Salmon

Springer Limits!

We headed back out one more time before the Columbia closure and my birthday alos happens to be next week so I get to celebrate 2 birthday weekends!

The weather prediction was pretty rough including 20-30 MPH winds and rain all day. After last weekend, we realized that our rain jackets are not up to pare anymore and so we were kind of dreading sitting in the rain all day. We didn’t have time to refill the propane for the heater so we figured if it wasn’t good fishing and we were soaked, that we would call it a day early.

We started out trolling, using the same herring brine we always use except we bought a different brand herring since it was our only option. We saw a couple of fish caught and were just thinking it was right time, right place for them. Then, we started seeing the same boats hook up and we’re up to a dozen fish seen caught. Unless it’s a new fisher (or the Cowlitz), we don’t usually experience this. We’re very well prepared and are extremely cautious with smells and taking care of our gear. Either we have a black hex on us, or our bait is doodoo.

We saw a couple of fish caught on anchor as the tide pushed out closer to low slack and attempted to anchor in our usual spot. Most of the day, the weather was really great but all of a sudden, the winds started picking up especially in our anchor spot. We didn’t even attempt it as we knew it was entirely too windy so we scoped out the bottom down river behind a corner in hopes to avoid the wind. We picked a semi random spot where there weren’t any other boats but the contour looked promising and we were below all the other anchor boats.

I don’t get seasick but I got a little queasy wrapping plugs in the wind & current. It felt like reading a book in the car for some reason! I wrapped 4 to get out and another 3 to swap out so that I could take a little lunch break and get some food in my system. Right as I was about to doze off, Shawn’s rod goes off! We jump up and start getting the other rods out of the way and the fish was gone. We were pretty darn excited to finally get a bite and it being so fast, it made us feel pretty good about the spot we were in.

We got the rods back out and within minutes…….fish on! I ran to the back of the boat to grab my rod and unfortunately, it was native. Bye bye springer. We’ve hooked 6 springers so far this year and 4 of them were wild, 1 lost, and 1 hatchery. The wild run is clearly doing well this year!

Again, rods back out and minutes later Shawn’s rod goes off…Fish in the box!

Back out the rods go and I’m rewrapping some plugs to keep the bait fresh. Fish on again! Jeff lets me grab his rod because it’s my birthday weekend (so sweet of him) and it’s a hatchery fish! Two in the box!!!

Rods back out and I’m wrapping more plugs. Before we can even get both rods out and get another plug wrapped, Zach’s rod goes off! Fish number 3 in the box! Freshly wrapped plug on the last rod and I’m working on the replacement while Jeff’s rod goes off! We got a fish on every single rod placement (usually it’s 1 or 2 rods that keep getting hit) and we have our springer limit!

We didn’t even notice the weather was getting bad because there was just so much going on. We got out of there and were heading home by 3. Truly a fantastic day that took us by surprise!

The lower Columbia is now closed unless they give us an extension. We’ll likely be toying around at the Cowlitz until the dam counts are high enough to start our Drano Lake season. Next Saturday will also be my birthday weekend (lucky me). I’ll be the BIG 3-0 next Thursday so hopefully I get another birthday fish on Saturday. Sunday is some wedding fun and family birthday time.

I can’t get over how much happier I am now that I’m not studying. I didn’t get my CPA for a big career change; It was just a goal of mine and added stability in my life. there were many times that I questioned why I was still working on it when it sucked away so much joy from my life, but I always try to find the silver lining, especially when God was giving me so many signs to keep studying. Hopefully one day I find all the reasons why I went through what I did, but for now, I’m quite content knowing how much more I appreciate my life, friends, and family.

Fishing tip: We always use borax for our sardines but tried rock salt & tons of scent the last 2 trips. It really firmed them up and made them a breeze to wrap and they really soaked up the scents that we added. However, after only a short period of time in the water, the scent was gone. This worked great for us with our prawns & tune for super baits, but the salt seemed to really suck out too much of the moisture in the sardines. Back to borax it is! We add scent with Pro Cure bait injectors & letting pre-wrapped plugs sit in scent before sending them out on the hunt.

~Bry

Salmon Season

Fall salmon are upon us! We’ve taken a few quick trips to the Nisqually in the past couple of weeks and while it’s still a bit early for that river, it’s so close to home and it’s easy to make half day’s :)

Fishing has been a bit slow and we’re picking them up randomly via float fishing, divers, side drifting, you name it. I was a very happy girl when I picked this one up because it’s been since springer season that I caught a salmon or steelhead! It’s about time!

Buoy 10 this weekend for the Fish Like a Girl Tournament with Brandon Glass and a boat full of ladies! Good luck to all the ladies who are participating this year and I can’t wait to see who wins the boat!!

Loving coastal fall fish

Some of the best fishing happens when we transition from summer to fall. The rivers are low and clear, the fall fish are patiently awaiting in the Bay for big tide swings, full moons, and bringing those water levels up and dirty so they can begin their journey up river.

The water conditions were perfect this weekend and we headed to the top of the river to get those traveling fish that are staging up for a little break. It started out very slow in our first hole and the few fish we did catch, were a bit on the dark side. Not quite what we were expecting. We headed down river and searched around for some more fish and found a few more pulling plugs.

The fish were biting alright, but we were having a difficult time keeping them on and most of them were chrome silvers. Jeff pulled over and let me give it a whirl on the oars! I’ve pulled plugs and divers before in the drift boat, but never got any participants until Saturday! I got my first plug fish and got to finally return the favor, and put Jeff on a nice fish!

 

We kept fishing around and were a few silvers shy of our limit but headed to the takeout to get the evening low tide and dig our own sandshrimp! I unfortunately spent most of the night doing homework, but was well rested for another day of salmon slaying!

Sunday, we headed down river a bit to see if we could find some brighter, fresher fish and we did just that! We released quite a few darker fish, but managed to fill the box with chrome! We even got a bonus hatchery steelhead! It was our friend Zak’s first time in our drift boat and he did great! We all got fish on so many techniques, but majority of the fish on Sunday were on eggs.

We had several groups of friends in their boats and it was another fall fishing trip to go down in the history books. I love steelhead, but fishing the coast each fall with tons of friends is the type of trip that I look forward to every year and it’s exactly the type of trip we needed to get our fishing “fix” after so many weeks of hunting and preparing for hunting!

Loving life and these late coho

I finished finals last week so this was my first weekend fishing without homework in 3 months. In fact, I’ve only been fishing one day a weekend so that I could get a little bit more studying done and I got to fish BOTH days this weekend! :)

It’s kind of crazy how different my life seems when I’m on a break from school, but I am so happy! Life seems to have so much more meaning, fishing is even more amazing, I’m a thousand times more motivated, and I actually have time to think about how blessed I am.

Waking up to fishing Saturday morning was easy. I was so excited to get up, so excited to fish without worrying about whether or not it will be productive, and just enjoy the day! It was a pretty slow start and we had only hooked two fish by noon and I was beginning to feel spoiled. Spoiled because we have limited the boat with 4-5 people on b run coho the past 3 weeks in a row. Thankfully, one of the two fish hooked was mine and it was a hatchery hen, but it was kind of boring. Like steelhead fishing for coho.

Then all of a sudden, we found a pod! We hooked 6 fish in one pocket! Granted, none of them were mine, but fishing was exciting again! I don’t really like coho that much only because it’s difficult to go from catching a 30lb king to a 10lb coho, but these coho are typically all over 10lbs. This is the first year I’ve really targeted the B run coho and they are quite impressive! All the fish have been on spinners so that means more bait without using bait! Plus, I don’t stink afterwards ;)

We hurried home and got all dressed up for another holiday party and hurried home to sleep before another day of late coho fishing. We had a full boat with 5 people and fishing was great right off the bat! We had all 10 fish by noon and almost all were hatchery! Unreal to get so many huge hatchery coho in mid-December!

We got home around 3 PM and I got so much stuff done! I was in a great mood and couldn’t stop thinking about how blessed I am. I had an amazing weekend, I’m in the Christmas spirit, I caught a lot of big fish, and I DON’T HAVE HOMEWORK!!!!!!

If we get a decent amount of rain, I’ll definitely be switching to steelhead this week, but if not, I’ll be back chasing b run coho next weekend!