Josh and I headed out very early this morning for a few hour mooching session before work. I have trailered all month, and finally have my moorage figured out. Having a boat moored is the only way to go during summer salmon season, especially for quick trips like today. We motored out of Shilshole, filled my bait cooler with water, threw a couple dozen frozen herring in the brine, and cruised across to fish Kingston. Deadline to head in was 8am.
The tide was just starting to push out, and the bait was starting to concentrate just north of the ferry lane… perfect! Our first two drifts yielded one bite that didn’t materialize into anything. Then after it started to get a little light out the bite really turned on (Maybe waking up at 3am was a little overambitious).
We were in water over 200’ deep and the bait was stacked along the bottom, my bait dead stopped on the drop at 170’ and I reeled into a pretty nice Chinook. It made an amazing run out to 350’ before I gained any ground in the battle. It was a respectable wild fish that we dehooked and revived. An awesome start!
The fleet was in full catching mode for about an hour, and the moochers were flat-out smashing it. Josh picked up a nice keeper, I released one about the same size and I hooked a few others before the bite slowed. Once the action died, I laughed a little at the thought that I released a perfectly respectable keeper, and would probably go home empty handed. Not a huge issue, because just being out there during a hot bite is reward enough, but putting up a few fillets of summer Chinook is never a bad thing either.
Well, the timer was ticking. Afterall we did need to race back across the lake for work. I told Josh, “Ok, lets go set up our final drift… last call!” I ran back up and we set up. The sonar screen was blank. Zero bait. Five minutes left until the buzzer. I was dropping down to 150’ and got dead-stopped at 60’, reeled fast into it and I felt the weight of another hefty Chinook. I never get tired of mooching. Having the rod in your hand when you feel the bite, reacting, and the whole idea of big salmon on light tackle gives me a thrill that trolling never did. We netted my keeper and raced back to the dock. Another great morning trip!