I fished the Willamette today and I could have had a great day but ended up with just an OK day. I caught 7 sturgeon, but 5 were between 40 and 45" which makes for a nice tussle in the kayak. The first spot I went to produced 3 keepers and a shaker, but then the bite stopped after a bit and so I moved rather than wait.
The next spot was the thorn in my side. My big failure on the day was not bringing enough lead. I found a spot with a lot of current that was loaded with sturgeon and they were biting like crazy but I did not have enough lead to really hold the bottom well. I would have to walk my bait back so far back to get the 8oz of lead to stick that I had a hard time get a good hook set. I must have had a dozen really nice fish bite, I would tighten up and start reeling (circle hooks), line starts ripping off the spool, somewhere between 15 and 20 seconds later I feel some nice head shaking and then slack. I knew I should move, but there were so many really nice sized fish in that spot that I just couldn't. I did catch a keeper and a shaker at that spot but I did not do it justice.
I spent most of the day punishing myself in that spot before moving back to my first spot where the current was not nearly as fast. First drop down a shaker, second drop down a nice keeper sized, third drop down snag. By the time I rigged back up it seemed like a bunch of tiny fish had moved in. I would feel them biting the bait but I could not hook them. So I decided to pack it in.
Overall not a great day compared to some of the numbers some of the folks have been posting but I think I was just a couple ounces of lead short of being one of those people. Oh well, the painful lessons are the easiest to remember.
Here are just a couple of pics. I was really hoping for an over sized, but keeper sized fish were all about in this range and they did fight really well including a couple of jumpers which is always fun.
Fish tremble when they hear my name
A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928