King salmon is a bucket-list fish for many anglers, prized for its powerful stamina on the hook and delicious taste on the plate. This entertaining video covers both bases as we join San Francisco sushi chef and kayak fishing vlogger Taku on his epic quest to land a king salmon. By the end he declares that king salmon is the most difficult fish he has ever caught.
If at first you don’t succeed when fishing for king salmon…
We begin by diving into the background of Taku’s quest as he shares clips from previous failed attempts. “All six times, no salmon. I learned from those trips, so I think I can get one now.” This time he uses an anchovy hood with two barbless hooks, flasher and downrigger, but his luck appears to be no better as multiple days pass with no bites at all.
Taku adjusts his approach after Day 2, using a longer and thinner leader to better obscure the braid line from the suspicious salmon. Days 3 and 4 feature up-close whale encounters, but still no nibbles. Of the whales, Taku affirms: “They smell so bad. They do though, they smell horrible.”
A humble appeal to the salmon gods
On the fateful fifth day Taku switches to a lure and turns off the fishfinder, relying on “instinct over technology” to improve his luck. The action starts at 19:45 when a king salmon hits, nearly upending his kayak. The fight starts out slow, but the fish refuses to give up, balking and diving each time Taku readies his net. At 27:25 he completes the catch after about 30 minutes of real-time fight. Of kayak fishing for king salmon, Taku says: “I worked so hard for this fish. The hardest, most difficult fish that I’ve ever tried to catch.”
Enjoying the fruits of his labor
At 33:30 we move to a San Francisco sushi restaurant, where Taku fillets the fish and preps it for future sushi-making (seen in Part 2). The video concludes in mouthwatering fashion as Taku grills the fatty salmon collar and serves it over ochazuke, a Japanese tea and rice soup with picked plums.
Visit the Outdoor Chef Life YouTube channel for more catch-and-cook kayak adventures.