Do all the little things on the boat right, and the big things will fall into place
Attention to detail, a well-organized boat and the ability to repeat a successful tackle presentation to the fish again and again is how top professional anglers consistently produce fish.
By adopting a few of these tactics and adding them to your repertoire you to can dramatically improve your own results.
It's nothing but pure pleasure to fish on a well-outfitted and organized boat. All fishing rods pre-rigged in rock launchers before the start of the trip, spare tackle organized in water proof tackle trays, leaders pre-tied on foam rolls ready deploy with any size hook from 1/0-6/0 depending on the size of the bait.
One thing I found that works very well on my boat is a tackle rigging station. It has a cutting board lid for bait prep. The lower section holds storage for bulk tackle and downrigger cable repair items all ready instantly if needed. Rigging stations can be purchases or built out of marine Starboard in various sizes to fit most boats.
I keep all my flashers pre-rigged in Silver Horde flasher bags. These are separated by type of tackle. One would bag would hold squid - hootchie setups another with Silver Horde spoons all pre tied to the flashers. No time is wasted ever retying gear during a hot salmon bite.
Landing nets should be at the ready for easy deployment when a hot fish nears the boat, not tuck away in the cabin.
I'm a strong believer in redundant systems and spare parts.
For instances I use a Lowrance LCX-113 C for sonar and another one for a GPS and radar, however should one ever fail either unit can perform both functions.
There's no excuse for missed fishing time because of equipment failure.
Attention to detail is the critical link when it comes to out fishing the rest of the fleet.
I tie all my leaders on Fluorocarbon leader material, the stuff is totally invisible in the water compared to normal monofilament leader. Over the past few years I have seen it out fish regular leader 4-1.
I use Smelly Jelly on all my lures as both an attractant and a cover scent.
I also regularly clean all my tackle in soap and water before putting it up at the end of the fishing day.
One of the most important things you can do is keep a log of all your fish caught. It should include date, location, depth caught, boat speed, time of the tide, tackle used, weather conditions, Black Box setting, fish type and size. After you start keeping your own records you will start to see patterns develop. It's these patterns that you can use year after year to boat more fish.
Again it's the little things that put fish in the boat.
If you just caught a 10-pound salmon on a Coho Killer smeared with anchovy Smelly Jelly tied 40 inches of leader behind a 11 inch ProChip flasher. This is 14 feet behind the release clip. This is setup is being trolled on the 15 lb. downrigger ball running at 127 feet measured by the Scotty Downrigger counter fishing in 100 ft. of water trolling at 2.8 MPH with the current. You are over large ball of bait with fish arches showing up just under the bait ball on your sonar.
Could you turn around, deploy three more identical tackle setups over the same water having noted the GPS location and repeat entire procedure to produce fish again while the bite is still on? A top charter captain or river guide can. You may only be interested in repeating the positive results with one setup on your boat but the all the same required information still applies.
If you don't what you did then you can't repeat it!
Pay attention to what works so you can repeat the procedure.
Taking care of the little "things" before leaving the dock. This will increase your fishing efficiency. At the very least you will help you get your gear back in to action faster and help convert those unexpected opportunities into more fish.
These are some of the topics we cover during our two day Salmon University classes scheduled for March.
Salmon University Staff