In between all the hustle and bustle of the day job and the rod building I actually find time to get a fishing trip in once in awhile. Got an invite from my friend and RodWerX ProStaff member Kevin Wilson and his copilot Stephanie Lopez for a day on the salt chasing Chinooks. The bite has been very good for about 2 weeks now out of Bodega Bay and it's been too long since I fished salmon. In fact, last time out of Bodega was with Kevin almost 2 years ago!

The weather gods were cooperative. We launched around 7am to with a fairly short line at the ramp. Judging by the jammed parking lot getting there earlier would have just meant waiting to drop in. Very little wind on this day as the "Blowdega" name was giving us a break for a change. A little lumpy as we headed out, but Kevin has plenty of salt hours and his Fishwrong was up to the task(OK,  a little cheap shot at his boat buying experience). Seriously though, his boat is more than up for the task. We headed for the whistle buoy but didn't see much bait. Opted instead to head north based on the radio traffic. Good call on Capt Kev's part. Pick out some numbers and dropped in.

My Brad's cut bait plug in watermelon color got picked up in about 3 minutes. Should be ladys first, but Kevin insisted since my first trip on his new boat I was first fish. When I saw that thing come out of the downrigger clip it was tribal instinct and I probably would have run over poor Steph. LOL. Man I've have forgotten how much fun those kings are! They definitely don't like seeing that boat. Kevin netted him cleanly and a future dinner volunteer was on the deck. Some quick high 5's, a reload on the DR and Steph is up next. Another nice grade of fish on just a few minutes later. This one is giving her a run for her money, but in an evil twist one of the natives showed up. Then it was a battle between Steph and Mr. Sea Lion and you usually lose those on their home turf. He did leave her the head though :-)  I've always wondered how those sea lions are smart enough to eat from the tail forward. Probably had to take a few hooks in the face to learn that one!

We reloaded again and it wasn't long before Steph got her first fish.

Kevin was up next. Don't remember if his was a plug or a bait fish. We had 2 plugs and an anchovy going. But this is when going last paid off. Kevin boated a toad. Our best fish of the day. Fat and tall. Well done, Captain!

We went into some doldrums for the next couple of hours. Farmed a few. I think we had about 5 that never saw the net. All long distance releases. We had switched over to all plugs or Apexes by that time. Radio fish reports had slowed a little, partly do to the fact that the early risers had already limited and were heading in. But still lots of reports of quality fish being landed.

Somewhere in there the skipper decides to switch back over to bait. Good call again. Because shortly after his chovy got picked up. This was one strong southbound fish fighting a northbound boat. Easily the biggest we'd hooked because he ripped off half of Kevin's reel and was still going. We had pulled our other lines in and were about to chase this thing down when he came unbuttoned. That has a heart breaker. I could see a 30 lb class fish there. But remember, those big fish get that way because they are smarter than the others and have probably been hooked a time or two and gotten off.  He reminded us we're still playing on his playground.

With that eye opener we switched all rods over to bait. The lures had gone quiet, so nothing to lose. Another good call. Wasn't long and we're landing another 3, all probably 20 lb class fish. Steph got a good workout with hers and he was doing his best for an escape using downrigger cables we forget to bring up. But she won that battle in the end.

By 12:30 we were done, stowing gear and headed back in. Great day and the stars aligned for some awesome results. Lost a few and went home with at least one "wondering how big" story, but not unhappy at all with our take homes. Even with one 25" fish in the mix, we had a solid 20 lb average.

Great day with some great people. Thanks for tolerating me, guys. Several days of little sleep had me nodding off half the time, but I wasn't going to pass on the opportunity.

But new rule based on our mug shots: Steph has to catch shorter fish or use a stool when we take pics ;-)

Thanks again guys for the great day!





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