Sculpin Patterns for Coho?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by JayB, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Anyone bother tying/using sculpin patterns when fishing for coho in the salt? If so - any info on size, patterns, and retrieves would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    By the time most of the salmon get close to our beaches they've more or less lost their appetite, so if I were to use a sculpin pattern it would be more like the basis for some sort of attractor pattern. Like a purple and chartreuse rolled muddler, or a bunny strip sculpin in various loud colors.
    Resident coho at other times of the year are a different story, but more likely a bycatch when fishing for cutts.
     
  3. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    I remember Nathan Keen (formerly Avid Angler) tying up flatwing sculpin patterns and catching some silvers using them. They do work. I've also seen salmon hanging out along shallow sandy beaches where baby sculpin hang out in large numbers.
     
  4. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    I've caught some resident coho on sculpin patterns in the past while fishing for cutts in the south sound.
    I say give it a try.

    Pat,
    I tend to agree with you in regards to fish stop feeding, but it is more a late season thing from what I've observed. July and August see lots of actively feeding fish with multiple baitfish in their stomachs.
    September can go either way, with when our first big fall rain hits playing a big roll in whether the fish continue to feed.
    Last year was extremely unusual with fish actively feeding into the first month of October. Most years by that time they'll have shrunken stomachs while going into their staging / lockjaw mode.
    SF
     
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  5. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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  6. cutthroat kid

    cutthroat kid cut throat kid

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    I caught my first coho ever last year on a size 8 brown woolhead sculpin near the shore but it was one time anomaly.
    I agree with the other posters, you are better off with with other bait patterns such as coho killers. A great book to get is one by Richard stoll, called fly fishing for inshore salmon
     
  7. mbowers

    mbowers Active Member

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    Looks like freshwater and not salt too but they are salmon.. :) j/k

    A rolled Muddler at least used to be an extremely popular pattern in BC for estuary or fresh run river coho as far as I remember.
     
  8. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    Good to know about them feeding so long. Most of my experience has been MA 11 and south, from the beaches, they can get pretty lock jawed by the time I see them in good numbers close to shore. But I have always wondered why supposedly non-feeding, staging salmon will hit a variety of small sparse flies. I always figured it had something to do with them trying to kill the creatures that would likely feed on their eggs, maybe a sculpin would fit that bill. If so please report back so I can start working on a set of salmon sculpins, You could also try skating a muddler. Still probably wont be my first choice though.
     
  9. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    In freshwater, sculpin often attack loose salmon eggs as they spawn. I have observed trout, and salmon chase scuplin off their redds as they prepare to spawn to prevent the tiny critters from eating their eggs. I suspect it is for that reason that salmon often hit sculpin patterns in fresh water. In salt, I have no idea.
     
  10. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

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    Who Know's why ?? Big fish tend to eat little fish... alot. It might be that simple but these are all good theories. I know small
    sculpin patters will sometimes take staging coho when brighter, even smaller, patterns wouldn't. Everything in the salt eats pretty much the same stuff so I have no doubt any silver would slam a sculpin pattern when they're feeding but getting staging coho to bite consistently is one of the great puzzles I think we'd all like to figure out....
     
  11. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the input and suggestions. I'll probably spend my limited tying-time cranking out some copies of the fly that SF posted in another thread, but just for the heck of it I'll tie up a small number of standard and egg-sucking sculpin patterns on saltwater hooks to have handy just in case.

    I have no idea if it will work, but if I find myself casting small, sparse patterns to staging coho and strike out maybe I'll see if I can trigger some pre-mature spawning phase aggression with an egg-sucking sculpin pattern...
     
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