Author Topic: My slightly odd day fishing for landlocked salmon (a long-ish tale)  (Read 398 times)

Offline LimerickShaw

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There were a lot of derbies this weekend in my area so my friends and I tried to pick a place that we thought might be void of people. The spot we picked is about an hour from my home and has landlocked salmon and togue. I've only fished for salmon once and I have never caught one at all so I made the decision I would be fishing strictly for salmon. We had never fished this body of water, so we were going in blind. It had just recently snowed about 10" so we figured the walking would be tough.

We arrived a little later than we were hoping and started setting our traps around 6:45. We drill our holes and we're on our merry way. I set my traps anywhere from 5-15 feet below the ice, increasing the depth as I headed toward deeper water, until my last trap which I threw 5 feet under the ice. Now that our traps were setup, it was time to setup our shack and get some food. We got the pop-up rigged up and fired up the propane stove to cook up some bacon. About a minute and a half after we get the bacon started the chef looks out the window and immediately says "I'm up!". We run out, it was a togue trap he set, and when we arrived the spool was moving but not at a great speed. He tries to set the hook but ends up pulling the bait out. At least we had some action to start.

Back to the pop-up we went - bacon back on, tequila shots all around. Once the tequila hit the blood stream we were moving in the right direction. The bacon was done and as I was munching a piece I see my second trap flag go up. I sprint out to see the spool moving at a good clip and my heart starts racing. I pull my trap and set the hook, I've got a fish on. I battle for about 15 minutes with a very athletic fish. Every time I was getting it close to the hole it would make another run and dump line. I finally bring the fish in and it's what I was hoping for, a landlocked salmon. It wasn't the biggest or the prettiest salmon but it was my first and put up a heck of a fight. It was a dark male, probably about 15". I am ecstatic. I remove the hook and back down the hole he goes. And then.... "You're up again!".

Two traps down from the one I was at was up. I set my trap in the water so the reel doesn't freeze up and when I get to my trap it is FLYING. My heart races again. I assume this one has to be bigger, I've never seen a trap flying at that speed. I give it a second until it slows down a bit, pull my trap, set the hook, and I think I've got him - or do I? I felt like I set it pretty well and felt a little weight but I didn't feel much other than that. I keep bringing in line feeling weight on the end but surprisingly - no runs. The fish must be swimming toward me. I try to take advantage and get in as much line as possible, man did he dump some line. Then I start to feel the fish a lot more and it starts making plenty of runs as I get it close to the whole. After about 5 or 10 minutes I see it at the hole and I am one happy camper. Significantly bigger than the last one, much fatter. I get the fish out of the hole to see a beautiful female salmon probably somewhere around 18-20" and about 3 lbs (maybe a little more, I'm still trying to hone in my length and weight eyeballing). I am once again, ecstatic. Give her a smooch and back down the hole she goes to grow larger.

We go back to the shack (and the tequila bottle) and relax a little bit. The morning slows down quite a bit but with some steak and tequila everything is great. All of a sudden it's about 12:30 or 1ish and the buzz is in full effect but alas, no flags. We're talking with each other and one of us says "we just have to weather the mid-day storm and we're going to get an afternoon bit". Not even 5 minutes later... I have another flag up. This is weird. A 12:30 salmon bite? That can't be right. Regardless, I run out with eagerness to see my spool spinning once again. I get the fish on. A few of the stereotypical runs has my heart racing again, this doesn't get old. Then, before I've even land a fish my friend says, "you *****, you're up again". It was the same trap I had caught my female on. I tell my other friend to run over and go check the trap. He does, but no movement and barely any line taken out. Probably a hit and spit. He starts walking back toward me where I am battling my fish to then here him say "holy sh*t, you're up!". It was my trap closest to the pop-up shack. I tell him to go grab it - it's his fish to bring in while I'm catching mine. As he was running over to my trap I finally landed my salmon, it was primarily sized to the first male I caught.

As I am unhooking my fish and getting new bait on my other friend ran over to assist on the trap that just went off. The spool was moving pretty fast according to them when they got over to the flag. My friend went to set the hook and pull the bait out of it's mouth, "Damnit, I missed him!". What a weird 10 or 15 minutes. Never would I have expected to have a 12:30 bite, let alone three flags all in succession. I felt like this "broke" all of the stereotypes of trout/salmon fishing. "Early and late" is what I've heard and quite frankly, what I've experienced.

 The rest of the afternoon slows right back down similar to how it was in the morning. At around 3:15 we decide to start picking up for the day. I start with my closest trap and work out to my deepest. Once I pack up my first two I look up and I see and orange flag flying way out deep. I'm up again. I run out and the spool isn't moving, not even the slightest bit. I wait a minute or two with no movement so I take my trap out and grab the line, there is something there - I felt the weight of it. I set the hook and we were on once again. This is a fairly easy fish to land, only went on a run once or twice, but I land another male. This one was much closer to the female I caught in the beginning of the day. Probably about 17" but not quite as plump. We finish packing up and we had home.

I was on a high the entire day and ride home. I went there, still a fairly green ice fisherman, just looking to catch my first ever landlocked salmon. Not only do I get that but I get 3 others - one of which was a beauty! I was, and still am, baffled at the 12:30 flurry I got. I had never really been fishing when something like that happened. All the flags I typically see are pre-10 AM, post 3 PM. I was shocked but I sure was happy!

Sorry for the long tale but it was quite the day for me so I was excited to share!

Offline legend

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nice story thanks, what was the bait ?
I am haunted by waters...

Offline LimerickShaw

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nice story thanks, what was the bait ?


Offline rivereddy

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Wowsers, that was some initiation ... I'd bet memories of that trip will
hang around for quite a while.  When you retell the tale in future years
be sure to allow for growth on the released fish.....

fish on,


Offline Seamonkey84

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Congrats on your first salmon tip being so successful!  Iíve yet to really go after them through the ice, but they are definitely on my list. It was very slow fishing for my friend and I today, we were fishing in limerick lol. I


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