Togiak kings are some of the best Chinook fishing in Alaska. Zack and Jordan Larsen are the owners/operators of Togiak River Lodge in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. In this video, Zack and Jordan tell you how they fish for Togiak kings.
Togiak kings begin running between the second and third weeks of June and the run continues into late July. Togiak kings are aggressive fish and they are plentiful. Due to both of these facts, Togiak kings can be caught with a wide variety of methods including backbouncing, backtrolling, bobber fishing and even flyfishing. However, Zack and Jordan primarily bobber fish and backtroll for Togiak kings. Zack and Jordan describe the gear they use as well as the rigging for each method.
When bobber fishing for kings, they typically use cured roe, or large Soft Beads. Togiak kings, being so aggressive, respond nearly as well to big Soft Beads as they do to roe. The Soft Beads also don’t result in as many deep-hooked fish—an important consideration for fish you plan to release.
When backtrolling, Zack and Jordan like to use plugs for aggressive Togiak kings. They use 65-pound braid for mainline and a 50-pound-test mono leader. They usually rig their Mag Lips, Hawg Nose Flatfish, Kwikfish—whatever plug they’re using–with a single siwash hook. They explain how they rig these up in their video, with great commentary on hook selection. Many are hesitant to run a single hook on their plugs, but Zack and Jordan have a large sample size of hooked kings, and are very confident in the single-hook rigging hook-to-land ratio.
Scent is very helpful when backtrolling plugs. Zack and Jordan often wrap a mixture of canned tuna in oil and cured salmon eggs onto their plugs—a very fishy combo. This wrap will fish for a couple hours before it needs to be changed. This mixture will work on other rivers, too.
The Togiak is one of the best king fisheries in Alaska. The king season is a little longer than some king fisheries, and the fish are generally very willing biters. If you get a chance to visit Zack and Jordan at Togiak River Lodge, take it!