With each group that goes out in the morning and then comes back in the evening, we see fish after fish being brought to the dock. In addition, we see smiling guests hosted by guides that are confidant in their craft. In this segment of Dock Talk, Dwayne explains some of the techniques a guide needs to know, and one style of fishing that has been working lately for him.
Every good salmon angler needs to have a variety of presentation styles. You should be able to cut plug a herring and also know how to get the perfect anchovy roll. You need to know how to drop a hootchie flasher setup down 250’ without wrapping your leader around your downrigger cable. You need to know how to stack downriggers during pink, sockeye and chum seasons. Then there is basic tackle maintenance, how to pick the best reel for the right rod, how to choose the right colour lure for the right time of day. You need to know how to read a tide table and know what it means with regard to choosing fishing locales. There is a lot to learn if you want to be able to catch fish consistently through all seasons and in all conditions.
So it is not surprising that people often overlook the effectiveness of presenting a plug since it is generally considered one of the easiest things to do. Just drop one down and motor around, if there are lots of fish in the water they should hook something. The commonly held belief is that plugs are not as effective as the hoochie flasher setup because they cause much less commotion and therefore do not attract fish from as far away. But nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, plugs present many advantages over hoochies and flashers. First of all, plugs love fast water, so when the notorious Campbell River tides start bucking and swirling, a plug will dart to life and is much less prone to tangling. Secondly, because plugs can be trolled much more quickly, you can cover much more water if you are trying to locate fish. And finally, plugs don’t slow a fish down once it is hooked, providing for a much more spirited fight.
People often ask, “What should I look for when I’m buying plugs.” Simple. Go to garage sales, look through Grampa’s old tackle, find the plugs with big nasty teeth marks on them. Fish those. Unless, of course, one of those old plugs says, “Lucky Louie” across its back, in which case you should put it in a box and mail it to Dwayne Mustard, c/o Painter’s Lodge, 1625 McDonald Road, Campbell River, BC.
Until next week,
Tight lines and keep on fishin’