BY RORY O’CONNOR
If you’re heading out after the prison-break Atlantics, here’s how I had success (there could be better ways).
The salmon are in tight to the shoreline, and not necessarily *just* at Secret Harbor! I motored around on my main looking for jumpers, then dropped the kicker to stay in place around the schools. Anchoring was effective for alot of people, but only if you are in a spot they are holding. They will hold to specific areas, and those areas change with the tide, so you have to keep moving til you find them. And move on when they clear out. Blind casting was not effective at all, you have to find the jumpers.
I pitched alot of different things, but a pink/silver size 3 or 4 Vibrax with a small crescent sinker about 2-3 feet up the line seemed most effective. The sinker was key, straight Vibrax didn’t work well.
The retrieve was lift-n-reel, then drop. They almost always hit on the drop. I also saw some guys pitching Krocodiles and they were slaying ’em. Buzz Bombs worked but were less effective.
For rod/reel, I was using pink salmon gear which was too light (these fish average 10lbs!). I think your average steelhead gear would be perfect.
The fish are not shy at all; you can roll up right right on top of them, and use 30lb test and a large hook.
The bite turns on and off, and can go off even when they are still jumping everywhere. Basically, this is straight-up coho fishing. (I only tried trolling a bit, and didn’t get a bump, but I didn’t really give it an honest go)
They will short-bite like crazy. And I wouldn’t say they crush the bait, but when they are hooked they fight HARD and will peel drag and jump. Keep the line tight, the will throw the hook easily!
It really is a blast!
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM WDFW:
Regulations are (again) for fishing in the saltwater:
- License plus salmon catch record card
- Open only where salmon is open
- Must stop fishing once the appropriate salmon daily limit is reached (Chinook, coho, pink)
- No limit on Atlantic Salmon or size limit
- Be prepared to be sampled at the boat ramp per our baseline creel sampling staff – and if you have tips on how to catch them, please share that information with staff
EDITOR’S NOTE: Be sure to check the regs for whether salmon fishing is open or any emergency rule changes. For example, not all of Area 7 is open for salmon fishing right now and Area 9 is closed boat fishing then closes to all fishing after September 4th.