Short Striking Salmon
April 22, 2006
After a 2-day rest from fishing due to minor motor adjustments, I was back on the water once more for Ouananiche Salmon. My wife, Christiane & I headed to Lake Champlain with great expectations! Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what we anticipated as we were soon to find out. The weather had changed, but not for the better with air temps only hitting 50 degrees and water temps dropping over 5 degrees since the last trip two days earlier. Cloud cover hung over our heads all day long with winds from the S/E at 15 knots and occasional heavier gusts. The weekend boat traffic was also unbelievable with people everywhere! It was difficult to troll any one specific area with boats constantly in your way, but I managed nevertheless! About 5 minutes into our troll one of the rods screamed for a brief instant, but immediately went silent. I hate when they short strike! Not long after, another rod fired and we were into our first fish of the day. A small brown trout was soon landed and immediately released. We continued trolling the areas that had produced so well on the last trips for quite a while before I realized, it just wasn’t happening. I began searching deeper water for baitfish and fish markings with my electronics and once I found what I was looking for, set the lines out again. Rods began firing almost immediately, but it seemed like all the fish were on the smaller side and we just released them. Several more short strikes got our attention but they just kept getting off! This was to be the day of the short fish, I thought! Due to the excessive amount of boats occupying all the best areas, I decided to get away and try deeper water. We were able to cover many different depth levels with the set up I had and one of the lines was running as deep as 10 to 12 feet. Finally, the deep line fired and produced a decent Salmon. A little later it fired again and another fish came aboard only to be ¼ inch too short. Back in it went once more! I finally managed to locate a concentration of both bait and fish over 25 feet of water near the end of the day. We managed to get into 4 more salmon in less than an hour with 3 of them going into the livwell. More browns and a couple of short salmon later, we called it a day. The winds had increased and the weather looked dismal, so we knew the rain was soon to follow. Back at the boat ramp I spoke to a couple of people and found out they scored a big zero for the day! I really hadn’t seen very many fish hooked or landed amongst all the boat traffic and knew we had probably done better once more. I only wish I had made the move earlier and brought the numbers up a little higher. The final head count was 7 browns and 6 salmon landed with at least twice that much in short strikes. A potential 30 fish day might have occurred if it was a perfect world! Unfortunately that’s fishing and not catching! Still, a good day was had and nobody got hurt!!! With about a week left for me to fish Champlain this spring before I head to Derby and concentrate on lake Memphremagog, I strongly urge anyone interested to give me a call! Once the weather changes and the sun comes out again, these fish will definitely be back on fire! Worst-case scenario, I have to concentrate back in deep water once more to have multiple hookups and amazing “Niche” fishing days!