Sunday, 8 June 2014


 I am a big fan of hands-on ,light tackle fishing. Locally , many of us just call this "shallow fishing", common and proven decades ago, but which is getting to be a forgotten art. The tackle is a light rod, approximately like a #9 fly rod , but with a longer butt behind the reel, 15 lb line, and small weight such as half, or 1 or 2 oz. weight, trolled only 40 or 50 ft behind the boat. The angler handles the tackle, rather than watching the downrigger and boat do the fishing. Often, the angler is holding the rod. I guided 15 or 20 years without downriggers, or even rod holders. The bite is dramatic, electric, personal.  We are close in to kelp, or shore, or boulder reefs, in shallower depth than length of line out. Sometimes you can see bottom. In deeper water the salmon are attracted up behind the prop wash.

Today we took two chinooks in the shallows. When I felt that we had covered the bite and it was time to move, we went to the downriggers and fished deep off of the nearby shelves, and caught another chinook. We also lucked into a hatchery coho, which grabbed the spoon in the upper part of the water, while it was being retrieved after losing a chinook. I fish lures or bait straight on the fishing line, with a "dummy" attractor flasher on the rigger, so that when the line comes out of the clip, it is just you and the fish. We  also sampled and released two undersize chinooks.

Here is my improved rig for measuring and tissue sampling for live release.

 In the shallows, you are much more aware of the food web. We see the krill and herring schools we are fishing around.  The chinooks had large herring in their stomachs. The coho was stuffed on the shrimp that he and the herring were feeding on.
Peter loved the light tackle style, and took home quite a few salmon meals for his family.
Rick  250 830 8680

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