This report comes from Richard MacRae and was submitted as part of our 2012 Contributor Contest.
The Chinook Salmon is of course native to the Pacific coast, but not actually all that common to catch in those waters. For that reason, we are spoiled here on Lake Ontario with such an abundance of Kings. I’ve fished for them while tolling deeper waters on the lake and it’s fun for sure, but they pretty much self-hook and then flop along after the boat without much of a chance, so it’s an uneven fight.
However, hooking Kings from shore gives you immense respect for their strength and energy and takes it out of me every time. It’s an adrenalin rush and a full work-out and just so much fun.
This fall I managed to hook and land eight Kings and each one fought like mad. The first day of the fall salmon season at Bluffers came after some rain on September 5th. It only took a few casts into the deeper channel till I hooked one. It fought pretty hard, but eventually tired and I hauled it in – a good 32″ and 20 lbs. I think I cast three more times and hooked a bigger beast that fought like it was possessed. I was sweating and he exhausted me, but got it in eventually – 40″ and 26 lbs. After two more casts I had another and based on that fight it had to be even bigger. The fight went on for a long time, but it tired and I started gaining and reeling it in eventually. It had a little energy left and made another smaller attempt at a run. I fought back, but then hooked my line in a boat anchor and snapped my 50 lb braided line. So I took another rod, cast and hooked another right after. This time I was so exhausted from fighting the three beasts that I didn’t have the energy to set the hook hard and it spat the lure out within a few seconds. I think I was almost relieved about that.
This year was by far the best shoreline salmon fishing for me and I look forward to next year, hoping the fishing will be just as great.
– Richard MacRae