Even though the fishing was not very good the day before, with the salmon season just about over and bad weather on the way, we had to give it one more shot. It may have been the last day of kayak fishing for 2016.
With the fact it mind that it could be the last kayak fishing day of the season, it was no problem getting out on the water before daybreak. The conditions were as good as they could be for this time of year and the water had cleared up from the past rain. Once again, the fishing was not on fire out of the box. It took about a half hour before I got a hookup that came unbuttoned after a few seconds. About an hour later, another hit that didn’t stick. It was starting to feel a lot like the day before. Another half hour later, I was starting to have some doubts, but might be the last trip of the year, so kept on casting. A big hit and this time the fish was hooked. Got it all the way to the kayak and could see it was a big male hatchery Coho salmon.
It was a good sized fish, but it was pretty dark. When salmon get near the end of their lives, they go from a silvery color to darker colors, hence the term “dark”. You could eat it, no problem, but it’s not as good as the fish in the freezer from earlier in the season, so I let this one go. At least I caught one salmon on the last day of the season and got it on video. It was a nice morning, I saw no reason to stop fishing. Good thing I kept casting because a short time later I got another hookup and fish on!
After a few minutes, I got the fish up to the kayak and could see it was another big male Coho salmon
This one was a native fish, so I was going to try and unhook it and get him back on his spawning way. Unhooking a large fish without injuring yourself or the fish is not that easy. I try to avoid using the landing net because it injures the fish. Definitely have to be careful. This dark male hopefully made it upstream to spawn.
After another hour or so without a bite, I decided to call it a day, and most likely, a season. We have some very serious weather coming our way for the next week with lots of rain and high winds. When the storms have passed, the rivers are going to take a few days, at the very least, to clear up to the point where they are fishable. Another week of declining fish numbers and the outlook for a week from now is not that great. We might head out to our favorite late season spot, but it’s down to a couple last resort fishing spots and there will be a lot of fishermen looking for not a lot of fish. We usually pack up the kayak gear when the late season fishing tapers off and head up into the hills and do a couple “River Runs Through It” trips. Then the fishing rod guides start icing up and that’s it.
Looks like we will be getting an early start on the winter’s projects that don’t get done when the weather is nice and the fishing is good. It’s been a good season of kayak fishing here in the Pacific Northwest so there is plenty of video and photos to edit and get on the watermanatwork.com website. There are other video and photos as well as other stuff, so keep checking back.