Tips For Winter Steelhead

Winter is just around the corner and it’s time for steelhead fishing! That means its a great time to prepare your tackle box for the upcoming season. You may also want to take the chance on some new baits and presentations this year.  Here are some old standbys and new favorites:

You may have been fortunate enough to harvest some salmon roe from this salmon season and you are wondering how to cure it to get the best results. There are many recipes to cure salmon roe; here are a couple of products that we carry at Bass Pro Shops® that are effective for bringing home the big one. First is the Pautzke® Fire cure™. It is a sulfate based cure.  You simply need to butterfly your skien and sprinkle a moderate amount over the eggs. Be sure to roll the skiens in your fingers for appropriate coverage and sprinkle top and bottom.  Put them in a sealable bag and be sure to rotate every couple of hours.  When the eggs reabsorb the juice they can be cut into smaller pieces or just put in a sealable glass jar and can be frozen until ready for use. Another type of cure is also from Pautzke®.  It is a borax based cure called BorXOfire™ that is applied in a similar fashion but in smaller quantities.  You don't want to over apply or your eggs will dry out to the point of being worthless.  Experiment with a few batches to find a recipe that works well for the type of fishing you’re going to be doing.

If you weren't lucky enough to get salmon roe, don't worry Bass Pro Shops® carries a wide variety of pre tied egg sacs that work just as great. Atlas Bait Company offers them in red, pink, and orange. They are approximately "nickel" size and have same color Styrofoam balls to aid in floating your bait off the bottom. You'll also find all of your egg tying supplies in our fishing department such as roe netting Styrofoam balls, Miracle Thread®, Spin Glos®, and Li'l Corkys®.

For those fishermen prefer who prefer to throw only lures Bass Pro Shops® has what you need to bring home the big one. Try a Blue Fox® spinner or even a Wave Rider casting spoon. Both are fished in a similar fashion; simply cast upstream and retrieve as slow as possible while still keeping the lure from hanging up on the bottom. You'll want a light to medium light fishing rod, 6-12lb. test line in a Monofilament or Flourocarbon. You can use a lighter leader if you prefer but it is not necessary.

For those that prefer to fly fish there are some patterns that will perform better than others. For streamers you’ll want to try clouser minnow’s smaller size half and half. Typically you'll want bright colors, small nymphs are good producers, copper johns, and don’t forget about your egg and worm pattern.

To find steelhead you want to learn to read the water. You'll basically eliminate water that isn't going to hold fish. Steelhead are trout so to catch them you should bring the food to them, they will chase a food item but not very far . Look for seams in the river where fast water is right next to slower water, behind boulders, logs, log jams and anything else that will break up the current. Be persistent, they are called the fish of a thousand casts so don't get frustrated. Some people fish for steelhead their whole lives never to hook one but when you do you’ll be “hooked"

Information from David Perry. Fishing Associate Manteca Bass Pro Shops® Store 49

Juan Ramirez

Bass Pro Shops®

Fishing Associate

Store 49

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