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Salmon trolling Scandinavia

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Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:27 am

I am new to this forum, and have looked into a lot of the threads. Thanks to everyone who has posted!

I am a fisherman in the Baltic Sea. We have some good salmon stocks over here that are being more and more protected from us blood-thirsty eco-criminals (i e commercial fishermen). First came the ban on drift-netting some 5 odd yars ago. The longlining continued, but that will be entirely closed and forbidden in 2013. So, we have started discussing with some colleagues about the possibilities in trolling.

The sportfishermen do troll salmon in some amounts, which has created some interest in some of us to try out trolling on a commercial scale. The fish is there, and the more bright-eyed of us also anticipate a rise in salmon prices due to the dramatic drop in supply.

So, I have found some really interesting posts on this site about rigging and techniques that we might adapt over here.

The majority of the boats over here are some 30-50 feet, GRP and wood being the two most common mateials. Displacement hulls are a rule of thumb. Most boats are capable of doing 6-7-day trips, also in the wintertime, which would be our main period (nov-march).

Does anyone have some tips to where I can find additional info about the rigging of the vessel?
One seriously informative link was posted:http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt4h4nb078&brand=calisphere&doc.view=entire_text
This was some 50+ years old paper, but there were some basic info that might be useful.

I have scrolled through the internet, and seen some quite interesting movie material about the setup on trollers, but there are some things to be sorted out, still.

The average size of our salmon would be some 12 lbs, with 20+ fish quite common. Would this be a challenge with powered gurdies? In respect of fish coming off the hook due to "insensitive" mechanical hauling vs hauling by hand?

Basically I would need to have info on the complete setup on a commercial salmon troller. And that would be the setup of the gear.

Any input and ideas are welcome.


All the best
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Salty » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:12 am

Welcome to the forum. Is this a serious inquiry? I did not know there were enough salmon in the Baltic to prosecute a commercial fishery. One of the problems with a troll fishery would be whether Atlantic salmon would readily bite troll gear. I understand the sport fishery in the rivers is mostly conducted with fly rods. Atlantics are more closely related to our steelhead than they are to our pacific salmon. Steelhead seldom hit our troll lures in the ocean.

If this is a serious interest I will provide some links, pictures, and recommend books you could use.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:35 am

Hi Salty.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, this is a serious inquiry.

Actually, when driftnetting was still allowed, this was perhaps the fleet segment that saw the biggest amount of newbuildings. So there was some money in that fishery.

The salmon stock in the Baltic is a domestic stock, and is not to be confused with the Atlantic stock, although morphologically they might be similar at a glance.

The salmon feed in open sea, and at that time they are biting on lures presented by sportfishermen. And we do catch them on surface longlines also, which will be prohibited starting 2013, as stated earlier.

The main question is whether we can achieve such catch rates with commercial trolling that such an enterprise can be economically viable. That can only be answered by trying. And spending some amount of money on it.

Looking forward to receiving some info from You, Salty.

Btw we have imported rainbow trout over here that have later migrated in to the sea, and we commonly call them steelheads. No successful natural spawning has not been recorded, though. These fish are a common bycatch in sportfishing and gillnet fisheries at sea. A close relative to what You refer to as steelhead, I suppose.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby birdfeeder11 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:32 pm

salmon troll gurdies would hahdel all the salmon that u could get to bite. they would make you a slave to the sea! Our king salmon are much larger then atlantic salmon and even a stronger fish is the albacore tuna which is also caught trolling jigs on troll gurdies.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby lone eagle » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:03 pm

Consider hand gurdies..and a sea run brown trout Common in the UK ) is known as a seatrout
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Abundance » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:27 pm

One thing that might be a problem is getting professional trolling gear. Commercial fishing with sport gear is done, at least in southeast Alaska, but is rarely considered more than a hobby fishery because of the minimal catch rate. I have found that the chum salmon lures we use catch saltwater steelhead pretty well, and would probably work just fine on Atlantic salmon. I read this morning on fishnewseu.com that the the Baltic salmon quota was set at about 108,000 fish this next season. The WWF seems to have issues with that. Maybe someday, if you have time, you could tell us more about salmon fishing on the other side of the world. Most fishermen over here, myself included, had our ancestors move here from Scandinavia around a century ago. Many of them probably fished the Baltic.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Salty » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:47 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCo9_tLu ... re=related,

Try this site. Should give you an idea.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Salty » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:53 pm

Garret is right on. My father came over in 1922 when he was 12 from Norway.

Trolling is a highly selective, high quality, environmentally friendly way to harvest salmon with small fuel efficient vessels. I would love to assist in helping you initiate a fishery. Also think a great area for a salmon troll fishery would be in Russia, particularly the far east.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:48 pm

Ok, watched the movie;


Salty wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCo9_tLugps&feature=related,

Try this site. Should give you an idea.


Couple of thoughts, please correct if I am wrong:

(using the terms in as seen on the video)

-three lines/side?
-aft reel handling what it seems as something of a floating trawl door from which the line goes down with weight in the end?
-middle reel goes directly in the water?
-fwd reel goes to the outrigger pole?
-Distance between the spreads some 2-3 fathoms?
-length of the line from the snap to the bait some 8 fathoms?
-the snaps used are similar as in swordfish/tuna longlining?
-maybe abt 10 spreads/line?
-flashers on most spreads
-purpose of the "floating trawl door"? Material looked like some polyurethane insulating foam.
-how do You prevent the lines from getting tangled in each other?
-what depth are the weights in when fishing?
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:06 am

Abundance wrote:One thing that might be a problem is getting professional trolling gear. Commercial fishing with sport gear is done, at least in southeast Alaska, but is rarely considered more than a hobby fishery because of the minimal catch rate. I have found that the chum salmon lures we use catch saltwater steelhead pretty well, and would probably work just fine on Atlantic salmon. I read this morning on fishnewseu.com that the the Baltic salmon quota was set at about 108,000 fish this next season. The WWF seems to have issues with that. Maybe someday, if you have time, you could tell us more about salmon fishing on the other side of the world. Most fishermen over here, myself included, had our ancestors move here from Scandinavia around a century ago. Many of them probably fished the Baltic.


Well, the gear has to be either shipped from over there, or we have to adapt and build something over here. We just have to find out what to build.

Catch rates... man, I wish could comment on the based on something else than the seat of my pants...

The sportfishers may catch some 8-10 fish/day. But that is sportfishing, with whatever that means (4-5 lures out, short fishing hours/day, close to the shore, limited by weather, consuming whiskey&beer onboard and so on and so on). On a good day longlining we could use some 1200 hooks/day, catching maybe up to a 130-140 fish/day, maybe averaging some 60-70 fish/day.

WWF... man, I wish I could comment on that gang without getting a heartache... The driftnetban and now the longlining ban are both direct results from their policies. The quota is set yearly, with plenty of it left every year due to the fact that we are not allowed to fish for the fish, although we are allocated our share.

We have some issues with alleged misreporting of salmon catches in some of the Baltic Sea countries, and the estimates are roughly some 100% more being fished than the official numbers. The sportfishermen's catch has no figures or estimates.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby birdfeeder11 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:02 am

The leads are hanging straight below the foam boards. it is kindof like an extention of the boat. those boards are allowing the fisherman to put gear straight under the boat (which is off the pole) or 100 feet back or so which is the float board.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:15 am

At what depths are You fishing? I would estimate that we should need to go down to 100 feet on occasions. Can that be done?
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Salty » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:19 am

Shoot, I had detailed answers to your questions and lost it. Now I have to run.

We are fishing down to 100 fathoms, 600 feet. Usually from fifty fathoms up.

But then our target salmon, Chinook, commonly move in the water column down to 170 fathoms.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Salty » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 am

A qualifier, very few of our fleet fish below 50 fathoms.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby birdfeeder11 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:24 am

Holy cow 170 fathoms. I did not have any idea they went that deep. what is the deepest you have personally fished and caucht?
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Abundance » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:10 pm

I think that steelhead, our closest comparison to Atlantic salmon, rarely go down that deep. We usually fish the bottom contour in the winter, and sometimes in the summer, anywhere from ten fathoms to sixty or more, depending on whats producing. It seems to me that, from your quota and sport fisher catch rates, that Baltic salmon are roughly similar to our Chinook Salmon in population density. Are you allowed to fish the entire Baltic Sea? That's a big body of water. If its murky from all the rivers and slow drainage than flashers may be absolute fish killers. Flashers are definitely a trollers main tool. Depending on the species of salmon and the clarity of the water, one may place the lures anywhere from one fathom apart to five or six. The most lures that I have run at one time was 100 for pink and chum salmon, but that for fishing in schools that may number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of fish. For hunting and scratching individual fish like Chinook or your salmon, running ten to twenty lures would be more reasonable. The snaps are very similar to those used in longlining, but much smaller, at least compared to Alaskan longline gear. The lines are far enough apart that they won't get tangled up in one another, but if the tide catches you wrong it can definitely happen. Fishermen you habitually fish deep, like me, use sixty plus pound weights on the forward reel and slightly lighter weights on the aft reel. That keeps the lines even farther apart under the water. If you fish shallow, using lighter weights of twenty to thirty pounds is both cheaper and easier on the reels over time. We fish two lines a side in the southern half of southeast Alaska. Other places can fish more. I don't know how they keep from getting tangled up myself either. The floatbags are somewhat specific in design, but can be replicated with a simple buoy on a snap until something better can be found.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby jephh » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:29 am

This is a very abbreviated overview of gear setup http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/oresu/oresug03006.pdf
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:30 am

jephh wrote:This is a very abbreviated overview of gear setup http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/oresu/oresug03006.pdf


Thanks, this was really informative.

Abundance wrote:I think that steelhead, our closest comparison to Atlantic salmon, rarely go down that deep. We usually fish the bottom contour in the winter, and sometimes in the summer, anywhere from ten fathoms to sixty or more, depending on whats producing. It seems to me that, from your quota and sport fisher catch rates, that Baltic salmon are roughly similar to our Chinook Salmon in population density. Are you allowed to fish the entire Baltic Sea? That's a big body of water. If its murky from all the rivers and slow drainage than flashers may be absolute fish killers. Flashers are definitely a trollers main tool. .


We are basically allowed to fish the entire Baltic. The feeding grounds for salmon in the wintertime is mainly in the southern parts, in open sea, not in the immediate influence of rivers, so it might not be that murky, although not crystal clear either, after all, it is not the Atlantic. But, true, it is a big body of water. The depths vary between some 10-70 fathoms.

Salty wrote:Shoot, I had detailed answers to your questions and lost it. Now I have to run.

We are fishing down to 100 fathoms, 600 feet. Usually from fifty fathoms up.

But then our target salmon, Chinook, commonly move in the water column down to 170 fathoms.


Well Salty, we are all sorry for that. Maybe another try at another time.

Ok, now I have started to sketch it out what needs to be done for the trial fisheries.

We have some manufacturers/suppliers for electric jigging machines over here (Belitronic, Fiskerisystem, DNG). These machines are also being used for trolling mackerel in the North Sea, and might do the trick when doing salmon trolling trials. They are slightly expensive, though, some 2000 euros a piece. Benefit of those machines would be that we could have other uses for them when not salmon trolling. Has anyone over there experience of those machines in salmon trolling?

The driftlonglining was done with the hooks at some 3 fathoms depth. The driftnets were also the same depths, with some trials down to 12 fathoms deep. The deeper nets were producing more, but had some handling issues that had to be sorted out. The sportfishers fishes down to some 20 fathoms. When we were fishing with pelagic trawls after herring, we tended to catch less salmon when we went deeper than say 25 fathoms, with salmon bycatch higher when we fished closer to the surface.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Abundance » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:00 am

I was wondering if you could use a jigging machine. I saw video of those in use in the North Sea, and I dont see why they wouldn't work. 2,000 euros is still a lot cheaper than buying decent troll gurdies, particularly since they would need to be shipped across two continents and a ocean, and their is nobody over there that could fix them if they broke down. It may be wise to order specimens of our troll gear though, just so you can compare similar gear over there. It sounds like appropriate lures and lines and hooks are available for you. Once you have those, the rest is just making it work.
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Re: Salmon trolling Scandinavia

Postby Scandinavia » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:49 am

Well, and as said, the jigging machines can be used in other fisheries. I have placed a pre-order today on 3 jigging machines. I have maybe some two weeks before all the licensing issues and surveys on the new vessel is done, and if no surprises arises, the order will be firm. The lines used on these machines is either monofilament nylon or braided line. Would the braided line work? The diameter is some 1,2 mm. The monofilament nylon is somewhat thicker, and I am wondering whether there might be some issues with water resistance when trolling?

We have suppliers of flashers and lures over here, but mostly focussing on sportfishermen. Can anyone recommend an online-store where to get bits and pieces for the commercial trolling fishery? With reasonable prices. The shipping overseas is usually no problem, if the packages are not too heavy or cumbersome. I assume that there are quite a bit of small accessories that might be a good idea to purchase ready-made. Re-inventing the wheel at every stage may not be necessary.

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