Advice on catching bottom fish?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Tigol, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Tigol

    Tigol New Member

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    Hello all. I just picked up fly fishing a few months ago and would greatly appreciate any advice on fly fishing for bottom fish. I've seen some of the pictures of members catching ling cods and other species. I find that simply amazing. So my question is:

    How do you get the fly down deep enough in order for the fish to see it?

    What fly patterns work best?

    Normally I fish off a boat around the San Juan islands and jig with a spinner rod to catch these fish. I would love to try landing one on a fly rod. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi, what wt rod are you thinking about using? For an 8wt I would use a 300grain Rio Striper line. The line has a 26' density compensated shooting head, while the rest of the line is an intermediate sink. Just cast, wait 20 seconds, and strip. The big key is making sure you're fishing in water that isn't over 50-60ft deep. http://www.rioproducts.com/pages/flylines_prodpage.asp?product=21010&useMet=0#chart

    As for patterns any baitfish will probably work. Try a clauser minnow or a deciever, if you're into tube flies try and tie up a shock and awe (what I primarily use).
     
  3. Tigol

    Tigol New Member

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    Thank you, ibn. Yes, I'm using an 8wt pole. I will definitely check out your advice.
     
  4. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

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    For fishing deep, I think big rod, heavy line, and big, loud flies. I've done halibut in 200' of water, and rockfish and salmon 20'-60' down in the water column, though not on the bottom, and it's a blast. For salmon, I use a 10 wt, and a Teeny 400. It's easily castable, and sinks well. I'd use big flies, tied on a 3/0 with plenty of flash, and often tied with spinner. Usually the propeller type, but I got into blade spinners on posts extending outward from the fly as well. For halibut, I use a 13 wt, and a Teeny 750 if I'm over 90' or so. Same type of fly, and I always tied them to ride hook point up, especially while fishing on the bottom. You'll still get snagged, but I've found it's lessened by tying hook point up. I'd figure how deep I was, cast and shoot the line and give it the time (and the backing, for fishing 60'+) to get to where I wanted it, and start stripping. I'd strip, strip, strip, and let it settle in the tidal current and then strip some more.

    I read somewhere a while back about guys chumming halibut to the surface, and man, that'd be so much easier, and I'd have to say more fun as well to sight cast to 'buts, but I was on my own, and learning as I went, so I went the hard way about, and I'd drag up octopus, sea anenomae, barnacles, you name it, with a halibut thrown in here and there.

    You've just got to be patient in letting your flyline get down far enough, and also not being able to see what's going on down there. Just remember to use plenty of flash, and make the fly as "loud" as you can. Either with spinner, or just a large cross section, but I figure it's a big ocean, and fish can "hear" farther than they can see. Some guys don't like the idea of spinners on flies, but those are usually the dry fly purists that get upset about it. According to AK ADF&G, and IGFA, spinners on flies are fair game.

    As long as you cast your line, and not the fly, and use the line to deliver the said fly, you're flyfishing.

    Jeff
     
  5. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I find the biggest thing is to put the odds in your favor by fishing the low slack. Bottom fish will come up in the water column on slower tide changes, many will feed all the way to the surface on the slack. At low tide you are also closer to the bottom. I rarely fish heavier than a t-300 and hit black rocks, quill backs, yellow tail and ling. If the tide is ripping, I fish for somthing else.
    Good luck
    Jim
     
  6. Tigol

    Tigol New Member

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    Ugh. Maybe I should've waited til Friday to ask these questions. Now I can't even work because all I can think about is trying out these techniques. It's going to be a long week. Thanks again for all the input.
     
  7. lx-88

    lx-88 Member

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    Rod, not pole. poles are 20' long bamboo things that people tie a small piece of mono onto and put a worm at the end of to fish for panfish in the Midwest.

    Sorry, one of my pet peeves :thumb:
     
  8. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    if you had to use one fly color for bottomfish what would it be? what would be your second choice? mike w
     
  9. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    I like blue/green/olive all blended together for the back, then always white for the belly. Pink/chartreuse blended works well for me to.
     
  10. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    something that i have not seen is do you put any flash in the flies. if so how much and what kind? mike w
     
  11. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I usually put in some pearl krystal flash, or uv minnow belly, I also like latteral scale on the sides or krinkle mirror flash. I usually put in 2 different types. Some of my salmon flies I'll make out of all flash, the more the better for salmon. Don't be stingy with it, I usually grab clumps of like 10-30 strands depending on the size of the material.
     

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