Perhaps the most versatile of the terminal rigging, we
have had lots of success with these for steelhead and have also had some good luck fishing
for salmon under very low water conditions with them. Typically, the jig is tied on with
about 18-24 inches of leader below the swivel, with a couple of size 3 split shot
attached near the swivel. The 1/4 ounce jigs are our favorite ... there are many different
sizes available ... the heavier ones (3/8 to 1/2 ounce) are popular under higher water
flows, but typically, under higher water flows, we will be fishing something other than
Color preference variances are quite
common amongst different anglers. For steelhead, our favorites are all pink, pink / white,
and cerise / black combinations. For low-water salmon, black seems to be the best choice.
Key in your presentation is keeping the drift of the
bobber as close as possible to current speed and adjusting your length of line under the
bobber to keep the jig within 12-18 inches of bottom.
Perhaps the single most popular
terminal offering in Canadian waters, the worm is seeing an explosive growth in popularity
in other areas.
We utilize the worm in water
conditions closer to normal or above normal flows as compared to our use of the jig.
The worms are really no
different than the plastic bass worms that we have all seen at one time or another. Available in a variety of colors, the bubble-gum pink color seems to be
most effective in most situations.
The standard size of worm used is the
6 inch length. Although the 4 inch worms have proved to be very effective in lower
The worms are threaded onto the leader
with the hook remaining outside of the worm worm about an inch and a half up from the tail
tip on the worm for more detailed instructions on how to
thread it). As with the jig, leader length is usually around 18-24 inches below the
swivel. Generally speaking, a little more weight is attached below the bobber with the
worm than with the jig. It seems to be best to disperse the split shot along a greater
length of the leader to help keep it near the bottom.
The salmon don't seem to be as
receptive to this offering as the steelhead. Along the same lines, wild fish seem to be
much more likely to strike this rig as compared to their hatchery counterparts ... no
explanation of this, just an observation we've noticed on the Olympic Peninsula streams.
The most tried and true method of
float fishing in both Alaska and Washington, salmon anglers have been long using been
using bait under a bobber, especially in the tidewater stretches of the rivers as well as
some of the back eddies and other difficult to fish water found further upstream. Bait
under a bobber can be a deadly technique for extreme low water salmon in the fall.
Eggs are generally most
the most popular bait of choice, especially for salmon, although sandshrimp are used to a
lesser extent. Sometimes a combination of the two is used ... referred to as a 'shrimp
Bait sizes and hook combinations may
range from a cluster of eggs no larger than your little fingernail on a size 4 hook to a
glob the size of a golf ball or larger on hook sizes of 3/0 or 4/0. The size depends upon
your targeted species and the prevailing water conditions.
Under low water conditions, straight bait is usually
most popular. When the water has a little more color in it, however, you might consider
adding a tuft of colored yarn to your offering.
Generally speaking, the leaders for
fishing bait are a little longer than for worms or jigs. In addition, the added weight is
usually kept a little higher above the bait.