The Joy Of A 3-pound Salmon

Kids have a funny way of helping us adults remember that it ain’t always about bagging the biggest buck, landing the largest Chinook or bonking the King Kong of coho.

Much smaller accomplishments can trump those any day.

I was reminded of that recently when I received an email from Terry Wiest, of Puget Sound Anglers. He was forwarding a story and photo from Mike Etzkorn, another PSA member.

Mike was fishing with his son and brother in southern Puget Sound last weekend and, as can happen when salmon fishing, it had been a pretty slow five hours on the saltchuck off Des Moines.

His boy grew restless.

“Rocky, my son, was messing around with some line and I showed him how to tie a proper improved fisherman’s knot,” Mike writes. “After about ten tries he had finally tied a knot to a barrel swivel.”

Next, the 7-year-old wanted to put a hook on the line, so Mike told Rocky to first pick out a squid from the tackle box then tie on a hook to the leader’s other end.

Rocky went for a hoochie that Mike says he’d never ever use — a clear squid with a single blue stripe down it.

“Dad, I want to fish with this,” Rocky said.

And so they reeled up the boy’s line, took off what was surely a salmon-slaying lure and tied on one that Mike says is flat “ugly.”

Would it work? Would Rocky catch a whopper Chinook? A monster coho?

No — he caught something much better not only for himself but for his pa.

“Five minutes later he reeled in (a) 3-pound silver and proclaimed this to be ‘the best day of (my) life,’” Mike writes. “I realized that 3-pound fish was also the most appreciated fish we would catch in that boat this year.”

There’s nothing like success to get anglers to switch up. Mike reports that his bro, Tony, soon slapped on the same squid and put another silver in the cooler.

Our hat’s off to you, Rocky, for turning a so-so day into a great one for yourself and your dad.


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