Another Springer Caught

We caught a nice springer on Tuesday across the river from the Willamette park boat ramp.  The area is referred to as “Turkey Flats”.  On our second pass a phone call came in from Mike, a friend that was fishing down river.  He said, “we just killed one”.  I was holding my rod at the time and I felt the unmistakable vibration of a salmon chomping on my herring. This is where most of us instinctively jerk the rod and try to set the hook (yes, I’ve done it).  When springer fishing with bait the last thing you want to do is pull the bait out of their month.  I was patient and just held the rod steady until the fish turned and spooled some line out.  My effort paid off and this salmon had both hooks in his mouth without a chance of popping off.  After the fish made a series of runs, Dirk and I landed it with good teamwork.  Here’s the details on this catch:

  • Depth: 16 feet of water, bouncing lead on the bottom
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Bait: Whole red label herring (see my “How-to” videos for instructions)
  • Flasher: Pole dancer
  • Leader: 4/0, 3/0 hooks, 42 inches
  • Trolling speed: 2.5 mph SOG
  • Salt & bottled water brine with “Bluing” added
  • No scent used

This stretch of river is a little complicated and requires a lot of attention.  The bottom is up and down.  One minute you’re in 30 feet and the next you’re in 10 feet.  It pays to keep your rod in hand and bounce your lead on the bottom.

We were one of three boats to hook up before the bite died.  We stayed for another hour or so before moving downriver.  It was reported that some fish were caught in the Spaghetti factory area but we only saw two in the time we trolled that zone.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad day but there were a lot of boats out.  The fish counter said that our fish was the third checked and he had counted 24 boats at about 12:30. That’s not a very good ratio.

The bite was good for a couple of days but the pattern in April is generally hit and miss.  You can have a good day and return to find that using the same gear and patterns you skunk out. That’s springer fishing.

I wish you the best of luck out there.  Send me your pictures so I can post them on my web page.  Feel free to swing by and say hello on the river.  I may even try to get a short video clip of you if you’ve caught a fish.

Tight lines.

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