PINK SALMON

Buoy 10 2015

After seeing everyone else catch huge Buoy 10 fish and limits by 8 AM, we finally got to get out of the mountains (elk scouting) and hit the water!

Saturday morning we trolled above the Astoria bridge and got 4/6 of our kings. Once the tide slacked out, we headed down river and fished below the bridge to find 2 more kings and hopefully a few silvers! Since there are so many native silvers and they can’t be retained, we don’t target coho and most of the time, head for the launch after we get our kings. With the water so warm, coho have a very difficult time surviving period let alone after being hooked, landed, netted, de-hooked, and then released. We tend to find wild coho floating down the river because their mortality rate is so high. So, we really just needed 2 more kings and we were done :)

 

It took a few more hours to get those plus a hatchery coho but the weather was great and times were good! We BBQ’d, had a few beers, and even watched the Doc and his daughter go swimming!

We finally got our last 2 fish and hit the launch around 1 PM. Back at it Sunday but this time we were a bit more dialed in! We hooked at least 20 fish by 10 AM and got to be a little bit more picky about which kings we kept and got 6 awesome kings by 9:30 AM. Most of the fish were caught on bait behind a flasher, however, a few on spoons.

We packed up camp headed back home by 11 AM with enough time to hit the Puyallup for a little humpy fishing!

Labor Day Weekend

It was such an eventful Labor Day weekend, I took two days to write a blog this week

 We fished the Nisqually all weekend and I must admit, it was one of the most humbling weekends I’ve had. I got the worse skunking of my life! I’m pretty selfish when it comes to fishing and I don’t take many of my friends, because it’s so much work and I don’t actually get to fish much. I know, extremely selfish. My anxiety level rises about 100% when everyone else is catching fish, but I’m too busy getting line untangled, rigging up rods, cutting bait, etc etc to actually fish. It’s okay every once in a while, but we’ve done a lot of that this summer and I WANT TO FISH DANGGIT!

Saturday:

Being the great guy that Jeff is, he invited his co worker and his two daughters out fishing on Saturday. I complained the night before about “babysitting” all day and I was grabbing a diver rod if it was mine to fight. He joked about me being so selfish that I get satisfaction from a diver fish. I said I would happily help the kids, but I was taking full advantage of Sunday and Monday without new friends and children. That deserved some pretty bad karma and I got exactly that.

Jeff apparently sucked up a bunch of rocks in the  impeller the weekend before so as soon as we launched, we were powerless and spent the first hour taking the motor apart to clear out the rocks. It gave me some time to teach them all how to fish a float, mend, set the hook, etc so it wasn’t time wasted. We hit the first diver spot and Robin (the daddy) got a native. Put up a great fight, but they wanted fish in the boat. We worked our behinds off trying to keep the girls entertained while trying to get fish. We had casting lessons, French braids, and lunch when we headed up river. I finally hooked one and it was coming right in!

“c’mon Caitlin! Help me fight this one!” With both of us fighting this fish that seemed to be a dark, small adult, we were having a blast. The fish took off, reel screaming, and we soon realized “this ain’t no 4lb jack”. She saw the fish and heard us talk about how nice it was and she took off running to the back of the boat. She wanted no part in losing this fish. I didn’t even realize she wasn’t there anymore as we got the fish in the net.

She also wanted no part in killing the fish, but her 6 year old sister wanted to be the “bonker” so long as she didn’t have to touch it. We took a couple pics and headed out for the day. I ended up having a great time and didn’t even care that I was helping all day. They were actually  A LOT better than I was expecting and I felt terrible for even complaining. Guilt wasn’t karma enough apparently.

Sunday:

I was finally getting the day of fishing without rookies. We headed back to the Nisqually with Curtis and Cameron and they were well seasoned. We pulled divers in the first hole and didn’t even get a bite so we moved to a bobber hole. They were hooking up quite a bite, and fish were rolling all over. Me however, I was left untouched as they released two natives and put 6 fish (one pink, one coho, and 4 kings) in the box. I was using the same bait as Jeff, trying to copy as much as I could and I was left empty handed. That bite died down and we moved to a new hole. Within 10 casts, they had 5 fish hooked. Me? Still biteless. I was getting pretty irritated at this point and they just thought it was hilarious. No one could figure out why I couldn’t get a stinking bite.

I went home empty handed with my pride shattered. That’s what I get for being so selfish about taking kids and rookies out.

Monday:

Again, we’re going out with some other well seasoned friends and there was no way I was getting a skunking like that again. We hit a different bobber hole and sure enough, same scenario! The three of them got quite a few bites and put 4 fish in the boat (one silver, three kings) while I STILL remained fishless.

I was so positive and optimistic Saturday. That didn’t work so Sunday I was discouraged and cursing the lucky fishermen who were getting bites. I put a little Captain in me and tried desperately to change my attitude. With my pride in my stomach, we headed up river for some new fishing.

First pass, fish on! I BROKE THE CURSE!!!!!! I’m trying desperately to land this fish as it screams down river past the boat. Why was I fishing 12lb leader and size 4 hooks again? As we raced to keep up with the fish, the line got caught on the kicker motor. The rod is folded over directly behind the boat. I may lose the fish and break a rod in the process. We get the line off the motor and thank goodness, THE FISH IS STILL ON!

We got the fish in the net! It was a dark king and it wasn’t huge, but I’ve never been happier to land a fish and my smile shows it all. High-5’s all around and I needed a celebratory drink. I was ready to go home now and put this weekend behind me. I’ve had dry spells where I may not catch a fish for a few trips. Hell, I think I’ve even gone a couple of months without catching a fish but most of the other people aren’t catching fish either. This was some serious bad karma that I deserved and I’ll think twice about being so selfish. Someone took many years to get me to where I’m at. Many tears shed, many clothes, many cold fingers and sleepy car rides. Jeff took the patience to teach me and I need to be as patient with others who are willing to learn. Humble weekend indeed, but I had a blast

This is the smile of sheer humble, pride swallowing, joy!

 

 

River Fishing For Pinks

Here’s a few tips to get you catching pinks in the freshwater. These fish are more than willing to bite given the correct presentation and can be a lot of fun to bring out the family!

2013 forecasts:

Skagit: 1.23 million

Green: 1.35 million

Puyallup: 1.24 million

Nisqually:  .76 million (764,937)

Hoodsport:  .52 million (51,647)

http://steelheadgirls.com/articles/river-fishing-for-pinks/

SKC PSA pink meeting with Terry Wiest!