A Trick for Reducing Line Twist on Spinners

I put in some long hours closing down my Alaska charter business earlier this week so that I might be able to sneak out for an afternoon of freshwater fishing on Sarkar Lake, located on the north end of Prince of Wales Island. After fishing for three straight months I still…ya know…wanna go fishing. The silvers usually come into the lake this time of year and I could use a little rest and relaxation in the wilds of Alaska after a long season on the ocean.

After my chores were all done I hurriedly grabbed one of the cheapo spinning rods our fish cutters boy uses to terrorize the pogues on our dock, a couple of size 5 Vibrax spinners, and a little leader material and I screeched out’a here for Sarkar.

Two hours and a logging road detour later I pulled into the small boat launch at the lake and quickly began rigging up my spinning rod with a Vibrax. Only one problem…I forgot to grab swivels back in Craig. Dammit man!

Fishing a spinner with a swivel results in a gnarly mess more often than not. Luckily an old spinner trick my pops taught me in my youth quickly surfaced in my shallow memory bank and my grimace quickly evaporated.

By bending the shaft of the spinner about 25 degrees it acts as a keel and keeps the shaft of the spinner from rotating, almost eliminating line twist.

After bending the spinner shaft I made about 20 casts before I checked my line and things were looking good, so I went back to flogging the lake. I was able to fish to my hearts content for a few hours on both Sarkar Lake and on the Sarkar River.

This little spinner trick saved the day and allowed me to avoid a birds nest and actually get some fishing in. If you find yourself in the same predicament give this bend a try. It might just save the day as it did for me.

Outside of one brief hookup with a smallish coho I didn’t catch jack squat, but at least I got to hear the loons on the lake and listen to the total silence that is the Alaskan wilderness. Pretty darned good way to end the summer if you axe me!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

 

Nisqually H’orderves

It’s mid to late August in the South Puget Sound region, which can only mean one thing…

Well,.. actually,.. it can mean more than one; however for this tid- bit of info, it is in regards to one thing, Nisqually kings.

For those who reside in the 360, the 206 or the 253 area codes, and has put in their time on the Nisqually river, you know that the Nisqy kings can be one of the most locked jawed, constantly rolling, middle fin flippin, difficult Kings to entice into a bite…

Or are they?

If you are a sports fisherman who enjoys fishing bait under a float for fall kings, but have minimal success, here is a little trick to think about. The next time you’re out in pursuit of the south Sound bounty, you may want to dress those eggs up a bit. Make them more than just eggs, entice these non-biting Nisqy ‘nooks, with an H’orderve…

Most NW fishermen are familiar with the cocktail. It’s simply a glob of eggs, under a float, topped off with a sand-shrimp. The way I see it, if we can fish cocktails we can certainly fish H’orderves. Now, I’ll tell you right up front that there is a little extra work involved in creating these enticing morsels. But if it’s the difference between success and a skunk, then a little extra work is well worth it.

To make a great H’orderve requires more than one ingredient. The right ingredients are key. I like the combination of Pautzke Fire Cure eggs and Tuna. Not just any tuna, but tuna belly chunks.

There is a tremendous amount of fat and oils in tuna belly. I use them often, cut into strips and wrapped on plugs. It can be difficult, as tuna belly fat is not like meat so it really doesn’t hold together well. The ability to hold two different types of bait together is pretty basic. It’s simply making oversize spawn sacs.

I start off with decent size egg clusters…

The first thing you notice is that these baits are not your normal size Steelhead spawn sacs. The standard 3 X 3 pre-cut mesh, won’t get it done. You’ll need to cut larger size mesh from a roll.

Pictured here is a standard 3 X 3 piece of mesh and an oversized piece I cut from a mesh roll.
Something I like to do to prep my tuna chucks prior to adding them to the spawn sac, is simply sprinkle on some Pautzke Fire Cure Natural. This adds a bit of extra Sulfite to your bait and draws out some of the oils, keeping them moist.

Next I’ll take cured chunks of tuna and place them on each egg cluster.

Within just a few minutes you can have several spawn sacs tied.

Here’s something to consider; never create just one type of bait. Pictured here is the Tuna/Egg H’orderves and also some oversized spawn sacs with just egg. Well, perhaps egg and a little shrimp oil and stuff. The point here is to create a couple different bait options. Keep them separate so you absolutely have completely different offerings. Putting them all in one bait box would result in spawn sacs that smell like, egg, tuna, shrimp, anise, & krill. Not saying it wouldn’t work, but I have much more confidence in the ability to offer different baits on any given outing.
Do it right and you just may be happy with the results!!!

Duane Inglin

The Outdoor Line

710 ESPN

www.theoutdoorline.com

 

Two Days With Tobeck…

“Salmon, salmon and more salmon! That’s all you think about Nelly…”

If I had a dime for every time my friend, former co-host, Seattle Seahawk and WSU Cougar Robbie Tobeck hit me with that blast….

“Seriously Nelly, have you ever taken that boat of yours out for anything but salmon???”

Uh oh, new Tobeck material… and, it made me think…

“You mean like halibut or lingcod?”

“No Nelly… T, U, N, A  tuna!”

Oh, that…Well, he had me there and really, I have no excuse since my Stabicraft “Big Red” has serious blue-water bloodlines including a live well, 150 gallon fuel capacity, oversize fishbox and a kick ass chop-busting reverse chine hull. While these features were initially intended for off-shore action, the way they enable my salmon fishing addiction is remarkable and to be quite frank, a boat like this never, ever should have fallen into the hands of a guy like me.

So, as I saw it the only self-respecting response to Tobeck’s blunt chidings was to hit salmon in my stomping grounds with my gear and take Big Red to Westport with Tobeck’s tuna gear.

The plan was hatched and right before the Marine Area 9 & 10 closure, we hit Midchannel Bank…and were not dissapointed!

Tobeck's common complaint about salmon fishing often has to do with the time between strikes. On this day, he wouldn't have long to wait!

This has been an excellent chinook season in Puget Sound and the fish are not only numerous but there have been some large specimens as well!

Rob's first fish was a dandy that blew out of the release clip and spit the spoon at the boat, Tobeck was not amused...

Early that Midchannel morning we experienced a solid bite but landing them was entirely another story! We started the day a dismal 0 for 4!!! Thankfully, that was about to change!

Walt Hylback broke the ice in a big way with this fat 22 pounder and the fishbox started to look better in a hurry!

Tobeck would soon forget about the big one that got away as the action really made a sunny Sunday morning fly by!

The next occupant of the fishbox was a few pounds lighter than the first, but the fact that it "lightened" Tobeck's mood really made my day!

 

Most of the fish came on hardware but the one that I'm holding (far left) took a half-hitched whole herring fished in the middle of the water column on the middle downrigger!

With our “salmon day” in the books, it was time to put the boat on the trailer, strip the salmon gear off the boat including Cannon Downriggers and cannon balls, fuel up and head to Westport!

One of the key differences between salmon and tuna is the temperature of the water they live in and the speeds at which you fish for them. Sixty degrees (60 F.) seems to be the break point and tuna will be slightly warmer than the water in which they live. After a hook and line fight, albacore will be several degrees warmer than their environment. So, if you want tuna fillets and not “fish soup”, you must ice your catch immediately after bleeding them. You’ve got to have ice and a whole bunch of it!!!

Unfortunately, by the time we got through traffic the ice house in Westport was closed… Do you know what fifty-five bags of party ice looks like? Well, we found out…

Along with the aforementioned ice, live anchovies are essential to a successful tuna outing. Fortunately, my Stabicraft is equipped with a live bait tank that will hold two full scoops of live anchovies and keep them frisky all the way out to the tuna grounds which are 30 to 50 miles or more offshore.

To find tuna in the vast, open ocean, you need to watch surface temperature, water color (you’re looking for a cobalt blue), find feeding birds and “FAD’s” or “Fish Attracting Devices” which is basically anything that floats! In this year of tsunami debris, it’s not hard to find! The basic tuna technique is to troll until you get a strike, then stop the boat and throw stunned live anchovies behind the boat to bring the school of tuna in close.

Fortunately on this day, we wouldn't have long to troll! Here's my son Matt Nelson with the first tuna ever landed on the big, red Stabicraft! Robbie Tobeck in the background begrudgingly allowed the photo despite the fact that we "should have had gear in the water catching tuna!..."

After a couple trolling hookups followed by a few productive bait stops the fishbox started to get full! Here's Mason Tobeck and Matt Nelson dumping the final bags of "party ice" on our catch!

After all was said & done it was a very memorable two days of angling in two different locations, in pursuit of two different species with two different sets of rods and terminal gear.

Gotta love a successful father and son outing! Rob Tobeck, Matt Nelson and Mason Tobeck share a smile over the results of Big Red's first tuna run!

Are there easier ways to fish salmon and tuna? Heck yes! One can get the job done in the same day by launching in La Push, Westport or Ilwaco to name but a few. Our two days on the water were simply taking advantage of an opportunity. Not to mention the fact that Tobeck can never call me “Salmon-only Nelly” ever again!!!

Tom Nelson 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Outdoor Line 6-8am Every Saturday!

www.theoutdoorline.com

Going Green & How to Get There

In the last few months I’ve fielded many questions from fellow anglers spending time in The Bait Lab. One of the most common revolves around turning baits green. I’ve been going green a lot this season, but unfortunately you can’t buy green Nectar or Fire Brine. Pautzke doesn’t make those colors. Going green requires a little work. Rest assured, though, creating green herring is easier than you’d expect. It doesn’t take a Mixologist to do so.

The green craze has evolved over the past few years. Historically, we’ve had good success on chartreuse herring and anchovies. Knowing that, I really wanted to fish green herring. I knew by simply mixing blue and chartreuse Fire Brine I could create green. I just wasn’t sure on the ratios. Fortunately, I did my homework in The Bait Lab and figured it out.

I’ve conducted many experiments in the last few months and believe that exact measurements aren’t vital when it comes to getting the green color we all want. It’s more important to mix blue and green until you achieve the exact color you’re looking for. Through trial and error I learned that I could create several shades of green depending upon the amount of blue and chartreuse used. Nonetheless, I always start with chartreuse in the bag (or container) and watch the color change by slowing adding blue. Doing so allows me to get any darkness of green I want.

There are many different ratios that work, however, for this blog I wanted to provide many points of reference, which should aid your efforts to create green herring/alewives/sardines/anchovies.

Here’s my published study:

The following are the four comparisons. All four containers started with ½ bottle of chartreuse Fire Brine. I left some herring chartreuse so we have a base comparison (C). The three levels of green created were as follows.

G-1: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 2 tbl sp. blue Fire Brine
G-2: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 4 tbl sp. blue Fire Brine
G-3: ½ bottle chartreuse Fire Brine, 2 tbl sp. blue Nectar

After a 20-hour soak time I compared the darkness of green achieved.


When I compare the different shades of green the color I’ve seen the most success with is G-1.

When compared closely it’s apparent: the more blue added the bluer the herring is. On the other hand, if you are wondering how adding the blue may affect the UV the results are positive. The UV properties in chartreuse Fire Brine are so strong that it maintains the UV level regardless of how green you make the herring.

Here’s a recap of what I do to make the perfect green:

I start by filling a gallon Ziploc bag with a ½ to full bottle of chartreuse Fire Brine. Then, it’s time to blend chartreuse and blue Fire Brine. After pouring them in the bag, add the herring and let it sit for 18-24 hours. Sometimes I add 1 teaspoon of Fire Power (krill powder) for additional scent.

Bonus Plan: Adding Bite Stimulants To The Brine

If I plan on adding Nectar to my Fire Brine as a scent additive/bite stimulant on my herring, I can also use that as my color change. Pour chartreuse Fire Brine into the Ziploc and add the blue Nectar to achieve green. Keep in mind that the dye properties in the blue Nectar are every bit as strong as the Fire Brine. So your ratio may be the same, more or less, based on the previous information.

Give this a try and “Go Green” I think you will like the results.

Duane Inglin
Strong Arm Guide Service
The Outdoor Line, 710

The Secret To The Sound

Add Green To Your Diet!
By Chris Shaffer | 08/05/2012
Those of us fortunate to know Pautzke pro staffer and Outdoor Line co-host Duane Inglin on a personal level know nothing excites him more than being in “The Bait Lab” which has taken over a portion of his garage.

Knowing this, it was no surprise the Inglin arrived almost 30 minutes late to pick me up at the new Sea-Tac car rental facility two weeks ago.

“Sorry Shaf, I was doing some mixing. We are running herring in the morning and this bait is going to be awesome,” he told me, while opening the cooler and lifting a Ziploc bag filled with what looked like antifreeze.

I’m accustomed to seeing Inglin show me wild color combinations and wasn’t surprised to see this, even though we didn’t sell a green Nectar or Fire Brine. It’d been a year since we last made green Kokanee Fuel and I figured Inglin again had his measuring cups and Tupperware out. His drive to remain a leading Mixologist continues to burn.

“Do you see this green?” he asked me. “You like that, huh?”

Inglin had made the green herring and anchovies to be drug in the Puget Sound the following morning when we met Inglin’s co-host and saltwater guru Tom Nelson. The herring and anchovies were brought to imitate candlefish, the salmon’s main food source right now in The Sound, Nelson said.

“I don’t care what you are running in regards to hardware, it’s never going to be as effective as bait,” Nelson told me.

While lures remain common having a good looking bait is tough to beat.

“Anchovy are a soft belly bait and they like to blow out so a lot of guys don’t run them, but we brine them up with the Pautzke’s Fire Brine, which does a real nice job at firming them up, plus it has the UV properties, which is real important when you get those baits down,” Inglin added. “We’ve also done the same with red label herring.”

Inglin later revealed he mixed chartreuse and blue Fire Brine to achieve the perfect green.

“The key to successful bait trolling is having a tough and dependable herring down there and Fire Brine does that,” noted Nelson.

 

It proved to be our recipe to success that day.

And, it could be yours, too.

Editor’s Note: Co-hosts Duane Inglin and Tom Nelson can be heard on The Outdoor Line Saturday mornings on ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle. This week, Inglin’s newest Fire Blog will explain how to make your own green herring/anchovy.

Imitation: the sincerest form of flattery…for fish and fishermen!

One of the aspects of fishing that never ceases to fascinate me is the fact that there is always something new to learn. No two days are the same, let alone seasons! Each year a new wrinkle, a new point of emphasis, a new way to use old gear or perhaps a new area to fish works its way into my approach. This season there has been no shortage of new, surprising developments and as far as I travel to fish, I always come away with the thought that there is always, always more to learn. The challenge as I see it is to try and glean something new each and every day.

So, in no particular order, here are a couple of the finer points that the salmon -and salmon anglers- have taught me this season!

Size Matters

While some may look at the calendar and judge their seasons end on New Year’s Day, I look at the birth of a new salmon season when the first genuine spring chinook start poking their heads in from the oceanic pasture. The first true springers I see are at the Anacortes Salmon Derby in late March followed closely by the Columbia River spring chinook.

No matter what you find inside of your catch, it's up to you to identify it and be able to quickly and effectively mimic it!

For those that are paying close attention, the food items found in these early arriving chinook are a valued clue and actually set the tone for lure/bait selection throughout the season. Keep in mind that in general, bait sizes increase as winter turns to summer. There are exceptions, such as the small, summer candlefish hatches we see in the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Midchannel Bank but one concept remains concrete: Find the predominant, preferred salmonid food item and mimic it to the best of your ability with regard to size, color and depths.

Tacit Knowledge

Left Field time sports fans… Bear with me: There is a field of study known as “Knowledge Management”. The cornerstone of this philosophy is a concept known as “tacit knowledge” which describes the fact that we all know more than we can tell or teach . In other words,  people are not often aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others.

Have you ever been out fishing with someone, just going through your normal routine and they said “Hey, I didn’t know how you did that!..” You were most likely surprised at your companion’s response since it never occurred to you to mention it because you thought to yourself  “Heck, everybody knows that!” Welcome to tacit knowledge.

In my seminars and the Radio Show, I always try to put myself in the audience’s shoes. I’m very fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time on the water and I sincerely try to bring the benefit of that experience to the table each and every time. The problem is that I can’t know exactly what it is that you don’t know.

What Pacific Northwest angler wouldn't want to spend a day on the water with Captain John Keizer aboard the Lowrance boat?

 

I experience this situation myself when I get to fish with other guys in their signature fisheries. Buzz Ramsay at Buoy 10, Eric Linde on the Columbia, Rob Endsley, Jay Field & Larry Carpenter in the San Juan Islands , John Keizer out of Westport and Reel Class Charters Derek Floyd in Sitka, Alaska to name a few. I learned something specific from each of these talented, passionate professionals. Literally, I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I got a look how these guys did business in their own boats!

The key concept here: Be aware of the “players” in each of your fisheries. There is something that you can learn from them.  If you can get aboard with them,  great! But, if not there are always ways to learn by observation…and imitation!

Tom Nelson 710 ESPN Seattle

www.Theoutdoorline.com