|My first salmon ever, circa 2000. Caught with my Uncle Fred (the one holding more fish than me...) in California's American River.|
When most people go salmon fishing, they plan on eating them, so they want to catch them as early in the run and silvery as possible so they taste better. This was not my objective. I had no interest in eating them. I wanted a big nasty male with a mouth full of teeth and attitude. A buddy of mine figured it out last year and he was kind enough to share his spot and some advice on timing and flow conditions etc. So as the time drew nearer this November, I got all pumped up reading reports, tying jigs, and dreaming of big teeth and crazy stripes.
|Some big fluffies ready for action! The one in the middle and the one at about "10:00" ended up being the most useful ones.|
|Species 113! A Female Chum Salmon. There's a suggestion of some teeth there, but that's not quite gonna cut it...|
|Now we're talking TEETH!!|
|This just might be my favorite salmon picture of mine so far.|
|Same fish, closer view. It's hard to do those teeth any justice with just a picture though. The tip of that lower jaw was sort of bulbous, so with all the teeth on it, it was sort of like a mace or maybe a flail for you medieval weaponry buffs...|
|Clockwise from top right: Chinook, chum, sockeye, pink, and coho salmon.|
But for the time being I was pretty happy with my box set as it stood. So, being that close to Puget Sound and having already accomplished the primary objective of the trip, there was no way I wasn't going to try out a pier or two. It's starting to get a little more difficult as the list grows, but I usually still scrape up a species or two from most piers. This time I ended up at one of the ones in Tacoma, and I put in as close to an all-nighter as I could muster. Squid were caught, as were the typical Puget Sound residents. But I also managed to rack up two more new species, the pacific herring, and the roughback sculpin!
|The Les Davis pier is a crowded location all through the night in November. See, it's not just me!|
|If you're not familiar with squid fishing, here's some typical rigs. Glow-in-the-dark and spiky is the general theme.|
|114! Pacific Herring. Sure, you can go buy them at most bait stores, but that wouldn't count as number 114 now would it?|
|Cute little roughback sculpin. That's 11 sculpin species now if you're counting along at home!|
|This roughback was smaller than the first one, but I like the picture better so I had to show it to you. You're welcome.|