Thinking Out Of the Box

The next step out of the box

One of the most successful lures catching many species of fish all around the world has been the AP Tackleworks stainless steel spoon. As their success grew the development of their trolling lures the herring, the sandlance and the needlefish lures brought many successful smiles to angler all around the world.

Last year  2016 they made one prototype herring spoon for casting. Casting off the beaches for salmon is one of the most exciting techniques an angler can challenge himself or herself.

Coho Salmon

With only one to test out the pressure was  on me.   The outing we decided to test turned out perfect for weather condition, we found a school of coho salmon and the salmon could not resist it. I landed six coho with many miss hits.

This year 2017 AP Tackleworks is producing protoype variations of the lures needlefish, and sandlance spoons as casting lures.

Stay tune to this fall adventures as they will be tested on Chinook and Coho salmon casting off the east coast beaches of Vancouver Island.

Spring Salmon


2017 Trolling Journal


May 2 2017 Journal

East Vancouver Island launching at Brechin boat launch in Nanaimo

According to the bite chart the major is 06:05 am- 08:05 am and then 18:25 pm- 20:05 pm.  Tides 5:56 , 9.8feet , 10:17 11.8 feet , 17:19 3.6 feet.

Forecast cloudy with sunny breaks and then showers in the afternoon. Winds 15km/h SE and gust 25 km/h . Temperature 7 c

Today I am testing out three types of lures from two manufactures. AP Tackleworks and  Olympic Tackle. That have herring, anchovy and needle fish lures.

The lure will be attached to a flasher using a 11 inch Shooter flasher “Silver Metallic Betsy”   I favor four foot to  five-foot 25-pound test leaders .

Using the Amundson Outdoors Trend X5 Mooching Reel attached to Savvy Sumo Lieutenant mooching rod .

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Even though the weather report indicated bad conditions to fish   the wind changed from SE to a West and that made the East side of Vancouver Island the lea side. We saw calm water and decided to make the afternoon run. We finally had the lines in the water by 2PM and the first hit was within a couple of minutes. I had dropped my down rigger to 155 feet and Bobs was 140 feet deep. We had four down rigger clip releases with no fish . We decided to set the quick release clips harder and slowed the boat down to 2 MPH as we were going against the current. The next two hits were on the AP Tackle Herring spoon. Very exciting but they were under size. With the clouds starting to turn darker we could sense that our adventure might be limited.  For the next hour and a half we hooked into four keepers biggest about 10 pounds.  It was hectic and didn’t have a chance to change up the lures. AP Tackleworks Neon Army Truck spoon.   By 5pm the wind started to shift to the SE and we decided to get off the water before the 25km/h gust start blowing. Good call as we landed the boat and all hell broke loose with huge whitecaps and deep swells on the open water.

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Diffusion of fluid through a semipermeable membrane from a solution with a low solute concentration to a solution with a higher solute concentration until there is an equal solute concentration on both sides of the membrane.

What has this got to do with fishing? It’s the simple process of curing single salmon eggs. There are allot of recipes out there and many individual are confident that they work.

The most natural way to toughen up a salmon single eggs is to obtain them from a ripe hen( female ), store them in a bag with river water and mix it with some milt from the male. Once the eggs have been fertilized the membrane will change. You literally can throw those eggs against a wall and watch them bounce. They will collapse if you puncture them but for handling and making roe bags this is natures best recipe. This opportunity doesn’t present itself often.

Next option if a male is not available is to store the single eggs in river water. I always carry a large zip lock with me for these purposes. Then cure them at home.


Another source of single eggs  is to remove them from a skein that is close to separating. This is a process that will test your patience. With the skein up and eggs down on a smooth surface. I like to use parchment paper. You gently use a spoon on the edge of the skein and draw forward and pull the eggs off the skein. I then soak them in river water, which I have bought home for an hour. You will find the eggs soft and also partially collapse but not punctured.


Still another option is to purchase salmon roe. I got some VHS free Chinook single eggs from Centerpin angling and when they came they were in a vacuum-sealed bag. They choose to cure and somewhat dehydrate the egg during its process with added stickiness, soft form, and able to storage for years. Giving the customer’s the option, and when ready to use, to fish the eggs “as is”. Tying loose and naturally milking out scent and simultaneously naturally hydrate on the drift. Or even have the option to re-hydrate the eggs themselves with their own personal way, recipe, re-scent etc.(Not recommended)

With our big rivers on the west coast of British Columbia we like our single eggs for our roe sacs firm and bouncy as we cast hard and for long distances. If you want them to be firm this is when Osmosis will be your best friend.

Create brine that is at its maximum salinity. You want to see a 1/8 if an inch of salt still on the bottom of the jar. Gently place the singles eggs in the brine. They will separate if stuck together. This is when the magic begins. In the next 24 hours they will swell (rehydrate) and the membrane of the egg will toughen up. They will literally be able to bounce off the floor when the Osmosis process if over. I like to keep the process natural others like to add colour. I personally would rather change the colour of the netting.

Do not throw out the brine. When you have left over roe bags just put them back into the brine and back into the fridge. Remember oxygen is the enemy of eggs. So keeps the jar full of fluid and airtight. I have stored single eggs for years in an airtight canning jar removing as much air as you can.

Bring Out The Super Stars

As I anticipated the New season all the major components were gathered, cleaned , tuned up for the up coming adventure.

Its time to gather up the super stars Amundson Outdoors , Ap Tackleworks, RigRap, WiggleFin and Olympic Tackle. The boat is ready. The weather is getting better and the salmon are waiting.

Amundson Outdoors


AP Tackleworks trolling lures. Testing out a new Herring version.

Quote: The AP Sandlance Spoon has now been fished all throughout the West Coast of North America from Alaska to California and all the way to Russia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Japan, all with great results. Although the lures were originally designed to target Chinook salmon on the sandy bottoms of the Salish Sea, they have proven effective on Coho salmon, halibut, lingcod, large fresh water trout and many other species. The lures perform great when trolled extremely close to bottom where Pacific Sand Lance are found and are also very effective higher up in the water column.
The same design principles were incorporated into two new spoons: The AP Anchovy Spoon and the AP Herring Spoon. Both share the life-like swimming action of the AP Sandlance Spoon, yet with the body shapes of anchovy and Pacific herring respectively.

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Organization is imperative. That is why Rigrap is a must. To be able to select fast, keep the leaders from tangling up and maintain the wear and tear of the lures. This leaves more time fishing and with less tangles and or tying up.

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I use the Swarm flasher as a dummy set up. With three blades you have a total of 8 flashing surfaces to attract the salmon. With the slim profile of the blades it reduces the cautiousness the wary salmon have.

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Olympic Tackle
The Anchovy and the Sandlance set up with tandem hooks with the WiggleFin Action disc That makes them dance.

AP Tackleworks

Finally we were able to get out on the salt chuck. We started late but our lines were in the water by 3 pm. A new version AP Tackleworks herring spoon Neon Army Truck was hot. We landed 6 springs and 4 were legal . All the springs were white. Had to quit by 5 pm as we limited out our catch..

 Version 2


Conditions were sketchy as it was forecasted all day for high winds with 25 MPH gusts . Visually it was calm. So we took a gamble for an afternoon adventure.


We reached our destination NNE 2 miles from the islands called the fingers near the entrance of Nanaimo Harbour.Our down rigger were at 140 and 160 feet. Trolling against the current at 1.8 to 2.5 MPH it didn’t take long for the first hit. For the next two hours we had numerous hits and landed 6 Chinook salmons with 4 being legal size.



We returned to the launch by 5:45 pm and the wind storm came . Luck was on our side today



Next adventure will be A different AP Tackleworks spoon to test out.

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Candy Salmon Asian Style


Whats the next best thing to do when you can’t fish cause of weather with all the fish stored in the freezer. YUP it’s that time to make candy.

What defines Indian Candy salmon to me? At most time the ones selling Indian candy salmon is really a smoked fish . As usual the smoking process produces a product that is moist, colorful, full of flavor but I still considered a smoke fish even though they call it candy. Candy salmon to me is hard, dry, tougher than jerky, thicker than jerky and full of flavor.


First thing in creating Indian Candy salmon is the drying process. Lots of failure attempts trying to discover the perfect recipe. It turned out you need to have allot of air moving like a convection oven but at a low temperature 90-110 degrees with multiple layers for volume in a dehydrator. Convection oven could only do little batches. It turned out a 12-14-tray dehydrator with thermostat control was perfect. I also wanted to penetrate 100% the salmon and that doesn’t often happen when doing large volumes. By creating a vacuum bag it forces the candy brine through the full depth of the salmon slices. The photo displays two ten-pound bags of salmon in a vacuum bag soaking in the brine. One of the biggest mistakes is to pour all the brine over the cut salmon hoping it will penetrate. It won’t, as all the pieces will adhere to each other. What I find efficient is to put all the salmon in large steel bowl and pour the brine over them and hand mixes all the pieces till all parts are wet. Once wet they will not stick together and the brine will want to travel through out the bag due to the vacuum. I flip the bags over every 12 hours. I normally let the salmon sit in the bags for 2 days but this time I left it for 3 days. WOW! What flavor.


Recipe for about 7 pounds: Never hurts to make lots of extra brine.
1 cup of light soy sauce (light soy is the saltiest)
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (if not used increase the maple syrup another 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Lots of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of lemon pepper (always add extra)
1/4-cup maple syrup

After the brine time drain the fish and place on racks to dry up a little. I generally allow them to dry minimum for a hour . Spray the trays of the dehydrator with a non-stick and place the salmon tight but without the pieces touching each other. Set dehydrator for 110 degrees for the first 24 hours and then drop to 90 degrees the second 24 hours. They should be hard by then and full of flavor.

Salmon pieces drying on a rack for an hour after being removed from the brine creates a glaze on the salmon. The first 24 hours I started with ten racks filled tight the salmon pieces nearly touching each other. This morning it is now reduce to 7 racks. The next 24 hours will be even more. You loose about 1/3 of the volume when you dehydrate them to the candy level. True candy salmon to me will be hard and full of flavor .

Very simple, Very easy to do, Very addicting. I have used this process also on brown trout and steelhead with amazing results.

Mentoring The Spark



Were does that passion for fishing come from? Often it starts at a young age as we observed a mentor usually being a parent wanting to share the joys they have experienced from their own past adventures. They were concerned that we enjoyed the outing and whether it was catching a bull head or just exploring the outdoors that was all that was need to create the spark.


The competition between siblings was contagious. They all wanted dad to know who caught the most. None complained about getting dirty. You knew they had found the spark.



As technology advanced we had more exposure to the outdoors with fishing shows displaying their exploits and wonders in that magic box we call television. As the exposure increased the spark within them started to become a flame. From camping, fishing, hunting and hiking all those adventure took us to the unknown. The children started to have a thirst for adventure that needed to be quenched and a drive to discover and explore.


Whether it was a hiking trail in a park or a little pond in the city. Getting out, as a child was an adventure in what they thought was the great wild.


As younglings we had no choice but to grow up and some would lose the spark while others hung on to it. Many would continue the adventure to enjoy the outdoors and what nature could offer us. The distractions of growing up sometimes caused a split in the road but eventually they found there way back to what created the spark. Some would be quicker than others.


What helped me find my way back was the pure love for the sport we call fishing that a stranger helped me rediscover in myself as a mentor and all the reward that mentoring achieves. It was the smile on the child’s face that brought memories back from my own beginnings. It was the newbie who’s never ending story about his adventure with me he wanted to share with everybody. Creating that spark in someone else and showing them how to nurture it was rewarding in itself.


When I took my 21-year-old daughter out fishing to catch her first coho salmon she told me she would be serious and focused when she caught one. Well that didn’t happen. She screamed like the little girl dad always sees in her. We laughed so hard. She was screaming, I was screaming offering guidance. There was no way she wanted my help as she was going to land the salmon on her own terms. When she did I new that spark that had dimmed through growing up had ignited again. She didn’t care about how dirty or slimy the salmon was. She held it close to her for the trophy shot.

I am so happy to have been the catalyst that ignited the spark in others, for all those that have the passion and the love for the sport we call fishing.

It’s never to late become a mentor.