King Salmon Fishing
Some nice weather caused quite a few people to begin thinking about getting out to do some winter King fishing. Friday was the day we had all planned for. I got down to the boat Thursday to install the new ECU on my TR-1 Autopilot (The best thing to ever happen to Salmon Trolling) and straighten up a bit. The boat was in a bit of a mess after spending the last three months as a Marine RV/Hunting Rig, but nothing my crew would care about. On my way home, I got a call I was completely unprepared for. There were some people referred to me who wanted to charter me to go fishing the next day! I initially told them that it probably wouldn’t work as I didn’t have any of my charter licenses/business in order. The more I thought about it, I realized that it was only about 3pm and that I had a good chance if I hurried. Monday was a holiday and the weather probably wouldn’t line up for these people again during their stay. Unbelievably, I managed to gather my stuff and make it to Fish and Game just before they closed. Current Guide license in hand, I called them back and told them we could do it the next day. It took everything we could do to get boat and gear ready by our scheduled 10 a.m. departure time. Running a fishing charter is nothing like going out with buddies. We took off and headed out to the fishing spot. Humpbacks were feeding along the shoreline of Annette Island and there were many harbor seals popping their heads up. After a short run, I put the gear in and began looking for signs of life. The current was running hard and their wasn’t much bait to be seen except on bottom. Further back their was less current and it looked better. Still, after about 3 and a half hours we hadn’t had a bump. We were coming into the afternoon high tide and our best chance to catch a fish. I decided to make a move to a different area as I felt that we had pretty well covered the place we were fishing. We ran about 4 miles to a different spot that I have had luck before this time of year. I got the gear back in the water and was immediately greeted with bait and fish marks on my sonar. It looked very good. I made one long pass and just after our turn to head back…we hooked up! A King Salmon ripped it out of the downrigger clip. John was quick to get to the rod and cranked hard to catch up and get tight to the fish. The fish fought hard for a short while and then was brought to the net. It was a beautiful King, but very close to being under the minimum 28 inches. I pulled the tape on it 3 times and although it may have been technically legal it was too close to call. Released it back into the water for another day.