Salmon fishing

Good People

 

We started off our Saturday getting stuck at the boat launch (which is just a gravel bar) because my 4 Wheel Drive went out in my truck. With prideful heads, we tried every attempt we could think of and just continued to dig ourselves deeper. We tried reverse, using boards to drive on, pushing and even jacking it up and putting a MATTRESS under it to hopefully gain traction (that was a bad fail and we ended up sling-shotting a mattress from under our wheels). We finally swallowed our pride and decided to ask a couple others that were launching if they could pull us out.

After asking a couple people with “trucks too small” and “transmission problems”, we came across the kindest group of anglers ever! James Mitchell and his friends assured me that they would get me out. No questions asked, no hesitation, they forgot about the rush at the launch, the others that may be before them and came right over to help out some fellow anglers. They got us out easily with one try and I felt so blessed and grateful that I had to fight back my tears of joy. I know how anxious we can get at the launch at daylight and how hard it is to stop what you’re doing and help someone else but they did it without question.

My expectations of the day were different now and I didn’t care if I even landed a fish. I had just encountered a rare form of generosity that was greatly needed and I was able to fish instead of sitting and waiting for a tow truck that I couldn’t afford. The fishing and weather were terrible, but our boat was all smiles and laughs. There were some positive vibes with us and as we neared the end of our drift with no fish in the boat and soaked to the bone, we decided to pull plugs in the last hole.

within a few minutes, we were hooked up! Back to it, hooked up again! One more try and one more king to get our limit on kings! It was clear which side was getting hit so I swapped seats with Jake and when we were just getting ready to call it quits, BAM! Taking me out 130ft TWICE, we limited on kings just as we got to the takeout.

With all the rain, we were forced to take out the sled on Sunday and hit a different coastal river and weren’t quite as lucky. The weather was awesome, company just as good, but no fish. We fished near some awesome high school boys that were doing exactly what teenage boys should be doing and having a blast. It was refreshing to see good ‘ol fashion kids playing and fishing outside and hey! We made it both in and out of the boat launch today!

PS, there has quite a bit of controversy over whether or not my fish was photoshopped and I’ll clear the air right here. NO! I WOULD NEVER CROP A FISH IN MY PICTURE! I have more integrity than that and would never lie to impress or gain attention. I was initially confused and slightly offended by the accusations but there has been an outpouring of support from so many fellow anglers and supportive people in our industry. I can’t be anything other than grateful after a weekend like this. There has been so much support and help from anglers in our community and I’m proud to be part of it.

Back from hunting!

I’m back! We didn’t bring home an elk, but we had an awesome time and learned A TON!

But more importantly, I’m back to fishing! YEEEESSSS!!!

Jeff had to work on Saturday so I took the sled out with a few friends in hopes to get some silvers. It was the first time I’ve ever taken the sled without him so really, I just wanted to hook a fish or two to prove to myself that I can fish without my buddy haha. And…….

We did it! We went 2/4 and the two we caught were kings that couldn’t be retained, but we had an awesome time! A good friend that fishes with us often was able to bring his girlfriend (Drew McCarty) and she got this beautiful king!

Andrew also brought his girlfriend Ashley and she got the other king (likely 30lbs!) but we weren’t quite able to get it all the way in the net. I was thrilled to have hooked a few fish, gotten some great kings, Drew’s first salmon ever, and my first trip without Jeff was a success!

Jeff was back on Sunday to be our captain and we definitely got a lot more fish LOL. To be fair, everyone got more fish Sunday, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have at least tripled our number if he was captain on Saturday. We caught way too many fish to keep track, but ended up with 6 silvers in the box! Jeff even got what we think might be his biggest king, although we didn’t measure it so that we could quickly get it back on it’s way. Here’s a few pics from Sunday:

I’m so happy to be back from hunting, feeling refreshed, calm, fulfilled, and blessed. And ready for more fishing! :D

Salmon Species

It’s just about time for salmon season again and with it being a humpy year, there will be many new anglers on the water this summer and fall. WDFW is the resource you need to ensure you are following all rules and regulations in Washington State. Their website is fairly intuitive and easy to access to from your cell phone if you’re on the go and unsure of something.
Below is a quick reference guide from their site to help you identify the different salmon species to ensure proper retention this salmon season.

 

 

Wrapping plugs

We never fish a ‘naked’ plug for salmon, ever. Sure, salmon will hit a naked plug, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a naked plug outifsh a wrapped plug. Here’s a few tips and pointers when wrapping plugs and fishing wrapped plugs for salmon:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

  • You can use just plain sardine, but fillet the fish when it’s halfway frozen. Completely frozen is really difficult and completely thawed is too mushy. Either cure in Borax-O-Fire or just use plain borax. Let it sit for at least 24 hours if possible. We’ve had the best sardine in plain borax that sat for 48 hours, in the refrigerator.
  • Cut the piece a little bigger than what you want on the plug, you can always trim it down and you’ll lose some chunks in the wrapping processing.
  • Put the sardine half with the slit towards the bill of the plug. That’s the harder half to wrap and it’s easier if you get that half wrapped first.
  • If you don’t already have your hooks on the plug, wrap it without hooks. It’s a hundred times easier
  • If you do have hooks, always start the wrap on the bill half of the plug. It’s much easier to hold the hooks out of the way.
  • Keep your sardine piece on the center of the plug and the edges clean and blunt
  • Wrap tight so the sardine doesn’t slide around. And cross your wraps so they go at different angles. Try to really wrap over large pieces that look like they might fall off.
  • Wear tight gloves. It’s nearly impossible to wrap plugs with gloves that are falling off you
  • At least 3 half hitches when tying it off. I just cut my line with about a foot left and do half hitches until I run out of line
  • Scent it up! You can apply scent right before you send the plug out, let it soak if you have time to wrap them the night before fishing, use Smelly Jelly to smear on the bill/butt, use an injector to get scent in the sardine piece, when possible, use scent. Your plugs are usually in the water for long periods of time without being checked and if your wrap stays good, you can use it several times. Just resent and resend it out!
  • Tune your plugs after you wrap them. Your plugs don’t come ready to fish right out of the package and you should always tune your plugs no matter what, but your sardine may be slightly skewed  so you want to tune it after you wrap it.
  • Save your sardine pieces for other methods! If you have fairly large chunks leftover from cutting the fillets and you’ll be out fishing again soon, you can use those pieces to pair with eggs for float fishing or drift fishing. You can add them to tuna balls, or make a paste! We don’t usually keep sardine for more than a week if it’s in borax and 2 weeks if it’s cured. It starts to get mushy again and difficult to use on a hook or plug.