Mooching is a specific salmon fishing technique, closely associated with the Pacific Northwest and usually with Chinook. In mooching, the angler’s boat drifts with the current, the wind and the tide, while baited hooks likewise drift about 100 feet below the surface. Mooching is most productive in areas where fish are found in relatively small areas, constrained by underwater features like rock or kelp beds.
Mooching Terminal Gear

Mooching bait is usually live or “cut plug” Herring, in which the bait fish is cleaned with the head removed, then hooks are inserted through the body near the front and rear. Anchovies are also sometimes used. In-line weights, usually “banana sinkers,” keep the bait below the surface, and swivels help reduce the bait spinning and twisting in the current. Relatively light leader is used, as it is harder to see underwater and the Salmon usually has a long time to inspect the dangling bait.

Mooching Line

Long, monofilament line is usually used, in a weight appropriate for the relatively heavy Chinook Salmon.

Mooching Rod

Mooching rods are long and flexible. Usually 9 feet in length or more, they are especially sensitive near the tip to help identify when a fish bites.

Mooching Reel

Specialized mooching reels look like the large, circular fly fishing reels, but typically have two knob instead of one which helps an angler reel in larger fish. They are also usually single action, where the spool rotates at the exact same rate as the handle, giving the angler greater control and sensitivity when reeling in a fish.



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