Lower Willamette River, Portland, OR
Got my first trip of the year in on Saturday. I launched out of George Rogers park in search of some chilly water (38.2F) sturgeon. I was on the water and anchored up in one of my favorite winter spots. I had marked a ton of fish and I was completely stoked.... 2 hours later.... not quite so stoked anymore. The only action I had was a sea lion working near the mouth of Oswego creek. I saw it eating something shiny at one point, but I have no idea if it was an early springer or a steelhead.
The only reason I stayed on that spot for so long is because I had marked so many fish and because it is rich in structure and took a lot of different probing casts to realize that it was not going to happen there.
After that I pedaled the kayak around to a few different spots without marking fish at any of them. Finally I settled on another tried and true spot. This time I started getting bites right from the first cast. The fish were definitely a bit tentative and I missed the first few bites. Then finally after several misses I was able to tighten up on a fish and bam!
A nice keeper sized fish to start the day. Unfortunately, that was my only keeper at that spot. I did pick up 4 shakers there, but the bite got slower and slower until it died altogether.
With a few fish under my belt I decided to get some exercise and headed upstream a ways. I went to another favorite spot and I was marking fish like crazy, of course I had been fooled by that once before. This time however the fish I saw on the FF were biters! No sooner had I dropped down when tap, tap tap and then:
The bite was pretty fast and furious for a while:
I fished until it started to get dark when I had to pack it in. They were still biting when I left. I ended the day with 3 keeper sized and 10 shakers, a couple of which that were just under.
Overall it was a great day to be on the water. I spent a bunch of the day just being thankful to get to live in a place where I get to measure fish in feet instead of inches!
Last thing, either the same sea lion or a different one was working the shoreline on the other side of the river from me for several hours leading up to dusk. It seemed to get fish a couple of times. Too far away to see what, but that close to shore I doubt it was sturgeon.
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