Saturday six blackmouth salmon hit our artificial baits. Some of the fish were shakers, others were nice “keeper” sized immature Chinook salmon that measured over the legal minimum of 22 inches. Two nice sized fish hit, striped line and eventually got off our barbless hooks. We kept two fish and brought them back to John Wayne Marina’s cleaning station. First order of business, open the stomach and see what the fish were eating. Not surprisingly, their stomachs were filled with two to three inch little “poggie” like baitfish, tiny shrimp and baby squids.
After visiting Silver Horde in Lynnwood on Monday, I told Kelly Morrison about these small baits. Morrison is the son of the founders and said, “I have a lure for you to try.” He then showed me the small, sized 2 Kingfisher spoons which perfectly matched the size of baits throughout the Protection Island area. He picked out several colors for me to try, based on popularity and what I typically buy throughout the year. Of course, my favorite Silver Horde color is the Glow/Green Spatterback. I have a bunch of F4 Piscators in the same color as well as downrigger rudders, Coho Killers, hoochies etc.
The F4 Piscator flasher on the left is over 20 years old and one of my favorites. This flasher once helped me win a salmon derby and place second in another. All totaled that single flasher made me over $3,000 in prize winnings. When I moved two years ago I found it and resurrected it and put it back in service. Today I paired it with the small Kingfisher #2 spoon pictured. Since this spoon is small and offers excellent wobbling action, I used a length of 30 pound fluorocarbon that equaled 3 1/2 lengths of the flasher. When using hoochies or heavier squids, like my mini FAT Squids, a shorter heavier leader works best. But since this spoon already has great action, the flasher is used as an attractor instead of “action creator.”
Trolling the setup within ten feet of the bottom worked with a few minutes, attracting a 26 inch wild fish. A quick picture and twist of the “River Style” hook sent the fish away unharmed. This style of hook has become popular and seems to hold fish better than standard “siwash style” hooks when fishing spoons.
By day’s end we hooked three fish on this spoon, landed two and lost one. Another advantage of this spoon is speed or lack thereof. Like bait, you can slow down or speed up and still catch fish. It also paired nicely with my mini FAT Squid. Sometimes when fishing two rods I fish them both just off bottom. Today I had to separate my two lines because my downrigger balls were not matched in weight today. Unmatched weights can cause tangles, so the spoon, with the heavier weight stayed closer to bottom. On Wednesday both balls will match and both lines will be closer together without fear of tangling.
Adding scent to the spoon or your hootchie, squid or other lure will increase your odds. Today I fished the spoon “naked” without scent as well as with scent. With scent attracted twice the bites, but it still got bit without scent, a good sign for any lure. My Super Scent paste sticks well to lures and will continue to be my favorite choice. If you can’t find Super Scent choose a scent that is sticky to enable it to stick on the hook and inner side of the spoon. Reapply scent every time you deploy the spoon.
Length behind the ball. Most days I fish close to the ball, about 12 feet. Today, with the flasher/spoon, I choose to send the gear back 50 to 70-feet for two reasons. First, with lighter leaders distance equals “forgiveness” and insurance that a bigger fish won’t break your leader. Remember, when using monofilament it stretches up to 30 percent. Secondly, it offers a delayed offering. Fish like to follow flashers and more often than not refuse an offering. Having a set back offering can get the non biters to commit.
Thursday I’ll post a new Protection Island Fishing Map, so stay tuned.
Good luck and good fishing.