This is the most common way to fish for salmon around Ketchikan Alaska and has its roots in the commercial fishermen who have been working these waters for many years. Unlike trolling in some warmer climates, we use a very slow troll usually between 1.5 and 2.5 knots. By using down-riggers, we are able to fish as deep or shallow as we think the fish are, and although many of the fish we catch are in the top 60 feet of water, their are times when we will fish as deep as 150-200 feet. The beauty of trolling with downriggers is that you can locate a school of bait-fish or even a school of salmon on the sonar (fish-finder) and then immediately drop your lures down to that exact depth and put your hooks in front of the fish! It can seem a little magical if you don’t know that the captain is watching the fish-finder; suddenly he will say to drop your line to 83 feet, and after doing so you will have an immediate bite!
Trolling is a different kind of fishing because the angler doesn’t hold his rod until a fish is already biting it, and it is much more about watching your rod than feeling the fish bite. Although this is hard for some people to get used to, it has proven time and time again to be a highly efficient means of catching Pacific Salmon. This method of fishing really out-shines the others when you are looking for the fish and need to cover a lot of ground or early in the season (May) when their just aren’t many fish around to catch yet.
We are currently using Penn downriggers and have been very happy with their performance.
Are you ready to try your hand at down-rigger fishing in Ketchikan Alaska? Contact us now to book your fishing trip with Captain Jim!