Salmon – an unexpected bycatch

Published by: Marcin Lasota

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July 24, 2019

Salmon – an unexpected bycatch

Salmon are marvellous fish that deep down I always expect to bycatch during my trout angling trips. I love that unexpected moment, when I discover them at my hook, pleasing my eyes with some exciting acrobatics. In this article I would like to share with you emotions that are always present with me during that type of hauling. I hope that this positive relation will also be intriguing for readers.

Due to a fact that I only catch salmon during my trout expeditions, at the beginning I will briefly describe my trout preparation routine to you. I like to angle for them in small creeks and rivers. As that technique requires sophistication, I most often choose to take delicate, light rods with me, so that I can walk around carrying them throughout the entire day, angling and not getting your hands tired. I most frequently build my set using the Sicario SL 223 cm rod with a casting weight of 1-7 g and the Sicario 2007FD reel with an Octa Braid 0.08. All those elements act together really well, being light and durable on top of that. Perfect combination, if you ask me.

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Strolling along the riverside, I do my best to gather all the information I can, to find potential trout sweet spots. Those fish prefer deeper areas, close to fallen trees and in strong current. Most frequently though, I choose natural riffles, where water gets shallower and hauling pace increases.

While angling for trout, despite the equipment selection and proper location, the bait plays a major role. In Mikado catalogue there is plenty of lures that are known for being effective with that type of fish. I most frequently bet on wobblers though. In my lure box, there usually are: NEEDLE sized 7.5cm, CAVALIER – 4.0 cm, PUFFY – 5.0 cm and BOLD HEAD 4 cm long.

Each body of water is of course different and the same lures won’t always work the same way, that’s why I reckon that various option should be tested. Presentation of the lure and the way it is used also depends on an individual angler. I reckon that the wobblers mentioned will work perfectly well in twitching or slow reeling. These are my techniques of choice, particularly when angling for trout.

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Getting back to the main topic – the salmon. I manged to notice quite a few times so far that, in spots that I pick as perfect for trout angling, salmon are often present too. They tempted me so much, that finally I decided to catch at least one of them as well. It turned out that I did not have to wait too long for a chance. Two, consecutive trips planned by me to two, different rivers provided me with a few chances to clash with them. I planned to win those duels…

During one of those trips, my thoughts were drifting towards salmon a lot. I knew trout well – their behaviour, preferences. Salmon were still quite an open book for me, as my education in that area has just began. I had a few reads about them, yet I was learning the most from observations made during trout angling. Casting the wobbler to the other bank of the river, deep down I was hoping that I will manage to cater for preferences of salmon and will end up celebrating new species angling method mastery. Mastery may actually be a bit too big of a word, yet I could surely feel lots of satisfaction.  

After a few casts I felt a sudden and insanely strong “kick” on my rod. Short fight and I knew what it was. A salmon, finally!

Hauling turned out to be really exciting. The fish was showing off its strength, jumping and shaking its head a few times, trying to get rid of the lure from its mouth. Seeing how eagerly it fights, I decided to let it have a bit of time to cool down. I knew well enough, that I am handling a rod up to 7g. After a few minutes salmon finally got tired and I managed to haul it back to the shore effortlessly.

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The above story was my first and probably due to that, the most exciting encounter with a salmon. Following expeditions brought a number of other chances to meet that unusual fish. Due to a fact that I never bring my pray home with me, I rarely measure them – if ever. Trying to asses the size of the salmon most frequently caught by me, with a naked eye, I would say that they usually weight about 1.5 to 2 kg and have around 60 cm of length. They are not too big, yet each time they bring lots of joy to me, as an exciting bycatch during trout angling trips.

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Probably many of you are wondering now why am I not dedicating entire trips to salmon angling, since I like catching them so much?  Well I do not want to quit catching trout and salmon, as I mentioned at the very beginning, are a way to detach from reality for me. A little surprise that elevates the adrenaline level in my blood. Feeling of a sudden, unexpected bait of that marvellous and brave fish as a bycatch during trout trip make me get goose bumps. Every successful hauling brings a wide smile to my face. That’s what it is all about after all.

Best of angling luck!
Marcin Lasota
Mikado Fishing Team

Subject: pstrąg, łosoś,

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