trolling herring

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!

First springer trip!!

We finally made the official first springer trip and were quite successful! We ventured down to the Columbia for the last scheduled weekend that it was open in hopes to bring home some quality dinner. We started out on anchor with sardine wrapped plugs while the tide moved out.

We saw a couple fish on first thing in the morning but didn’t get our first fish until about 11 AM. It was biting for a few seconds and the rod was loaded, but in our boat, you don’t touch it until the reel is peeling line. It wasn’t peeling line but man it sure looked like it was on there good so we picked it up and….NOTHING! We didn’t get anything else on plugs that morning, but when the tide came back in and slacked out, we decided to pick up and troll herring behind flashers. We go one within 15 seconds of the rods being out and it was my step dad’s rod! He did great fighting it and it was extremely exciting to see him land his first springer!

We ran back up and got hit again! This time it was my co-worker and it was his first time out with us. He had a hot little fish that took several runs and dipped and tucked under the boat weaving from one side to the other! He thankfully landed it and we were feeling great with 2 upper river brights in the box!

 

I was glad that the two people that don’t get out with us were the ones to get the fish, but I really wanted one. It’s just always so much pressure to get the first one and then it’s all fun for the rest of the season.

So the next day we headed back down to the Columbia for some Easter morning fishing! We didn’t have any plugs wrapped to start the day so after we got 4 rods out, I spent the morning wrapping 20 more plugs to switch out. I wasn’t thrilled about that because I knew that if I was looking down with my hands full, I wasn’t going to be the one to see a rod get hit which meant I wasn’t going to be the one to get a fish. I watched 3 rods get hit while I was busy keeping them baited up. We got one hatchery and 2 wild fish and I was obviously irritated.

Jeff thankfully announced that the next fish is mine since everyone else already had their turn. Again, at high slack tide we pulled anchor and began to troll. Again, I was dealing with the plugs and was cutting off all of those beautiful wraps because we wouldn’t be using them again for at least a week. Sure enough, a rod goes off and my hands are full! We unfortunately lost that one which only added to my discouragement because I know (I say that) if I was fighting that one, I wouldn’t have lost it. We ran back and made another pass and sure enough, the same rod goes off but this time, we announced it was my turn!

I was kind of happy to have gotten this one, although it was smaller than all the others we got this weekend, it was definitely the best fighting. Stripped me out 130 feet upriver all on the surface. It was pretty awesome to watch it run on top of the water like that, but even more nerve wracking. Once we finally landed it I was happy to finally have the first one of the season out of the way!

Next weekend is my birthday weekend and the Columbia is still set to close so maybe a little drift boat action or back to the good ‘ol Cowlitz!

Jeff’s birthday at Drano

Jeff’s birthday weekend was another success! Despite the damn counts, it really wasn’t that great of fishing, but we managed a few ;)

We took a three day weekend this time and let me tell you, Friday way a SLOW start for us! From the top:

Thursday morning before work, Jeff walked out to see gas pouring out of the vent in the back. It was hot and tank was full, okay open the lid and vent it out. Didn’t tell anyone else not to walk around there or wash it off because gas was all over the trailer and strap.

We stayed up late Thursday wrapping plugs in the hotel room and put them in a bait cooler and in the boat that night. Jeff walked out in the morning and saw a cat in the bed of his truck. He shoo’d it away and turned around to see the cooler open and plugs destroyed around the boat. Two thoughts entered our heads: why don’t we have my cute new pink BB gun and how did that stupid cat manage not to get any of those hooks stuck to its stupid face?

We cleaned the top ones and fished the ones that were still at the bottom of the cooler and looked and smelled okay. We watched a few boats hook up around us in the main lake and cooked up some breakfast (mimosa’s, fruit, & egg mcmuffins – yumm!).

We headed to the toilet bowl a little confused as to why we had half the people in the boat, but two fish each day by this time the weekend before and there were so many fish headed upriver. We made some friends and swapped some beers and by 10 AM, we were throwing fruit at David Perez in exchange for more beer and fruit. We somehow ended up with a rotten banana that we watched get swapped with several other boats. We politely threw back a strawberry and chucked the banana in the garbage.

We watched boats hook up right in front and behind us pass after pass. Around noon, we’re still fishless and we’ve seen at least 20 fish hooked. Something isn’t right. We headed out and cleaned everything. I mean everything! Thank goodness for Lemon Joy! An entire bottle, gone and everything was clean. We started over with new bait, new plugs, no garbage (by garbage I mean banana – thanks David!), nothing that could be bad juju.

We headed back into the toilet bowl and fish on! No way! Thank goodness Jeff was smart enough to try the only thing that made sense. Clean everything! We went around again, fish on! Hot damn! Thank goodness!!!! We went 3 for 6 that afternoon and kicked ourselves for missing the entire morning bite but was so proud of Jeff for figuring out that bad juju.

 

The rest of the weekend was great! Not really any morning bites and it progressively got slower and slower as the days passed and the strange thing is, no plug bites! Last weekend, almost all of our fish in the morning were on plugs and we couldn’t buy a plug bite this weekend. Damn cat…..


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff’s birthday was a success with some of his favorite people around. We ate good (ask the other boats that were there), we drank good (ask them that too), and we caught fish! One for the memory books!

Not sure where all the fish are and neither is anyone else, but hopefully next weekend picks up!

Exploring turned out to be beneficial

Because the water was is so low everywhere, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to explore some new water today. Have fun, have low expectations, and see if we can’t find fish where we haven’t really fished much.

Surprise….It worked!

We headed out to the salt water on Saturday with 3 of our friends and went 4 for 5 on coho. They weren’t a tremendous size, but they were nice! We do catch fresh fish in the rivers, but geez, these guys were so super fresh! We hit a river on the way home and was unsuccessful, but went back out on Sunday and went 10 for 15 in just about 3 hours!

It was unreal and awesome! Usually we are praying for rain but we’ve had amazing fishing two weeks in a row and I’m  not sure I’d like anymore rain!