How to Prepare Canned Tuna for Salmon Fishing

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How to Prepare Canned Tuna for Salmon Fishing

Many salmon anglers have come to realize the effectiveness of canned tuna as a bait source for salmon fishing.  Canned tuna, especially packed in oil, has many uses as a salmon bait.  It is often wrapped in mesh to form tuna balls, wrapped onto plugs, stuffed in Super Baits, or added to eggs as a flavor enhancer, and because canned tuna is sold in every grocery store and is transported with no refrigeration needed it is an extremely versatile and cost effective bait.  While basic tuna taken directly from the can has, and continues to be, the most used variation of the bait there are a some things we can do to make our tuna fish even better.

Myself and many other anglers throughout the northwest have discovered that there are often extra things we can do to our tuna to make it fish even better than taking it directly out of the can.  The end result is what we often call Tuna Concoctions, or mixes of scents, cures, salts, and a few other key ingredients that takes that old boring canned tuna and turns it into a very dynamic bait that can be tailored to any salmon fishing situation presented.

The following steps are just a simple version that some would consider just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to development of tuna concoctions.  The information provided here is presented in a way that might open up your mind to many possible ways to improve you salmon fishing success with the use of canned tuna.

Ingredients:

Tuna (packed in Oil)

Salt (non iodized)

Super Dipping Sauce ( My Favorite )

Measuring Spoons

Container with a lid

Can opener 

 

Step 1:

Open the can of tuna and drain off the oil.

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Step 2:

Add tuna to container (preferably one with a lid)

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Step 3:

Add salt to your tuna. The amount varies depending on time of year and where the fish are in the system.  As a general rule of thumb for Chinook it seems that the farther you get from the ocean and the warmer the water the more salt the fish crave, I often add anywhere from a tablespoon to a half a cup per can of tuna.

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Step 4:

Add scents and additives to this mixture.  A must have line of scents for me are Super Dipping Sauce scents by Money Maker Fishing.  I add a table spoon of each scent I want to use to per each can of tuna.  My all time favorite is the Garlic Super Dipping Sauce.

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Step 5:

Refrigerate overnight or place on ice.  Give this mixture time to set up and really let the scents and salts get into the tuna.  The next morning your tuna concoction will be ready to fish!

 

As you can see this is a very easy and quick process that will give your tuna an extra kick.  The sky is the limit as far as what can be added to this mixture.  Always be experimenting because you never know when you might stumble upon the cant miss recipe that fills your boat with limits.

Look for blogs in the near future that discuss how to wrap tuna on plugs, rig tuna balls, stuff / rig Super Baits, and other creative ways to fish this versatile bait.

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Summer Chinook and Sockeye

SUMMER CHINOOK AND SOCKEYE

Come Late June, July and early August we can be found fishing the Upper Columbia between Tri-Cities, Washington and the town of Brewster, Washington.  Summer Chinook are commonly called June hogs and are known for their size and incredible strength.  During this time of year we often have great numbers of Sockeye available. What these fish lack in size they more than make up for as table fare.   We often catch both Chinook and Sockeye on the same trip.  This is a fantastic fishery and we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than fishing the Columbia River for Summer Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.

 Hanford Reach

We target the Hanford Reach fishing out of Vernita Bridge and Ringold for summer Chinook and Sockeye starting the end of June.  We also offer catch and keep sturgeon fishing at this time and often do combination trips.  This is mostly an anchor fishery as we like to sit on travel lanes and wait for the waves of migrating Chinook and Sockeye to meet our gear.  The flows of the Columbia River at this time are often very high due to the early summer run off, it is this high water that makes these fish available and aggressive.  When fishing here we are looking for points and bars, or any structure that disrupts the flow of the water and creates an easier place for the fish to migrate.  These fish are constantly moving and are looking for the slower inside bends to help them conserve energy for their long migration.  It is at these congestion points that we often anchor up and deploy our gear.  This style of fishing is both very relaxing and exciting.  The Hanford Reach is a huge place and we often have large areas of river almost all to our self’s.

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

 

Wanapum Dam

Starting July 1st the Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam opens.  Our first stop for these fish is the tail race of Wanapum Dam, it’s here that the heavy currents caused by the Dam congregates migrating Summer Chinook and Sockeye Salmon.  This is a very popular troll fishery.  When targeting Chinook we like to troll flashers and Brad’s Super Baits, Flashers and herring, and spinners.  When targeting Sockeye we fish 8 inch chrome dodgers followed by a small hoochie squid tipped with a coon shrimp.  This can be a very busy fishery, but the fishing here can be absolutely fantastic!  We typically will fish Wanapum through the 10th or so of July before moving up river.  The Sockeye and Chinook caught here during early July are some of the best table fare around!

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here.

 

Brewster/Wells Dam

We start fishing in the Brewster, Washington area about the 10th of July.  When fishing here we target both the Brewster Pool and the area just below Wells Dam.  We will put you on the best location to get you on a bunch of Chinook or Sockeye.  Both locations are primarily troll fisheries.  For Sockeye we like to troll 8 inch dodgers followed by a small coon shrimp, and when targeting Chinook we like to fish Super Bait’s, Herring, spinners, or plugs.  Wells Dam is much like the fishery we see at Wanapum Dam.  Lots of current and fish stacked up trying to get through the fish ladders.  One difference here is that unlike Wanapum there is a Chinook Hatchery at Wells Dam and for many fish this is the end of the line.  This means there are always fish holding here waiting to head up into the hatchery.

The Brewster Pool is very different from both Wells and Wanapum and resembles a big reservoir.  Here the current is slowed and the fishing is a little more laid back.  This is a holding area created by the warm water temperatures of the Okanogan River.  Most of the Upper Columbia River Sockeye and lots of Summer Chinook are headed up the Okanogan River to Spawning grounds in Canada and the Okanagan River Valley.  Once the water temperature hits the 70 degree mark its creates a temperature barrier for migrating Salmon.  It is once this barrier is set that the Brewster Pool becomes a salmon fishing paradise.  Tens of thousands of Chinook and Sockeye hold here waiting for the temperature in the Okanagan River to cool enough to allow safe passage.  Quick limits of Sockeye and multiple hookups on great fighting Summer Chinook are the norm.  We offer both full and half day trips in this area and often run a full day followed by a half day afternoon trip.

To see a Google Map of our meeting locations click here