“I fished Buoy 10, 17 straight days using Good Day spinners,” Trevor Smith, of Northwest Trails Fishing Adventures, explains. “We averaged hooking 20 fish a day. I never had bait on board those 17 days. They were all hooked on GDF (Good Day Fishing) spinners.”
We exchange quizzical looks when we see the tiny spinners we will be trolling. Brightly colored No. 3 blades with names such as: Army Truck, Red Dot and Purple Haze, sport colorful hoochie skirts, some with UV finishes. Most of our salmon fishing experience has been with large gaudy spinners or plug-cut herring.
Thousands Of Coho
We are headed out into the powerful waters of the Columbia River for coho salmon, and to experience the fabled Buoy 10 fishery. Fish and Wildlife biologists have predicted a run of over 700,000 coho to return to the Columbia this season. The Department of Fish & Wildlife predicts over 72,000 angler days will be spent chasing these coho.
Dennis Koskela with a fat coho.
We lose track of how many coho we hook. We lose more than we land. When coho are hooked, they come to the surface and go into a rolling/thrashing mode that frequently twists hooks free. Pearsall is patient with us as we hook doubles and manage to let them get wrapped together and come free. We bring more wild fish to the boat than hatchery fish. We seem to invent new ways to lose fish. But, we are hooking fish and having a ball. Our spinners are doing their part, the fishermen aren’t.
Work The Area
When we hook a fish, Pearsall marks a waypoint. He immediately makes the same run again. He works the area until the bite is over, or fish move. He has a network of friends fishing today. Cell phones make it easy to share information on where the current hot spot is.
We develop confidence in our Good Day spinners. One color becomes the hot color for a period of time, then another gets hot. We are impressed with the action of the Castaway 9-foot, 4-inch rods.
All too soon the day is over. The bite has waned with high tide. Fish and fishermen have spread out over the estuary. We have learned you don’t have to have large gaudy spinners to hook Columbia River coho.
Making The Trip
For more information on fishing coho on the Columbia River, contact:
Great White Hooker Fishing
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/ www.greatwhitehookerfishing.com
Good Day Fishing
Craig Foster, ODFW Biologist
For a fine assortment of fishing gear, click here.