I have an underwater video system I can hook up to my downrigger weight and the live feed is viewable inside the cabin. Kings are notoriously "camera shy" so I tend to take my camera off when fishing for them, but coho are far more aggresive and don't seem to be afraid of the camera. In fact I have numerous shots of coho actually swimming right up to the camera and looking into it as you'll see below. I'll do my best to make sure this will be part of your fishing experience.
Just click on a picture to view the video:
A coho swims up to the camera, admires its reflection, turns around and grabs the herring and then FISH ON! This was shot trolling somewhere around 35 - 40 ft. below the surface.
Halibut, halibut, halibut. This is a shot of a bunch of small halibut on the bottom with a final shot of one looking into the camera. The beginning scene was shot with the camera hanging about 4 ft. above the bottom and then the final scene is with the camera dragging on the bottom about 100 ft. down.
Some coho don't know when to just be happy with what they've got. This little lady grabs the herring and steals it off the hooks, swims up and tries to grab the dodger then turns around and gets hooked by the bare hook. The smaller fish you see bothering the herring are "jack" kings.
As I was trolling for winter kings one day I had a salmon shark or two check out my herring. There are two shots here and I'm not sure if it was two different sharks or just one that came back a second time. It was about 10 minutes later, but in the same area as the first sighting. This was about 35 to 40 feet below the surface. An interesting side note is that about two months after this a charter boat landed a 400 lb., 7 ft. salmon shark within a few hundred feet of where I filmed these shots.
This video shows why so many times while fishing for coho you'll end up with a "double" or even a "triple" fish on. Coho tend to run in schools and if there's one down there, then there are probably a few more. A lot ot times you can get a second hook up right away by having a set-up ready to go and when you get a fish on just cast your offering out into the area where the fish you've hooked into is coming up. Notice how all the other coho in this shot follow the hooked one up to the surface.
Not every time a fish hits your herring will it result in a hookup. This is a series of shots of kings hitting my herring and either swimming away, or knocking the herring off the hook. If you see your rod bounce a few times and then stop you might just want to pull your line and see if you still have any bait.
This series of shots would seem to indicate that "jack" kings aren't safe when there are lingcod hanging around. The first two shots show a bunch of nervous jacks following my herring. The third shot shows a ling getting pretty aggressive with them.
Here's a shot of a halibut I caught while I was trolling for kings. And this guy just wouldn't give up. It comes up and at first keeps attacking my flasher, which is right on the edge of the camera view, then finally gives up on that and then notices the herring back there. Then once it grabs the herring it decides it can't let that flasher go and comes back and starts attacking it again. Finally it gives up and starts to swim away, but it's hooked and pulls the line out of the downrigger clip.
Here's a "video primer" on how I have my underwater video system set up for those that are interested. And if YOU are interested in setting up your own system I'm always available to assist you in any way I can (if I'm not fishing, that is!). Click on the picture of my boat for the primer.
Sometimes that tugging action you see on your trolling rod might just not be fish. The first time I saw this I was really floored. These are murres that were down about 35' to 40' below the surface chasing my herring as I was trolling along. It happens a lot more often than you might think, so if you're around any diving birds you always have to take into account that what's bothering your herring might not be fish at all.
Stay tuned for a LOT more videos!