Very few early spring chinook(Springers) have been caught so far and we usually don’t see consistent catches until late March. Every year I like to take the time and run thru my gear. Whether it be my boat or my fishing gear. I feel it’s one of the best ways to make sure that I’m ready when the fish arrive.
Here are a few items I pay close attention to when preparing for the season:
- I make sure that my motors, electronics, rods, reels, lights, safety equipment are operating correctly and are in place where they should be.
- I identify items that need to be re-stocked and cleaned. Do I have enough lead, duo clips, barrel swivels, beads, bead chains, hooks, bumpers, and flashers?
- Does my trusty back-up rod still work? Does my net snap together? Is my knife sharp? Is everything clean and free of mold
In pursuit of early Springers…
- In cold water temperatures you should troll as slow as you can go. The current water temp in the Columbia is usually in the low 40’s and salmon are not very active. If you troll downstream too fast they will not turn and follow your bait. Fishing upstream gives salmon more time to look at your bait so that should be a consideration.
- In off-color water you can dye your bait with UV color, add a little scent, shorten your leader length and be sure to use good quality bait.
- In clear water you can use longer leaders and maybe and even eliminate using a flasher.
- Pay attention to water flow. In low water years when the river isn’t flowing fast you may spend more time fishing suspended. If the river is high and fast, get your gear to the bottom and test shallow spots closer to shore. Springers will hug the bottom in fast moving water so you know exactly where they will be. If the river is slow moving, you’ll want to focus on suspending your gear between 15 and 25 feet deep.
Hope to see you out there…good luck and tight lines!!