How-To Setup for Spring Chinook Fishing on the Rogue River

A Nice 15lb Rogue River Spring Chinook Salmon.  Spring Chinook are Some of The Hardest Fighting and Best Tasting Salmon on the Southern Oregon Coast.Overview

Spring Chinook Salmon fishing on the Rogue River can be one of the most exciting Chinook fisheries.  When the fish are moving hook-ups happen quick and multiple fish days are not uncommon.  Setting up for Springers is similar to most other Chinook fishing with only slight variations.

Mainline

Team aFISHionados recommends using braided line for your mainline when trying to catch a Spring Chinook Salmon.  The Braided Line will allow you to use less weight, have almost zero stretch on the line, better sensitivity, and better abrasion resistance.  Some negatives include hard to cut unless you use a knife or scissors, wraps around your pole and tangles easily, and the wind seems to blow the line around.  For Chinook Salmon in the river we prefer 50 pound Braided Line for its high strength to narrow line diameter ratio.

Holding on the Bottom

There are two basic methods that achieve the same goal of holding your weight to the bottom of the river while keeping the bait or lure off the bottom and in the strike zone.  The first method is a fixed wire spreader.  These can be purchased at any of the local tackle stores on the Southern Oregon coast.  The second method is a sliding weight on the mainline.

Wire-Spreader

The spreader attaches to the mainline and splits the direction of pull into a vertical and horizontal spread.  On the vertical spread the weight is attached using an 18 to 20 inch dropper-line to a 1 - 6 ounce weight (depending on the current).  We like to use 15 pound monofilament in case the weight gets stuck you can break it off and not lose your relatively expensive bait-rig or lure.

On the horizontal spread the bait or lure is attached.  We use a 24 inch section of 30 pound monofilament with a bead-chain swivel tied to the end.  Next, the 30 inch bait-rig or lure leader is tied on.  Rather than tie the leader directly to the bead-chain swivel tie on duo-lock snaps between all connections.  Each 30 inch pre-tied leader ends in a duo-lock snap for quick changes and maximization of time in the water.  The mainline ends in a high quality snap swivel for quick changes of the spreader if needed.  The dropper-line ends in a duo-lock snap for rapid weight changes.  Anything you can do to increase the time that your bait or lure is in the water working effectively will definitely increase your hook-up ratio.

Sliding Weight on the Mainline

To set-up a sliding weight system on the mainline simply thread the mainline through one eye of a barrel swivel, slide on a bead (5 or 7 mm), then tie on a high quality snap swivel.  From the open eye of the barrel swivel tie an 18 to 20 inch dropper-line to a 1 - 6 ounce weight (depending on the current).   We like to use 15 pound monofilament in case the weight gets stuck you can break it off and not lose your relatively expensive bait-rig or lure.  Tie on a duo-lock snap at the end of the dropper-line for quick weight changes.

From the snap swivel on the mainline attach a 24 inch section of 30 pound monofilament with a bead-chain swivel tied to the end.  Next, the 30 inch bait-rig or lure leader is tied on.  Rather than tie the leader directly to the bead-chain swivel tie on duo-lock snaps between all connections.  Each 30 inch pre-tied leader ends in a duo-lock snap for quick changes and maximization of time in the water.  Again, anything you can do to increase the time that your bait or lure is in the water working effectively will definitely increase your hook-up ratio.

Bait

Use the freshest bait possible.  Cure your bait the night before with rock salt and other cure and bite stimulants.  We like to soak our baits in herring or sardine oil in a ziploc bag with rock salt for about 24 hours prior to going fishing.

 
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