Slooooooow Takedown

April 11, 2020 – Spring Chinook Salmon

We fished the Willamette River on April 11th for another elusive Spring Chinook. We intercepted our fish below the Ross Island Bridge while trolling in 30 feet of water. Our line counters were at 24 feet when the springer tugged on a whole herring. This was an interesting takedown because our fish seemed content to swim with the boat. My rule of thumb for picking up the rod is to wait until the fish turns and runs (peels some line). This fish refused although it made a jab or two and bent the rod momentarily. After what seemed to be “forever” I finally picked up the rod and pulled back on the fish. It peeled some line and started to fight. We got our springer in the net and confirmed that it didn’t have an adipose fin before bringing it into the boat. Oh Yeah, springer for dinner. Here’s how we caught the fish:

  • Depth: 30 feet of water – 24 feet on line counter
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Bait: Whole red label herring
  • Flasher: Pole Dancer
  • Leader: 4/0, 3/0 hooks 48 inch
  • Trolling speed: 2.0 mph SOG
  • Salt & bottled water brine with “Ms. Stewards bluing”
  • No scent used

The fish counter at Willamette park boat ramp indicated that 13 fish were caught for 67 boats. That’s not a very good ratio so I would call this a challenging day. Better days are ahead but as I’ve said in the past, Springer fishing can be hit or miss. If you go back to the same location and use the same gear you’ll usually have a different result. This is all about patience and persistence so put your time in and you’ll eventually get one. Tight lines.

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