King Salmon fishingWe only fish for Wild King Salmon also known as Chinook Salmon. Ever get a chance to play tug-of-war with an ocean fresh salmon? You will never forget it once you've landed one of these fine eating and highly prized fish.
Even industry tried to capitalize on salmon by inventing the farmed fish salmon commonly called Frankenfish or Atlantic Salmon. Those in the know will tell you that farmed salmon are not only bad for you; they are bad for the environment. Many stores have discontinued selling farmed salmon because they feel there may be more risk than reward in selling this substitute to the real thing. Remember mad cow disease, bird flu, mad pig disease? Yep, they keep farming those salmon in pens and feeding them processed fish parts with vitamins and antibiotics to make them bigger and keep them from getting sick, and someday you might hear about mad fish disease.
We typically fish for salmon within 8 miles of the Santa Cruz harbor. The way we fish is unique. This was one of Tom's harebrained ideas from when he was commercial salmon fishing in the early 2000s. The commercial technique for salmon trolling was refined in 2007 to accommodate fishing rods and off-the-shelf fishing gear which when combined makes MEGA-BITE the top salmon producing charter boat on Monterey Bay.
We troll (boat is constantly moving forward) from two to four miles per hour depending on the bite. The trolling gear consists of 500 feet of 900 pound test stainless steel cable connected to a shear plate and 35 or 50 pound lead ball with "double stops" every three fathoms (18 feet) on a hydraulic powered gurdie (a super sized downrigger).
Upon arriving at the salmon grounds, the deckhand will lower the ball over the side to just below the water surface then connects a quick release clip between the first set of "double stops" via an AK snap. The deckhand then pays out fishing line from your rod setup (flasher and lure/bait) and inserts the line into the quick release. Then puts the rod into a rod holder. Then the deckhand lowers the rigging via hydraulic gurdies to the next set of stops and repeats the quick release procedure with a second rod. Then again for a third and fourth rod. Then lowers the entire rig to depths where the salmon are. Then repeats the setup on the other side of the boat. By law charter boats can only run one rod per fishing license so six people get a rod and the crew get rods for a total of up to eight rods trolling.
When we hookup with a fish the quick release automatically releases the "hot" fishing line from the gurdie cable and the angler is now connected directly to the hooked salmon. All the remaining rods continue to fish and on occasion, one or two other rods will pop their release with fish on! We have had multiple triple and quad salmon hookups using this technique. It's controlled chaos and it's wild and it's fun. Now the angler fights the fish and with a little luck and coaching brings the fish to the boat where we scoop it up with a net.
To ensure we maximize our time on the water, the boat doesn't stop moving until we get back to the dock at the end of the day. Which means, you hook into a fish and we're still fishing with all the other rods while you fight and land your fish. Quite exciting. Quite effective.
MEGA-BITE is the pioneer in this fishing technique. Others may imitate our technique but they can't duplicate our success.
Each angler is allowed two salmon