Coho fishing is hot right now in Renfrew!! Just back from the derby weekend, and very excited to report that it was nothing less than spectacular. Fishing was by far the best on Saturday morning, running out to the 400ft contour lines early in the morning and trolling out to the 600ft line proved to be very productive. With 4 lines on the downriggers, I found the hot depth to be 15 feet and with clear water conditions, the flasher was visible just behind the boat. I can’t stress enough the importance of changing out gear if you’re not getting bites, as I did this several times until finding the hot combination of a “Homeland Security Coho Killer spoon” (by Silver Horde) with a standard green blade Hot spot flasher. This lure and depth brought 50+ coho over 10 pounds to the boat over the course of the day and outfished everything else 2-1. Other producers included the Killy McGee spoon, T-Rex hoochie and the Blue Meanie. A fish of 15lbs, 13oz was weighed in, and provided what appeared to be an easy to beat mark, as Renfrew Coho are known to exceed 20 pounds.
Day two proved to be challenging, and the mantra “never chase yesterday’s fish” rang true. We boated 3 fish within minutes, all on the Blue Meanie hoochie, while the Coho Killer took nothing. The bite shut off, but eventually we found fish, much deeper (95 feet) than the previous day and much closer to shore. We managed a limit, and headed in, our largest fish weighing in at 14lbs. The derby winner stood at 15lbs 13oz.
Some tips for fishing Coho: Shorten your leaders.. Spoons I run 42” to 54″, hootchies between 24″ and 32″, always use fluorocarbon as you are fishing shallower and with cooler weather/shorter days there is less algae in the water to camouflage your gear. Run your flasher closer to your downrigger wire, making for a tighter, faster roll of your flasher and more action on your hook. Cover ground and fish FAST, Coho will take bucktails up to 7 knots!! With flashers I fish between 3-4knts. Run a surface line, and run it close to the boat; Coho are not boat shy, the bubbles from your prop attract them. A small spoon or bucktail fly hanging out in your wake always puts fish in the boat and provides very entertaining takes, with the fish often cartwheeling from hitting the lure hard.