Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siletz Salmon with a Couple Snowbirds

My parents are heading back down to Arizona in a couple weeks, so Last Saturday, I was fortunate to fish with them! We headed over to the coast to the Siletz River. We launched at Siletz Moorage around first light. We headed out to the mouth to hit the low slack, coming in an hour and a half. We dropped the crab pots in a channel along the houses on the Salishan spit and continued to the mouth. It felt like a parade with the fuzzy fat onlookers.

5-6 boat were already out there dragging herring, so I made my way into the traffic.

Bankies were lining the beach, casting their spinners. Most were #6 Blue Foxes. Some getting pretty close to the boat if you get near their casting area.  So, we stayed clear while motoring out into the breakers. we turned to come back in on the outgoing tide.

This guy walked over from Salishan with his net and rod and we watched him beach a nice fish right in front of the seals.  Walked away and went home for breakfast!

Depth was only 3-6 feet. I had never fished a shallow inlet like this before. I dropped a herring back on one rod. While getting the second bait out, my dad comments, "Is that rod supposed to be doing that?". I look over and the first rod was doubled over, line screaming out, and yell, "Fish on!". My mom gets first fish, so she grabs the rod and starts the fight. It made a semi-circle all the way around the boat, in this shallow sandy surf and pops off. We were excited for the day, seeing that we had a fish on in the first 5 mins of fishing!

We re-deployed the 3 herring and twenty minutes later, BAM! Fish on again! This time my dad fights it. This fish makes a couple strong runs, but again, eventually just spits the hook. We Finally hook a third fish, following the tide in on a pass. We clear the rods and quickly bring in nice chrome Coho. ONE FISH IN THE BOAT! Already this was a great day.

The tide started to rip its way in so we decided to head back upriver further.   Just above the 101 bridge, we dropped our lines in.  At one point, we had Ken Bolstad, of Rod-Action Guide Service landing a fish with a child on board.  I took a picture of them taking a picture of this kiddos new memory!

It was a great moment.

We trolled our way up from the Siletz Moorage up past Coyote Rock. Along the way the weeds were the worst when we were trolling against the tide. So we trolled upriver with the tide and just kept going. It was a beautiful sunny day with no wind. Why not just keep going. Just around the Coyote Rock RV Park area, I felt we might as well reel up and turn around and head back down. I put the kicker into neutral and say, "Reel 'em up. Lets turn around". At that moment, I grab my rod out of the holder to start reeling and it starts tugging back... HARD!    FISH ON!  ...while reeling up! I grab it and give it to my mom. This fish is putting up an amazing fight. Its running her all over the boat. We get control of the fish and bring it up to the net! Another fish in the boat! That's 2-4! This one is a 16 lb chinook.

Just up around the next bend, my rod starts to bury. This one is a big one! It puts up a great fight. At one point, it swam around a wood piling but we were fortunate enough to get it free and finally net the fish. Right when my dad netted it, my line broke. It frayed from the teeth of the fish. Perfect timing! Much longer and that fish would have swam away. It had a small seal gash on the one side of it, but the meat was still great.

The sun was shining down and we were smiling ear to ear. I couldn't believe we had 3 fish in the boat and were 3-5 for the day!

The day got longer and we decided to call it. We collected our crab pots, with not so great success, and headed in. However, my mom says, "Lets keep fishing! We still have 3 more herring! This is fun!" I LOVED hearing that! So we did. Unfortunately, our luck didn't increase. We took a pass and were weeded up, so we just quit with our bounty.

Ended the day with dinner at Dory Cove, the best chowder on the coast! What an amazing day of fishing, and some great memories with my parents!

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