Crazy vs. Half Moon Bay King Salmon
Report by Crazyfisher
Determination, persistence, madness, lucky or skilled…whatever you want to call it, is Salmon fishing!! A year ago when Lost_Anchovy (Keith) mention salmon fishing during our Big Sur trip…I’m like HELL YEAH!! Let’s do it. My very first ocean adventure was out at Pacific Grove with Steve (LB steve) last year in April going after rockfish and lingcod so the thought of getting Salmon in the ocean was a dream!! I had a taste of Salmon fishing when the Chovy and I took a road trip to Shelter/Humboldt back in Sept. Seeing the Chovy in action with determination and focus to get CHROME!! and nothing else matter…was a great learning experience. Each salmon trip thereafter I soaked in as much knowledge as I could.
With each salmon outing (total of 9 before Sunday, lucky 10 perhaps?) and coming home empty handed sure is a heartbreaker!! Not even getting a bite after all the effort and time in chasing chrome is demoralizing. So why do it? Is it worth it?
Well on Sunday, my questions finally got answered. It is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!
Saturday evening after fishing up at Courtright Reservoir to escape the valley heat and only to manage a few small rainbow trout. The Chovy bust a text and ask where are we going to fish!! I’m like I don’t know, I just got home after driving 4 hrs and trolling 7 miles for some dinky trout (was hoping to get a big brown!)…lets do HMB (since salmon whisper Chet was in my head and was like…GO TO HMB…GET CHROME…DON’T GO HOME UNTIL YOU DO!!) Since I already have all my gears in the truck (its always in the truck, ready to roll lol), I switched out the freshwater stuff and loaded the saltwater gear.
The Chovy ask what time…I’m like Chet is always there early. I want to get there early and tie a rope around his AI lol We agree on 6 am. Cooked up a quick dinner and hit the sack at 12:30 am. In order to get there by 6, I had to be on the road by 2:30 am. Woke up early lol and on the road. I wasn’t sleepy and the thought of chrome was going through my vein so lack of sleep didn’t bother me. I was up and ready to go. The Chovy fires a text at 5 am, where you at? I’m like I’m 6 mins out. He was like WHAT! Thought we are meeting up at 6. I’m still in SJ. Lol I’ll wait for you…As I approach Pillar Harbor, there were a long line of boats backed up on hwy 1 trying to make a left hand turn into the Harbor. So glad I didn’t have to use the boat launch!! It was crazy CRAZY busy…nice to have a kayak for this reason lol
Anyways after by-passing all the traffic, I quickly unload and was ready to hit the water as soon as Chovy gets here. I was going to fly my drone to get the sunrise while I waited but I’m in a NO FLY ZONE ;-( Joe ie sandlance just arrived and started to unload. He was like just go, they will catch up…so that is what I did. On the water before 6 am in darkness. As I was making my way out I see the chovy pulls in. I’m outside the harbor and saw a ton of baits!! Each time a boat would pass, the chovy would literally bust the surface. I got out the sabiki and started to make additional bait (brought herring). Got about 8-10 chovy and called it good. Didn’t want to waste anymore time so I headed toward the Green buoy.
I see Krusty and crew was making their way out of the mouth of the harbor. We all bunch up and start trolling around the green can. Andrew drew first blood!! They are here!! I had my flasher and chovy on at 35-40 feet in 60 fow. Then suddenly I felt my DR start dancing (thought something was attacking the DR ball) since I don’t see the rod bounce. I picked it up and pop it off the clip and suddenly felt the weight of the fish!! SWEET!! FISH ON….
I fight the fish while trying to reel up my DR ball. I was having a hard time probably due to excitement. I could have lost the fish during this 25 sec of trying to reel up the DR ball. Lucky the fish was still on and I kept tension since I was constantly paddling. The fish came in hot and was running all over the place. I’m praying that it doesn’t get wrapped around my DR line!!! It moved from my right side to my left side in a hurry. I like to land the fish on the left away from the DR line and ball. It made a few more impressive runs. From reading and watching videos as well as my Mentor Chovy embedded in my head, don’t try and net a HOT FISH!! Also Krusty was nearby and kept saying, “wear him out!!” So I kept my cool and fight the fish. As I’m praying “don’t jump don’t jump”…after 2 mins of battling I was able to get the chrome in the net!! Celebration ensure afterward with a lot of screaming…I notice I say “YEAH BABY!!” a lot when I get excited lol My cherry got popped…almost 26 inch and over 10 lbs. It was a fatty!!
Back on the troll again. Put another fresh chovy on and sent it down 35 feet. I had to change the memory card to my camera so while I was doing that I see the rod start bouncing! The Chovy yells and say “Look behind you, your fish is jumping like crazy!!” As I’m fighting this fish, I see the fish goes airborne a few times!! It ran toward me so I reel reel reel as fast as I could…as it got next to the kayak I thought I lost it since I didn’t see it but it was still on. I got a good look of it and looked very silver. As I did that it made another impressive jump right in front of my kayak!! And bam just like that it popped off. Keith got a good look at it and confirms that it was a silver coho. That at least put an ease to my pain that I could have lost a fatty king salmon!! It was a lot bigger than the king that I got earlier. He was going to put me in suicidal watch if I did lose a big one lol Too bad I didn’t have the rear camera ready but I got it on the front camera
Searching for my devil fish, I put on another chovy and sent it back down. Minutes go by and Andrew already limited and was heading in!! While I’m chatting with the Chovy, I felt the DR getting hit like before and then the line popped off the release. I picked it up and started to quickly reel. I didn’t feel any weight but kept reeling and reeling. I thought I lost the fish but kept reeling and reeling. After reeling awhile I bust out an ARGGGGG!!!…but Keith is right there coaching me and kept saying keep reeling keep reeling!!!! Then suddenly I got all my lines back and felt the weight. Once the fish knew what was going on…it was total chaos!! It peeled line at a rapid pace!! Clicker going a million clicks!! It was music to my ears!! Again with my excitement gets, the “YEAH BABY!!” and a lot of celebration…like a little kid in a toy store when the parents tell you can get anything you want lol…As I’m reeling and gaining some lines back, it peels some more lines out. It made a few jump but I kept calm and fight the fish. Got it close and netted the fish. I scream, “I’m DONE I’m DONE” It’s a smaller grade at around 24 inch but it’s a LIMIT!!
So my question got answered….ITS WORTH IT….when you get on the hot bite!! It is just CRAZY CRAZY!! Just want to thank the Chovy for all his mentoring and pushing me. Without you buddy my dream of catching a salmon would still be a dream. The dream has now become a reality. It was great fishing and hanging out with the NCKA crew out on the water!! For Chet for his on-going salmon reports and motivation. I still have salmon in my blood and can’t wait to go again!! If it was closer, I would have setup a residence like Straight Pimping J does in Lot C and fish before work!! Lol