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Floating Spawn Sacks and Eggs for Steelhead Fishing Technique

Using spawn sacks when fishing for steelhead and Rainbow trout is a technique that requires advance preparation. You must make several spawn sacks for use during a days fishing. When targeting steelhead and rainbow trout, I prefer to use different eggs at different times of the season. In Lake Michigan, the Chinook Salmon generally spawn in the month of September and October. Coho or Silver Salmon generally spawn in October and November. Brown Trout will spawn from Late October thru late January. Steelhead will spawn from February thru April. I like to try and match the eggs in the spawn sacks to the type of fish that is currently in their spawning cycle. If you only have one type of egg available use what you have available. making spawn sacks prior to tripWhen making spawn sacks for steelhead and Rainbow Trout, the size I prefer is dime size or smaller. The colors that I prefer for steelhead are orange, pink, or orange mixed with pink. Spawn sack floaters, 1 or two beads are added to each spawn sack. When using Chinook salmon eggs 2 or 3 floaters are added because of the larger eggs. Adding the spawn sack floaters help give the spawn sack a more neutrally buoyant presentation. The spawn sacks are then stored in a used vitamin container with a water tight lid. There is nothing worst that spilling spawn sack juice in your car, only to discover it a few days later. The spawn sacks must be refrigerated and kept cool prior to your fishing trip.

For floating spawn sacks most fishermen use a spinning rod or noodle rod with a length of 8ft, 9ft, or even 10 ft. The 10 foot noodle rod is the most popular. The ten foot length of the noodle rod allows the fishermen to cast long distances with light presentations, allows the most line pickup on a hook set, and gives the fishermen more leverage against the fish during the fight. Attached to the spinning rod is usually a standard sized spinning reel that must have a good drag and hold about 250-300 yards of 8-12 pound test line. I prefer to use either a reel with a "fighting Drag" or a "Bait Runner" type reel. Either of these types of reels will allow line to feed freely when a steelhead hits the spawn. Most fishermen a few years ago, switched from using monofilament line to one of the super braided lines like Berkley Fireline or Power Pro. The size of line varies from 6-10 pound test Berkley Fireline with 8 pound test being the most popular. The non-stretch properties and thin diameters allow longer casts and gives great hook setting ability at long distances. Remember that because there is virtually no line stretch with Fireline to set your reels drag lighter than normal, to allow the fish to run.

Rigging the floating spawn sack or egg setup is floating spawn sacks or eggs for steelheadsimple. A bobber stop is added to the main fishing line, followed by a small bead, followed by a weighted slip bobber. Below the bobber tied directly to the main fishing line is a SPRO Power swivel. A short length (2-3 feet) of Fluorocarbon leader is usually tied directly to the SPRO Power Swivel. Most fishermen use Gamma Fluorocarbon leader material in the 4 to 6 pound size since it is virtually invisible under water. If the fish breaks the line during the fight, the break will usually occur in the leader section and you will not loose your float. The final item is the small size 8 steelhead hook for spawn sacks or a single size 10 salmon egg hook for single eggs. I generally do not use split shot to help sink the spawn sack if fishing water less than 6 feet deep. If fishing deeper water a small split shot is place above the leader material and SPRO swivel to help sink the spawn sack or egg. The object is to have a very light weight spawn sack that will offer little resistance to a passing steelhead or rainbow trout.
The technique used for fshing floating spawn sack or egg setup is easy. Just cast out your bobber and set your rod in a rod holder. change spawn sacksThen adjust the "Fighting Drag" or "Bait Runner" to the free spool position. Then you wait. If you do not firmly secure your rod in a holder with a loose drag you will wish you did when a large steelhead hits. I have seen many rods fly off the piers and end up in the lake being pulled by a fish. Keep an eye on your float and wait for a hit. Most likely you will hear the scream of the reels drag when a steelhead hits. Then when you have the rod in your hands engage the regular drag system for the reel and fight the steelhead. Spawn sacks once submerged in water loose most of their scent and taste after an hour. Change them often.

Great Lakes Salmon, Steelhead, Trout and other species Fishing tips, tactics, articles, techniques, and information