By Bob Kratzer | 09/22/2014

It’s September and to Pacific Northwest anglers that means big, bright, upriver Columbia River king salmon. At this time more than 712,015 kings have passed over Bonneville Dam and are showing in strong numbers. Fortunately, it’s going to get even better.


While salmon are plentiful this fall, it’s important to remember kings are drawn to deep, cooler water, which means you’re more likely to find them near the bottom. Fishing in these deeper sections require a certain technique that’s mastered with Simon Wobblers.

The wobbler setup I use consists of a five-foot leader and a five-foot weight dropper, which commands 4-24 ounces of lead necessary to maintain contact with the bottom. We employ this technique while on anchor and release lines behind the boat.

Action imparts success. The ideal action on your wobbler is a side-to-side wobble from a 9-3 wobble. Meanwhile tide influences the wobble. On an outgoing tide the wobble increases and to maintain proper form it’s important to slow it down. This is where the new Simon Backpack attachment aids us. The attachment helps stabilize the wobbler, while also allowing us to add scent.


Prior to the Simon Backpack all you could do was put some oil or gel scent on your wobbler. Fortunately, now you can add a small piece of meat or another added scent to make your wobbler even more appealing. The Simon Backpack snaps on the topside of your wobbler and with a little space added for your special bait. I have been trying several different concoctions of baits and scents in my backpacks so far this year and have come up with a few that have generated success often.


Get Your Wobble On

While many scents work, I’ve found sardine and tuna to be the most effective. On the other hand, you can try several others with this same vehicle we use. Most meat baits will fit.

What King Salmon in their right mind does not like fresh sardines? I think they all do. To use a sardine with your wobbler, grab a fresh sardine, fillet it and lay the fillets in a tub. To preserve and toughen them up I add a slight sprinkle of Pink BorX O Fire, a slight sprinkle of sodium sulfite and douse it with a Pautzke Red Nectar/anise mix. However, you can substitute the Nectar with generous amount of Fire Power (krill powder). In fact, I’d do both. Let the fish decide which they like better.


The next best thing from a sardine to a king is tuna. Personally, I locate fresh tuna bellies and apply the same technique, adding the Pink BorX O Fire, a light sprinkle of sodium sulfite, a sprinkle of sugar and Fire Power. The sugar sweetens the tuna, giving kings with a sweet tooth what they want.

Phew, now comes the easy and fun part. Slowly drop your Simon Wobbler equipped with a Simon Backpack filled with your favorite Pautzke cured bait behind the boat, put in the rod holder and hold on. You’ll catch more salmon than you have in the past.

Editor’s Note: Alaska and Washington veteran fishing guide Bob Kratzer operates Angler’s Guide Service. For more info on his fall salmon trips please visit