Best Salmon Trolling Lure

Video best salmon lures trolling

Finding your best salmon trolling lure means time on the water, observation, and taking a few notes. So, on a Thursday through Saturday in late July we took the opportunity to determine the fish-catching performance of artificial versus natural baits. Included in the testing was Scent Striker’s new “Fish Whisperer” prototype.

Best Salmon Trolling Lure Takedowns

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game uses a Harvest Per Unit of Effort (HPUE) system to suggest what month should increase the odds of landing your quarry. For example, suppose you are after silvers around Juneau. Then, we’d fish the month of August since the data shows more coho harvested per unit of effort for that month in these waters.

Likewise, a similar methodology was needed to compare two lures’ ability to attract a bite. So, we settled on the Takedown per Hour Trolled (THT) system. We fished two lines on downriggers on opposite sides of the boat.

best salmon trolling lure

Scent Striker vs. Natural Baits

Finally…the confession. The real purpose of the study was to stack up artificials and Scent Strikers loaded with DBS Striker Formula against natural bait (frozen herring) in a saltwater trolling contest.

First, the artificial lineup was prototype “fish whisper” lures, hoochies in white and glow-green, and Brad’s Super Bait Cut Plug in Black Jack and Shamrock. Then, the natural bait was green label frozen herring pickled for 24 hours in a kosher salt, powder milk, borax, and Mrs. Smith Blueing brine concoction.

As a result, the topline data for the best salmon lure test are:

  • Twenty-three hours in-water gear time.
  • Twenty-one takedowns.
  • Thirteen salmon, four unknown, two Dusky, one Quillback, and one halibut.
  • Takedowns on artificials equal sixteen.
  • Takedowns on bait equal five.
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best salmon trolling lure

Scent Striker Performance

The formula for the THT ratio became total takedowns divided by hours trolled. For example, natural baits had five takedowns and trolled for five hours. So the ratio for herring was 5/5 = 1.0. The THT ratio for artificials with Scent Strikers and DBS Striker Formula was 16/18 = 0.9.

The higher the THT ratio, the better the salmon trolling lures performed. Therefore, natural baits seemed to outperform their artificial counterparts by one-tenth.

However, the best salmon trolling lure exercise did not consider lost fishing time due to rebaiting. Threading two hooks through a herring’s side, sticking the cripple herring bend just right, and laying down a full hitch over the nose and mouth takes significantly more time than getting artificials rigged with Scent Strikers and DBS back into the water. Therefore, it is possible, when tracking rebaiting time, that natural baits and artificials have the same THT ratio.

Another point of information is the test tracked only the start and end times of a particular day’s troll. Individual gear types, such as “Fish Whisperer,” hoochie, and Brad’s Super Bait Cut Plugs, did not receive start and stop times. So, the THT ratio for these lures is unknown.

Catch Results:

However, the catch results for each lure type were recorded, and the below table contains this information:

best salmon trolling lure

In conclusion, if you enjoy fishing artificials for their many advantages, this experiment demonstrates they are a very effective bait choice, especially when you add Scent Striker Original and DBS into your rigging mix.

By Don Habeger, Founder

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>