Fishing for salmon and trout with roe is one of the oldest but more effective ways of catching them. It’s what they’re already used to and it’s the most natural thing to float down the river. In this post, I’m going to be talking about how to catch trout and salmon using fish eggs.
There are going to be a bunch of different techniques and setups you can use to catch fish and most of them will work fine. I’m just going to be showing you what I use and how I’ve been able to catch fish. We’ll be talking about what rod and reel work best, the fishing line you should be using, how to keep roe on your hook, and the technique for fishing it. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details.
The Rod & Reel
When it comes to what rod and reel you’ll use, there really isn’t a right and wrong setup. Obviously, you’ll need something that can cast so that’s why you’ll want some sort of spinning or baitcasting rod. A baitcaster will be a little bit more versatile but a spinning rod will be a lot easier to use (I’d recommend this for most people).
As long as you have one of these two rods, the length and strength don’t matter too much. Having the one I’m going to recommend will make your life a little easier but you’ll be able to catch fish on pretty much anything. The rod I like to use for this would be super sensitive and will be somewhere between 7.5 and 9.5 feet long.
You’ll be able to let your eggs drift farther with a longer rod and you’ll be able to feel the bottom and feel the bites with a sensitive rod. Again, if you have a 6’6″ medium-heavy rod and you don’t want to go out and spend more money, it’ll still work just fine.
There are a bunch of different rods and reels to pick from but if you’re looking for a solid setup that won’t break the bank, there’s the Okuma Celilo 8’6″ medium-action rod and the Okuma Ceymar C-40 reel. Learn more about those here.
If you want to spend a bit more money, one of my favorite overall spinning rods is the Cadence CS10-3000 (see on Amazon) with the Cadence CR7 (see on Amazon). It’s just slightly better in pretty much all aspects.
The next thing you’ll want to do is figure out what type of fishing line you’re going to use. You could use mono, fluoro, or braid and you should be able to catch fish. I use a specific combo and it’s worked really well at catching fish and keeping the water clear of giant balls of line.
The first thing I’ll do (on pretty much all my rods) is to toss on some 20-30 lb braided line. I like using braid as my main fishing line because it casts better, it lasts longer, and it’s more sensitive than mono and fluoro. It’s come a long way over the past years and more and more people are switching to it. One thing I always like to do first though is put a few wraps of monofilament (or fluorocarbon) on my spool. It’ll give the braid something to bite into (it’ll slip otherwise).
After that, I’ll get some 12 lb fluorocarbon and tie it directly onto the end of my braid. I’ll roll out around 6 feet of the fluoro and then cut it (this is called the bumper). Here’s how I connect the two lines:
You’ll then want to attach a 3-way swivel. The reason I attach fluoro to the swivel and not braid is that it’s easier to break. If you have braid attached to your swivel and you get snagged, you might not be able to break it and you’ll have to cut it. It’ll leave a huge mess in the water and nobody wants that.
On the side of the swivel, you’ll put some sort of weight. I like using a pencil weight but pretty much anything will work. I’ll then attach some 12 lb fluoro to the third hole and put 3-4 feet of that. You’ll want to use fluorocarbon as your leader because it’s the hardest for the fish to see. Now we’re ready to tie on the hook and start fishing.
The three things you’re going to want to have are an orange or pink bead, a size #2 hook, and some fish eggs. It’s pretty simple but the goal should be to keep things as natural looking as possible. Once you have those three things, you’ll want to slide the bead onto your line.
The next thing you’ll want to do is attach your hook and tie an egg loop knot. The video above will show you how. You could tie any ordinary knot and it’ll still work but the beauty of this knot is that it’ll keep the eggs from falling off. If you just throw them on the hook, you’ll lose a bunch when you cast and you’ll lose some more when the current hits them.
An egg loop knot will leave you with an adjustable loop that you can wrap around the roe and cinch it tight. It keeps them on so much better and you’ll be able to spend more time fishing and less time messing around with your gear.
All you have to do is get a finger full of roe, attach it to the hook twice, and then cinch it with your loop. You don’t need to overdo it with the roe but you’ll want to make sure it’s enough to catch their attention. Here’s a quick video on how to make your own roe that stays on the hook:
The technique you’ll want to use is pretty simple and is probably what you’re already thinking. Whenever you’re casting, you’ll want to make sure you don’t cast too aggressively because your eggs will pop off. You need to make an easy smooth cast if you want them to stay on your hook.
When you’re ready to cast, you’ll want to cast your line between 90 degrees (straight out) and 45 degrees upstream. Once your line is out, let it sink down to the bottom and then reel in the slack. It’s always important that you keep your line fairly tight because it’ll stop you from getting caught up in rocks and branches.
You should also make sure that you’re following your hook with your rod tip and keeping your rod at a 45-degree angle (to the water). If you just stand still, you’ll have a tough time feeling the bite. Move your body and always be facing your bait. Let your bait float down as far as you can, reel in, and repeat.
If you notice your hook getting snagged a lot you can always attach some sort of float. You’ll want to estimate how deep the water is and make it so the float holds your hook above the bottom.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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