I’ve got a powerful hankerin’ for a fresh salmon dinner. Not as in healthy food store or meat market fresh. Not as in farmed fish fresh. I’m talking about a fish that was swimming wild in the sea just hours before dinner. That’s the kind of fish that delights the palate.
This Saturday, April 5, is the date that hundreds of boaters have had a circle around on our calendars, so that we can keep focused on salmon season. That is the opener. It will be amazing to see all the boats take to sea that morning.
A reporter once asked a tackle shop manager, “How many boats will be out on opening day?” The experienced manager smiled and replied, “All of them!”
Having breakfast at Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf should be an interesting vantage point both mornings this weekend, if you are looking for some entertainment and want to watch the excitement in the harbor entrance. Every kind of boat will be out there chasing salmon. I’ll be out there myself, aboard my charter boat, WaveWalker.
The big question is, how good of a salmon season will this turn out to be? I’ll tell you this: Every time I think I begin to understand salmon, it means they are about to teach me a whole new lesson in humility. So, I’ll wait and see. One thing is for sure: I won't catch one without a line in the water. So I’ll keep trolling and hoping.
Thinking about catching one yourself? Just talk to nearly anyone you know who has a boat. That person is probably already tempted to go out. Just offer to pay for the gas and help wash up the boat. That is often all the incentive needed.
Other options do exist. Try one of our private charter services. Capt. Tony Vultaggio can be reached at 805.637.3425, and I can be reached at 805.964.2046.
Here are some of the basics you’ll need, besides a boat: a 6- to 8-foot 15-30-pound rod (or thereabouts), a conventional (baitcasting) reel filled with monofilament line, weight releases (or a downrigger), weights, dodgers or flashers, spoon lures, hoochies, baitholders (for anchovies, sardines or herring) and some thing to measure your catch to make sure it is legal.
For a synopsis of our regulations, click here and then click on our region to view the fishing regulations.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.