This is about a 4lb sockeye salmon that I caught with a #8 pumpkin Bingo Bug/Lucky Bug lure. I was fishing in the Fraser river this morning just downstream from Peg-leg bar (Chilliwack) and this bright doe sockeye actually bit the lucky bug. The sockeye salmon is notorious as being a reluctant biter especially once the fish enters the fresh water. Most of us who fish for sockeye in the Fraser use a style of fishing called bottom-bouncing that involves a rubber-coated round weight of between 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 ozs, most common are the 2 1/2 and 3 oz size. We use extremely long leaders, sometimes in excess of 12 feet, and the fish are caught in the mouth but really don’t bite the corkie/wool combination but are ‘flossed’.
In all the years I have fished for sockeye, I can think of maybe 2 times the fish actually bit the hook. That is until this morning. I did use the normal style of bottom bouncing to get my first fish, we are allowed 2, then I thought I would try the Bingo bug that I purchased at the PNE on Friday. I could actually feel the Bug vibrating as it flowed through the water behind the bouncing weight. then I could feel nothing not even the weight! I started reeling like mad because I knew a fish had grabbed the bug and had taken off upstream. I thought for sure this was a spring salmon that had grabbed it, but was amazed when I finally caught up to the fish and struck to set the hook. A sockeye jumped right out of the water with my line in it’s mouth.
When we landed the pretty fish, we saw right away that the Bingo Bug was right in her mouth. This non-biting salmon had bit the Bingo Bug, and taken off just like a spring salmon. When a sockeye is flossed,
the hook is usually right in the corner of its mouth or even just on the outside of its jaw. The Bingo Bug was inside the fishes mouth, there is no way this fish could have been hooked this way unless it had bit the bait on purpose. You can bet the next time I go for sockeye I will be fishing Bingo Bugs!!!
More photos from Wayne can be found in the gallery here!