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Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:35 am
by returnofthefish
Im the OP of the "Have you caught all 5 salmon species?" thread. In it, I listed that I only caught a shaker under chinook. The Quadfather was nice enough to take me out into Area 10 when I caught it. Everything changed today when I was shad fishing at the Bonneville Dam.

I bought the Columbia River S/S endorsement yesterday just in case I landed any salmon today. One of the poles that I brought with me was a 9 ft medium action pole with 12 pound mainline. The tiny 1/16 oz shad dart was on a 8 pound leader.

My arms were tired from bait casting for several hours straight. Only had one birdsnest with a 1/2 oz sinker. Thanks for all of the WA Lakes members for baitcasting tips. :cheers: Thats pretty good for only the second time fishing with it. I went to my car for a break. When I went back down to the shore, I switched over to the salmon rod and reel.

I make a cast and start reeling in. Something hits the shad dart like a freight train and the drag is singing. At first, I just assumed I hooked into the back of a sturgeon. It takes several minutes to get the fish clost to shore. The first thing that I saw was the tail. Looked like a small sturgeon tail at first till the fish rolled under water. It has huge and silver. My heart is trying to jump out of my chest and the andrenaline is pumping. The fight is on like Donkey Kong.

My friend stops fishing and runs over to help. The King makes a long run and all I can do is watch. A plunker near by tells me to play the fish out or the fish will straighten out the hook. The fear of losing the fish takes over. The salmon only gives back inch by inch of line and then makes another run. I loosen the drag because the 8 pound leader is 3 years old and I didnt want the line to snap. Eventually the salmon gets tired and Im able to get it close to shore after the slowest 15 minutes of my life.

It makes a final desperate run upstream and my line gets caught into a plunkers line. We race to untangle the lines and landed the salmon into the net. I immediately look for the adipose fin while the fish was still in the water. It was a chrome native. The shad dart was removed from its lip and the fish was revived and set free. I was thankful for the fight and happy that the native was able to swim away to reproduce.

This king was way bigger than the 7 pound silver that I caught in the past. Since it was a native, we were unable to weigh it. The plunker and my friend congratulate me on a great job. He told me he already lost three salmon that straightened out the hook on his shad darts. He estimated the fish to be 12 pounds. Im not gonna argue with that. haha. That one fish made the 7 hour round trip well worth it. Now I can proudly say I have caught a King salmon.

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:41 am
by natetreat
Nice! Way to go. Those kings can pull your arms out the sockets. Now it's on, just wait until you hook into a 40+ pounder. That's the biggest rush ever. Awesome! I can't wait, it's been three weeks since my last chinook. :(

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:18 pm
by fishaholictaz
Love it when you get a king fishn for shad! Very cool story:cheers:

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:35 pm
by jens
Way to go! I witnessed an upper teen Springer caught on a dart 2 weeks ago. How that fish didn't straighten his hook is beyond me. He was horsing the crap out of the fish too. I was lucky enough to catch 2 supersized Jacks and a smaller Jack that didn't have the extra fin in 2 trips. How many Shad did you catch?

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:28 pm
by returnofthefish
I only caught 2 shad for the 6 hours that I was there. The only good thing was snagging in the rocks only 5 times the whole entire time there. That tells me I might of been higher in the water column than the shad were. I was using 1/2 bank sinker with a 3 way swivel set up most of the time. Once I switched over to a small peice of pencil lead, thats when I got the salmon and 2 shad. My friend caught 7 and lost a couple. Im not sure what I am doing wrong.

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:31 pm
by blurock
Way to go! That is one of the most exhilarating feelings ever! For me the added stress of thinking that hook might straighten out just made the fight that much better, and really makes ya work the fish. Makes for some fun and further honing of skills too, cause you certainly can't horse them in on shad darts! haha
Good job!

As far as catching shad goes, I was catching most of mine with a smaller piece of pencil led, and a 24-36" leader to my shad dart (I had my lead rigged up as slider like I do drifting for steelhead, but I don't know that it made a difference) I would cast out past a seam, reel a couple quick turns till I got about to the seam, the drift my dart through the seam with some random retrieves and twitches, they would hit it on the fall most of the time, or right on a twitch. Other times I'd let it fall for a few count after my cast the start my retrieve. They seemed to hit it on retrieves that were a bit faster than my natural retrieve rate.

RE:Finally caught a Chinook worth talking about

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:17 pm
by FishingThePacNW
Man im jealous!! i havnt caught one yet!!