Trolling (the use of lures behind a moving boat) for salmon has probably been practiced for thousands of years with oars and
sails. But it was not until the advent of reliable gasoline engines and increased regulations on the estuary gillnet fisheries of
San Francisco Bay and the Columbia River that trolling became a commercial venture off the West Coast. About 1910,
gillnetters on San Francisco Bay and slightly later on the Columbia River began putting lures behind their gillnet vessels and
fishing in the open ocean during gillnet closures. The fishery primarily did, and still does, target Chinook salmon (King, Yee,
Spring) and to a lesser extent Coho (Silvers) and on some years, Pink salmon. When a salmon troller refers to a fish as a
“salmon” he was always referring to, and still does, Chinook.
Heikkila, P. Ninety Years of Trolling. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.