Brief scouting bags the mother load

Published on August 23rd, 2008 by Rodney

After a few months of playing with mykiss and clarki, it was time to try something completely different. Armed with my ultralight spinning rod, today I took advantage of the last bit of sunshine that we were getting by taking a brief scouting trip to Garry Point Park in Steveston. Normally this time of the year, the tidal portion of the Fraser River is clear enough for spincasting. The high abundance of northern pikeminnow makes fishing pretty fast at times and there is also a chance of connecting with salmon and trout.

The initial plan was to give it a try before flood tide in the morning, but after gluing to Olympics on TV another night, this was not going to happen. I headed down just after 1:00pm. Tide was already on its way out but there was certainly enough depth for spincasting.

It was discouraging to see that the water clarity has degraded after last week’s heavy rainfall. At just over a foot of visibility, I had to wonder if fish would be able to detect my spinner. That skepticism was quickly erased as a pikeminnow grabbed the spinner hard. It took me by surprise as I was still trying to find a stable rock to stand on. The noodly spinning rod bent wonderfully to take away the tension on the 4lb test line. Fish number one was soon in my hand for a quick photo.

The second and third fish came in the same area where I was casting, but they were smaller. I then switched spot to another bay after I felt the first spot was well fished. At the second location, I quickly hooked up to a fish that did not behave like a pikeminnow. The silvery flash on the surface revealed that it was a healthy coastal cutthroat trout, roughly around 14 inches long. Trout and char are rare during the summer months in the Tidal Fraser River, but they become more abundant in fall when salmon arrive in masses.

After the pleasant by-catch, I moved to another spot where it has been very productive in the past. Upon arrival, I could see a couple of big boils by the rocks, which was very promising. After several casts, I connected with the first fish, which took some robust runs.

Second fish came a couple of casts later. The third one soon followed. After two more, it was apparent that I had hit the mother load of northern pikeminnow. One hour later, I managed to bring 11 fish to shore.

All of the fish landed were between 14 and 20 inches. One cannot complain about 14 northern pikeminnow and 1 coastal cutthroat trout in a few hours of spincasting.

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