Report: Spring salmon

AS many Fisho readers would know, I’m an avid “fur chucker” and one of the reasons I recently bought my current TABS 4800 Territory Pro boat was to chase some inshore pelagics this spring.

I’ve been tying up Surf Candies and small Deceivers all winter in anticipation, along with getting a few 6 and 7 weight outfits together and hoping some salmon would turn up as the water started to warm in October.

The salmon were everywhere in Sydney Harbour by early September but it was only last weekend that we found a few patches of fish down our way on the south coast of NSW.

I was out with my daughter Rebecca on Saturday looking for a reddie or salmon and we found a school of salmon just after the low tide when it started to run up. We only had spin outfits and a few small metal lures so we made the most of it and got a bit of practice in getting close to the feeding pelagics, along with catching and releasing about 15 or 20 fish.

After a long and cold five month wait for these fish to finally turn up, you could put money on me being out there again on Sunday with a fly rod in hand and several dozen freshly tied flies ready to try out. My brother Mark is also a keen fly fisho so he joined me and we spent the morning taking turns casting at salmon schools while the other angler drove the boat.


Hook up!

We had an absolute hoot with fish up to three kilos on an array of Surf Candies tied on Owner No 1 Flyliner and No 2 Gamakatsu SL12S hooks. Anything about 6 to 8cm long worked and I reckon the fish were keener to grab the flies than the metals the day before. We had very few rejections on the flies, where as on Saturday we’d seen quite a few fish follow up the small metals but not eat them.

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A selection of Surf Candy flies and small metals that work well on salmon. 

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Top: Another salmon puts a nice bend in the fly rod and (above) Finney’s G Loomis rod sporting a Cheeky fly reel.

I fished a G. Loomis 6/7 Mega GLX rod teamed with a Cheeky Ambush 375 reel and a shooting head sinking line with 20 pound running line behind it. That sort of combo has worked very well for me over the years on inshore pelagics as it casts well and gets the fly down to an effective depth. For that type of light work I prefer the shooting head and running line to a clear intermediate line.

We kept a couple of fish that were hooked deep and my wife turned them into Thai fish cakes using a recipe we got off the internet. It uses coriander, chilli and Kafir lime leaves, so Google it and give it a try with some Lingham’s Chilli Sauce. Enjoy!

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