Only 8 days remaining in our Spring Fling Derby and the fish seem to be getting bigger and more plentiful every day. The majority of our boats (if not all) have brought in at least one Spring, most reaching their limits on salmon. Wednesday afternoon we had a couple healthy back-to-back 18 and 19 lb. Chinook, and Thursday afternoon Karen Lu, a first-timer from California, brought in a beautiful 22.6 pounder. Needless to say her husband was a little jealous! Finally, last night Joe Skerritt brought in a nice 23.7 lb. Spring putting him in 3rd place in our Derby. How do our guides and our guests do it? Dwayne Mustard gives you the insider advantage in his Weekly Fishing Report:
By far the most effective way of trolling for salmon in the saltwater is the hoochie-flasher set-up. Whether it is for Pinks, Sockeye, Chum, Coho or Chinook, the whirl of a flasher hooked to a downrigger will bring in curious fish from far away. Essentially, a flasher mimics the kicking action of a feeding salmon’s tail. Nearby salmon recognize the vibrations in the water and think, “someone is eating nearby, I need to get in on this action.” Actually, I think this is the only thought that ever goes through a salmon’s head, but I digress… So, the salmon key in on the flasher and then look for the food source, only to find a funny coloured piece of plastic which they then eat. Of course.
Now many people will tell you that the hoochie-anchovie set up is the most productive method of salmon fishing, but in these dogfish infested waters you better have a special fondness for retying leaders if you want to fish bait.
And then there are those days when you already have a fish in the freezer and you decide you want to give the salmon a bit of a sporting chance. On those days I like to pull out my Tyee Pool gear and head out to the Hump with a handful of 8’ fiberglass rods strung up with 20 pound test. I’ll bring along some of my favourite plugs and fire then down on 230’ feet of downrigger cable. All this week I’ve been fishing this way and knocking them dead, with my biggest weighing in just shy of 20 pounds. My plug of choice has been the Tomic 639 (see below), but the 600 has been working as well. But, be careful when you fish this way, as a big Chinook will pull the line from the down rigger and head straight for the surface, leaving you to mistakenly think that you have nothing on the line. Then, when the fish finally pulls the slack out of the line it rips the handles from your fingers and teaches you why single action reels are called “knuckle busters”. That being said, a couple of bloody digits are well work it for the quality of fight you will get.
Until next week,
Tight lines and keep on fishin'