Fishing For The Chinook Salmon In Alaska
The King salmon is a formidable opponent. Hooked on a fly rod can cause heart palpitations. The power of these anadromous powerhouses is rather obvious early on in the hookup. While trolling the strikes can be just as violent even though you are not holding the rod in hand when it happens. The scream of the drag and the bend in the rod makes it an exciting moment in the boat when one strikes.
I was fortunate enough to live on a boat in Southeast Alaska for a time. I purchased an old beater boat soon after arriving. It was a tunnel drive Penn Yan boat. Shortly after I was on the ocean trolling for the mighty chinook for the first time. It would be the best day fishing in my life. Me and a friend, who also had never fished for king salmon, rigged my old bass rods from Tennessee with 16-pound test Stren Magna-thin line and commenced to catch 10 great king salmon. We had two doubles during that few hours.
We trolled with nothing but a banana trolling sinker and slip rig tandem hook with a whole herring. I could see the herring spinning just behind the boat still in the wash of the prop. I watched nearly every king salmon that day smash my herring. It was an exciting day fishing in Alaska and when it was all over and the dust had cleared I hit the bilge pump. While the pump worked to remove all the water from the bilge, there were a few leaks in this boat. I asked my friend what I should name the boat. He looked at the steady stream of water squirting into the sea and replied. The Bloody Bilge. I laughed. The water coming from the bilge was red with the blood of a limit of king salmon laying in the floor. Bloody bilge it was. Great times back then.