Low Water Coastal Chinook Float Fishing

By Joe Princen – JP’s Guide Service

Clear floats, Small Weights, Spicy Eggs and Fluorocarbon

Those big aggressive oversized Chinook holding inside a pool that’s deep, dark and slow an angler would never think your targeting one of the most finicky species we have here in the northwest. Chinook that are in a “holding” state, the ones you see rolling, jumping and flipping over and over again typically mean they are making circles inside a hole holding for hours, even days before making a move to the next position in a river. These fish, along with fresh tidal ocean pushes of Chinook can be found very finicky and not willing to bite. Maybe its your egg-cure? maybe its the weather conditions? maybe its just the stage of the tide when these fish don’t want to bite. However! there is a few steps any angler can take to better his or hers success when fishing these low water pools of uptight fish. Paired with some Sweet and Sour eggs with some fresh from the ocean sandshrimp I dig the night before for my guided trips this approach can help lockjaw and Finicky King bites!

I prefer using 25 gram clear floats from Beau-Mac, matched with 1/2 oz weights and over 35 inches of “free-flowing” Pline CFX fluorocarbon leader in 20lb minimum, to a 3/0 black Gammi octopus hook. What I mean by “free floating” is presenting your leader with no split shots or bait weights attached! Here’s the theory on no weight from your weight to the bait. Its meant for holes with no big hydraulics: meaning, no boils and heavy current convergence seams. This setup works best with smooth surface holes with big fish holding within 8′ from the surface. The clear floats are very stealthy, the smaller weight has a minimum profile and the free leader allows the bait to blow around in the current creating a natural presentation of “dead drifted eggs”. Typically with no weight you’ll notice your eggs drift downstream of the weight, this is a best case scenario presentation because the eggs reach the fish almost 35″ before the weight does.


This smaller gear approach has made a difference for me this season! coming into holes fishing my typically “big water rig” using big 1/0oz Floats and 1/0oz weights paired with bait weights cost me early season before I made the change to this smaller fine tuned approach.

I have open dates for big trophy Chinook, like the ones posted here from my trip today 09/17, we enjoyed a beautiful day on the Coast of Washington. With JP’s Guide Service, I always hope you can learn proper techniques from hoochie spinner fishing tidal fish to proper float fishing techniques. open dates avaible in october, please feel free to visit my website at www.jpsguideservice.com – 253 347 5300