Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00

King for a Day

Super Bowl Sunday. Hmmm...love the Seahawks, but I LOVE fishing even more. I have a streak of five consecutive months where I have caught a king salmon from a kayak in the saltwater out of Homer, AK! I’ve called Alaska home since 1971, and even I can’t believe you can catch fish like this! It’s unreal!

Published in Pacific Northwest

I live and grew up fishing in Florida, and it’s a thrill each and every time I fish. I recently vacationed in upper reaches of the Northwest at the base of the breathtaking landscape of Olympic National Park. It’s surrounded by the Olympic rain forest, and is known for the outdoor filming of the movie Twilight - La Push, WA. 

Published in Pacific Northwest
Sunday, 04 May 2014 19:10

Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series

The Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series is the first of its kind in the region. The series is has three events, each with its own target species.

Published in Tournaments
Sunday, 06 January 2013 17:00

Chinook PFD Gets a Facelift

NRS brought along a new “Chinook” PFD at Outdoor Retailer in August, and now that new 2013 NRS Chinook Mesh Back Fishing PFD is live on the website now! The 2013 Chinook is a lot like the older model, but let me show you a couple cool new features.

Published in Kayaks and Gear
Thursday, 29 July 2010 01:22

Fall nookie is better than none!

Anglers can look forward to one of the best returns of chinook salmon in several years when the fall fishing season gets under way Aug. 1 on the Columbia River.

Fisheries managers are forecasting a return of 655,000 adult fall chinook this year, which is up from a return of 429,000 chinook last year. If the run materializes as expected, it would be the largest fall chinook return since 2004.

Published in Pacific Northwest

The Columbia River Compact (comprised of representatives from Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife offices, tribes, etc) met today to nail down the 2010 seasons for Spring Chinook (springer) and white sturgeon on the Columbia River.  Many recreational, tribal, and commercial interests were present, as well as myself.  The States started with the proposed guidelines based on catch and population statistics.  Testimony was heard from all the interest groups.  And, finally, a decision was made.

Published in Pacific Northwest
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 13:24

First Confirmed Springer Boated!

The first confirmed Spring Run Chinook Salmon (Springer) was caught yesterday, February 1st.  While with guide Larry Kesch Jr, of Hook'em Up Guide Service, angler Jesse Eveland picked up this beauty while trolling the NW standardard plug cut herring.

I also got a report of a second springer caught, but still have not seen any photos to go along with it.  That second springer was said to be caught on a back bounced kwikfish.  That'd be two springers caught on the two most common methods.

 

Published in Pacific Northwest
Sunday, 13 December 2009 11:30

Bbrrr - Bring on the Spring(er) Thaw!

Fishing the last few weeks has been tough, if not impossible.  The Tillamook River is iced over and others are getting a bit hard as well.  Earlier rains washed out rivers makeing them undriftable.  When the rains subsided, the winds picked up.  Then after the winds, the waters were glass clear - too clear for Chinook.  Then the subfreezing temps arrived.  Ouch!

The most interesting bit of news came Friday.  State, Federal and Tribal committees from Oregon and Washington announced their predictions for the 2010 Spring Chinook returns. I'm still skeptical, but they're expecting about 470,000 adult Springers to run the Columbia in a few months.  This newest prediction is the largest return of Springers since 1938 - when the Bonneville Dam was built and fish counting began. In 2009, they forecasted 350,000, but we only saw half that.  In 2001, we did get over 400,000 fish, so it’s possible that this next year could be good.

 

 

Even still, if we get half of the current prediction, we're looking at some good fishing!  Its hard to speculate what Spring Chinook regulations will be (announced Feb. 18, 2010) but I’d expect an angler take of about 20,000 adults. Last year we brought in almost 17,000. Fishing for Springers on the Columbia, and we will likely be limited to just 3-days out of the week just like last year.

Scientists base predictions based on the number of young "Jack" salmon that return with the adults.  In 2009, we had a HUGE number of these teenaged Jack salmon in the rivers, instead of the ocean.  The 80,000+ jacks counted this year were four times more than were counted in 2000, which lead to the huge numbers in 2001.  Because of over grossly over-estimated predictions since 2001, scientists have altered their formulas.  The most popular results this marked a return range between 330,000 and 580,000, so committees and scientists settled on a number right in between.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, these are the numbers for the Columbia River at Bonneville Dam.  Coming this week we’ll have numbers for the Willamette River through Portland.  This figure rarely follow the Columbia numbers, but they are very often much more accurate.  Biologists in Oregon are thinking 60,000 fish for the Willamette are likely, which would be enough to keep the river open to Chinook fishing 7-days a week, with a two fish limit! Yum!

 

 

Published in Pacific Northwest
Friday, 11 December 2009 19:21

Howard McKim

Its hard to talk about serious kayak fishing without the name Howard McKim.  After giving up his spots on the beaches and jetties, McKim took up kayak angling in 1996 and hasn't looked back.  Just a few years later, in 2003, McKim started Ketchian Kayak Company in the heart of salmon country.  Here he offers kayak based eco-tours and kayak angling chargers.  They'll pick you up, take you to one of their kayaks, and get you on the fish.  From four hours tours, to multi-day remote fishing trips, McKim and Ketchikan Kayak will surely not disappoint!

Published in Spotlight
Sunday, 22 November 2009 18:40

Wetter Season is here, bring on the Chrome!

Its Winter time, otherwise known as the Wetter Season here in the Pacific Northwest. Just a little bit more rain than the nicer Wet Season, but enough to bring river levels up and the big fish in.

This time of year I have only three things in mind.  Salmon, Sturgeon and Steelhead.

Right now sturgeon are moving into the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and they seem to get bigger every week. The bite was very slow at the season opener on October 1st, but so far every week the action has been getting better. I personally prefer the lower traffic of the Willamette River, and there are a ton of great sturgeon holes throughout the Portland area that are easy paddles. I've had the best luck using whole baitfish.  Fishing for sturgeon is about as easy as can be. Find a deep hole 70+ feet. Anchor up alongside or upstream. Tie on bait (herring, anchovie, shad, sandshrimp, squid, red/orange gummy worms, and much more), heavy lead, toss into hole, wait.

 

ChinookBig native Fall Chinook salmon are pointed at coastal rivers ready to make the move on up.  Tillamook Bay fishing has been great the last couple and you can expect to see these big fish push their way up the Nestucca, Wilson and Kilchis Rivers now that the rains have come. These rivers are easy to drift, especially if you have a smaller kayak.  My Trident 15 is too big for these rivers, but anything under 13' will feel right at home.  The Fall Chinook run is brief, but does provide some killer fishing. General tactics including bobber dodging, flatlining plugs, and back-bouncing eggs will slay these fish. Be prepared to fish all three techniques with three different rods. If you find a good spot, work your way through all three setups before moving on. If there are fish in the hole, at least one of them will provide some good action.

But the Wetter season is dominated by steelhead.

Winter Steel can be found in nearly every river in Oregon and Washington starting December, and many don't let up until February!  Most people tend to give up boating and head for the bank, or the comfort of a fireplace, but a kayak is still a great fishing platform no matter the time of year!  Some of the best rivers to float AND provide some good fishing this year will be:

OREGON:
Alsea
Chetco
Clackamas
Nestucca
Necanicum
Rogue
Sandy
Siuslaw
Umpqua

WASHINGTON:
Humptulips
Kalama
Lewis
Skykomish
Snoqualmie

For those of you on the eastern sides of the Cascades, you shouldn't be reading this. You should be out fishing.  A huge late summer run of Steelhead have been working your way through the system and the States of Oregon, Washington and Idaho are overwhelmed! They are REQUIRING people to keep every hatchery Steelhead you catch.  On top of that, they have upped limits from two fish a day, to four fish. People have been catching limits pretty quickly on the Columbia, Clearwater, Snake and Grand Ronde Rivers float-drifting darker colored 1/8 and 1/4oz jigs, and back bouncing shrimp and eggs.

There are several more options if you want to work the bank this winter. Check out the November issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine for some great locations and tactics for Winter Steelies.  There's also a great article by Mark Veary on kayak drift fishing this winter.

Check with local guides on SteelheadUniversity.com (Washington) and TheGuidesForcast.com (Oregon), and local tackle shops for more specific information on good areas to drift!

Published in Pacific Northwest

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