Trolling speeds for salmon

Discussion in 'Central California Fishing Reports' started by biteson, May 21, 2018.

  1. biteson

    biteson Newbie

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    matt
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    What do you guys think the optimal trolling speed is for salmon... the past 2 yrs I've used my kicker motor trolling 2 -2.5 mph with fair success this past weekend I was out and due to the wind decided main motor was my best bet to keep in a straight line. The main motor pushes me anywhere from 3-4 mph. I had 2 hook ups and 2 strikes in less then 2 hrs... What's everyone's take on speed?
     
  2. mullet

    mullet Metal Fabricator

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    It depends on what your dragging .Always drop your gear next to the boat and see how it's fishing . If your dragging hardware like a spoon you can get away with going faster .If your dragging a dodger and you go to fast it's going to spin instead of going side to side . My go to is usually an 8" chrome dodger and a RSK in green or red .Red works great if the fish are focused on krill . 2 1/2 knts is about right for the dodger .
    Remember the faster you go the more wire you need to let out to get your desired depth due to blow back.
     
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  3. CaliJeepHuntr

    CaliJeepHuntr Member

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    It really depends. We generally like to troll around 2.2 to 2.4. But if you're having to fish really deep like you do in Monterey sometimes then you have to drop your speed some.

    But everyone has their own preferences and styles they tweak their method to. We've hooked up while going over 3 while making a fast turn. Sometimes just a quick change of speed to your offering can entice a bite. This year especially i've hooked up 3 or 4 times just reeling in to check the lines.

    Some days the fish like things faster, other days they like them slower. We've had success trolling the sling blade and cable bait on the bottom at the lower end of the 2's. Just have to find what's working that day.
     
  4. fishboy93

    fishboy93 Well-Known "Member"

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    Working in AK I’ve played with my techniques a lot. If I’m dragging dodgers I’ll run 2.2-3.5 (heavy current/wind set up). If I’m trolling full size flashers 1-2.5 max otherwise they just spin. I’ll run divers on calm days and bannana weights on the bad wind and current days.
     
  5. Derby

    Derby My "Member" is Well Known.

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    I experience the opposite. Dodgers troll slow so they wobble. Flashers troll fast so they spin and dart.

    1.5-2.5 for dodgers
    2.5-3.5 for flashers.
     
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  6. mullet

    mullet Metal Fabricator

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    Dodgers are supposed to dodge , flashers are supposed to spin .
     
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  7. fishboy93

    fishboy93 Well-Known "Member"

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    Maybe we’re speaking of different lures? We run the lure Jensen small chrome Dodgers fast. We adjust the six of flasher to conditions but if they’re spinning they typically aren’t catching in my experience. I like my flashers to dart side to side and up and down. Typically I run the 12” with a chip but somedays the 8” or 10” are needed adjustments. Different strokes for different folks too.
     
  8. Derby

    Derby My "Member" is Well Known.

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    Yeah, as long as your catching...it works for you.

    Another note, when trolling for salmon, unless you have a paddle wheel and are measuring actual speed over water, you may be going faster or slower then you think. That's another reason to check gear at side of the boat to make sure things are working right.
     
  9. eliner

    eliner Member

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    As Slow as boat can go for me, just barely enough to allow flasher to spin. If I could go 1.5MPH I would, but runs at 2mph sometimes to fast with currents we get
     
  10. Charles_Sterlin

    Charles_Sterlin Well-Known "Member"

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    Typically 2.5-3.5...in the Ocean regardless of what we are dragging
     
  11. karlk1125

    karlk1125 Well-Known "Member"

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    My boat trolls fast so I go 2.7-3.5 normally. I've found at higher speeds, commercial gear works far better for me than rec gear. Apex's and brad's cut plugs skunk up my boat but commercial spoons and hoochies/hot spot's catch 90% of my fish. So if you have a slow troll speed...use rec gear because it was designed to be trolled SLOWLY. And use commercial gear if your going faster.
     
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  12. oniedab

    oniedab Fishing is there anything else?

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    I just watch my downriggers cables. I troll as fast or as slow as it takes to keep the line at about a 45 degree angle to the boat. I do change speeds at times when I run over bait and make a few paces on the bait ball.If their are no bites, then the last time I run over the bait ball, I usually change my speed a bit. When all fails COSTCO!
     
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  13. Rimack

    Rimack Old School

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    Ssssllllloooowwwwwww
     
  14. biteson

    biteson Newbie

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    Thanks for all the info. One more question what size flasher is ideal? The big 12" or smaller 6-8" never ran the bigger size but been thinking about trying it out
     
  15. skipjack

    skipjack Well-Known "Member"

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    I've caught more fish with the bigger flashers.
     
  16. Onorun

    Onorun Newbie

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    I was fishing the Oregon Tuna Classic out of Ilwaco, Washington. We were 30 miles off shore and hit a big log and bent the prop shaft. We could only make 7 knots so we left the tuna gear out and turned east to head back to the Columbia River bar. We picked up limits of salmon trolling tuna gear that day for 6 guys.

    The next day we fished on a different slower boat. As a joke I put out an Rapala Xrap 15 as we were headed out salmon fishing at full speed (9.5 knots). It ended up catching ta 25 pound Chinook salmon. I was surprised how fast those fish can swim if they really want to eat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  17. karlk1125

    karlk1125 Well-Known "Member"

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    Yep you’re spot on. 95% of the time speed doesn’t matter. Only reason we all troll at idle is so we can get our gear deep enough to where the fish are
     
  18. WA dux

    WA dux Newbie

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    I like to try to keep downrigger braid line at 45 degree angle when dragging lures, a little slower when dragging chovies or herring
     
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