Kayak Salmon at the Albion Open
Every year 100+ kayak fisherman migrate to the Albion River Campground for a four day ocean kayak fishing festival. The Albion Open is hosted by NCKA Member and Ocean Kayak team paddler Craig Davis. This years event was huge! Over 150 registered anglers and probably 150 more friends and family. The entire campground was filled to capacity, and the energy was electric the evening before the big tournament.
Bam and I got in Friday evening and set up camp. We made our rounds saying hello to old friends and introducing ourselves to new friends. We both planned on getting up before the sun to get to our spot so we hit the sac early. We tossed and turned with excitement and I don't think ether of us got much rest. Dispite our sleep we woke up early and finished rigging our kayaks. We had a little bit later start than we wanted, but we were still out early and the whole team with the exception of Adam Koons (Had a wedding) were on the water together. We had a plan to paddle south about a mile to some structure we knew had good fishing.
Along the way stopped a couple times when we spotted a lot of activity on the fish finders. We got into several schools of Black Rockfish and even a couple small lings. Then all of a sudden the fish finder started blowing up. I dropped my 8oz swim bait down with a small white shrimp fly tied on the leader. We were in about 80ft of water, and when it hit about 50ft.. WHAM. The fish took off. I knew I had something big when I started noticing a bow wake forming and I wasn't paddling. I fought the fish for about 5-10 minutes before I saw it flash under water. A big SALMON! The pressure was on because I've never caught a Salmon in my kayak and this one was big. The salmon took a few more runs before it wore itself out. The net I brought was big, but not big enough for this fish. Thankfully Victor was close by and let me use his to boat the fish. I put it on my game clip for a quick picture and the released it back into the wild. Why you ask? I caught it on a barbed shrimp fly while jigging for Rockfish, and it would have been an illegal catch. I was more than happy to get the shot and the release video. The rest of the day was stellar.
As always the Nor Cal Kayak Anglers scene was incredible. Everyones willingness to share info, gear and food is unlike anything I have ever seen. The beer was free, the prizes were amazing, and as always the potluck was epic. We really could not have had a better weekend on the coast.