Tag Archives: trolling

Pro Tips: How To Use Yakima Bait’s Rigging Wires

By Buzz Ramsey

When it comes to trolling, anglers do everything possible to eliminate line tangles, which is a big part of why innovative products like divers, bottom walkers, downriggers, and spreaders were invented and remain popular with those trolling for fish big and small.

The latest innovation, for me and other Northwest anglers, is to use heavy-duty wires rigged in conjunction with flashers and/or as weight droppers when employing cannonball-style sinkers in the 4- to 20-ounce range.

YAKIMA BAIT’S RIGGING WIRES COME IN TWO DIFFERENT LENGTHS. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

These new Rigging Wires are not made from thin, wimpy wire but instead .051-diameter stainless-steel wires with three-wrap eyelets and a size 5 stainless snap to facilitate quick attachment.

The wires themselves are available in 10- and 15-inch lengths, which means they measure 11 and 16 inches when you include the size 5 snap.

When trolling for big fish like salmon, I often rig a Fish Flash behind a diver or Free-Sliding Spreader to help attract fish – it works!

How I’m using these is to snap a rigging wire to the end of my Fish Flash and connect it to a swivel and a 24- to 36-inch leader back to my lure or bait.

That way, if I or one of my friends get a tangle, I’ve only got a short leader to straighten out instead of a long one, as the .051 wire (being heavy duty) just won’t tangle around itself.

RAMSEY USES RIGGING WIRES WITH HIS FLASHER AND DROPPER LINE. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

In addition, rigged this way my swivel is about halfway down my leader which forces it to work better than if on the end.

Rigging wires work great as dropper lines as they won’t collapse like mono and, similar to a bottom walker, keep my gear at the right distance above bottom when fish are holding there.

While the above is how I use the all-new Rigging Wires, the applications are many as they are designed to replace monofilament when rigged behind divers, ahead of and behind flashers, for attachment to jumbo-size halibut jigs, and to extend downrigger cable rigging at the weight.

AUTHOR BUZZ RAMSEY AND SON WADE SHOW OFF A BUOY 10 FALL CHINOOK. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Editor’s note: The author is a brand manager and part of the management team at Yakima Bait. Like Buzz on Facebook.

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Plan B At The Bar: Chinook Caught On Central Sound Opener

The plan was to troll the morning high tide on the southwest side of Possession Bar during today’s Central Sound hatchery Chinook opener, and yes, we did that, but while not with the firepower we’d anticipated using, the results were perhaps better.

SCENES FROM TODAY’S MARINE AREAS 9 AND 10 HATCHERY CHINOOK OPENER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Our lone keeper king of the day, a whopping 6-pounder, came on a whole herring behind a diver of all things — plan B — while the spoons and flashers we dragged around off a downrigger at the bar were, shall we say, less successful.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Judging by that and the few we saw caught in our little bubble of operations in PoBar’s salad mixing bowl, we should have just hit Kingston first thing.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

A boat that came in just ahead of us back at Shilshole around noon had five from there, one gent told me, and they had all been caught just north of the ferry lanes on jigs starting around the first drop at 5:45. (It wasn’t clear if they were all kings as I saw the checker only wand one and coho are open and have been biting.)

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Yes, we hit Kingston too after picking up that king, but by then it was feeding time for the dogfish, which ate through our herring supply like wolves on a kill.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

We had given up on trolling and were mooching. It was actually the first time I have ever mooched anything besides beers and probably a few other things, and it was an education.

SOMEBODY NEEDED TO CULL THIS SMALL KING FROM THE GENE POOL. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

I was fishing with Mark Yuasa, a confirmed salmon moocher, and his son Tegan and friend Patrick.

EXTRA HELP WATCHES THE RODS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Mooching is an old Puget Sound Chinook tactic involving a big banana weight and a whole herring on a two-hook rig at the end of a 5- to 6-foot leader.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Yuasa, who is the grow boating rep for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, organizers of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, and the former Seattle Times fishing reporter, uses a toothpick up the anal vent to help get the spin salmon look for in a wounded bait.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The hooks are pinned through the lower jaw and side.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

His instructions were to let out slowly till you find bottom, crank up eight times and then let the bait sit a bit before another five cranks, maybe a 30-second pause, and repeat.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

If the fishfinder is showing lots of bait, stop halfway up and drop the set-up back in and repeat.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

There was definitely a lot of bait off Kingston but another species was quite eager to get after it, the aforementioned dogs.

But even so, salmon were being caught there. Skippers Justin Wong’s and Keith Robbins’ crews had a few, including a reputedly nice-sized one.

Back at Shilshole, one of the two WDFW checkers had seen 18 fish for 18 boats when I asked for a score update around noon.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

I didn’t get the other checker’s tally but hers would have improved considerably with the aforementioned five-fish boat.

Today’s king opener encompassed Marine Areas 9 and 10 outside Elliott Bay.

The Chinook quota for the former (5,663) took a hit from my circle of angling acquaintances, with one report of three from Midchannel by 7 a.m. and another of a trio from the PNP area by noon.

The latter area’s stoppage point, 4,743, well up from last year, will likely hold longer.

Whether you are heading for your local bar, eddy or elsewhere, it can pay to be prepared with a plan B and C. Thanks to Mark’s, we’re eating well tonight.