In the Field

Deadly White Jig Fishing Challenge – Episode #9 – Pink Salmon

Deadly White Jig Fishing Challenge – Episode #9 – Pink Salmon

Welcome to episode #9 of the Deadly White Jig Fishing Challenge. For this round, I’m once again on Kodiak Island, Alaska, fishing the Deadly White Jig on the abundant pink salmon. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made several different videos about the pink salmon which you can check out later, including one about catching them on the Deadly White Jig. However, I thought I’d make a new video as an official part of the Deadly White Jig Challenge.

As I often say, the poor persecuted pink salmon gets no respect! While being the most prolific of the five Pacific salmon species, pinks are the smallest in size and by far the least revered by recreational fisherman. As is often the case with many abundant species of fish and wildlife throughout history, great abundance often gets translated into a great under-appreciation.

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Despite the pink salmon not being held in high esteem among many Alaskans, I still get very excited when the pinks arrive each summer. I love fishing for them, and my family includes them as a regular part of our diet. Sure, I thoroughly enjoy fishing for kings, silvers, reds, and even chum salmon, but I’ll gladly take the solitude, the lack of crowds, the beautiful summer scenery, and the abundant wildlife viewing opportunities that are all a part of pink salmon fishing any day!

Pink salmon are plentiful in many parts of Alaska and can be caught along ocean beaches near river mouths as they head to their spawning grounds, as well as in the rivers themselves, primarily between mid to late July with runs typically peaking by mid-August.

As I’ve mentioned in my past videos and blogs about the Deadly White Jig, my Alaska version of this deadly fly was developed exclusively on the pinks and later modified for the other species of salmon as well. It’s no exaggeration when I say that I typically get a strike on every single cast I make into a group of pinks with the Deadly White Jig.

For future reference, I’m writing this blog in 2020, and the pink salmon this year are HUGE and are even bigger than many of the red and silver salmon that are coming in. Since the pinks are so stocky this season, I’m going after them with a little heavier gear than normal. I’m using an 8 wt fly rod, 12 lb fluorocarbon tippet, and my standard sized jig. When fishing in deep water, I’m presenting the fly with a strike indicator in order to control the exact depth and get the fly right in front of the fish. And in shallower water where I can clearly see the fish, I’m doing without the strike indicator and just watching the fly. Many times the fish will take a quick, short whack at it or have the fly in their mouth for just a moment or two, so I watch the fly very closely and as soon as it disappears for even a split second, I set the hook and the fight is on with the Deadly White Jig! Check out the video below to see all the action!

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