Trolling for king salmon is one of Jeff Peterson’s, owner of Kodiak Combos in Old Harbor on Kodiak Island, favorite activities. He has lived in that area most of his life. One of the benefits of living in Old Harbor is that king salmon are available pretty much year-round. This allows Jeff lots of time on the water. In this video, Jeff discusses terminal tackle, rods, reels, what to look for on the water, netting and gaffing. Jeff emphasizes that if you really want to get good at trolling for kings, you need to spend a lot of time on the water. Anglers trolling for king salmon from California to Alaska all benefit from spending more time on the water.
Regarding terminal tackle for king salmon, Jeff emphasizes the importance of good hooks and ball-bearing swivels. Jeff is a believer in the big bait, big fish mantra. He said that if you really want a big one, use big lures or baits. That will eliminate some of the smaller fish you catch on smaller lures. He also is a believer in trolling slow for big kings.
Regarding reels, Jeff likes the Accurate 600 N or the Avet two-speed Raptor spooled with 80-pound braid with a 50-pound fluorocarbon top shot attached using a Sebile knot. Jeff often uses leaders of 20- to 30-pound test; he says the really smooth drag on Accurate and Avet reels is really important if you’re going to try to land kings in the 50-pound class with relatively light leaders.
Jeff likes 9-foot, one-piece Seeker rods for trolling for king salmon. The 9-foot length allows you to better work around downrigger booms, outdrives and such while playing fish.
In order to do well trolling for king salmon, there is no substitute for time on the water. Jeff fishes nearly every day in his home waters. In the last 10 minutes of the video Jeff shares some insights gained through years of on-the-water experience trolling for king salmon.