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Steelhead Fishing bait and tackle
bait and tackle tips for steelhead fishing

    

    Steelhead fishing baits and lures -  by Pro Guide Dennis Hull
   
Here are some examples of types of lures, baits and plugs we use for steelhead fishing in Oregon and Washington.

  • steelhead plugs, hotshot, wiggle wart, tadpolly   Pulling plugs is a deadly steelhead fishing technique. popular plugs here in Oregon and Washington include; Hotshots, wiggle warts, tadpollys, kwikfish, flatfish, and most any bass plug that dives from 6 to 15 ft and is available in good steelhead colors. some of my favorite colors are shown to the left. Plugs are most commonly used from a
    •      Plastic worms in bubble gum, pink, oranges and reds are a very effective steelhead fishing bait. they can be fished either under a bobber or using drift fishing techniques. This technique is very popular in British Columbia and is beginning to catch on here in the U.S. It is usually done with a bobber similar to jig fishing. Cast your offering upstream and let it float down  naturally through thebubble gum plastic worms for steelhead water that is holding fish, with the ripples on the water causing the soft plastic worm to flutter and wiggle. Depth is critical when setting your bobber stop. The bait must be just above the fishes nose. Plastics can also be fished using the drift fishing method described below.
    •     Jigs and Rags. Jig fishing is fast becoming one of the most popular and effective means of fishing for steelhead in the northwest. Jigs are suspended under a bobber and cast upstream and allowed to float down through the steelhead holding water, it is a very natural presentation and the ripples on the surface of the water impart an action on the feathers of the jig. Rags are simply a piece of foam with either colored yarn or feathers inserted into them and are fished the same as the drift fishing gearsteelhead lures jigs and rags mentioned below. When bobber fishing for Steelhead it is very important to have a long rod 9' or longer so that you are able to mend the slack line off of the water and keep in contact with your bait. A longer rod also allows for a good hook set with some excess line on the water.

           Drift fishing is probably the most common method for steelhead. it uses small drift bobbers such as "spin glos", "corkies", "birdys", " oakies ", and other small colorful foam bobbers. These are used with a piece of pencil lead or a slinky type sinker and fished very tight to the bottom by casting upstream andspin glo, corky, birdy, go glo, okie, steelhead fishing drift bobbers letting them drift downstream rattling along the rocks on the bottom or just slightly above it. the colors shown in the photo are some of my favorites. Drift fishing is not for everyone and it takes a skilled fisherman to detect the bite or to distinguish is as being different from the rocks you are bouncing over. Expect to loose lots of gear using this method and if your not loosing gear your not fishing in the right place. The rule of thumb is that if you feel anything strange jerk, sometimes it will be the bottom and many times it will be a steelhead. Winter steelhead are especially light biters and will only hold the bait for a split second before they spit it out. Adding bait such as cured salmon roe or sand shrimp will often help the fish hold onto your offering just a little longer. Eggs and shrimp also make excellent baits used by themselves as well.

      Copyright 2003 - 2008 NWfish INC. All rights reserved.
      Revised: April 24, 2012


       

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