Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fishing Has Random Good Things That Happen - Spring Chinook While Rockfishing

Nikki and I decided to go target rockfish and lingcod off of a jetty this past Sunday. Luck does happen once in a while, as Nikki's very first cast of the day proved. Shooting heads can be a nightmare to cast for some fly fishers; so Nikki opts for a spinning rod in those situations to avoid the "Huck and Duck" casts that can prove to be dangerous. She was fishing with a spinning rod rigged with a jig head and a white rubber worm with a curly tail (what I attempt to imitate with my white conehead bunny leeches). Normally with rockfish, you can cast out and let it sink, and then jig it back to you while doing a very slow retrieve. Well, Nikki's first cast ended up with a rod folded over, and I was fired up. I was thinking that something good was on the end of the line by the way the rod was bent and the line was ripping out of the reel. My assumption was lingcod, but I was wrong when something silvery thrashed on the surface for a moment. It did not reveal itself long enough though; so I though it may have been some kind of a random ocean fish. Instead, the fish materialized again, and I noticed it was a salmon. "Holy cow, %$^X&@#?+* honey, you have a springer!!!!," is what I yelled. It was one of those special moments in fishing.   
This Spring Chinook Salmon decided a rockfish/lingcod jig was too hard to resist
There were guides in their bay boats trolling all sorts of random hardware (like planers, divers, etc), and then two people walk on the jetty and throw something not even for salmon out; only to drill a chromer! Nikki worked the fish in with ultra efficiency, and we wondered how we were going to land it. Luckily we had some seriously stout leader on (25# test), and so I grabbed the leader and tailed the beautiful chromer on my first try. Lucky!!! We were stoked! The only bummer was that the fish was what I would call a mis-clip, meaning that it was fin clipped, but appeared to have an adipose fin like a wild fish. If you even look at the picture you can notice the adipose fin is intact, but not with the appearance of a wild fish. The top of the adipose fin has a strange look to it that wild fish do not portray (downward concave). We even had a guide in his boat telling us that a group of volunteer kids did the fin clipping of the fish, and many of the fish had their adipose fins cut improperly; so many of the fish are mis-clipped. The fin was not worth the judgement of the game police though; so we let the beauty go free back on its way to the fresh water river it was headed to. No fish is worth a ticket; no matter how mis-clipped it is. It was a pretty awesome experience to see my sweetheart catch that random salmon off of the jetty, and I really loved every moment of watching her simple rig pull in such a quality fish.
Spring Chinook caught off of a jetty while rockfishing
Times like this one prove that random things happen in fishing when you least expect them to. White is maybe a much more important salmon fishing color than we maybe are aware of (I did catch one a few weeks back on a white bunny leech). We also do not know as much as we think we know about fishing and specific fisheries; otherwise we would have it all figured out, and these crazy random fishing acts would not happen the way that they do. Maybe people could be catching springers off of jetties, and it is not as random as everyone thought it was. You never know.....That is what keeps us coming back for more!!!


  1. Brian,

    Are to turning into a salty? Come back inland to the fresh water before it's too late!


    1. The saltwater fishing is mighty addictive! We crushed the rockfish yesterday pretty bigtime!!