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Made it Over to the West Coast

August 24, 2011
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I was a bit off base at the end of my last blog, as we do not leave for Panama until the end of September, but Erin and I found more Pacific Northwest Salmonids as Clancy and Gary continued to turn it on. Fishing with those guys is like making a withdrawal from the bank. They know where to go and what to do!

The last day we fished, Erin got a nice Chinook (king) salmon of about 25 pounds, and I scored one that could have been 10 pounds bigger.

I had no idea there were so many sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries. (We caught around half a dozen big ones in a couple of days a few years ago for a TV show, all between 200 and 350 pounds.) After getting our salmon limits, Clancy put us on the mother lode of slot-size sturgeon (45 to 60 inches), which can be kept during the open season. We released several sturgeon in a very short time when we anchored up in the honey hole Clancy put us on. And they jump! Gary busted off a good one on purpose that was over a hundred pounds, and it jumped nicely. Circle hooks work great on sturgeon.

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I also found out why sea lions are as notorious among salmon and sturgeon fishermen as porpoises are to marlin crews trying to live bait for blue marlin on the famous Grounds in Kona. Both species have learned to steal fish from human commercial and recreational anglers. I lost a nice salmon to a sea lion that I was told might have weighed over a ton, and at least porpoises don’t stop us from walking down the dock to where our boats are tied up.

By the way, do not feed your dog raw salmon or trout! From Google: “Salmon poisoning disease is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs that eat certain types of raw fish.”

Erin has been watching little Lucky like a hawk after feeding him a couple of small scraps when Gary and I cleaned the salmon and will probably have to take him into the vet tomorrow just to make sure he is OK. He seems OK to me, but better safe than sorry.

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In the meantime, I have heard that fishing is slow in the estuaries around Stuart. We have heaps of giant mullet in the back yard, but I have not had a bite on a snook or tarpon since I got home.

Good fishing — I hope the storm misses us all. Peter B

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