If you're booking a charter fishing trip to put some wild-caught salmon on your plate this fall, you have many options. Aside from the variety of fisheries offering excellent salmon fishing, you should also consider how you will catch your salmon.
Here's a quick guide to the types of fishing experiences you're likely to have, depending on the salmon fishing charter services you book.
Among the most popular, trolling involves casting out a few lines behind a boat and slowly dragging the baits or lures until you hook a fish.
Upsides: Trolling is ideal for novice fishermen. Your charter deckhands will take care of everything for you. From baiting your hook or choosing your lure, to casting it behind the boat, to netting and unhooking your fish, this experience can be perfect for children or clients with limited physical strength. Trolling trips are also ideal for larger parties.
Downsides: For experienced fishermen, trolling can be boring. Since your role in the process doesn't start until a fish is hooked, much of your experience is simply waiting and watching. Additionally, trolling sometimes involves venturing further from shore, into rougher waters. If you or a member of your party is prone to seasickness, trolling can be a tumultuous affair.
Slight different than trolling, drifting involves floating with the current down a river in search of hungry salmon. The drifting experience varies depending on the charter service options. On most drifting trips, clients cast lures or baits parallel to the boat.
Upsides: Drifting can be exciting for experienced fishermen, but not too daunting for less experienced fishermen as well. Because the charter service will provide the optimal fishing equipment and tackle, clients only need to become comfortable with casting and the techniques needed to work the fishing tackle. Because drifting trips are on smaller boats, on smaller bodies of water, drifting trips are perfect for more intimate trips with 1 to 2 other fishermen. Lastly, drifting allows for a variety of fishing techniques, such as include sight casting or fly fishing.
Downsides: Drifting isn't easy. During a drifting trip, clients may make hundreds of casts. This requires strength and stamina. Furthermore, hooking a large salmon in a river requires you to fight the fish and the current. This leads to more lost fish and a more exhausting day on the water. If you're considering booking a drifting trip, it's important to discuss the physical expectations with your guiding service.