Best lure/bait for Steelhead...

Best lure/bait for Steelhead...

  • Spinner...

    Votes: 7 17.1%
  • Spoon...

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Live bait...(Shrimp/nightcrawlers, legal stuff)

    Votes: 10 24.4%
  • Other....

    Votes: 13 31.7%
  • Eggs...

    Votes: 11 26.8%

  • Total voters
    41
  • Poll closed .
Y
yellowjacket
Whiskey cure

Whiskey cure

RIVERFISHER said:
dono if you have heard this cure but just salt them up then dump a shot of wiskey on them and leave em in fridge overnight.... only eggs that have ever worked for me... i used to hate usin eggs cause they were messy and i never caught anything till i heard about that and tried with my next hen and bam...now i live bye those eggs... also thing is i dumped some jd on eggs from store and it worked.. must be sugar in whiskey or sumthing i dono?:think:

Is the magic ingredient the Tennessee Sippin Whiskey or will any cheap rot gut work? ;) Saw a cure somewhere that had raspberry jello in it. Heard of raspberry jello for the best catfish dough so does anyone have experience with the berry jello cure. Maybe something in that flavor jello that gets fish in general to pick up bait??
 
R
RIVERFISHER
yellowjacket said:
Is the magic ingredient the Tennessee Sippin Whiskey or will any cheap rot gut work? ;) Saw a cure somewhere that had raspberry jello in it. Heard of raspberry jello for the best catfish dough so does anyone have experience with the berry jello cure. Maybe something in that flavor jello that gets fish in general to pick up bait??

i just use good ol jack d.... my neighbor has some real real spendy whiskey that he let me use but it made the eggs turn a little dark...
 
J
JTLunker
I like Corkie and yarn. I have only landed two Steelies though. One on a blue and the other on corkie and yarn. I tie mine differently than others though. My buddy showed me the methood and I think it mimicks an egg mass much more than using an egg loop.
 
Y
yellowjacket
Engine Grease

Engine Grease

fish_4_all said:
That's an interesting discussion because the area which is fished also has a lot to do with what "seems" to work better.

The last winter for instance, I have a Friend who fishes a local river every single day for winters. This last year, he saw a very large proportion taken on bobber and eggs. Corkies and even cheaters were dead last as far as catch rate. 3 years ago, it was corkies and cheaters out fishing everything else.

What the difference was? Could be that the first few fish were caught using them and everyone switched to them pushing the ratio higher for whatever was used that year.

Over in the Puget sound area, where most of the surveys are taken, it is corkies and yarn or just corkies that everyone uses. The same people come out here on the coast and can't catch a fish more often than not. When we go out to the Puget sound the same stuff we use out here works fine and often times we out fish the locals, eggs on a bobber and cheaters.

Is it shear numbers of people that fish that makes the difference? Maybe technique, confidence level, experience or something else. Who knows. I know I can catch winter steelhead on a cheater so I use them. Summers I catch on eggs and jigs.

I would definitely say that a high majority of steelhead taken here are taken on eggs for winters and jigs for summers. No ifs, ands or butts about it. I see at least 7/10 winters taken on eggs and 9/10 summers on jigs. Is the way we fish for them here and the methods out fish any other almost every day. What does this mean as far as fact, I can't say because no one who knows these rivers uses much of anything else. What is the ratio of catch when you have 48/50 anglers using eggs and catching 100 fish when the other 2 using corkies and yarn catch one fish between them? It isn't statistically measurable because the eggs are used by so many more.

Here is what I think if all methods were evenly used, out of 100 winter run steelhead caught the ratio would be like this:
28 eggs
25 cheaters, corkies, corkies and yarn assuming they are presented right
22 live bait
18 spinners, plugs, spoons, quick fish
7 on the ugly whatever that someone gets lucky on.

The point is if you are confident in using something, use it right and know what you are doing then you will catch fish in the situations that suite the way you fish.

I can catch fish on a bar hook with nothing on it if I fish it right and at the right time. It means nothing more than it can be done by me.

As for line shyness of any fish, I don't know about down there but I know 3 people who plunk the Wynoochie river here and use 60lb. Braided Power pro. This stuff sticks out like a sore thumb. They catch summers, winters, Coho, Chinook and even trout using it. They catch fish on it in water that is absolutely crystal clear. Those fish aren't line shy! The same guys throw spinners here in tidal water using the same line and catch Coho just as well as anyone else.

Confidence in your skill and what you are using outweighs anything as far as I am concerned. Scent, line shy, lure type, colors whatever variable. The only variable I see that effects fishing here is store bought vs. home made lures. Is this to do with tuning and shotty manufacturing practices, I don't know but home made lures, corkies, cheaters, jigs, spinners, etc. out fish store bought by about 3:1 here. But there again, those that know what they are doing are making the stuff and catch fish. So is it actually meaningful? Only a relevant survey will ever tell and I don't think that most fisherman are willing to give up their favorite techniques to satisfy a survey and let others know what works and what doesn't. :naughty:

One classic example:
Went fishing for Winter runs, car broke down, spend 2 hours with my hands in the engine helping fix it. Greasy and nasty to beat all hell, all 3 of us were. Got to the river, took out our gear and in 3 hours we all limitted out. Gas, deisel, grease, dirt, gunk and all that other junk wiped off with nothing more than a dirty shop rag. What does it mean? Nothing more than the fish we put our lures in front of that day didn't care and were hungry! All our fish were caught on home made cheaters that day without any bait or scent.

There may be something about motor crud that gets strikes. Down in Coos Bay / Charleston in the mid-late '70's I worked in Alaska Packers Cannery. Don't remember if it was ODFW or Biologists at OIMB, and this was when the coho & somewhat the chinook numbers were dropping off in lbs caught, so they decided to do a small study with 5 commercial trollers running 6 lines each. They were to use the same lures which at that time were the fluoro green or pink, both with the black polka dots. Then they were to determine if contaminants like human body oil , hand soap , petroleum etc would deter strikes if on the spoons. The thought was that the human scent on the spoons was a deterent. So they took some spoons out of the package using pliers or forceps so that they never were touched by humans -presumably- & clipped them on. Others were handled, others got handled but washed in an ivory soap rinse, others were dipped in the bilge water then washed in the ivory and the grand finale was to dunk spoon in the bilge water then out to troll. They had all the differently "conditioned" spoons mixed & in the troll at the same time and the end result was the green dipped in bilge caught 3x the fish that any of the other non-bilge did & the pink w/bilge got 2x as many as the other non-bilge. So the bilge water treatment which they thought would get no fish actually made the top producers and all the others had about the same ratio of catches as the ones that never got touched with green being slightly more on that day.:think: So all the trollers were bilge dipping after that and did bring in more fish & money so who knows maybe taking a rag & getting a little motor funk on it on a day when fish just don't seem to be hitting & wiping your lure of choice will get a hook-up. If the fish aren't hitting what is there to lose? For that matter a few weeks back I changed line up to #8 & lubed up the reel with penn reel lube on my night crawler tosser. Squeezed a bit too hard one time & got the lube all over the reel the spool & my hands. Wiped with a paper towel but there was residual all over & I could feel it getting on my fingers the next day. I was worried that I'd not get anything to hit till i did a major clean up but kinda thought about the bilge test. I didn't get fish out of every hole I fished & no steelies but I did get 10-12 C&R cutts.!! Unfortunately the dried pineapple I had tasted like Quaker State from the lube I got off the reel on my hands- gives a nasty aftertaste! :(
 
F
Fishtopher
yellowjacket said:
Is the magic ingredient the Tennessee Sippin Whiskey or will any cheap rot gut work? ;) Saw a cure somewhere that had raspberry jello in it. Heard of raspberry jello for the best catfish dough so does anyone have experience with the berry jello cure. Maybe something in that flavor jello that gets fish in general to pick up bait??

The eggs I have now are from a 'nook, cured with strawberry jello and borax. No steelies yet, but did bring in a few Silvers with 'em, so I know they fish, just dont know how good.

Shows how much I fish eggs. Fishin' the same batch of eggs since late September. Guess I better fish 'em out.
 
Last edited:
L
luv2fish
Fishtopher said:
luv2fish, I'd be willing to bet, that not all those "others" are corky and yarn! Like Dichro mentioned above, there is the infamous pink worm, rags, and plugs to name a few. The guys that run boats in our local rivers will account for a lot of the "other" votes im guessin', as all boat guys I know personally (only 5:lol:) fish plugs exclusively for Steelhead.

i'm not here to argue and your right fishtopher.....in the poll they are not all corky and yarn...but i tell you what....corky and yarn is the most common steelhead lure and outfishes any given steelhead lure or bait....talk to ppl and you will find out...sadly in my life...i have only one fish caght on jig and that too when i wrote to mark andersen of first bite jigs....he sent me a black 1/8 oz summer jig and i got aq fish on that .......can show you my jig collection...and i've made my own as well.....i have over 100 patterns and tried at sandy ...clack...i even made a floating jig which bounces off the bottom...but mebbe i'm unlucky or whatever.
 
B
bauer buoy
Troutski said:
I have a question for all you Steelheaders, over the years what lure or bait seems to usually work for you. We all have a ton of tackle but if you had to pick one thing to use and be successful with on any given day what would it be ?
I will attach a poll, if you like feel free to reply...

Chuck

The one and only bluefox and the woollybugger fly!
:dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance:
 
F
FishSchooler
bauer buoy said:
The one and only bluefox and the woollybugger fly!
:dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance:

Bluefox? All of the people who make spinners think that either eggs are the best or their homemade spinners outfish bluefox like 10 to 1... :think:
Bluefoxes also dont have vibrax blades, as they say they do... :think:
 
A
ArcticAmoeba
Hahaha... Almost! A few of us do run a spinner that over the last few years has out fished similar bell bodies about 7 to 1. My personal observation is roughly 8.13 to 1 this summer. I did have a lot of rod hours in very productive spinner water, but still, they did spank the competition handily.

But I will agree with the one fly...Wolly Buggers. The biggest, nastiest bug you have is bound to be Steel fishy. Gnarly bass flies took some big Steelhead on the Sauk a few years back in a wicked experiment. Spey V. Traddies. The double handers, take on the single flingers. Us, "Traditional" casters spanked 'em on bass flies, while they were swing these gorgeous purple, red, pink, and white super duper flies. They finally got the picture that if you used a sink tip, you might actually get something to bite those pieces of feather art. Still not impressed with the real purtty steel flies, just don't produce in good enough numbers to be worth it for me I guess.
 
Y
yellowjacket
Blue Fox vs Homemade.

Blue Fox vs Homemade.

ArcticAmoeba said:
Hahaha... Almost! A few of us do run a spinner that over the last few years has out fished similar bell bodies about 7 to 1. My personal observation is roughly 8.13 to 1 this summer. I did have a lot of rod hours in very productive spinner water, but still, they did spank the competition handily.

But I will agree with the one fly...Wolly Buggers. The biggest, nastiest bug you have is bound to be Steel fishy. Gnarly bass flies took some big Steelhead on the Sauk a few years back in a wicked experiment. Spey V. Traddies. The double handers, take on the single flingers. Us, "Traditional" casters spanked 'em on bass flies, while they were swing these gorgeous purple, red, pink, and white super duper flies. They finally got the picture that if you used a sink tip, you might actually get something to bite those pieces of feather art. Still not impressed with the real purtty steel flies, just don't produce in good enough numbers to be worth it for me I guess.

What do you do different with your rattle bell compared to BF. Or is it using a different blade than the French on the BF. Also , I'm not knocking your creation, but I'm curious if the comparison is based on side by side fishing in the same spots & equal number of casts with each spinner to get the catch ratio. What I mean is that if you are making ten times as many casts with the homemade spinner & catch ten times as many fish that would make them equal wouldn't it? Now if you made multiple casts first with a BF & no hook-ups, then went to a homemade same color & size then got a hook-up on the first or second cast into the same "hole" then that type of comparison would yield more fish with fewer casts and give the higher catch ratio. Ain't that what we all want, fewer casts & more fish! :dance: What the heck even if they did come up even I'd much rather be losing $1.50 homemades to the river bottom than the $3.50 storebought BF's.
 
F
Fishtopher
yellowjacket said:
What the heck even if they did come up even I'd much rather be losing $1.50 homemades to the river bottom than the $3.50 storebought BF's.

Thats what its all about for me. I can fish my spinners now with reckless abandon. Before I was worried about losing my expensive store bought spinners. I would be scarred to fish them in the zone, scarred to cast to the opposite bank to get under that overhang where you know that big one is. I havent had any luck with any of my spinners yet, but I gotta say its one of my favorite hobbies now. Plus my wife gave me the o.k. to make a load of spinners and do a special 2ft Christmas Tree next year. She's trying to get me to make her a purple and black Rattler Bell key chain too, without trebles of course. Loads of fun.
 
F
FishSchooler
Yeah, making spinners is much cheaper, a whole lot cheaper. Save that money for gas! :cool: Now, I aint really afraid of snagging because I have loads more! I made 17 with the price of what, 7 bfs?
 
C
chunk_style
That's what got me into it too! Much cheaper and more pride to the catch!
 
F
fish_4_all
I make my own too and I will say I have fished them side by side even stevens and outfished store bought 3:1. Started with the store bought caught nothing and switched resulting in a quick hook up.

Different blades than the BF comes with for sure and more often than not my colors are much more vibrant so they are "different" but why make a spinner that is the exact same color with the exact same setup if they don't work that well in the first place.
 
S
susqwahanna
I have always had real good luck with night crawlers for summer steelhead on the N. Umpqua wit a little bit of yarn above the hook for color. Long light leader.
 
Y
yellowjacket
Design Mods

Design Mods

fish_4_all said:
I make my own too and I will say I have fished them side by side even stevens and outfished store bought 3:1. Started with the store bought caught nothing and switched resulting in a quick hook up.

Different blades than the BF comes with for sure and more often than not my colors are much more vibrant so they are "different" but why make a spinner that is the exact same color with the exact same setup if they don't work that well in the first place.

What do you use instead of the standard frenchs that I see on the BF's, Flouro colors colorado? hammered finish? Only makes sense to modify the BF design for better results. Am/ was curious what the mods are ie; blade design/color, possibly additional bead etc. So basically it is the same "body" but flouro colors for body & blade? If so what colors are "the Best" in WA?
 
Y
yellowjacket
Do you use a swivel between the mainline & leader or just direct tie?
All the summers I hooked up so far were nightcrawlers (1/2) too. Mighta had a hook & shake on a tequila spoon a week ago on the Middle Willy. Was watching the bald eagle flying over eyeballing me & not really paying attention to the retrieve. Thought I might have hit the ledge I was working but had the feel of head shake. worked that a couple more casts but NADA. Turned to cast upstream & saw a Steelie "porpoise" its back & dorsal but got no other action casting in that direction.:doh: Or the rest of the day for that matter.
 
Troutski
Troutski
Spit....

Spit....

yellowjacket said:
Do you use a swivel between the mainline & leader or just direct tie?
All the summers I hooked up so far were nightcrawlers (1/2) too. Mighta had a hook & shake on a tequila spoon a week ago on the Middle Willy. Was watching the bald eagle flying over eyeballing me & not really paying attention to the retrieve. Thought I might have hit the ledge I was working but had the feel of head shake. worked that a couple more casts but NADA. Turned to cast upstream & saw a Steelie "porpoise" its back & dorsal but got no other action casting in that direction.:doh: Or the rest of the day for that matter.

Next time you get a hit and no hookup, bring your lure in and spit on it and retry .....;) I may not work but you will look like a pro ;):)

Chuck
 
F
FishSchooler
The eye in the wire for one yellowjacket. Thats the only major difference (I can spot).
 
F
fish_4_all
The blades are ordered from Lakeland Inc. They are narrower and longer than the standard sizes you see on Bf but still a french blade.

The most effective colors for BF here is either a pink or orange body with an opposing pink or orange blade.

The other differences are solid metal beads above and below the clevis as well as a hex brass bead for the rattle.
 

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