By: Steven Theel
Springers are known for being much more finicky than their fall counterparts and our Upper Rogue fish are no exception. This can be especially true when the water is high and cold like it has been this season. In these conditions I rely heavily on eggs to produce bites. Adding sand shrimp to the bait can help entice extra strikes.
My setup starts with high quality cured eggs. We’ve covered exactly how I cure eggs. The recipe can be found in its entirety here (https://www.pautzke.com/the-perfect-back-bouncing-cure-for-salmon). I like to spice them up with extra Fire Power (powdered krill), and canned tuna packed in oil the night before. When it comes to springer fishing it never hurts to offer an entire buffet.
Whether I’m back bouncing or running divers I use the same bait setup. I run 20-pound leader to a double hook rig with a 4/0 wide gap top hook and a 3/0 trailer. I like a Corky between the two hooks to add a little flotation and color contrast, and another Corky sliding on the leader to help protect and prolong the life of the sand shrimp.
With the two hooks I’ve found it best to thread the sand shrimp onto the leader using a bait threader rather than trying to thread it over the hooks. This helps significantly to prolong the life of the sand shrimp and allow it to take a beating in heavy current. Typically, our shrimp last through several baits of eggs. Doing it this way will require cutting the leader every time for a new shrimp, but will save you lots of re-baiting time throughout the day.
I will continue to run these shrimp cocktails for our springers through July. With the high, cold water this year that may be prolonged a few extra weeks. Typically, once the water temp warms above 60 degrees the shrimp aren’t as necessary, and I’ll switch to straight eggs, but they are biting the cocktail now.
Below is a pictorial step-by-step process of how to rig a sand shrimp when paired with Fire Cure.
Editor’s Note: Steven Theel operates SO Chrome Guide Service on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. For more information on his guided springer trips please visit http://so-chrome.com or https://www.facebook.com/SOChromeGuideService.