Posted by Marcus S on 2012-03-21 10:47:49
in reply to Salmon on the fly SF CA Coast posted by Paul on 2012-03-19 13:24:55
|I think everyone's observations and experiences are very much in line with my own as a life long California king salmon angler as well as someone who has spent some time as a deck hand in the same fishery. I also spent 6 seasons commercial salmon fishing in Alaska but that wasn't hook and line fishing. Here are a few additional thoughts:|
Salmon are biters, like trout or wahoo, not inhalers like bass or grouper. They can suck prey in with a gill flare pop but not like a striper or barramundi that goes BOOP! and inhales it all. So when they attack they often clamp down on the mid/rear of their prey and you will miss them with a single hook at the front of the lure/fly, whatever. This is not their strategy it's just how their apparatus works.
They also like to swipe/sample at things and finally get it on the 2nd or 3rd take.
There are 2 things at play here - #1 is that faster speed is a great way to trigger finicky fish that like to stick their toe in first...(in addition to covering more water), as you force them to chase, and if they want to sample it they have to be a little more aggressive about it.
#2 is the hook is at the ***very back*** of the lure, so when they are swiping at it half-assedly they can get drilled.
With a slow moving fly with the hook in the front 20%, they can swipe at it and never get hooked, or necessarily even tough the thing.
Dave's now legendary prince nymph fish may have likely swiped at the big fly and got the trailing leader in it's mouth and got hooked on the trailing fly (Dave is a snagger hahahaha), although they definitely eat that little stuff and lots of it (Krill).
I believe the SPEED is the critical ingredient in catching these fish on artificials, and by that I mean it sounds like everyone in this thread is struggling because they are fishing too slow. Mooched bait fished slowly is effective because it is bait! They eat it and then swallow it! A fly is not going to get taken that well so the presentation must be conducive to hooking the fish. If I was going to make a real serious effort at it, I would use a tube fly with the hook at the very rear of the fly, and I would strip hard and fast!!! You can't match the speed of a 4 MPH troll stripping!
I catch most of my salmon on unscented artificials, primarily spoons and plastic lure like the apex. Many commercial salmon trollers use unscented artificials exclusively, and they generally troll fast!!!! 3-4MPH +! So do all the party boats... they can't troll under 3MPH with their big screws! The commercials also use very heavy mono leaders!! I also troll them at 3-4 MPH, or cast, let the spoon sink, and then burn them back nearly as fast as I can reel or by snapping the rod very aggressively.
Salmon are short lifecycle gamers that haven't learned many tough lessons that will bite nearly anything if it resembles food and is in the strike zone when they are actively feeding. Timing is huge in salmon fishing!! They turn on, fill their belly, then turn off. The other key is to use a presentation that is condusive to getting the more aggressive strikes (FAST), which goes a long way towards actually hooking them successfully.
Like many when I spend the time and money to enter the salt for $25/pound King Salmon, my mission first and foremost is to GET THEM and get home safely before max ebb hits the north bar!! So I don't spend much time out there thinking how I can make the game harder than it already is.
- PS - Marcus S - 2012-03-21 10:52:27 (0)