|Caught: 21 lb. king salmon
Lure: Mepps #5 metallic blue/silver blade
Rod/Reel: 8.5' Pflueger Trion rod/daiwa Regal 4000
Finally got my first river salmon of the season!
Started out at a spot north of Freeport at around 7am. Weather and conditions were beautiful, but fishing was slow. Not too crowded, about 20 people or so fishing from the bank. Helped net the only fish I saw come up around 7:30am. At 9am decided to move south to Freeport.
Fishing was slow at Freeport, too. Saw a couple fish come up in the boats that were jigging, but I asked the guy next to me - nothing from shore. I donated all four of my favorite Mepps #5 pattern (ham n' eggs) to the shallower shoreline at Freeport - moving to 3 different spots, trying to find a relatively snag-free zone. Was getting frustrated losing so many rigs/spinners. Decided to go with metallic blue/silver blade - thought it would be subtle compared to all the chartreuse people around me were using.
As I was reeling in my lure around 11:30am, I noticed a big, light blue houseboat - and it was literally a house. I don't know if the owner made it with his tongue-in-cheek - but it was complete with 2 stories, the second story being a small A-frame roofed compartment, which housed the console. I think it might have even had a white picket fence around it, but I could be remembering wrong. While laughing to myself at this, I suddenly felt a big TUG on my line and my heart dropped in my stomach! My spidey senses went off and I felt a heavy pulsing weight on the other end of my line.
The fish took off on several long runs, then stopped. For awhile, I couldn't move it, but with constant pressure it started giving a little and I was able to slowly pump in a little line. It went downstream, then upstream and generally gave me a hard time - forgot how fun it was to catch a salmon on the river! After a hard 15-20 minute fight, I was able to pull it to shore. Nobody around me wanted to help net the fish. I was thinking of reaching for my net, but the fish looked spent - so I guided it into the rocks and grabbed it by the gills.
It was a 21 lb. hen (roe - yes!), not dime bright, kind of grey, so not sure how the meat will taste. Glad to break in my new setup (finally, I'm 1 for 5), it handled very smoothly, and it's light and easy to cast. Happy to get the skunk off!
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