King Salmon fishing. People will pay over $200 a person to have a guide navigate them down the Kenai and Kasilof rivers in hopes of catching a 50+ lb salmon. The reality is that it takes on average about 28 hours of fishing to catch one. I feel sorry for the 4 people who will have to fish 60 hours to even out the success of our trip.
Wake up call was at 2:15 AM to meet Don at his boat in time to be on the Kasilof River by 4 AM. One of the first on the water, Kemmer, Don, Joel (left to right) and I were anxious to catch at least one fish before 9 AM.
We were talking, minding our own business, and BAM! My pole jerked down, and I had a fish on the line. Being the first of the day, I didn’t have the advantadge of watching anyone else reel in a King. Instead, I tried to calm the adrennaline while listening to Don’s instructions. Around a minute later, Don netted the 20 lb whopper, and I exhaled. Woah. The excitement didn’t hit me until minutes later. What a rush!
Now, you are only allowed one King a day and 5 per year. So, I was finished for the day, but within 30 minutes, my pole started dancing again. So Kemmer set the hook, and brought in a 18 pounder. We celebrated, but only for a moment. Literally within 90 seconds after hitting the water, my pole literally slammed against the boat, and Joel’s fight begun. Down the river the King fled, hiding under a rock, darting as she pleased, but soon the 30 lb queen raised a white flag. What a beautiful fish she was, too… fresh out of the ocean (great taste) and full of eggs (great bait).Now the pressure was on Don to catch something. Only 10 minutes later, fish struck the line only to get away. 5 minutes later another got off. The trouble was Don had to leap from the oars to the animated pole before setting the hook, as the other person jumped out of the way. No surprise that 3-4 more fish got off, but finally Don landed a 30 pounder, but the fish looked like the 4 of us. Male with poor color. Since the fishing was good, we waited on another female to strike. Maybe 10 mintues passed and a nice 22 lb ‘female’ struck the line, giving Don something keep. When cleaning the fish, we realized this was no female, but a male in disguise. Distrubing, indeed!! Limited out, we all floated down to take out point where our car had been transported and called it a day. What a day it was!!
The spoils of victory
The final tally:
- 6 kings to the boat
- Kept 4 fish with a total weight of 92 lbs
- 1 dolly
- 1 steelhead
- 8-10 more on the line
- 1 trip for the memories