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Arrrggghhh. Just curious if anyone can help me figure out what I was doing wrong. We were out yesterday from 2 until 7 in the pack of boats of the south arm. We watched a crazy amount of fish jumping everywhere. We watch what seemed to be every boat hook up multiple times. I got zilch. Not one hit. I was running 3 rods with red flashed/small pink hoochies. I tried shallow I tried deep I tried fast troll slow troll. Nothing worked. I had the gear stacked 15' apart on the riggers. I was pretty excited for everyone else, but if all I wanted was to watch other people catch fish I could have turned on the t v. Haha thanks for any input in advance.
 

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Just going to throw this out there...why didn't you try running different gear on each rod?
 

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Just going to throw this out there...why didn't you try running different gear on each rod?
I did mix it up a couple times, but after an hour when I saw what others were hooking up on I kept switching back to the red/red combo. I never tried bait because of everything I've read about socks. Do people add scents or anything? Should I have run a bunch of dummy flashers? Is the trick a super slow troll? I was at 1.5 kts avg. ThAnks again for the reply
 

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Bad luck? I was out there the other day and the same thing happened. I tried everything and there were fish everywhere but on my line. Went out today and used the same gear and hooked 2 before the wind sent me home.
 

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I had my best luck out around 400-480ft of water some huge schools of fish out there, hot pink mini hoochies, dummy flashers off balls and running with current or across. Not much running against current. I also aim for the fish that swell to the surface. 4 lines out 2 about 40-50 and 2 others at 60-70ft. Slow or fast doesn't mater it seems. Hope this helps.
 

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I've been getting them north-west of Sandheads at 50-60 ft. with a red dummy flasher on the ball and a plucked small pink hoochy 22 in. behind a large red flasher at about 2 kph.. I try to stay where I can see the most fish at the surface and will move if I get away from that. It seems that the more fish you can see surfacing around you the better your chances.
 

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You may be spacing to far from your dummy flashers, use lots of dummies, ( not your buddies) flashers I mean.
This is highly recommended.
As stated on various other threads. Here goes again. I run 2 dummy flashers in tandem (attached to each other) off the ball only 4 feet back of D/?R line. Then 8 feet above that another 2 dummies, set about 6 feet back, 8 feet above that and about 8 feet from D/R line, a flasher with a pink or red coloured squirt hootchie, these are on a short leader about 22 to 28 inches but use 40 or 50 lb. leader as to track the path of the flasher well. Then repeat the process for another rod above that. When you notice jumpers, head to them, look for schools on the sounder, you want to fish just above them, if you get 1 on, leave the rest of the rods down there, it is not uncommon to get 2 , 3 or 4 on at once. Troll just fast enough to make the flasher revolve in a circle NOT SIDE TO SIDE. I have had my best luck from 45 to 70 feet, but when I see a school on top I head to them and bring the riggers up under them and again ... fish on !

Go get em. and Have fun !

HT
 

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Remember the 3 "S" rule.

SLOW TROLL
STRAIGHT TROLL
SHORT LEADER

you gotta use dummy flashers and keep everything tight. Flashers all at the same distance from your rigger cable. What you want to do is simulate a school of fish. When you do catch a sockeye, you'll notice they have nothing in their stomach...they aren't eating....they are attacking the pink hoochie.... You gotta piss them off.
 

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You've got most of the info right there but to gauge your speed You gotta watch your down rigger lines.
Your surface speed is'nt neccessarily your trolling speed if you take currents and tides into consideration.
15lb ball should have your cable at 45 degrees (approx) that angle will change depending on your direction so you need to speed it up or slow it down.
Once you find the right angle REMEMBER IT or right it down.

Also with only 3 rods in use you got lots of room for a few dummy flashers.
Don't be afraid of mixing it up either There's springs lurking out there too.
 

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Most everyone posting has it right on the money. First of all, ignore jumpers. Its the same for Humpie fishing. It looks exciting to see all those fish but most aren't interested in biting. Holler at a boat or two and find out what depth they got the fish at. If you have a sounder, watch it. Turn the gain up enough and you'll pick up targets.

Sockeye are the only salmon species that are strictly plankton and euphasid shimp eaters. Since their food source moves only with the current, you need to troll slow. Forget what other boats are doing. Some can't troll slow enough and although they might get a fish or two, nothing beats a slooooow troll. Ask any commercial salmon troller about speed and they'll say slow right down, then go slower. Although most people use flashers, you can use dodgers as well. In fact, with flashers, its not always necessary for the flasher to revolve. Whats important is the flash which simulates other fish. Its been a while since I fished the chuck for socks but I never let the flashers revolve..just act as a dodger.

As far as the hoochies go, use the smallest ones you can in either green, red or pink. Remove every second 'leg' or even more. Just 3, 4 or 5 works well. In fact a hoochie isn't even necessary. Just a red hook will work the same but most people use hoochies. I suppose there is some comfort in actually using a 'lure'. Use dummy flashers or dodgers and keep the gear tight to the boat. Sockeye are a schooling fish and 'love a crowd'. If you get a fish (and you will), keep as much gear in the water as you can. Don't stop to play the fish. Where there is one sockeye, there is more.

You have the right idea about the 15 foot line spacing. Its good for searching out depths. When I used to fish socks in the chuck , I ran 2 lines off each downrigger with 2 downriggers. Lines at 30 and 45 feet on one side and 60 and 75 on the other. Every 20 minutes or so, drop down 5 feet on each side. I never fished deeper than 120 feet but the commercial troll test boat working right now is hitting fish at 300. Once I hit my maximum depth, then it was back raising the gear 5 or so feet until I was back to where I started. If I got fish at a certain depth. I'd raise or lower the other side to bring the gear spacing closer. You have to be a bit careful though when you do that, otherwise you can get some unholy tangles. Depth to me is much more important than gear stacking so if you find 'biters' at a certain depth, increase leader length (from the downrigger cable) on one side by 15 feet or so to reduce the liklihood of tangles.

Anyways, stick with it and you'll catch fish. Everyone goes through a day from time to time when others catch fish and you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks alot everyone. I guess there is no secret just effort and time. Thanks for the tips and input. I was going to try again today but the weather didn't agree. So we went outside of the cap and got our limits of coho which helps ease the pain. Cop car at 40' if anyone is interested. Thanks again
 

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great post Rivahman
but I do disagree with the jumpers.
you are correct the jumpers don't feed, but jumpers are the top of huge schools that will take the bait.
even better are, porpising sockeye, every time triple header.

was out today, 6' cresting rollers only a dozen boats. but still had 8 fish in the boat before 10am.

I'm runing rods at 65',55' and 45', i have dummies on the balls which are 75' and 65', rods cliped off 10' up then clip another 20' up from that. (i only stack one side since the boat is small)
 

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I went out this morning and fished by the North arm and didn't have a sniff, we saw a handful of fish pulled in but not too many, we called it quits at about noon out of sheer frustration and having the same feeling as you did, what are we doing wrong.
I guess today wasn't our day.
 

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Rivahman nice post.

I might add a few things I found worked well this year. For dummies I really liked the new Scotty Agitator triangular flashers. They can be attached directly to the rigger line, although I used about a 1 foot leader. I found the mini hoochies that worked the best I had rigged with the line exiting through the side. Simply poke a hole with a hook point about a 1/2 " down from the nose. Feed the leader line through the new hole instead of the usual exit hole at the nose. This seems to give the hoochie a little extra shimmy that the Socos seemed to really like.

Everyone does things differently, one day your method may be hot the next it's not. That's fishing.
 

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all of are success was at 65 and 75 feet.two rods on each rigger 10 feet apart..small pink hootchie slow troll.limited every night...also trolling north seemed to be the best for us.(the sand heads)
 

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sometimes it's all LUCK. just this summerIi was sitting with my daughter in a 12 foot boat. we were fishing for cod we were 4 feet apart.I put on her bait she dropped it to the bottom brought it up a bit and bang pulled up the first fish. I rebaited her hook and down it went,this time I managed to get my line down too, bang she got another one.Up it came, rebaited down it went, meanwhile mine is still down,bang she got another one. Three for her nothing for me what happened same weight, same bait, same spot?
 

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In fact a hoochie isn't even necessary. Just a red hook will work the same but most people use hoochies. I suppose there is some comfort in actually using a 'lure'.
I don't recommend fishing a bare hook.... Not too sure if it is the same as the fresh water regs, but fishing a bare hook is quite illegal... Could be different in the chuck though.
 

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Fish like to hit a bait as it's dropping sometimes. It appears more lifelike when it's in freefall. Especially if there's little current. A bait that is stationary or moving slowly sometimes doesn't trigger the strike instinct.

The same goes for a rising or falling bait or lure. The quick motion triggers the strike reflex. In the last week I had two Sockeye hit one while raising the rigger a few feet and the other when lowering. Same principal when bottom fishing.
 

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Good stuff already said.... tight in behind cable 4 ft. dummies etc ..... I would add that lately they are at 100 ft. Today we fished the rough water off n arm and got 4-It was a hard day as it was really nasty out there... but all were at 100 ft. We were also out last wed evening when all the fish were bubbling and swimming next to the boat in schools...awesome...... We caught them all at 86 ft, mind you I also caught one on a top line with a trolling weight only- it couldnt be down more than 20 ft deep. There were so many damned fish that night our sounder screen was full with fish..... I fish 1.4 mph on the gps
 
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