Springer Season 2008

Well… another year arrived that proved to be a great run! For those who love to fish for spring salmon – let this journal refresh your memories. As always we conduct a couple “shake down cruises” to make sure the boat was safe and ready for the water.

Here We Come!

Here We Come!

The season arrived with urgency to pack our gear, brine the bait and polish our favorite spinners to see if last years tricks would produce again. We headed out early in search of the 1st Springer. The weather was cool and river calm with few boats. Launching the boat always provided good entertainment for “rubber neckers” observing to see if us and others knew what we were doing.

She Floats

Most “Springer” fisherman know the game consists of understanding how fish swim upstream along the river bottom combined with timing of the tides and phase of the moon. We really did not care because a bad day fishing is always better than a day at work!

See What Happens

"SWEET"

"SWEET"

We motor up stream to find there are no boats on the river allowing us the perfect slot. We fished during the high tide change over to find salmon were working the area.  The next day I had planned a trip on the lower Columbia with a co-worker and his daughter to see if we could continue the luck in search of the “prized springer”. We launched around 6am with “ominous” weather on the horizon – thank the Lord for hard tops and heaters with video entertainment on board.

Cozy Cabin

Cozy Cabin

Entertainment Center

Entertainment Center

Mike had told his daughter what all fathers tell their daughters – “fishing should be hot” not explaining the difference between fishing and catching??? We dropped our cut plug herring and set our troll once again to see what the day would deliver. After seven hours, two rain storms and one ugly snow storm, Mike’s daughter finally had a take down that proved to be a great catch!

Co-worker With Daughter

Co-worker and Daughter

The next day we headed for the lower river to test another “hot spot” using the famous combo spinner with whole herring on a slow role. We met some of our clients early for a new adventure after re-energizing from the long cold previous day. We ran downstream about five miles with Eli my son navigating the way.

Captain Eli

Captain Eli

Luck would have it that our spinner combo with brined herring would do the trick! Tory and his father in law brought good fortune as we hooked fish after fish making it one of the best days on the water.

Troy's 1st Fish Of The Day

Troy with a Springer

Just as my rod doubled over and we landed the fish, Tory’s rod took a dive and once again – “salmon on”. Tory fought his first spring chinook to victory and mentioned how impressed he was with the constant fight.

Clients 1st Springer

Tory's 1st Springer

Score

Right after Tory’s battle the rod takes another slam right in the middle of BBQ cheeseburgers hot on the grill, so I grabbed the rod for another fierce run. The other boats around were wondering how we could hook so many fish in one area while no other boats were hooking fish. The only thing I could figure was it had to be the brine along with spinner bait combo and great luck!

Another One In The Box

The next day we headed for home realizing we had a great weekend fishing multiple areas high and low through weather and slow periods. We were thankful to be safe and blessed with pounds of fresh salmon. The next weekend we headed back over to focus on one of our favorite spots using our “special spinners”. We arrived to discover a lot more boats and quite the challenge to anchor in the sweet spot. The first day proved to be “game on” with an early limit and time for some afternoon Sturgeon fishing.

Early Limit

Early Limit

The crazy thing about this day was that I had invited a friend from Hermiston to join us for some “rip lip” action come to find I forgot to wait for him at the dock and fished all morning with my cell turned off. As we sat on anchor telling tall tales about other fishing trips, I remembered Jon was at the dock so I called him on his cell to discover he was half way home to Hermiston when I convinced him to turn around so we could get him into some fish. Jon decided to turn around and travel back so we got him out after all and limited out again using the “special spinner”.

Jon & Gang

Jon & the Gang

Once we dropped the other guys off to return home, Jon asked if we could do some Sturgeon fishing so we switched gears and rigged up some Sturgeon gear. Jon and I headed downstream for some “shaker” action. I found the spot on GPS and dropped the anchor in a deep back eddy where we have had good success. Jon baits up a smelt with some smelly sauce and chucks it in. Two minutes later the rod takes a dive and fights unlike any Sturgeon I had ever seen come to find out he had another springer slam the smelt in the back eddy – go figure??? Needless to say Jon was thrilled and played the fish till we could release.

Springer On Smelt

Springer on Smelt

About To Release

About to Release

That night two of my other buddies from Bend joined us at camp for a little springer action. I talked them into going out for a quick evening bite since the fishing had been so good and guess what??? you guessed it – “fish on “once again for Kevin whan all the sudden the line snapped. “Oh well ” better luck next time Kevin. Right after that, Todd’s rod takes a pound down and once again we have a rodeo going on while trying to pick up rods and drop off anchor. What a day as we headed back to camp for some dinner and rest!

Todd's Evening Bite

Todd's evening Bite

Kevin Missing The One That Got Away

Todd & Kevin

The time had come once again to head home and prepare for the next weekend approaching to give springers one last final effort before the closure would commence due to harvest impact. I re-organized the gear and went with a couple other buddies to the upper river where I had not fished much in the past. These guys were serious so I needed to get my ducks in order to catch fish with this crew. They arrived with a nice Boice Jet and really comfortable SUV for the three hour drive before we would drop a line. Once we arrived, these guys had the boat in the water fast with all their gear and favorite quickfish all wrappped and ready for a strike. I showed up with the “special spinners” to try my luck and see how I would fare. Luck would have it that the spinners would not even earn a sniff and John who loves to fish quickfish took a fish right off the bat.

Quickfish Preperation

Quickfish Preperation

John With 1st Quickfish Strike

John with a Quickfish Springer

Ok… now I’m thinking my spinners have put a curse on me so I ask the guys – do you by any chance have any spare quickfish I might try???? John rigs me up with a fresh quicky and bait wrap. He tells me this baby will get the job done so out the gear goes as I walk the dropper down the current to it’s nest. Ten minutes later – “oops” we pick up a Sturgeon on a quickfish and the guys treat me like I have bananas on the boat – “geesh”!

Oops A Sturgeon

"Oops" A Sturgeon

We re-set the rod and back in the water we go. Fifteen minutes later “slam” the rod takes a dive and the reel screams beautiful music as we set the hook and fight a beautiful upriver springer. As I landed the fish all I could think about was how great it is to spend time with family and friends enjoying the Lord’s creation knowing how much we love to “Pursue The Outdoors”.

Upriver Springer

Upriver Springer

Eli Fishing For A Springer

Eli Fishing For A Springer

Springer Game Face On

Springer Game Face On

Share
Tags: ,

About the Author

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann lives in Central Oregon with his wife of 19 years and their three children. You can find Troy with his family, friends and partners out most weekends enjoying the Lord's creation "Pursuing The Outdoors".