It matters in marlin fishing. Tuna trollers are obsessed with it. Offshore fishing articles often include detailed illustrations of it. But, does it matter in salmon fishing? The “it” to which I refer is pattern. For example, a boat trolling for tuna may have 7 lures trailing behind. These lures are not viewed as 7 individuals – they are part of a pattern formed by the wake and waves created by the moving boat and a precise spread of the lures. It might be that the smaller plastic skirts lures are fished short in nearly the white wash of the prop and the lines of the outriggers are larger lures fished well back of the boat on the wake. A tuna coming up under this boat responds to the pattern, or not.
So, what happens under our boat when we’re fishing for salmon? If we’re motor mooching does it make more sense to be working the baits up and down as individual targets or having a precise formation of the bow baits and stern baits? If we anchor the boat, does that become part of the pattern the fish key in on? Specifically, a largish floating object with interesting offerings going up and down punctuated by the sights and smells created by gutting fish in a tray that is draining overboard. Add to the pattern the flashing of hooked fish and it might be understandable that an anchored boat would outfish a drifting boat that establishes a pattern of sorts only to start up at the end of the drift and move again – thus short circuiting that pattern.
Does pattern matter with salmon? With halibut? We’ll return to this question more than a few times in the not too distant future. What’s your experience?