We have some great light tackle salmon fishing on the Togiak River in Alaska! Here’s a quick video of some of my guys having fun last summer! Get in touch with me if you’d like to head up there this season!
Okay, you’ve seen my list of the 10 of the Biggest King Salmon ever taken so I figured it was time to have some fun and give the little guys a shot at being in the spotlight.
So, here’s my list of the Top 5 Smallest King Salmon Ever Caught. To qualify, the kings had to be of the sea-run variety. Landlocked salmon were ineligible.
Have you ever…er…topped any of these?
#1 He May be small but at least he’s dark!
I had a client catch this ocean-run king in Alaska while we were fishing for trout. I’ve see a lot of small jacks in my days but this one got high marks for being extremely brown too!
#2 Eyes bigger than his stomach
Well, you gotta admire this Klamath River micro chromer’s desire! For scale purposes, that’s a 4.5-inch long plug he latched onto. Could be that he thought it was his mama…
#3 Not much longer than a tube of sunscreen
You know they are small when they can be measured with facial product containers! We caught this brown guppy on California’s Trinity River.
#4 Fly-caught mini record
If they kept records for such things, Tristian Lund may have a plaque on his wall for holding the record for the smallest fly-caught king of all time. A natural born angler, the kid even has the classic fly rodder’s “rod in mouth because my fancy gear should never touch anything but skin or velvet” pose down pat!
#5 Crazy weight to length ratio
The kings on Alaska’s Nushagak River tend to be very heavy for their size, as evidenced by this 15-inch, 31 pounder!
You can read all about it in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Now, the forecast isn’t particularly surprising — considering the adult Chinook that are scheduled to return to the Central Valley and Klamath Basin were hatched in the middle of California’s epic drought. In-river conditions were abysmally low and warm for their parents three years ago and the juveniles themselves had to out-migrate in inhospitable conditions as well.
On top of it all…the few salmon that reached the sea encountered warm and food-deficient conditions in which to grow.
Now, there is some good news too! The rivers were high and very off color pretty much all winter and into this spring and that gives out-migrating baby salmon a great shot at getting past predators and reaching the ocean safely. The Pacific itself is also looking more more healthy now too — cooler with more nutrient-rich upwelling. And, while there probably won’t be a whole lot of adult spawners this year, the ones that do make it home should find conditions very much to their liking.
So, we are going to have to grind it out through a tough season in 2017 and then things should start looking up next season. Hopefully, by 2017, things will be looking really nice. Stay tuned…
Here’s another cool set of shots I took with my Okuma Water Wolf camera of a king salmon inhaling roe. This fish came from across the pool like a torpedo to plow through my sulfite eggs!! I think Mikey likes it!