Springer article!

New article is up discussing the most important factors when fishing for springers in small rivers:



Herring Brine

So I’ve been doing a bit of trolling lately since we got the sled and I have to say, we’ve tested a lot of brines until we finally figured out what is consistently AMAZING! I got this recipe from a seminar from Swanny on springer fishing we use it for all salmon when trolling!

We add some scents here and there if we’re not getting bites but see rollers and we’re fishing in slower water (slack tide or Drano Lake on the Columbia), but the base is ALWAYS the same! Brine the night before, leave in the brine for no more than 36 hours. If you’re going to fish more than one day, just take the herring out of the brine and keep cold to keep them from getting “burned” and shriveling up!

Below is a link to a recap of the seminar from Terry Wiest and Swanny:


Swanny’s herring brine:

2 qts purified, non-chlorinated water or river water

2 cups Kosher or Sea Salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbs Mrs. Stuart’s Bluing – for SHINE and bringing out the blues, greens, and purples in the scales

¼ cup powdered milk - to keep the scales set and in tact when the herring gets ‘burnt’ from the salt

Wrapping plugs

We never fish a ‘naked’ plug for salmon, ever. Sure, salmon will hit a naked plug, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a naked plug outifsh a wrapped plug. Here’s a few tips and pointers when wrapping plugs and fishing wrapped plugs for salmon:


  • You can use just plain sardine, but fillet the fish when it’s halfway frozen. Completely frozen is really difficult and completely thawed is too mushy. Either cure in Borax-O-Fire or just use plain borax. Let it sit for at least 24 hours if possible. We’ve had the best sardine in plain borax that sat for 48 hours, in the refrigerator.
  • Cut the piece a little bigger than what you want on the plug, you can always trim it down and you’ll lose some chunks in the wrapping processing.
  • Put the sardine half with the slit towards the bill of the plug. That’s the harder half to wrap and it’s easier if you get that half wrapped first.
  • If you don’t already have your hooks on the plug, wrap it without hooks. It’s a hundred times easier
  • If you do have hooks, always start the wrap on the bill half of the plug. It’s much easier to hold the hooks out of the way.
  • Keep your sardine piece on the center of the plug and the edges clean and blunt
  • Wrap tight so the sardine doesn’t slide around. And cross your wraps so they go at different angles. Try to really wrap over large pieces that look like they might fall off.
  • Wear tight gloves. It’s nearly impossible to wrap plugs with gloves that are falling off you
  • At least 3 half hitches when tying it off. I just cut my line with about a foot left and do half hitches until I run out of line
  • Scent it up! You can apply scent right before you send the plug out, let it soak if you have time to wrap them the night before fishing, use Smelly Jelly to smear on the bill/butt, use an injector to get scent in the sardine piece, when possible, use scent. Your plugs are usually in the water for long periods of time without being checked and if your wrap stays good, you can use it several times. Just resent and resend it out!
  • Tune your plugs after you wrap them. Your plugs don’t come ready to fish right out of the package and you should always tune your plugs no matter what, but your sardine may be slightly skewed  so you want to tune it after you wrap it.
  • Save your sardine pieces for other methods! If you have fairly large chunks leftover from cutting the fillets and you’ll be out fishing again soon, you can use those pieces to pair with eggs for float fishing or drift fishing. You can add them to tuna balls, or make a paste! We don’t usually keep sardine for more than a week if it’s in borax and 2 weeks if it’s cured. It starts to get mushy again and difficult to use on a hook or plug.

Float Fishing for Salmon and Steelhead

This is a must have book for your collection. Whether you’re brand new to fishing, or have been fishing for years, Terry covers so many topics and different techniques, that everyone is sure to learn something! As with his other book and his many articles, Terry has some of the most breathtaking photos and really knows how to get all the information you need, in a clear, precise, and easy to understand way.

Order yours now!