We take our salmon fishing mighty seriously on the Santa Barbara Channel. That’s because this is as far down the coast as salmon are caught in appreciable numbers. The season begins about early March and gets going strong by April. The bite frequently lasts well into June and sometimes beyond. These are the best salmon of all – kings (Chinook). Smaller fish are 12 to 15lbs, and they range up to over 30lbs. When one of these magnificent fish hits the deck, high-fives and backslaps are in order!
There are two basic methods for catching these salmon; mooching and trolling. The big open-party sportboats must mooch because they have too many people aboard to troll. Mooching entails anchoring or drifting over big baitballs and lowering a bait on light line and a small hook. The light tackle makes catching a big fish alot of fun. I prefer trolling because I know that over the course of a season I can hook up with more fish for my passengers by covering some territory and dragging irresistible objects in front of the salmon. Downriggers and weight releases can be used with equal effectiveness. A flasher blade imitates a school of baitfish, and the bait or lure trails along behind.