Deadly Salmon Trolling Techniques Using Hot Spot Flashers!

Written By: FishSniffer Staff, March 23, 2014
Species: Saltwater Salmon

Deadly Salmon Trolling Techniques Using Hot Spot Flashers!
Deadly Salmon Trolling Techniques Using Hot Spot Flashers!

Designed and produced by successful fishermen, Hot Spot’s deadly trolling approaches have been proven to catch more and bigger salmon time and time again. The Hot Spot trolling system was originally developed with for commercial salmon anglers.

Rigging techniques and tricks provide the vital difference between doing okay and dominating. Sometimes small details are the difference between catching limits or catching no salmon at all!

Why is it that only a few anglers always seem to catch more and bigger salmon then just about everyone else? Are they just lucky?

Not really. At the end of the day successful salmon fishing has little to do with luck. What gives you the edge is knowledge and having a working understanding of proven tricks that can tilt the odds in your favor.


Rig Your Hot Spot Flasher Directly To The Downrigger Weight

Some trollers prefer to avoid the drag of a flasher once they hook a salmon. One method of achieving this is to tie the flasher on a separate leader attached directly to the downrigger weight. Baits or lures can then be stacked higher up on the downrigger wire. You’ll want to leave about 10 feet between the flasher and the stacked bait to insure that they don’t tangle as you drop your gear.

With this approach you’ll want to run your flasher from 4 to 8 feet behind the ball and your lures should be running just beyond that range. Apex lures and straight rigged bait in the form of anchovies or herring work great when pulled about 10 feet above and 3 feet behind a Hot Spot flasher.


Why Hot Spot Flashers Work So Well…

It was more than 100 years ago that fishermen discovered that their catch could be improved significantly by using a flashing or dodging attractor trolled ahead of their fishing lure. Game fish were attracted to the system and would then respond to bait or lure trailed behind the flasher. Most early flashers were made of formed metal.

The Hot Spot flasher was developed in the 1950’s with the advent of highly stable plastics. It immediately offered advantages never before achievable with other flasher designs.

The key advantage was the shape of the flasher, which provided the optimum rolling and kicking action in the water. With new molding technologies and new plastics, the exact shape can be maintained and duplicated over and over again.

Today, every commercial salmon trolled in the world knows of the Hot Spot flasher. Skilled and successful fishermen also consistently use the deadly Hot Spot system. Its carefully engineered shape and rigid quality control insure that fishermen can achieve consistent, quality results.

A great deal of research has been done on why predatory fish are attracted to a flasher or dodger. The research work proves that the powerful vibrations emitted by the erratic movement of the flasher attracts salmon from up to 40 or 50 yards away.

In most cases the salmon never sees the flasher until they are within a few feet of it. Research concluded that the darting flasher action exactly duplicated the vibrations made by predators as they attack baitfish, and that feeding fish are attracted to his motion in the water. The result is a congregation of hungry fish forming at the flasher, thinking that they’ve stumbled on a source of prey.


Standard Rigging

The Hot Spot flasher works well in a variety of different setups. The key things the anglers needs to determine when fishing a flasher from his rod trailing a lure or bait are how far to run the flash from the downrigger ball, how fare to run the lure or bait behind the blade, how heavy of a leader to use and which bait or lure offers the best chance of success at any given time.

A standard king salmon rig is an 11 inch original Hot Spot running 18 feet behind the ball. A hoochie rigged 42 inches behind the flasher on 30 pound fluorocarbon line. If the fish seem to be spooky or if they are holding near the surface a long set back behind the ball may induce more strikes, but generally kings aren’t ball or boat shy.

When it comes to speed and presentation it pays to keep in mind that the standard commercial salmon trolling recipe for success on kings is a Hot Shot flasher presented with a rigged rolling bait 60 to 72 inches behind the blade. The trolling speed should be from 2.5 to 3 and your bait should be rolling at a rate of about 60 rpm.


Alternative Rigging: Stacking Lines With Flashers

At times if you utilize downriggers you may want to run more than one rod sporting a flasher off a single downrigger. This can be achieved using stacker releases that allow you to snap them directly onto the cable.

Clearly running two lines sporting spinning blades off a single cable can result in epic tangles, but if you follow the procedures recommended by the staff at Hot Spot you’ll be okay.

The lower or bottom line on the cable has to run close to the ball and it has to utilize smaller gear. A Hot Spot 8 inch mini trailed by a hoochie or small spoon running 4 feet off the cable is ideal. 10 feet above that you can run your second shallower line rigged with a standard size blade trailing a rigged bait or an Apex. The second rig should be positioned 18 to 20 feet behind the cable.

Providing the salmon with multiple targets by stacking flasher equipped rods, attracts more salmon and generates more strikes most of the time!


Colors And Sizes

Hot Spot flashers come in a variety of colors and finishes. The basics include, red, green, blue, white, chartreuse and purple…red and green are the most popular among anglers. Finishes include reflective silver mylar, transparent pearl and glow.

Water conditions help to determine the optimal flasher and lure color. Water can vary from clear to brown. In saltwater the level of clarity can change quickly.

Here are some general color guidelines. If the water is clear red, green and chrome work well. When the water is more blue or blue green in color blue, green or chrome colors tend to produce. Dark green or brown water calls for white, chartreuse, purple and gold offerings and don’t be afraid to mix in some yellow or orange.

This guide comes courtesy of Hot Spot. For more information about their products including Hot Spot flashers and Apex lures and for more tutorials visit them online at





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