FAQ's / Tips / Links 


Q: How can I purchase your jigs?

A: Our products can be purchased online through our store via a secure server using a credit card or PayPal. A second option is to place a phone order using either a Visa, Master Card or Discover credit card. Our business phone number is (503) 998-3994.


Q: What are the shipping rates for online orders?

A: All orders are shipped via United States Postal Service. Shipping and handling on all orders is a fixed price at $2.95. 


Q: Are your products guaranteed?

A: Absolutely! We have a 100% customer satisfaction policy. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied with the quality of our jigs, simply return the merchandise in its original package within 30 days and we'll refund your money, no questions asked. That is our personal guarantee.


Q: Do you charge sales tax?

A: No! We do not charge a sales tax.


Q: Do you sell your jigs in retail stores?

A: Yes, we currently sell our jigs at the following retail stores:

Tillamook Sporting Goods in Tillamook, Oregon


Q: Will you ship orders to Canada or other countries?

A: Yes, we'll ship orders worldwide. International orders are subject to additional shipping and handling fees.


Q: What is the average shipping time after I place my order?

A: Orders are currently being shipped in 3 to 5 business days.


Q: Why do you use Matzuo Sickle and Owner jig hooks?

A: We field test jig hooks constantly and feel these heavy wire jig hooks are the best quality hooks available today.


Q: What is schlappen?

A: Schlappen feathers are found between the saddle and tail of a rooster. These feathers are very durable ranging from 6-8" long.


Q: Will you share my personal information with other companies?

A: We will NEVER share any personal information including your email address for any reason.

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Ifish.net ...The site to visit for anything to do with fishing in the Northwest.

Steelhead Notebook ...Very informative site based in Washington State. Active discussion boards, tips and techniques and much more.

Amato Books ...Home page of Salmon Trout Steelheader magazine and much more.

Gamefishin.com...Provides Northwest anglers a variety of online resources such as current fishing reports, topographic maps, active message boards and more.

ODFW Home Page...Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Home Page.

Whitakers Sport Shop & Motel...Family owned & operated since 1976. Located in Pulaski, New York on the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, home of the famous Salmon River, which is the premier destination fishery for trophy salmon & steelhead in the entire northeast.

The Guides Forecast...An excellent site with weekly updated fishing reports and much more.

Tillamook Bait Company...Home of Marie's Hot Shrimp Scent among others, Salmon eggs, shrimp and local fishing reports.

Pat Abel Guide Service ...Professional guide Pat Abel provides your best opportunity to enjoy a premier Northwest fishing adventure of catching a fish.

David Johnson Guided Sport Fishing ...David Johnson has been fishing Oregon and Alaskan rivers for Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon since his childhood. The knowledge he has of these rivers and the habits of the fish has made him one of the top professionals in the industry today.

Abu-Garcia ...Fishing equipment for Real Fisherman. 

 G Loomis ...G Loomis home page.

Lamiglas ...Lamiglas home page.  

Shimano ...Shimano home page.

Simms ...Simms fishing products.

Orvis ...Orvis on-line store.

Yakima Bait Co. ...Home page for Yakima Bait Co.

Owner Hooks ...Owner hooks and Lures home page.

Lindy Little Joe ...Lindy Little Joe fishing tackle.

 

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TIPS

Successful Low Water Float Fishing


Fall fishing for steelhead can be some of the best fishing of the year. The cooler nights subsequently lower the water temperature bringing to life the hold over summer steelhead that had been lethargic in the previous months. These same fish that have ignored your offerings now attack them with abandon. In really low, clear water, steelhead will be looking for any cover to hide from predators. The most likely spot to find aggressive steelhead is the riffles that lead into a drift. Depending on the size of the river you’re fishing, the riffle water might only be less then two feet deep and possibly ten feet wide. It’s this kind of water that you’ll find aggressive fish. By concentrating on the riffles leading into the drift you won’t be disappointed.

Sight Fishing for Steelhead

The old adage if you can see the fish then the fish can see you might be true in some cases but don’t let it discourage you from thinking the fish can’t be caught. Fishing in the drought years of the nineties taught me a lot about fishing really low, clear water. Not only can fish be caught in these conditions but most of the time it will be the first cast into a drift. Some of the most exciting moments when fishing for steelhead are to spot a resting fish, cast to it and then watch the fish take your offering. Since the water is clear, make sure you’re wearing drab colored clothing and keep your movements nice and slow. It’s also a good idea to approach steelhead from downriver. Before you’re even close to the river, take a good long look at the shallow water close to shore. Many times unmolested fish will be holding in slower water especially in early morning hours. Always wear your polarized glasses when fishing low, clear water and with practice you’ll be able to spot resting fish. Once you do spot a steelhead, make sure and cast a good ten to twenty feet ahead of the fish so you won’t spook them. Sometimes aggressive fish will see your jig and actually move forward or sideways to intercept it. I’ve personally witnessed steelhead turn and chase a jig downriver only to take it and then return to their holding spot. By keeping a close eye on your float, you’ll be able to see the take and respond accordingly. If by chance you do spook a fish, don’t be discouraged. Many times a fish will simply move into a different section of water and with patience you’ll be able to get them to bite.

Jig Selection

When fishing for steelhead in clear water try and use the lightest weight jig you can. Depending on the situation this might be anything from 1/8th-oz jigs clear down to 1/64th-oz jigs or even smaller. You want your offering to be as subtle as possible but also have enough weight to get down in the faster riffle water. I like to carry different size jigs with me and will use them when fishing various water. For the riffles leading into a drift you’ll want the jig to be heavy enough to get down quickly. When fishing slower water a lighter jig for a more natural appearance is better suited. As far as jig color selection, try and stick with darker color patterns such as combinations of black, red, purple and olive. One of my best producing low water jigs has been a straight blood red jig. There is something about the color red that steelhead can’t resist. Another perennial favorite is anything black. This is an especially good choice if you are fishing in bright sunshine. If the water temperature is cooler I’ll use bead jigs with shrimp or pink and white colors. It’s good to have a variety of jigs and let the fish tell you what they want.

Let Them Eat Bait

While plain jigs will take steelhead on a regular basis, tipping your jig with bait is a sure fire way of catching more fish. Steelhead will devour bait presented on a jig so much that I always carry some kind of bait with me when fishing in the fall. Steelhead aren’t picky either and will bite at a wide variety of select baits. Some of my favorites are small sand shrimp tails, crawdad tails, raw prawns or even periwinkles. If I’m using sand shrimp I’ll try and purchase the smallest ones I can find. In most cases I’ll only use the tail portion of the shrimp. Secure the tail to the jig by poking the hook point through the bottom portion of the tail and then roll the tail over and run the hook through the end with the tail curling around the hook bend. When done right, the tail will be held securely making it harder for the fish to simply pluck it off. When using crawdad tails, first peel off the entire shell and use only the bare meat. Secure the crawdad tail to the jig in a similar fashion as you would with a sand shrimp tail. Crawdad tails are like candy to steelhead. Yet another option is to use prawns. These can be purchased at your local grocery store in the seafood section. They are a firm bait and are relatively cheap compared to sand shrimp or crawdad tails. When using prawns, cut them into tiny pieces the size of your fingernail and then thread onto your jig. Periwinkles will need to be carefully removed from their shell and can then be tipped on a jig.

Selecting the Right Float

There are a lot of floats to choose from and selecting the right float for the water you’re fishing can make all the difference in the world. The first consideration to keep in mind is the size of the river you’re fishing. Larger rivers require a float that has some weight to it for easier casting. Another factor to consider is the ability to see the float from a long distance. A weighted sliding set-up would be ideal for larger rivers using a high profile float. Foam “dink floats” are available in larger sizes and are relatively inexpensive. These floats allow you to wrap your line around the float and are easy to adjust. If you’re looking for a float with amazing sensitivity then a Drennan Loafer might just be the ticket. These floats are made out of clear plastic and are in the shape of a pencil. These floats will wiggle if a steelhead evens touches your bait. Float caps are used to secure the float to your line. This allows you to change the float without re-tying. While not cheap, these floats are a must for serious steelheaders. In moving water, one of my favorite floats to use is the small round cork floats. I like using the smallest cork float that is just big enough to keep from being submerged by the jig and/or bait. These floats are also one of the easiest to rig up. Simply run your line through the cork and tie directly to your jig. Their natural appearance won’t spook fish and their low cost is easy on the pocketbook.

Fishing the Riffle Water

To successfully float fish fast riffle water it’s imperative that your offering is slowed down enough to be seen by the holding fish. This might seem like a difficult task but with practice it will become second nature. If you were to simply cast into the fast water, in most cases your jig will be trailing your float. The key is to get your jig in the current seam the separates the fast water from the softer, slower water. To accomplish this, intentionally cast further into the top of the riffles and then pull back on the float until it is just on the edge of the main current. This current seam is a great holding spot for fish and is exactly where you want to be. If done correctly your leader and jig will still be in the faster water allowing it to flow with the current positioning it below your float. Now your jig and/or bait are on the edge of the current seam and the slower water allows your offering to be seen by the resting fish. A quick mend of your line to pick up any excess slack will give you a direct line to your float. This method works perfectly when you need to cast upstream so as to not spook resting fish.

A Different Perspective

Depending on the arrival of the fall rainstorms, there is always the possibility of having low water conditions for an extended period of time. Instead of waiting at home for the good fishing conditions, try low water steelhead fishing from a different perspective and you’ll be surprised at how easy steelhead can be caught in the lowest water of the season.


* The above is an excerpt from an article I wrote for a previous Salmon Trout Steelheader issue.



Tillamook Fall Chinook Fishing With Jigs.

Welcome to Tillamook Fall Chinook fishing. These fish are huge, averaging 25 pounds with many pushing the 50-pound mark. It’s no wonder thousands of anglers flock to this area every year in search of trophy size fish. Considered the most prized game fish in North America, the Chinook Salmon can also be one of the hardest fish to hook and land. Tillamook Fall Chinook traditionally start to trickle into the Bay around early September. The biggest single factor of their migration from the Bay to their rivers is the amount of rain. Oregon is known for Indian summers, which can have 80-degree days well into October. This is great weather if you’re fishing in the bay, but if you like fishing flowing rivers with defined riffles and pools, then the first fall storms are a very welcome site. The perfect combination for river fishing is a strong freshet to raise the river at least a couple feet combined with a series of high tides. Once the fish get a smell of fresh water they will transition from the salt and start working their way up their home rivers. The condition of the first run of fish will largely be determined by how much time they’ve spent in tidewater. Usually there will be a mix of darker fish combined with later arriving bright fish. In a perfect world the rivers will raise a few feet and then go on a slow drop before the next freshet. The ideal time to be on the water is the point at which the rivers are just starting to drop into shape.

Terminal Tackle

Fall Chinook are the ultimate tackle busters. You want to come prepared with a stout rod rated between 15-40-pound test line. Your reel should be loaded with at least 30-pound monofilament mainline. A good alternative for mainline is to use a braided line rated at 50-pound test. When jig fishing for Fall Chinook I like to use a sliding set-up identical to what you would use when bobber & egg fishing. Tie on a bobber stop (see illustration), which is basically a nail knot that can be made with 20-pound Dacron. Thread on a small bead and then run your mainline through a float. I like using a 1 to 2-oz West Coast Float. These floats are practically indestructible and are very easy to see in the water. Under the float I’ll add another small bead and then a second bobber stop. The purpose of the second bobber stop is to prevent losing your float if your mainline happens to break. After the second bobber stop I’ll tie the mainline to an in-line weight matching the size of the float. The in-line weight has a swivel on each end eliminating any line twist. A barrel sinker and swivel can be substituted for the in-line weight. Your leader should be around 24-36 inches long, depending on water height and clarity. These fish are not line shy, so 20 to 25-pound leader material is advised.



Sliding float illustration





Bigger is Better

The most important part of this whole set-up is the jig. When people think of jig fishing they visualize small jigs tied on light line for steelhead fishing. Well, my friends, these Tillamook Chinook fresh from the salt will straighten the hooks on smaller jigs so quick you’ll never even have a chance. This isn’t light line finesse fishing but just the opposite. You need a jig that can hook and hold these brutes and that is why I like to use Owner jig hooks up to size 4/0. In close to fifteen years of jig fishing for Chinook I’ve landed several salmon on smaller steelhead jigs…but I’ve also lost a large percentage of those fish simply because the hook couldn’t hold up to the raw power of these magnificent fish. It was only after switching over to the larger, stronger jig hooks that my hook up to land ratio went through the roof. I would like to mention here that the reason for using heavier line and larger hooks are two fold. First, beefed up gear will increase your chances at landing these fish but second and more important is the fact that some of these fish that take jigs may not be table fare material. By using heavier line you can land and release these darker fish much quicker with minimal stress ensuring they continue the journey to their spawning beds.

Jig Colors

Salmon love big, flashy lures, golf ball size egg clusters and large spinners. The same mentality should be used when it comes to jigs. Think big and bright. One of my most productive salmon jigs is a vibrant four-color marabou jig loaded with Krystal Flash. This jig is meant to be seen in the water and salmon simply devour it. Other favorite colors for jigs are combinations of fuchsia or cerise, hot pink, fluorescent blue, deep purple or blood red. I’ve found that while single colors are effective, a combination of two or more colors seems to work much better.

The Right Presentation

Properly presenting a jig to Chinook is a lot easier then you think. Since Chinook typically won’t move very far to take an offering, you want to get it smack down in front of them. Say, for example you’re fishing eggs under a float using the sliding set-up similar to what I mentioned above. You know fish are present but for whatever reason they’ve gone off the bite. Simply cut off the bait hook and tie on a jig. You already know you’re fishing the right depth since you have been running bait. Now you offer the fish something completely different and sometimes that’s all it takes. When fishing for Chinook, I like to line up my jig immediately after casting. In most cases I’ll overcast my rig intentionally and then after it hits the water, I’ll purposely pull back on the float several seconds until the jig has had a chance to get down directly under the float. By pulling back on the float this in turn will allow the jig to line up in the current. Now you have your jig with the bright, pulsating feathers aimed directly towards the awaiting fish. Maintaining a drag free drift at this point will allow the jig to appear as natural as possible. The resting Chinook will see your offering and curiosity will get the best of them. The closing of their mouths on the jig will in turn pull your float under the water. These delicate takes are quite common and are easily missed by the unwary angler. By using a balanced float set-up, these light takes will turn into a Fish On. If you do happen to miss a light take, make a mental note of where the fish was laying and try running your jig through again. If a Salmon hasn’t been stung by the hook, more likely then not they will strike again. If you’re unable to entice another strike, try switching over to another jig color pattern or simply add a sand shrimp tail to the jig. On the opposite end of the scale is the take that practically wrenches the rod right out of your hand. Sometimes fresh Chinook will downright annihilate the offering leaving no doubt as to their intention. If this happens to you, hang on and enjoy the ride. Jig fishing simply doesn’t get any better.

The Confidence Factor

Having confidence in what you’re using is synonymous with your success. The moment you lose confidence you lose effectiveness. Anglers for the most part are creatures of habit. We tend to stick with what we know has worked in the past. When the fish are plentiful and our favorite lure or bait is working, there is little reason to switch to something different. It’s the slow days when we are likely to try something new. If you find yourself in this situation and decide to try a jig, fish it with confidence knowing that jigs have been catching salmon for years in a variety of diverse situations. When you do catch your first salmon on a jig it will be an eye opening experience that will forever change the way you fish for Chinook.

* The above is an excerpt from an article I wrote for a previous Salmon Trout Steelheader issue. Illustration by Brad Baker of Coho Design.



Here's a quick tutorial on how to tie a chenille & schlappen jig.
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