How to Cure Coon Shrimp for Steelhead and Salmon Fishing

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Coon Shrimp

How to Cure Coon Shrimp for Steelhead and Salmon Fishing

Coon shrimp and specifically cured and dyed coon shrimp are a staple in our bait cooler.  They are our bait of choice for both Sockeye Salmon and Summer Steelhead, and we often use them for  Spring, and Summer Chinook.  Many anglers are confused at how to go about processing their own coon shrimp, but luckily we have many over the counter ready to mix cures and brine’s that help make curing coon shrimp a consistent and easy process.  This is a very simple process, and if you have ever cured your own salmon roe you can cure coon shrimp.  Most of the available commercial egg cures will also do a fantastic job of curing coon shrimp.

Ingredients:

Pro-Cure Egg Cure (original double red hot stuff) Buy Here

Frozen Coon Shrimp ( make sure you buy good quality Shrimp)

Rock Salt

Freezer bag

Pro-Cure Slam-ola powder   Buy Here

Scents ( the sky is the limit here but my favorite are the line of Super Dipping Sauce.) Buy Here

how to cure coon shrimp

How to cure coon shrimp

Step 1: 

Fill your freezer bag with approximately 3 inches of Coon Shrimp

 

Step 2: 

Add enough cure to get a good covering of the Coon Shrimp ( 1/2 cup of cure is a good starting point)

 

Step 3:

Add 1 tea spoon of Slam-ola Powder

 

Step 4:

Refrigerate at a minimum overnight.  Your Shrimp can be fished as early as the next day, but you will get a better result by letting them cure for 3 days.

 

Step 5:

Add 1 cup rock salt.  I do this after 3 days of curing.  Adding the Rock Salt is optional, but it will toughen up you shrimp very well.  We often use Coon Shrimp for side drifting Steelhead in Hell’s Canyon and this step gives us a very durable bait.

 

Coon Shrimp

Coon Shrimp

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Hanford Reach Fall Chinook

How to rig a Superbait and Leo Flasher

Its no secret that over the last few years Brad’s Superbaits, both the Original Series and the Cut Plug have become a very integral part of the Northwest salmon fishing scene.  This has come as no surprise to many of the anglers that have been fishing these lures on the Columbia River east of the Cascades since they were invented.  The reason Superbaits have become so popular is that they are extremely effective in almost any salmon fishing application.  I have used them with great success in every salmon troll fishery from Astoria to Brewster.  Over the past few years I have come to realize that anywhere a herring is effective a Superbait will also catch fish, and often out fish herring.  With unlimited color options and the ability to always be fishing (a Superbait never blows out or gets ripped off), combined with great action and proven in a wide range of water temperatures and run timings, if you are not fishing Superbaits you are missing the opportunity at more fish.

In the last year one of the most exciting developments in this style of fishing has been the introduction of the LEO Flasher by.  The Leo Flasher is a game changer because one of its great features and selling points is that it functions as BOTH  an inline flasher, and as a rotating flasher eliminating the need to purchase flashers that only do one or the other.  The other great thing about this flasher is that it will perform the rotating flasher role at a slower speed than other leading flashers.  This translates into being able to use the flasher in more situations.  One area I found this to be true was the anchor fishery in the Clarkston area of the Snake River for Spring Chinook.  Here we did not have quite enough current to be able to keep our herring spinning utilizing a traditional inline flasher, but when I decided to try the LEO its ability to complete its rotation at a slow current speed imparted enough action on my herring that I was able to get the spin and action needed to catch fish.  As a full time fishing guide with guiding as my sole income to provide for my family I am always on the lookout for products that help me put fish in the boat on a day to day basis throughout the season.  Brad’s Superbaits and LEO Flashers are two products that help me to accomplish this goal, and you will see them in my boat everyday.

Below you will find a detailed description on how I rig my Superbaits and LEO Flashers for Trolling.

Mainline: 50# Power Pro braided line 

Lead: 6-20 oz cannon ball sinkers connected on a slider with a 6 inch section of .035 spinner wire in between the slider and the lead.  The purpose of this is to help eliminate tangles between the flasher lead and the cannon ball, and also helps the user feel for the bottom when trying to fish in areas where we are keeping our gear just off the bottom.

Flasher Lead: 24 inches of 50# Berkley Big Game (use a different color than your leader to help identify which is which when a tangle does occur)

Leader: 36-44 Inches of  40# Berkley Big Game

Hooks: #2 Gamakatsu 2x strong treble hook followed by 2 #2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks tied an inch apart 4 inches behind the treble hook.  Set the treble hook so it rides inside the hook garage of the Superbait and the two singles riding just behind the Superbait.

To Watch a video on how we set up this system please check out How to Rig a Super Bait and Flasher Video!

I almost always stuff my Superbaits with Tuna.  For information on how I do up my tuna Concoctions click HERE.

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how to rig a superbait and flasher


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Astoria Fall Chinook

How to Tuna Wrap a Plug

It’s no secret that we use a lot of different canned tuna concoctions while targeting Chinook salmon through the year.  One of the biggest advantages we have is that we fish for Chinook from March – October every year starting with Spring Chinook, then Summer Chinook, and finally rounding out our salmon season with Fall Chinook.  This 7 month season give us the advantage in truly being able to dial in our baits to match the situations we are presented with.  Over the course of our 7 month salmon season we target fish with many different baits and lures, but there is one item that can always be found in our boat, canned tuna.  One of our favorite ways to use tuna is to wrap it onto plugs such as the Maglip by Yakima Bait.  The following video will show you just how we go about turning our tuna concoctions into a great bait wrap.

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Astoria Oregon chinook samon

Astoria/ Buoy 10 fishing is on fire

The Astoria/Buoy 10 fishery has continued to fish amazing. Yesterday I ended up with just one customer in my boat due to some unforseen issues with his group, but we put a whack on the fish. We landed a total of 11 Chinook and 3 Coho.  It was a fabulous day especially considering we were only fishing 2 rods.

We had most of our success fishing fresh cut plug herring and whole anchovies trolled behind a red and chartreuse fish flash flasher with lead near the bottom. We started our morning above the bridge on the Washington side at around 6am. We immediately found ourselves in the middle of a wide open king bite that lasted about an hour. We then followed the fish down through the church hole and picked up a few more out toward Chinook. We fished the incoming tide starting way down at the bottom of the sands almost directly out from the entrance to Baker Bay. This is where we found our Coho. As the tide really started to flood in we found ourselves in another wide open king bite. We fished our way back up to the bridge and called it a day at around 2:30 pm.

If you have ever wanted to come down and this amazing fishery now is the time I have the following dates open: 8/23, 8/24,  2 seats on 8/25, 8/26, three seats on 8/28, 8/30, 8/31.

The fishing should be nothing short of fantastic the next two weeks.