The Tackle Box
There is in no way to provide a complete and bullet proof list of every lure or fly for your trip. What follows will fit in a travel box and get you through one of our five day fishing trips. If you’re careful and re-tie your terminal gear and or your leaders actual lure/fly losses are minimized.

Offshore Jigs

When it comes to catching fish offshore – Halibut, Salmon and Lingcod, nothing is quite as effective on a day to day basis as jigs. Yes you can hang a chunk of bait on a circle hook, sit the tide and catch halibut. Yes you can put the downriggers out and troll for salmon, extremely effective if the fish are scattered. But there are a lot of days when I’ve sat on a tide rip with bait out and got just plain bored waiting for halibut to decide to take a static bait. There are lots of days when the salmon are schooled up and while you are barely able to keep one downrigger fishing in between hookups I’d rather have everyone fishing with a shot at all lines going six ways from Sunday, hooked up to a screaming King salmon. Frantic... absolutely, but those are the days that you never ever forget. These are the reasons why more often than not we’ll always have at least a couple of jigs working if the currents aren’t too strong while fishing halibut.
Do we troll for salmon, yes, especially when fish are scattered or we aren’t finding any concentrations of fish and bait. When the fish are deep and laying behind the rock piles, nothing is as effective as jigs.

As for Lingcod and rockfish. Jigs are where its at and generally a 6 or 8  ounce lead head with a chartreuse or white split tail plastic and a strip of salmon belly is all we’ll use. Over the right ground it too becomes a free-for-all with Lingcod, rockfish and Halibut all mixed in together.

Mostly the information next is pointed towards Silvers. There isn’t much guidance to add when it come to lures for Sockeye fishing because I haven’t seen much in the way of success there. With the occasional exception not many people spend much time fishing Pinks. Those that do succeed with small spoons and spinners. Pinks are great fun from the beaches in July on six and eight pound tackle. Barbless hooks and have a hoot. Enough said there.
Silvers can easily destroy three or more spinners per day under really hot fishing action. Depending on fly quality especially the hook you might get a couple of fish per fly before you destroy one. With spinners and spoons I recommend no less than three dozen assorted sizes and colors.  On an August trip with typically three to three and half days of dedicated skiff fishing you’ll have plenty. September trips might want a few in reserve.
You can get a lot of spinners/spoons in one of those 7” X 10” plastic tackle boxes. When it comes to flies, you can get nearly enough for an entire season in one of those boxes.


This should give you more than enough to chew on. Trip to trip and year to year there are always variables. Most of our regulars who bring their own gear have paired down what they bring to a lean and mean kit. If it is a mixed bag trip, a jig rod, a couple of spinning rods, and maybe a fly rod. We always carry a few spares in case someone has a really bad breakage trip but most people don’t break too many rods unless they are careless. A spare spinning reel is always recommended because bail springs break and for some reason (lack of attention) mainly handles seem to fall off into the briny. Throw in a fresh fill of line for your spinning outfit. If your offshore reel is freshly spooled you’ll be good to go. People seem to cheat when it comes to line and I don’t understand why. They fill their reels with line and don’t change it until they approach the backing. After a week of heavy fishing, sun, salt and the rigors of just raising fish. Strip the reel and put fresh line on it. We’re not talking about Big game reels that hold 600 yards of line here. People who don’t use swivels will twist up a spinning reels’ line into a million tangles. Even with swivels, troll spinners for a morning and your line will look like spring. A kink will cost you that trophy fish.