My brother Tim is an avid fisherman, has his own boat, and I’ve had lot of fun over the years fishing with him and learning about fishing. Each year he does a guided salmon fishing trip with guide Mike Bogue on the Sacramento river. This year he invited me to join him. I knew this would be a great time and we had a chance at catching a big salmon but had no idea just how exciting and how great we would do.
We headed up to Anderson Sunday night for an early meet up with Mike at a nearby lot and then off to the boat ramp. In the water before sun up and started at a popular spot where Battle Creek joins the river. Already there were probably 10 boats working the spot. We set up not too close to the armada and back trolled our T155 lures into position. It took me a while to learn how to make sure the lure was working and to feel the bottom and then gently bounce the lead round ball sinker to keep the baits moving as the boat slowly worked them down the river current.
Hooking them is a definite skill as they first may gently pull on the bait and the second stronger pull is when you set the hook. I felt a few bites but I never managed to hook one. Mike however is a master and minutes into our first day he yanks his rod back into a deep bend, turns and hands it to me! After my initial surprise I got to work and reeled in a beautiful female salmon. I was amazed and I think the rest of the fleet were too as they watched us come late and just hook up and land our first fish.
Then it just kept getting better!
We would fish a while and then Mike would have us reel in. Mike would freshen up our baits, adding a filet of sardine to the big lures. We fished a while and then moved down the river to a scenic spot all to ourselves. Soon Tim hooked his first fish and it was a big one. Tim has the drill down and lands his like a pro.
My second fish of the day turned out to be a big male and it was a fight to get him landed. I would reel him in close to the boat, up to the sinker, lift up for Mike to net him only to hear my line going out as he makes another run. Finally I got him up and in position for Mike to net him. Incredible fight and the biggest fish I’ve ever caught!
Tim would finish the day with a nice female. Another big fish to cap of an incredible day with us both getting limits of salmon.
After catching our limit we headed back to the hotel, enjoyed some time in the pool and then a great dinner at the Woodside Grill. The Gaia Hotel in Anderson is very nice, super convenient and the grill just a short walk away.
We’re back to meet Mike first thing in the morning. This time we didn’t fish for long with the crowd but headed back to some other spots that had been so productive our first day. Shortly after dawn Mike yanks back his rod and once again hands it to me. I get to start day two landing a nice male.
Day two would be even better with us landing fish after fish. Tim and I both land a male and female each with some big ones. We had our limit by 10:30. Mike ties up in a nice shady spot and fillets the catch for us. Tim and I are heading back to his house in Walnut Creek where we put his vacuum packer to great use packaging some for his smoker and many many dinners.
I’ve had lots of great memories fishing with Tim. Pulling in trout after trout in some host spot on the lake or landing catfish in the summer. Nothing compares to landing these huge salmon. Definitely the high point of my fishing experience. Makes me want to pack some rods next time I head out on the kayak and maybe do some line fishing after I’ve collected some abalone!