20# Salmon Stolen Off Fisherman’s Line By Mystery Predator

As If Seals Stealing Salmon Wasn’t Bad Enough…

A video recently posted online shows Thomas Tran reeling in what looks to be a pretty nice salmon off the coast of Canada when something rockets from the deep dark waters to snatch his prize from him. I’m used to the hazards of seals and sea lions stealing salmon and I’ve seen video of killer whales doing it too, but what is this?

The clip is short at about 30 seconds originally and it runs through the attack once, and it is quick, at normal speed and then again at half speed.  For a moment you see the salmon working to get away, then something rises up and munches the salmon in one bite.  Tran’s line snaps shortly after that.

Sturgeon Or Shark Stealing This Salmon?

The two things that have been put forth as the culprit are sturgeon and sharks.  Sturgeon are definitely big enough to go after a salmon, but to me, this doesn’t look like one.  To me, that smooth tan skin looks like a shark and there are sharks up in the northern waters.

A shark stealing a salmon off someone’s line? Happens down in Florida so why not up here in the north as well?

Rigging For Kayak Salmon Fishing – Tackle

What Tackle Do You Need When Salmon Fishing From A Kayak?

Fishing for salmon from a kayakSummer run Chinook salmon season is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to salmon fishing from my kayak.

This is my first year really fishing a kayak and every trip is a new adventure, so it took some research to get the kayak ready for salmon fishing.  In this article I cover some of the ideas of what tackle you will want for salmon fishing from a kayak.

Rods For Kayak Salmon Fishing

The way to go in the rod department when salmon fishing from a kayak is a slow rod that is about 8′ long.  A slow rod is going to bend through the length of the rod, giving you lots of flex to fight a big salmon.  Your length should be long enough to get around the end of your kayak in case the salmon you have on decides to get crazy and you need to switch sides of the boat.  Your salmon rod doesn’t need to be fancy for kayak salmon fishing, it just needs to be flexible to take a run and strong enough to pull in a 30# fish.  You do want to make sure that your rod is rated for braided line, because if it isn’t your line could wind up getting cut on an eyelet. I’ve had it happen!

Reels For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Tackle Direct

A bait casting reel that holds a decent amount of line is essential.  Quite honestly I would rather spend the big money on my reel than on my rod.  Especially fighting pissed off King Salmon, you need a reel with a great drag system that can hold up to getting salt water on it.  A good reel isn’t cheap, but will make or break your fishing trip.  The last thing you want is to lose a 35# Chinook because your drag got sticky and started locking up while your fish is running.  Something like the Shimano Tekota 300 should do a great job and hold up to the salt water.  I like line counter models, but some people don’t.  I will leave that up to you.

Line For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Kayak Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound pretty much means you will be mooching or trolling.  Either way, you will want a small diameter braided line.  If you go for a 20# test braided superline, you will have almost no drag and be able to get a bunch of line on your reel.  The regular complaint with braided line for salmon fishing is that it doesn’t absorb shock.  This isn’t a problem because you will use some mono on your terminal tackle, will be using a soft rod and fishing from a kayak that itself will absorb energy.

Now You Have The Tackle for Kayak Salmon Fishing

Next time we will talk about the terminal tackle for kayak salmon fishing, the common techniques and some thoughts on where to fish for salmon.   Do you have any comments on this article?  What are you  using to go kayak fishing?  Post your comments below, or you can email your comments to me.


Salmon Fishing with Copper Wire

Have You Heard About Using Copper Wire to Fish For Salmon?

Copper Fishing Line
Is copper fishing line a superior way to get down deep when salmon fishing?

I just ran across the phenomenon and wanted to see if anyone else has heard of it here in the Pacific Northwest.  Apparently there is a new and improved way to get deep for fish like Salmon and Walley and that is Copper Fishing Line.  Never heard of the stuff until today quite honestly!

The advantage people are stating is that copper fishing line gets up to twice as deep as lead core line for the same amount of line you have put out.  I can see how that would be a real benefit.  But then again I haven’t used lead core line since I was a kid trolling around on Priest Lake over in Idaho, and that was a long time ago now!

That being said, I can see how this stuff would give you and advantage if you were mooching your way along Possession Bar and wanted to get down nice and deep.  Smaller diameter and heavier weight would definitely help you achieve that.

Fishing Copper Wire

Now most people I know go to braided line and diver around here when they are trying to troll deep sans downrigger so this information quite honestly comes from online research.  If I miss something of have it wrong, this is my disclaimer.  If you are currently running copper wire to fish for salmon, please leave me a comment down below!

Copper wire fishing line requires bigger reels.  The stuff is less bulky than lead core line, but still takes up a lot of room on the reel and since you need to put out a bunch of it to get down, reel capacity has got to be big.  Another key to the reel you use for fishing with copper wire is that it is a level wind.  Once copper wire gets tangled up, it stays tangled up.

You also really need a line counter on your reel.  Knowing how much line you have out is an indicator of how far down you are fishing.  This of course is only a guideline since water speed, the lures you are dragging and about 400 other factors will affect sinking rates, but 30 lb. copper wire fishing line sinks about 5-6 feet every 10 yards. 45lb line sinks about 8-9 feet for every 30 feet out.

Here is where things get messy though.  All of my sources are pointing at the Okuma Convector 55L as having the capacity you want, but it isn’t a line counter.  The biggest Line counter that Okuma makes is the CV-45D.

—>  I am still waiting to hear back from all the manufacturers on what they consider their best rods and reels for fishing copper wire to be and will update this as their info comes in. 

Suggested Reels for Fishing Copper Wire

Rods for Fishing Copper Wire

You need rods with metal eyes for fishing copper wire.  The problem is that the knots used to connect the leader to the copper wire and the copper wire to the backing tend to pop out he plastic and ceramic inserts found on most fishing rods these days.

  • Okuma Classic Pro GTL Copper Leadcore Trolling Rod (CP-CL-862M)
  • Tica Rod DGEB90M2 “Copperlakes”

Your Opinion on Copper Fishing Line for Catching Salmon?

If you are a West Coast salmon fisherman I would love to get your input on fishing for salmon with copper wire.  Admittedly I am well entrenched in my rut of using downriggers and divers, but I know there is more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to get salmon to bite.

Give me your best input on copper fishing line and leave it in the comments section below.  I would love to hear what you have to say about this stuff!

2013 Puget Sound Pink Salmon Fishing

2013 Should Be Great for Pink Salmon

Nothing is more fun than coming home with a limit of salmon for the boat and every other year, Puget Sound Pink Salmon fishing delivers on that dream.  With their abundant returns and proclivity to biting, Pink Salmon traditionally fill buckets and the bellies of anglers all across the Puget Sound region in the fall months of odd numbered years.

This year looks to be as good as it ever is and Pink Salmon fishing will be explosive!

Pink Salmon are the most abundant of the Pacific Salmon species though they trade that off for being the smallest. Pink Salmon or Humpies average only five pounds.  Unlike Chinook which can stay out to sea for years, Pink Salmon rigidly adhere to a 2 year life cycle, giving us our odd numbered Pink Salmon runs here in Puget Sound.

Pink Salmon get a bit of a reputation for being the “junk fish” of the salmon family along with the Chum, primarily because they are less flavorful and degrade pretty quickly if handled improperly after they are caught.

Personally I have grilled Pink Salmon up after we get home from fishing and it tastes GREAT!  I also fillet up a bunch and smoke it which is my absolutely favorite way to eat salmon.

smoked pink salmon
Flavorful brines and a good smoking are my favorite way to prepare Pink Salmon!

WDFW 2013 Pink Salmon Predictions

The WDFW is predicting that more than 6 million pink salmon are expected back to the Sound in 2013.  A pretty good showing and a far more abundant run than the Coho or Chinook salmon.

“It’s a pink year, which is a great time to introduce a friend or family member – especially children – to salmon fishing,” said Lothrop. “Fishing this summer should be similar to 2011, when anglers were catching limits of pink salmon throughout the Sound and its rivers.”

Pink Salmon River Fishing

If you are lacking a boat to get out on Puget Sound with, you can either fish the shores, or wait until the Pinks start to head up the rivers.  Action will be fast and furious, and you can expect there to be a lot of other people out there fishing with you!  Here are the rivers you will want to try and get out on for Pink Salmon Fishing:

  • Nooksak River
  • Skagit River
  • Stillaguamish River
  • Snohomish River
  • Green River
  • Puyallup River
  • Nisqualy River

The big months for Pink Salmon fishing on the rivers are August and September, so if you are racking up the paid time off, my suggestion is to burn it then and fish mid-week!

Kayak Fishing for Pink Salmon

This year, you will find me sneaking out of Mukilteo and fishing for Pink Salmon between there and the shipwreck.  What better way to spend a beautiful morning than chasing Pink Salmon around with a trout rod?  I have watched them running through the weeds along the shore, so I know they go through there, and a lot closer to shore than you might think!

So if you see some crazy dude out in a bright yellow Trident Ocean Kayak this year, it probably will be me!

Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby

Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby Saturday May 18th, 2013

Going out to try your luck at Kokanee fishing on Lake Stevens this weekend?  Halibut fishing is in full swing on Puget Sound, but on the more serene waters of Lake Stevens, the miniature salmon known commonly as Kokanee are king this weekend.

“Kokanee fishing has been pretty good, and most of the regulars are getting their limits,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “Most of the kokanee are 11 to 13 inches with an odd fish up to 16 1/2 inches.”

The fish have been caught from the surface down to 30 feet, and right now anglers have fared better using blades with white corn or maggots. Usually the preferred choice are small sized pink hootchies laced with anise scent.

Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby Ticket Locations

Tickets for the 2012 Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby are available at the following locations:

  • Greg’s Custom Rods
  • 3 Rivers Marine
  • John’s Sporting Goods
  • Ted’s Sports Center
  • Holiday Sports
  • Triangle Bait and Tackle

Derby tickets are $20.00 for Adults (15 & Over) and free for kids 14 & Under.  Tickets will be on sale until closing time on May 17th, so don’t put off getting yours.  Get them on your way home tonight if you haven’t already!

Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby Prizes

  1. Largest Kokanee 1st Place – $1,000.00 Sponsored by Dick Nite Spoons.
  2. 2nd Place – $ 500.00 Sponsored by Ted’s Sports Center
  3. 3rd Place – $ 250.00 Sponsored by John’s Sporting Goods
  4. 4th Place – $ 100.00 Sponsored by Triangle Beverage.
  5. Largest Trout – $500.00 Sponsered by Trout Lodge.
  6. Biggest Kokanee Limit – (Up To 10 Kokanee) – $500.00 Sponsored by 3 Rivers Marine & Tackle.
  7. Largest Kokanee caught by a GAMEFISHIN.COM member –  $100.00.
  8. Largest Kokanee caught by an Active Duty Military – $100.00, sponsored by GAMEFISHIN.COM


 Kid’s Derby Prizes all sponsored by Greg’s Custom Rods 

  • *1st Place – $100.00 for Largest Kokanee
  • 2nd Place – $75.00 for any fish
  • 3rd Place – $50.00  for any fish

Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby Rules


SATURDAY  MAY 18, 2013




  • 1. Tickets sales will close on Fri. May 17th, 2013 at close of business at listed outlets.
  • 2. Only fish caught in Lake Stevens on the day of Derby will be eligible for weigh in.
  • 3. Angler must be present to claim prizes.
  • 4. Weigh -In will be from 10am to 2pm @ the weigh-in station at North Cove Park, adjacent to the downtown boat launch. Awards @ 3pm.
  • 5. All WDFW rules apply. All decisions of the derby officials are final. In the case of a tie, it will be determined by earliest weigh in.
  • 6. Any attempt to artificially enhance the weight of any fish will result in immediate disqualification.
  • 7. Winning Derby fish will be determined by weight to the hundredth of a pound.
  • 8. The Lake Stevens Lions Club, The Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club, The NSIA North, Volunteers, and Sponsors accept no responsibilities for loss, or harm to any boat, vehicle, equipment, contestant, passenger or observer during this event. The Derby ticket purchaser agrees to hold harmless all derby Presenters, Volunteers, Sponsors and or Agents from any or all liability in connection with this derby.
  • 9. The ticket purchaser agrees that any appropriate prize tax shall be the sole responsibility of the prize winner, and that the aforementioned derby organization shall have no liability for any such tax or fees. The prize winner shall also furnish their tax identification number if so requested before the awarding of prizes.
  • 10.For more information please call Greg’s Custom Rods @ 425-3351391

The Fight to Ban Gillnetters on the Columbia River Rages On!

Which side of the gillnetting debate are you on?

Commercial fishermen continue their battle against a ban on gillnetting on the Columbia river.  This stems from a decision last year by Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber who put forward that recreational fishermen should get priority over the Salmon runs on the Columbia River instead of the commercial fishermen.  You can imagine how that went over, especially when the fish and wildlife commissions of both Oregon and Washington went along with it.

Commercial gillnetters have filed court action in both states to challenge implementation of the plan.

The plaintiffs say that the Washington commission exceeded its authority by adopting the rules because it conflicts with the commission’s mandate to “maintain a stable fishing industry in the state.” Plaintiffs say they will suffer irreparable economic harm if forced to move to the side channels.

Why I support  banning commercial fishing on the Columbia

The fact is that commercial fishing does provide jobs and income for those working the boats.  But, the revenue generated by recreational fishing, guiding salmon fishing trips, tackle sales, food sales and all the other things that go along with having lots of salmon to fish for far outweigh that created by commercial fishing.

gillnetting is non-selective
Gillnetting is completely non-selective catching wild and hatchery fish alike as well as significant amounts of by-catch.

Furthermore, gillnetting is a very destructive practice as it is completely non-selective.  Native and hatchery fish alike are caught and have a very high mortality rate.

To put the nail in the gillnetting coffin, many are lost each year adding to the number of ghost nets that drift the oceans sucking up fish, crustaceans and cetaceans they cross paths with.  They take decades to degrade and are an environmental nightmare!

With our Salmon stocks in danger already, I am completely for banning all commercial and native fishing not just on the Columbia River but in Puget Sound, until the salmon runs recover.  Once runs are strong again with significant numbers of native fish returning, then we can talk about having a commercial fishery on the Columbia River and in Puget Sound again!

Chief Joseph Hatchery Opens Up Shop on the Columbia

A new salmon hatchery on the Columbia river

“This fish hatchery being constructed at the Chief Joseph Dam and on the Colville Indian Reservation will re-introduce 2.9 million Chinook Salmon back to their native spawning grounds in Washington State. This project includes, among other things, a complex water supply system from three different water sources, 40 raceways, a fish ladder, four hatchery buildings, a housing complex, three fish-rearing ponds and two fish acclimation ponds.” – PCL Construction

In my book, more fish is always a good thing and if the Chief Joseph Hatchery lives up to its promises of putting more fish in the river while protecting the genetic diversity of the wild stock, I am all for it.  I am curious why no one is installing a fish ladder on the Chief Joseph Dam.  In this day and age of habitat restoration, you think that would be a project that was at least in the “we are talking about it” stage.

In any case the Chief Joseph salmon hatchery will add fish to the river and jobs to the local economy, both are good things. The $49 million hatchery is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and is expected to produce about 1.9 million spring and summer Chinook each year.

What do you think?  Is the addition of the Chief Joseph salmon hatchery to the Columbia river a good thing  or not?  I know there are some pretty divergent points on the issue of fish hatcheries out there.  Drop a comment down below and let me know what you think of this new fish producing facility!


Puget Sound Coho Fishing

Coho Fishing in Puget Sound is Still Kicking!

Would really like to get our butts out on the water as the reports that are coming in are really good.  Great weather and no rain means the fish are holding up in the sound, waiting for river levels to rise before moving up.

Jeff Mayor of the The News Tribune has this to say:

North Coast: The best salmon fishing last week was off La Push, where anglers averaged 1.15 fish per person. Most of the fish were coho. At Neah Bay, the catch rate dropped to .85 salmon per person.

North Sound: The coho fishing has been excellent in recent weeks, in fact the best it has been in several years. The stretch from Browns Bay south to the Marine Area 10 line has been a great spot. Farther north, try Naketa Beach, Shipwreck and Picnic points.

South Sound: The salmon fishing has been fairly good. In the past week about 75 chinook have been landed. There also has been a pretty high count of coho being caught, more than 150 were counted in the last week by checkers. Fishing has been good from Browns Point to Three Tree Point. Try spoons like Coho Killer or Kingfisher behind a Break Away flasher.

So if you have been waiting to get out and go fishing, this is the weekend to do it!  Once it rains they will all scatter up the rivers.
Have you been catching them already?  Drop a comment here or send us in a trophy shot of what you have brought in and we will get it posted!

How deep to troll for Coho Salmon

How deep should you fish for Coho?

Sometimes the ideas for posts come from the search terms that people find our site with.  In this case it is “coho fishing depth” which to me sounded like a great post!  Most of this is geared toward trolling for Coho in the Puget Sound area, but should apply to other areas as well.


Coho Trolling Depths

Coho are less structure oriented than their Chinook brethren which works to fishermen’s benefit in that they don’t go screaming for the bottom at first light. How deep depends on what time of day it is.

Predawn Coho Fishing

I would stay really shallow and if you are hitting the grounds early, you may even want to run a small diving plug right at the surface while you are gearing up your lines.  The Coho will also usually be in a little closer to shore, likely making feeding forays into the weeds and shallows.  The right Coho fishing depth when you are trolling is going to be somewhere around 20′ to 25′ in 30′ to 50′ of water.

Morning Coho Fishing

As the sun rises, start moving deeper in 10 increments until you find the fish.  Typically in the later morning and daytime hours, the Coho will be down in 30′ to 60′ of water, holding over the magic 120′ mark.

Pay attention to what is going on

The biggest mistake is not checking your gear often enough, not changing depths as the morning progresses and not watching for obvious places that Coho will want to me.  Tide rips and plants as well as bait ball are still important to Coho, so watch for them.

Good luck with your Coho fishing and I hope that this answers the question of what the ideal Coho Fishing Depth is!