Far, harsh and full of secrets… this is exactly the image that arises in the minds of people when they hear about the legendary Kamchatka, located in the far eastern corner of Russia. However, it is not uncommon for professional and recreational fishermen to take on the task of exploring this land, mainly because of the famous king salmon found in Kamchatka’s waters.
There are different ways to get to Kamchatka from Lithuania (my homeland). We chose the most convenient route – a flight from Kaliningrad via Moscow and further to Petropavlovsk. The total flight duration was more than 17 hours. We landed at Petropavlovsk airport where we were met by our guide. We still had an 8-hour bus ride ahead of us, as well as a helicopter flight to an unknown destination. We could only hope that everything went smoothly. Finally, after a long and tiring but fortunately smooth journey, we arrived at the camp that was to be our home for the next week.
The purpose of this trip was one – the king salmon, the largest in the world, the dream of many fishermen and the pride of Kamchatka. Kamchatka is definitely a place that every fisherman should visit at least once in his life. Fishing here is a truly unique and unforgettable adventure. Of course, our anticipation was growing and we were itching to go fishing after quite a long journey, so our mood was quite euphoric.
Our first attempts were indeed successful. In fact, during the first thirty minutes, each of us had to experience what it was like to catch big salmon. There seemed to be so many fish that it took almost no effort to catch them. We must admit we were lucky with the weather and the location, they were perfect! In any case, our first impression was positive and our morale was high. After the first catch, I realized that you need to be well prepared for such fishing – the fish are large and powerful.
If we talk about the most popular types of Kamchatka fish, then the chinook is definitely number one. Dog salmon comes in second, followed by some other native species such as rainbow trout and grayling. So, while waiting for the king salmon, we used to catch this other fish. We soon got used to them, our initial joy and excitement faded when we remembered our main goal, the reason why we came all this way, king salmon. Having calculated and calculated every detail of our journey, we knew that beautiful fish, silvery and rich in color, would be born at this time of the year.
King salmon make their way right down the middle of the river, pushing other species out of the way. Our fishing technique looked something like this: we aimed at the middle of the river in the hope of catching the king salmon, and then, if it didn’t work out, we tried again closer to the river bank in the hope of catching a smaller fish. such as dog salmon. If we didn’t manage to catch salmon either, then we were left with rainbow trout or brook trout, and our last hope is grayling. Of course, small fish are much less fascinating than chinook, but here in Kamchatka, even graylings will impress you with their size.
Salmon gathered in the main course, especially at the confluence of two rivers. Here we basically tried our luck. The peculiarity of Kamchatka is that sometimes fish gather in very still water, where you least expect it. deeper a smart echo sounder in this case was very useful – several times we were not sure of the depth of the hole. By using deeper we saw that it was much larger and deeper than our guide had supposed, and found many fish inside. Sonar proved to be an invaluable tool and we were delighted to include it in our fishing arsenal.
What was the best bait? We used baits. Fish were mostly caught in the mainstream, so the wobbler worked well. Lures are good even in very strong currents and also work well when fishing from a boat. Local fishermen used spinners, but for some reason they did not suit us. By the way, it is important to keep in mind that when a king salmon comes on your line, it resists so much that you feel as if the line is being pulled out of your hands. When you get that adrenaline rush, you have no doubt about which fish is on the other end of the line.
Problems? Grizzly bears. There are plenty of them, they literally breathe down our necks. They wanted us to know whose boss. From the very first day we were accompanied by bears, and we knew that we had to be extremely careful. Our guides advised us to feed the bears a little, so that they would not be hungry and feel the need to snoop around our camp. We followed our guide’s recommendations – we kept smaller fish about 300 feet from our campsite. We also took turns standing guard and guarding the area all night. Cleary, we made it out unscathed.
Successful? Absolutely. We caught (and released) over a hundred king salmon. My biggest catch was 20 pounds but my buddy caught over 38 pounds. We came back with a pocket full of memories, not only because we encountered fish of impressive size, but also because the overall experience was one of a kind. There are no words to describe the natural beauty of the wilderness. We can say that a trip to Kamchatka is a fisherman’s dream, and if you do it once, you will want to come back and experience this amazing adventure again.
Also read: Fishing Little Reservior in the Tushar Mountains near Beaver, Utah
About our chosen fisherman Aurelijus Lubinas
Aurelijus Lubinas is the CEO and founder of Deeper, a manufacturer of smart fishing devices.
|Kernel||Tailwalk Hi-Tide 590 ml|
|fishing line||Japanese size 2.0, 300 m, braided line, 8-string Japanese line.|
|outstanding fish||king salmon|
|The largest fish caught||38 pounds King salmon|
|The biggest threat||Lots of hungry bears|