Twitching Jigs for Salmon or Steelhead

Twitching jigs for salmon or steelhead is easy. What I like to do is use my St. Croix Premier ML 7’6″ or a Shimano Clarus 9′ spinning rod. The reels I use are the Shimano Saros 4000 or the Quantum Smoke. I typically fish salmon in rivers or the ocean from my sea kayak. The longer rod allows for better casting distance and makes fighting the larger fish somewhat easier while the shorter rod allows for precision control over the lure. For fishing lines sometimes I use 12lb-17lb test main line of monofilament or a 20lb braided main line, using a swivel to connect a leader when I need one. For leader material I prefer 17-20lb monofilament due to it’s price, durability and low visibility characteristics.

My favorite jigs for salmon and steelhead fishing are 1/4 – 3/8 oz weight lead jig heads. My variety tends to have the colors pink, red, purple, black and white. I prefer paddle tailed worms, marabou jigs, or a combination of the two. The fish pursue and hit these lures aggressively every time.

The technique for me is to find the lead of an eddy, or any other water potentially holding fish.. Then I cast and let the jig sink to the bottom, and begin reeling it in slowly combined with short twitching of the rod every second or so. In situations where there is a lot of bottom debris, large rocks or vegetation which might snag your lure perhaps an inline spinner is more appropriate than a jig. Often the river flow will impart erratic motion on the lures and I believe this is helpful. Fish often hit the jigs on the drop but in any case you’ll know when you’re hooked up right away! This technique is much more fun that fishing bobber and eggs.

Using jigs, a person can cover more of the water column since the lure can drop all the way to the bottom and you can work the lure at that level as well as all the way to the surface. Additionally a jig can be dropped next to a boulder or drop off in the water where I have picked up holding fish many times.

Twitching Jigs for Salmon or Steelhead

Twitching Jigs for Salmon or Steelhead

Twitching Jigs for Salmon or Steelhead

Twitching Jigs for Salmon or Steelhead

Cowlitz River Kayak Fishing For Coho

Kayak fishing on the Cowlitz River for Coho Salmon is fun. The temperatures were below freezing when we launched into blue skies maybe an hour after sunrise.

I was fishing from a 17 foot sea kayak which I prefer to cut through waves and currents. Initially I tried using a bobber and some eggs for bait. I saw three fish go onto a boat near me and I noticed they were using the same bait.

We moved down river to a hole I remember from my previous trip. This is about halfway between Barrier Dam and the Blue Creek launch. I picked up one small Coho along the shore while Todd picked up two 7-8 lbers from the opposite shore.

Later down the river after a short drift I picked up a 7-8 lber twitching a worm. Overall this river is very good when the fish are biting.

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Kayak Fishing Cowlitz River

Cowlitz River Kayak Fishing for Coho from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Fishing Pole Rack made from PVC

This is a fishing pole rack I made out of PVC. After viewing many different models on the internet which were always overpriced junk comprised of particle board or just unsuitable for my needs I crafted this one. The only down side so far is that my halibut rods are too wide to fit inside.

Fishing Pole Rack from PVC

Fishing Pole Rack from PVC

Rattlesnake Lake trout fishing

We threw inline spinners off the beach near the parking area. I caught two small fish. Rattlesnake Lake is not too bad for a rainy morning.

Rattlesnake Lake Trout Fishing

Rattlesnake Lake Trout Fishing

Lake Washington Cutthroat trout kayak fishing

Today was a slow one for cutthroat trout on Lake Washington. I took my kayak off the west side of Mercer Island and managed a small bass and two decent cutthroat trout.

I was trolling leadcore line and a Walleye Candy flutter spoon attached to 10lb test monofilament leader. The fish were apparently gorging on Stickleback as their stomachs were full of them.

Cutthroat trout Lake Washington

Cutthroat trout Lake Washington

Cutthroat Trout Lake Washington Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Cowlitz River Coho salmon kayak fishing

Fall Coho salmon fishing on the Cowlitz River with kayaks is fun when the fish are biting. Yesterday we fished from the launch below the barrier dam to the hatchery at Blue Creek.

I used a bobber and eggs or a pink jig all day. About halfway through the run I picked up a Coho using eggs and drifting below a small trickle of a waterfall. Once hooking the fish I fought it downstream a bit and pulled it onto my lap. Then I made my way into a small eddie about one hundred yards from where I hooked the Coho. The remainder of the day was fairly uneventful although I did watch a cutthroat trout chase my jig in one pool of water. Every few boats reported one or two fish aboard so it wasn’t red hot but it felt good to get lucky.

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River Coho Fishing

Cowlitz River from Barrier Dam to Blue Creek from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Eastern Washington Kayak Bass Fishing

My daughter and I had an end of summer kayak fishing trip for bass in eastern Washington. The bass were not huge but they were eager to bite and provided the entertainment. For the most part the milfoil was thick and we caught almost every bass using an inline spinner.

We camped under the stars and listened to the coyotes howl throughout the night. It was a great time.

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Kayak bass fishing eastern Washington

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Yesterday Roger and I launched from the beach into some big waves towards Destruction Island. Roger flipped on the way out and we both flipped on the way in. The waves were 6-7 feet and fast movers and the swell was 5.5 ft at 8-9 seconds when we launched. As the day went on, the seas calmed quite a bit but the surf was still a pain in the neck on the landing.

Eventually we paddled to Destruction Island off the coast of Washington. The island is visited by more birds and sea lions than people. We fished the north, south and east ends of the island. There is a long reef extending from the north but since the conditions were not so great we didn’t pick up too many fish there. I suspect it would be better in calmer seas. We picked up a lot of black rockfish, lingcod and cabezon.

For an end of summer adventure I think it was worth it but if you’re not used to surf launches then you should consider trying a different fishing spot.

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing from rayborbon on Vimeo.

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

Destruction Island Kayak Fishing

King and Silver Salmon off Long Beach

We launched out of Warrenton,Oregon and traveled down the Columbia River beyond buoy 10 to fish for king and silver salmon off Long Beach. The fish were biting but many short strikers were not hooking up. Eventually we got our limits. The main setups were flashers and Coho Killers or spinning cut plug herring behind a banana sinker.

Coho Salmon Long Beach

Coho Salmon Long Beach

King salmon Long Beach

King salmon Long Beach

It’s worth mentioning that the whole hype about the dangers of the Columbia River bar are true. Watch it in windy conditions and when the incoming tide hits the river. I’ve traveled between the Astoria bridge and Chinook many times under poor conditions and even one incident when we wondered if we could make it to the harbor in Chinook. However this trip was even worse on the way back in. There were 6-8 foot swells, the occasional 12-16 footer and breaking waves mixed in. You should take a seaworthy boat, life jackets, and monitor the radio for reports from the Coast Guard about bar conditions… Website for Columbia River bar conditions.