Eric - question on Flats Salmon...
Most of my ocean salmon fishing was done in open water or near coastal kelp beds and structure. I have caught some nice fish at high tide near tributaries, but hadn't done it a lot.
Your article makes it clear that they respond to the flood, I was wondering what reaction they have to the ebb tide? In striper country the fish will rush to the shoreline with the incoming, similar to the salmon flats. On the ebb, they back down certain channels and over certain areas that can make the outgoing productive as well.
Did you find any evidence of salmon doing something similar on the outgoing?
Jeez, I was scrolling down through the Salmon Salt stuff looking for that Rush Limbaugh citation to send to a buddy in Campbell River and notice that you asked me a question about three months ago.
Better never than late.
About an hour into the ebb, small pods of pinks would start aggregating into larger and larger schools and would eventually move enmasse downstream, throwing up spray with their tails and impressive bow waves with heads. I'd never seen anything like this behavior and tried to follow the fish back out into the bay to see what they'd do. Hundreds of fish did move back out on the ebb and went a considerable distance offshore, judging from the fish I saw jumping progressively farther and farther away from me. I didn't get to observe for a full tidal cycle, so I don't really know much more than this. Of course, not all of them left the river, even the strictly tidal portion kept large numbers of fish in the pools. Maybe the pools were saturated and the late arrivals were the ones I saw go back down -- who knows. Anyway, it was fascinating to observe and I hope to experience this again sometime.
Fishing defintiely fell off on the ebb, although you could still catch fish, it certainly wasn't an "every cast" proposition as it was on the flood.
Thanks Eric - very descriptive and valuable info. I can't wait for my next trip to pacific salmon country this fall.
I am dying to test my east coast SWFF learnings on the coho in the straits... and dare I say the tyee while I am there?!?
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