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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been fantasizing about limiting the boat but didn't really think it would happen. Well, I need to get a new fantasy :grin:
Went out Tuesday to Astoria with friends Don and Chet, taking a day from work just because. Was a little worried Monday night with the forecasts of heavy winds. Got out on the water at 7 with a light easterly and some drizzle. Got our first fish at 8:30, a nice clipped coho. About an hour later, a rod gets buried and I pick it up. This fish was a bulldozer, just wouldn't stop. We chased it down and after several long runs and got this beautiful 20 lb, 36" nook.

Over the next three hours, we picked up a couple more but no strong bite. We had a few short hits and one hard bite that didn't stick good. Then, THE BITE started. Over the next hour and a half, we put six fish in the boat, releasing one native. Total was 7 coho, 2 nooks. The fish were just crazy. This was the 2 hours preceding the high tide, more about this below. Fished between the sawdust pile and the fish processor pier between Hammond & Warrenton.

None of us had seen fishing this good, what a wonderful day out on the water. Ended up with around 100 lbs of fish and 10 lbs of eggs. My freezer is definitely happy now. I've fished Astoria this year five times and the boat has tagged 27 salmon. This is just a wonderful fishery

TECHNIQUE (long)
Most of you who fish this area will think this is all obvious. Since I was new to it last year and learned a lot from ifish, I thought I'd share some too. This was learned from 3 days last year and 5 days this year.
We used fish flashes and king kones, 5'-6' leaders, cut plug fresh herring almost exclusively. These were trolled mostly between 15' and 30' deep, with all depths working equally. Yesterday, one rod wasn't getting bit at all using the same stuff as the other rods. I switched to a size 0 dodger with silver prism tape, 2' leader and a cut plug. Three fish in the next 45 minutes. Don't forget to try a dodger once in a while, it has a little different flash and action, but shorten the leader. We also fished one rod in the prop wash, shallow and this was a consistent producer. It works really nice when fishing four poles, with one pole real close so you can get it in quick. Less tangles, too.
I wound up using a fixed double hook herring rig I tied myself with 40 lb mono. I am now a sworn Owner fan, using the needle points in 5/0 and 6/0. The "other" brand just doesn't keep a point and are hard to sharpen. I used a double section of line between the top hook and bottom hook for those big nooks, do a search on "herring rigs". This was another great thing I learned from I-fish.
I trolled against the tide and with the tide. Didn't seem to matter. I stuck in one area and caught fish at all times, but some times are much better than others. I found the two hours preceding high tide to be the best on almost all days. Just after low slack was another good time. On strong tide exchanges, I would hang in one area, moving in and out to cover some water. Obviously, this doesn't work in crowded conditions, so I avoided these.
People are really nice and would get out of your way if you had a fish on. Said hi to many. Only a few would troll against the grain, so to speak. Again, if you avoid the crowded areas, there isn't a problem. I never noticed that the fishing was better where all the people were :shrug:
We used downriggers, divers, and droppers. They all seemed to work. The dropper had some very strong days, but this was our "long" line and ran shallow (this one caught the 20 lb nook above). I like downriggers the best because you know the depth exactly and there's less drag after released.
Like most salmon fishing, wait on the bite until it has it good. We had many fish hit it once and come back again.
A lot of coho were caught while we were doing something different. Turns, putting it down, pulling it up, hooking it in the clip with the bait on the surface, etc. I am becoming convinced the coho like a change, especially a lure that is going up or down. Next year, I plan on trying a pole with a diver and just running it up and down for a while. I like to think of this as "mooching with steroids", as there will be a lot more speed involved than normal mooching.
Disclaimer, I am not an expert but have had a lot of luck doing the above. I am pretty new to this fishery, so what may seem obvious to others is surprising to me. If this helps anybody catch a fish, I will be happy.

Acknowledgements
I am so excited about fishing in Astoria. I grew up in this area but never salmon fished until recently. I would like to thank those who have helped me become a true addict of this sport.
To Mother Nature, for providing wonderful ocean conditions recently so we have more & bigger fish.
To ODFW for raising the hatchery fish I can eat. I think they are worth every penny.
To other I-fishers who have shared their wisdom and decreased my learning curve.
And mostly, to my wonderful wife who puts up with this growing disease I call "fi****is", where every trip just makes me want to go out again.
 

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Looks like you had a great day! If you need any help with those eggs, check out the Amerman pictorial link at the bottom of the page.
 

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:shocked: Now that is a friggen report BATMAN! :shocked:

Congratulations on a great day :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Crabbait, you must be psychic. My friend took the batch home, had some Amerman cure and was going to go to the website to check out the instructions again last night.
Can't wait for the bobber-n-egg show to start :grin:
 

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holy cow, nice fish! maybe i'll make it up to astoria saturday...it'll either be there or upriver towards st. helens.

We'll see how the carrot crew does thurs, along with the floatilla.

good luck all!

Sublime!
 

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Great report, way to versify to get a full limit!
Maybe the wife needs to get "fi****is" as well.
 

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Been a while since I've seen such a detailed report and tutorial thrown together in one post. Thanks, and nice job!
 

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Awesome job on the catching :dance: , and thanks for all the info on tactics. Have you used the snubbers, and if so what are your thoughts about them? :shrug:
 

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Red, if I could give you some input on the snubbers I would say don't use them. I haven't noticed an increase in hookups or holding on to fish any better. That snubber gets "loaded up" and if the hook comes loose it can launch back at you. I had a diver, flasher and hooks come back and hit me square in the face this year. I didn't have time to move out of the way, it happened that fast. Luckily I didn't get hurt, but I think Luhr Jensen has a future potential lawsuit on their hands. Keep your drag adjusted, use a properly rated rod and I doubt you will see a difference.
 

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Wow, awesome day! Congrats on the fish. I have yet to experience "the bite" but it looks like you did! Thanks for sharing the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Snubbers:
I do have some, but haven't tried them. I only switch if what I'm using doesn't work. So far, we've had very good luck without snubbers. On Tuesday, of 10 fish on, none were lost. Only one hard bite that didn't stick. Over the many days fishing, we've missed very few hard bites. We've had a few one soft hits that didn't stick, but I doubt a snubber would've helped. The fish in Astoria really seem to be feeding hard, so I don't think it matters. In smaller rivers, further up, etc, where the fish are less aggressive, maybe it would matter (springers?).

I've experimented a lot with snubbers on kokanee. These fish have soft mouthes, but even then I only switch to snubbers when I'm losing a lot of fish after a good strong bite. I prefer the fish to have a solid line to bite onto to help bury the hook.
Coho and nooks don't have soft mouthes like kokanee, so I prefer a hard set. Other things I do for kokanee also don't seem to matter with the big salmon. We used downriggers, divers and droppers. Downriggers have the least give, but none had problems on hooking. We also had light rods, heavy rods, braided, mono, short rods, long rods. All caught fish and none missed more than others. I would stay away from short sturgeon rods, they just don't handle too well.
And most important, high quality, sharp hooks!
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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