If you notice a handful of boats in various areas of the Pacific Northwest which zip around in zig zag patterns, glancing at their depth sounders - too fast to be trolling, too slow to be cruising. Quite often these skippers will spin right around in a tight circle, stop, and let their lures down, glancing shiftily between reel and sounder. Invariably, these boats will have as many as ‘quadruple headers’ within seconds of stopping! No, these boys aren’t crazy, they’re using Zzingers
If you noticee a handful of boats in various areas of the Pacific Northwest which zip around in zig zag patterns, glancing at their depth sounders - too fast to be trolling, too slow to be cruising. Quite often these skippers will spin right around in a tight circle, stop, and let their lures down, glancing shiftily between reel and sounder. Invariably, these boats will have as many as ‘quadruple headers’ within seconds of stopping! No, these boys aren’t crazy, they’re using Zzingers and they’re using them with an added trick.
Tips for ‘Zzinging’ salmon:
Here’s how it’s done: With the assistance of a medium to good quality depth sounder, seek out masses of baitfish readings. Try to find tall columns of baitfish in deeper waters, such as depths of 90 to 240 feet deep. Further, the ideal, best producing reading is a tall column reading which suddenly turns into two or three levels of bait with blank areas between them. These blank area are caused by marauding fish, usually chinook salmon, which have been piling the bait into a tight column in preparation for this crashing, munching feed frenzy.
Multiple hook-ups of large chinook will be had by lowering 2 1/2 or 4 1/2 oz. Zzingers through baitfish, while imparting slight tension on the line as it spools off from either your level wind or spinning-type reel. The Zzinger gets down fast with this method, rotating vertically, while overall spiraling and darting much like a cut-plug herring. As the Zzinger ‘screws’ its way through the blank areas of bait, you must pay particular attention to the speed or rhythm at which the line is coming off the spool.
Should this speed change by as little as, say 15 per cent faster or slower, set the hook as a salmon has picked up your lure and is swimming off at a different speed than your Zzinger’s descent. With level wind reels the tension is easily imparted by thumbing the spool as the Zzinger drops through the bait schools. With a spinning reel, open the bail, place the four fingers over the bail while touching your thumb to the side of the spool. Now, each time the line comes off one revolution from the spool, it hits your thumb momentarily.
A light touch here will force the Zzinger to go from a slowly descending horizontal rotation to a rapidly descending vertical rotation, coupled with a spiraling, darting course of travel that big chinooks and large coho love. Failing a fish on the descent, crank the Zzinger up quite quickly through the deep water bait columns as many fish will attack as the Zzinger rotates and spirals skyward. Looking over the side of the boat, when you see the Zzinger appear, flip the bail and repeat the descent.
Because of the ability of the Zzinger to rapidly cover several hundred feet with vertical enticement, it becomes unparalleled in its ability to hammer large, deep-feeding chinook, regardless of wind or current conditions , and up to 400 feet down. Bait which is consistently near the surface, usually reading from the top down to 20 to 30 feet being the bottom of the bait mass, rarely produces good fishing. However, you will be able to pick off the odd coho by jigging beneath and on the deep water side flank with light-weight Buzz-Bombs, Spinnows and Zzingers.
FOR BEST RESULTS DO NOT BEND