Triple up for Salmon
By Jason Brooks
In Washington an angler can use up to three hooks per line, and for most salmon fisheries the hooks need to be single point barbless. Looking at the standard mooching rig that is often used for trolling plug cut herring you will notice it only has two hooks. Even when anglers tie their own leaders often times they use just two hooks of the same size.
When fishing an area that allows you to keep any fish, or are fishing an area that is comprised of hatchery stocks it’s smart to add a third hook. Much like other “stinger” hooks the trailing hook should be smaller in size. The small hook won’t interfere with the “drill bit” action of the plug cut herring and often sticks much easier into the thick jaw of a chinook.
Even if you choose not to use the third hook option and tie your own leaders you will miss less bites if you downsize the bottom hook by one size. When tying leaders for hoochie skirts, anchovy hoods, and cut plug herring I like to run a size 4/0 on the top and a 3/0 on the bottom. And another thing that increases hook-ups is to tie the hooks with the points in the opposite directions. That way the fish is more likely to get one of the points when it grabs the bait.