2013 Buoy 10 Salmon Season – Great Memories And Heartbreaks
The 2013 season for me was one of great memories and heartbreaks and I still have five more days of fishing to go. This is the only time of the year that I fish for over two weeks straight and I have to say I look forward to each day.
Many of the heartbreaks have come courtesy of the senseless barbless hook rule we now have on the Columbia River. I have already lost count of the number of salmon we have had up to the boat ready to net and with slightest change in pressure the hook falls out and all we can do is watch the salmon swim away.
Fortunately a number of salmon have also made it to the boat and into the cooler. None were more memorable that the one my friend Darrell hooked on his fifty third birthday.
Being a cattle rancher in central Oregon, Darrell’s salmon trips are few and far between. It was getting late in the day and Darrell had still not landed a fish. The wind was starting to blow and there was an out going tide.
Just after we had trolled under the Highway 101 bridge in Astoria, Darrell’s rod buried with a vicious strike. Line was peeling off the reel and between the wind and tide were going the opposite direction of the fish. With line still zipping off the reel we had to start the big motor and chase the fish just to get some line back on the reel.
The whole time Darrell is getting more and more excited. When he finally got the fish ten feet from the boat, he starts yelling, "Net the fish, net the fish!"
I knew it still had another run our two left and sure enough as soon as it saw the net, off it went again. I think I netted his birthday present on the fifteen, "net the fish." It was a chrome bright twenty five pound chinook that the informed me a couple days was the best tasting salmon he ever tasted.
The chinook salmon fishing was so hot this year at Buoy 10 that we shot through our quota by the third week of August, and it was suppose to last through Labor Day. To slow down the catch they had to switch to fin clip chinook only. Once again we had to release some good-looking salmon. Fortunately for my boat most of my chinook have hooked been fin clipped.
The coho salmon fishing has also improved this year over the previous two years. Some days I have been getting into coho and some days I only get a few "drive by" hits. Through the good and the heartbreaks the Buoy 10 fishery is my favorite. Now it is time to get back out on the water.
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