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Rigging Tips for Port Angeles Sockeye

Rigging Tips for Port Angeles Sockeye

By Capt. Pete Rosko

Late last summer brought a change in the Pacific weather pattern with the phasing out of El Nino warmer water and replacing it with the El Nina cooler water.

The negative to this phenomenon was a colder, and wetter, winter season, especially for Western Washington state. The positive is the cold water, nutrient-rich up-dwelling that produced an explosion in the krill population that extended throughout the Strait of Juan de Fuca and into the Puget Sound. La Nina is expected to last from 3- to 4-years, which should produce an exceptional fishery for all salmon species during that time period.

This past Chinook salmon fishery in the Port Angeles area was one of the best in recent memory. Another fishery affected by La Nina is the sockeye fishery in the mid-Strait area off Port Angeles.

A top sockeye angler shared his presentation with me for catching sockeye to to 9-pounds this year. It’s basically an all-pink set-up except for a blue octopus-style single hook.

Rigging and Trolling Rigging Tips

  • To the tail portion of the dodger, attach a 12- inch fluorocarbon leader.
  • Follow-up by attaching a blue octopus single hook, rigged with a Squid Skirt 1.5” Hot Pink Glow to the tail end of this leader.

Good luck locating a blue hook, but my contact states that it makes a big difference.

  • Trolling speed should not exceed 0.75 mph. Flat-line troll this rig at first light while the sockeye are near the surface.

NOTE:  I would be interested in seeing the trolling results of substituting the squid skirt with a 1/10- or 1/16-oz., nose-attached Sonic BaitFish Glow Orange or Glow Pink. This curiosity is based on its dominance as a jigging lure for kokanee.

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