Salmon are a nuisance

I have to say that I like sea trout. They are probably the liveliest fish that you can catch in freshwaters in Britain. My pal Adrian had told me that there were quite a few fish, some of them big, in my local River Frome at the minute. Since it is nearing the end of the season for these fish I do fancy catching one or two while I have the chance.

The necessary incentive to have-a-go came last week. I went for an evening's fishing with Nigel. His idea was to try and catch one or two grayling and he duly turned up with a box of maggots and a float rod. Just to do something different I decided to spin for a seatrout. I tied on a short wire trace (to avoid pike bite-offs) and clipped on a J7 Rapala but it soon became apparent that there was far too much loose weed for easy plugging. Within seconds of the lure hitting the water every chuck produced that dead feeling which results from a fouled up hook.

I switched lures to a number 3 Mepps which tends to blow the bits of weed away from the fast spinning blade. The idea was just to get a few seconds more fishing time. It was approaching dusk and Nigel's maggot fishing was only producing minnows so I walked upstream to a deep glide (about 2m deep) where the water ran slowly along the near bank. Second cast the lure was just spinning alongside a mass of floating debris when I saw a good fish lurch out and grab it. Remember I was after seatrout so I was only using six-pound Fireline braid.

As soon as I knew the fish was hooked I shouted for Nigel and he duly arrived, guided by the splashing of the fish, carrying his net. Sadly, my catch turned out to be a ten-pound male salmon which was carefully returned as soon as it was netted and unhooked.

A couple of days later I decided to have another go for a trout. This time I was on my own in the middle of a sunny day with a cool north wind. There seemed to be a bit less drifting weed than previously so this time I went for a J11 Rapala (I know it seems big for seatrout but I have confidence in the lure). I was casting up and across and retrieving with the current. Ten minutes after starting, at the limits of my casting range in a big turbulent pool, I had a good bite and after a lively battle landed a five pound seatrout - magic. I pressed on upstream and shortly afterwards a much bigger fish swirled at the lure under the far bank but would not take I continued upstream and a bit later missed another big fish which chased the plug down over some weedy shallows - exciting or what! No more bites so I crossed a bridge and walked down to where the fish had swirled. Looking into the water I could see a big fishy shape resting about a metre down under a patch of weed. I switched to a smaller , 7cm plug (it had already seen the big one and refused it), cast out and let it swing round in the current to where the fish was. The fishy shape opened its mouth and grabbed it. After a good battle I landed and returned a twelve pound female salmon - yet another disappointment but not bad for an-hour-and-a-half's fishing. Better luck next time!

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com


Think like a fish.

Salmon are a nuisance.

The male salmon.

Unhooked and ready to go back.  Red fish like these have been in the river for many months.

The female salmon.

Also very red but note the absence of a hooked lower jaw and the less spotty colouring.

My quarry.

Much more silver and spotty than the salmon.  Not bad for a short session in the middle of the day.

A close up.

Well hooked on the big lure.