Being part of the previous 2 Salmon seasons I’m not so proud to say that up to about 3 weeks ago, I HADN’T landed a single salmon. I hadn’t really been targeting them for those seasons but the inevitability of one of these exhilarating sport fish being at the end of my line was killing me. However this season I came prepared! Bought about 4 Lures which was a lot for me as I’m generally more used to using bait.
It was an early morning 5am wake up to: ride to the train station, throw the bikes on the train alongside our ‘travel style’ packed fishing gear and ride to the rock wall where we’d hope to catch these bad boys.
- Reel: Shimano Sienna 4000FD
- Rod: Shimano Beastmaster X Travel 904 4-8kg
- Line: Mongrel 20lb braid 4 strand
- Leader: Black Magic 30lb Flurocarbon
- Lure/s: Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow 110, Halco C-Gar 42g, Halco Roosta Popper 110, Halco Twisty 30/40g,
I think the rod mattered the most on these trips I made once or twice a week for about 3 weeks in a row. A long rod like the 9 foot one I used ensured that even though I was using heavy lures already, I was able to cast even further to maximise not only time in the water but also area covered by the lure.
My friends setup was a little on the heavier side compared to mine, I think it was just his opinion of being able to force the salmon out of ledges to avoid being busted off on the rocks and sharp edges. Fair enough, his setup is a lot more quality and most of all lighter so I wasn’t too fussed:
- Reel: Shimano Spheros 6000SW
- Rod: Shimano Raider Travel 9′ 6-8kg 20-60g
- Line: Power Pro 30lb Braid
- Leader: Kato 30lb Flurocarbon
- Lure: Halco C-Gar 43g ‘Redhead’
Gotta say these trips were really adding up to each fish being worth about 1000 casts. I kid but the first 2 times we went we caught absolutely bugger all. I hooked what seemed to be a Pink Snapper. The only real evidence is the almost grindy teeth marks on my lure as the fish was so strong that it pulled both split rings straight off the lure and all I was left with was a lure without hooks, split rings and a whole lot of swearing in disappointment. This leads me to write the following:
Storm So-Run Heavy Minnow 110 (42g) WARNING:
Whilst the action on this lure remains unrivalled the split rings and the treble hooks they come with are absolutely horrific. If you are going to buy this lure please I beg you to buy a set of splits and trebles and replace the stock ones on the lure. It will save you disappointment and the fish of a lifetime which could have been a land based Pink Snapper on a hard-body lure. For those who can’t really be bothered or simply don’t have the funds to upgrade splits and swivels each time they want to use a So-Run, I recommend the following alternatives. These have similar action and the cost is around the same;
- DR.HOOK School Bully 40g
- Rapala X Rap Long cast. (Either size 12 or 14 depending on target species)
Despite the fish-less trips and loosing the fish of a lifetime; our attitude remained positive and it really did pay off. The experience was everything I’d ever imagined: A massive take followed by a powerful tail swipe and line just peeling off the reel as if you’d just hooked a freight train. Oh and don’t even get me started on the airshow these acrobatic predators can put on. I could’ve sworn they can just about jump 2 meters in the air trying to spit the lure whilst you’re just in utter fishing heaven. Just when you think to yourself “get the net out he’s good to come in” they don’t disappoint and race off once more.
At 83cm this guy was a keeper. Being vegetarian for environmental and ethical reasons; I decided that the only exception I’m taking is seafood that I have sourced myself. This way I know that the fish has come from a ‘reasonably clean’ source, hasn’t been bred for the sole purpose of human consumption, is free of all the added hormone and bull**** that farmers add to their livestock and above all; it’s fresh. That’s the only way to eat meat in my opinion. Anyways I’m getting sidetracked. Back to the fish…
Salmon Curry was on the menu for the family!
The rest of the salmon we caught throughout the next couple of trips went back healthy to fight another day. I did go on a mates boat and we landed about 15 between the 3 of us but unfortunately I did not take any photos as my camera recently broke. Hopefully in the next coming weeks I will buy another camera so I don’t have to rely on other peoples equipment.
Advice on keeping salmon: I find it extremely important to bleed salmon to minimise the red flesh when cooking it later on. You should also try to keep it cool as much as possible and when cooking; try to add spice to ‘overpower’ any of the fishy flavour that salmon is renowned for.
Hope you enjoyed this weeks blog. There should be a boat related blog coming up soon. All depends on what we catch in the next week or so. Thanks for stopping by!
Tight Lines – Josh