

 

Fisherman's Marine 43rd anniversary sale

Fisherman's Marine 43rd anniversary sale

The Fisherman's Marine 43rd anniversary sale continues through April 8th and, just like Owin Hayes, you’re going to want to take advantage of this huge sale.

Check outhttp://www.fishermans-marine.com/ for all of the best deals. 

Also, watch the video above to see Owin’s latest shopping spree at Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor in Oregon City.

Tech Tips with guide David Johnson

Tech Tips with guide David Johnson

Are you curious as to how the best in the biz prepare and rig their eggs for spring salmon? Check out our interview with guide, David Johnson above.

Also, David's rigging tips for spring chinook are up now on our website in the "Must-see Outdoor GPS" videos under the "OUTDOORS" tab! Everything you need to know about rigging plugs, prawns, sand shrimp, and eggs - all in one spot. 

Or, did you forget how David rigged those prawns up last week? All his tips are on our home page when you need to get a refresher!

Catch Outdoor GPS Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

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NBCS Northwest

Catch Outdoor GPS Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Watch Owin Hays on Outdoor GPS LIVE every Thursday night starting at 7:00pm and every Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:00am on NBC Sports Northwest for up-to-date hunting, fishing and outdoor information! 

Host Owin Hays and 'FishTime' co-host Dave Calhoun bring you the latest on river levels and the best tips and advice live from the studio and live from the river.

You can also find exclusive "tech-tips" right here on our website under the "Outdoors" tab.  

For even more Outdoor GPS information check out our Facebook page.

Outdoor GPS Sportsmen's Show Sweepstakes

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https://www.thesportshows.com/shows/pacific-northwest/

Outdoor GPS Sportsmen's Show Sweepstakes

Enter the Outdoor GPS Sportsmen’s Show Sweepstakes for a chance to win Fisherman’s Marine Giftcards and Outdoor GPS hats.

Prizes are (5) $50 Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor Giftcards and 10 Outdoor GPS hats.

Contest runs Feb. 7th at 11AM to Sunday, Feb. 11th at 6PM. One entry per person.

Official Rules

Coming Soon: New Outdoor GPS Hats and Hoodies!

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Coming Soon: New Outdoor GPS Hats and Hoodies!

Coming soon: brand new Outdoor GPS gear including new hats and brand new hoodies courtsey of H&H Outfitters! Check out these samples and keep an eye on the Facebook.com/OutdoorGPS page for details on when they will be available.

In the meantime, be sure to catch Outdoor GPS on CSN on Thursday evenings and every Saturday and Sunday morning at 8am for the best live fishing and hunting show around. 

Super Baits for Fall Chinook 2.0

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Super Baits for Fall Chinook 2.0

Earlier this summer, I touched on some of the basics of trolling with Super Baits and Pro-Troll Flashers.  Since then, I’ve had a chance to learn more from those that are developing the technique as well as refine it for myself.  Let’s talk about a few of those items that we can hone our Super Bait game with.

Speed control is an important factor, but it’s not ‘speed over ground’ that matters.  In fact it’s not always about your speed against the current either.  Rather what‘s important is line angle, and the speed at which your flasher is turning.  What makes this technique effective is the action imparted to your lure of choice by the flasher.  Too slow, and the flasher won’t produce the solid thumping action that entices Salmon, too fast and it will spin out of control.  I like to keep that rod tip thumping at a rhythm of just over one beat per second but don’t hesitate to play around with your speed and see what the fish like that day.

Rod length should be 9’6” or greater, but a 10’6” rod with a strong backbone and soft tip and mid section really shines here.  A short ‘pool cue’ rod doesn’t have the give that is needed to allow the flasher to work properly.

In my last blog on this I mentioned that the length of the leader from the swivel to flasher should be around 24”.  This still definitely works, but some of the noted guides refining this tactic such as TJ Hester and Cameron Black have shown that these intermediate leaders can be as short as 16 or even 12 inches.  The reasoning is that the shorter bumper will produce a quicker ‘snap’ than a longer one will.  It seems that 20” makes for a good starting point and one can play with different lengths from there.

For packing your Super Baits its seems that Tuna is the undisputed champion.  But keep on hand some additives such as Sardine, Anise, Krill, or other scents that can set you apart from the fleet and trigger a bite.  Garlic is popular for the upper Columbia, but tends not to work as well in the lower river.

When it comes to locating fish, covering ground is the name of the game.  Since Salmon are on the move through the lower river any stretch of the Columbia can produce at a given time.  Find a water depth that you feel will have Salmon in it given the tide and time of day then fish it.  It also never hurts to have several buddies along with in order to stagger your lines and find the depth that is producing.   When in doubt, troll the channel. 

Having good electronics will pay big dividends when tracking down your quarry.   This will help you dial in not only how deep you should fishing but more importantly whether or not there are fish in the area.  As thick as the fish seem to be this time of year one often doesn’t have to travel far between schools of fish.  As a result it isn’t out of the question to simply choose a starting point and make one continuous pass for the duration of the day.  That said if you have a stretch where you’re getting bit consistently then it goes dead, it stands to reason that the smart move is to run back up and make another pass through the water that produced. 

I want to thank everyone that has read and shared my blog over the past two-plus years, along with Kevin and the team at CSNNW.  The time has come for me to move on to other pursuits.  It has been a lot of fun to share whatever knowledge I may have soaked up from people in the industry such as Jack and Brandon Glass, Rob Brown, and countless other outdoor writers and fisherman who I share this passion with.  Good luck, be safe, and tight lines everyone.