SOCKEYE gear and techniques

wavetamer

Active Member
im sure there is a few forums on this topic , but with some luck we may get a bonus fishery and at least have a crack at some sockeye. what are some tricks, flasher colours , custom hootchys , share your previous results and techniques
 
Curious to hear from guys that fish spoons and what they re using...also from the guys that stack rods and dummer flashers on what the appropriate distances back for each and how far vertically between to avoid tangles..
 

Blue Hewes

New Member
I think I saw a video on YouTube not that long ago from BC outdoors sportsfishing with Jason from Pacific Angler. He covered the whole setup for multiple flashers and double stacking rods. Definitely worth a watch they got into a ton of fish.
 

Thunder21

Well-Known Member
I’m not the best at catching sockeye but I use as many flashers as possible , very short leaders , small squirt hootchies that are pink or pink/black or just plain black hooks. It has always been an early morning fishery for me and you basically look for schools, put down as many rods as you can and a few extra flashers and hammer your limit as fast as possible. That is my method but the other one that seems to be getting more popular every year is to just string a net across the river and circle schools of sockeye into nets using an aluminum skiff with new 4 strokes.
 

profisher

Well-Known Member
Fish as many rods as you can handle, the more gear in the water the better for Sockeye. I usually fish 5 rods, 2 stacked on the side riggers and a single on the back one. I stagger so they are all about 5 feet apart in depth from each other. So maybe early morning 15 and 35 on one stack then 20 and 40 on the other stack and 30 ft on the single out back. Then move them down as the sun comes up or if the shallow rods stop or aren't getting hit. Speed is about the same as Chinook 2.3 -2.5mph. I use only one colour pattern for flashers...colour wise they look exactly like a ocean bright sockeye does in the water...you want your gear to look like a school of sockeye...the school will be attacked to join your gear thinking feeding is going on. Try to always keep at least one line in the water even while playing multiple hook ups it will help keep the school from buggering off. I usually zig and zag around like coho fishing looking for schools. I also use small pink/red hootchies with the glow white head portion...half the tentacles pulled off. Short leaders, 40 pound test. If they are around you should load up quickly. I try and get the 2 fish for each person in under 90 minutes so we can switch back to Chinook fishing. Obviously this year I'll be going for 4 per person if they open before August 1st and then use the remaining time for Chinook catch and release. With the above set up I've had 5 on at a time and landed 5 quite a few times. I remember a boat beside me asking how many I had about 15 minutes into a trip. I held up 3 fingers. Right away rods started getting hit and it was 5 on at once...10 minutes later we landed the 5th one and I looked up and the same boat was still right beside me...I held up 8 fingers lol
 

profisher

Well-Known Member
I should add that sockeye are weird fish...most of the time they are complete duds on the rods. Hardly showing a strike and then following the gear right up to the boat..then go nuts in the net. How ever there are days when they are fantastic fighters, just like wild of long ago. On shallow gear (15ft) I had them jump out of the water like coho before the line came free of the downrigger.....at first I thought it was just a jumper and then the rod popped off. But more often they are duds. They are weird..but tasty.
 

Adrenafin

Well-Known Member
One of the most important things, not too fast! 1.7 to 2.0 max. Short leaders and keep your gear close to the cable like 8 feet back. I stack no less than 15 feet apart and always use dummy flashers on the cannon ball.
 

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Aquaholic

Crew Member
From the Pacific Angler report a few years ago. They agree with the dummy flashers for attracting sockeye in the sandy waters:

For sockeye we recommend using 3-4 “dummy flashers” and then two flashers with small hoochies above that on the cable. The best colour hoochies historically have been hot pink with a glow head or a glow strip. Productive leader lengths have been from 22” up to 31” but most anglers fish about a 28” leader of 40 or 50 LB test. When it comes to flashers, the more flashers in the water the better. Sockeye love to follow the gear and will follow you, not the other way around if you make a big enough appearance. A great way to put those flashers you normally don’t use to good use.
 

Foxsea

Crew Member
If you aren't fishing by 4:30 a.m. forget it. Get on top of a school and stay with it. Fish a zig-zag pattern when you can. Everything mentioned in this and in earlier threads is good advice.
 

Aquaholic

Crew Member
You can see them under the surface following your gear like zombies. Zig zag, altering depths a few feet at the downrigger, anything to shock them a bit so they hit.
 

MikePA

Well-Known Member
I should add that sockeye are weird fish...most of the time they are complete duds on the rods. Hardly showing a strike and then following the gear right up to the boat..then go nuts in the net. How ever there are days when they are fantastic fighters, just like wild of long ago. On shallow gear (15ft) I had them jump out of the water like coho before the line came free of the downrigger.....at first I thought it was just a jumper and then the rod popped off. But more often they are duds. They are weird..but tasty.
Interesting, so the lack of fight is likely due to the make up/genetics of the stock changing? What era were they still good fighters?
 

Aquaholic

Crew Member
The other technique I’ve learn is to reel fairly fast and surf the fish into the net as quickly as possible without pulling the hook out of their soft mouths. They tend to go nuts and throw the hook right at the net so technique is important.
Exactly, the surfing works well. My fishing buddy says to think of it like you’ve hooked a jellyfish, and the hook will tear out if you force things.
 

profisher

Well-Known Member
Interesting, so the lack of fight is likely due to the make up/genetics of the stock changing? What era were they still good fighters?
They have always been weird fish...it hasn't been that long that hook and line guys figured out how to catch them in numbers. There has been no production hatchery enhancement work done with sockeye so they haven't changed over recent years.
 

Sir Reel

Well-Known Member
The other technique I’ve learn is to reel fairly fast and surf the fish into the net as quickly as possible without pulling the hook out of their soft mouths. They tend to go nuts and throw the hook right at the net so technique is important.
I get them surfing too and net straight out the back of the boat. Surf them right into the net. Seem to loose a lot if trying to net at the side of the boat. My cousin extended his net handle so he can reach way out back
 

Marsman

Active Member
One of the most important things, not too fast! 1.7 to 2.0 max. Short leaders and keep your gear close to the cable like 8 feet back. I stack no less than 15 feet apart and always use dummy flashers on the cannon ball.
You nailed it. I run a chain flasher off the ball. 8'-10' up the 1st line and then 8'-10' to the next. Keep the hoochies within 10' of the downrigger cable not too far back. Everything tight. Reason is when you have a bunch of sockeye following your gear and don't bite do a 180 and watch the lines go off...
 

Sir Reel

Well-Known Member
I posted this on another thread earlier this year. This was September 2014 in the middle of the Strait of Georgia between Active Pass and Sandheads. Sockeye were jumping all around as far as I could see. Got my 4 keepers in about 20 minutes.

 
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