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Fish: 11lb Bream
Angler: Rob Kavanagh
Weight: 11lb
Fishery: Frampton Gravel Pit
Location: South West
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Fish: Australian Salmon
Angler: Matt and Mike
Country: Australia
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'The king of Fish'
There is no doubt that the Salmon is the best known fish in the world. While there are larger, stronger, more colourful fish, there is no other species that combines all these features so strongly as the Salmon.
Vital Statistics:
Scientific Name: Salmo salar
Maximum Weight: 80lb
Average Weight: 5-6lb
Maximum Length: 60inches
Life Span: up to 10 years
Salmon characteristics:
It seems extraordinary that a fish should travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic only to make its way back a year or two later to spawn. The Salmon's homecoming marks the climax of an incredible journey and often ends in death. The spawning ground is where it all begins and ends.
Most Atlantic salmon spawn between November and January because they need cold, well oxygenated, fast flowing water in which to breed. You can easily identify Salmon that are ready to spawn - the hen salmon (female) is dark grey with black spots and a bulging belly. The male is brick-red with elongated jaws, the lower of which hooks upwards and is known as a kype.
Salmon have a broad, powerful tail which helps them battle upstream. Members of the family can be distinguished by the fatty, rayless adipose fin (small fin between dorsal and tail).
Where to find Salmon:
Salmon live in many of the large rivers in the United Kingdom, but then of course they also have a rather salty lifetyle!!?.

Feeding habits:
Salmon do not feed in fresh water. However, for some time after returning from the sea they retain the reflex action to bite at anything that attracts them. The fact they do not need any nourishment is what makes them so frustratingly difficult to catch.

The amazing journey of the Salmon

Seaward ho!:
When the young salmon is fully silver and about 20cm it is known as smolt. As soon as the water warms up the smolt begins its long descent downstream towards the sea. It is not until it reaches the mouth of the river that the riches of the sea are exploited. Here it feasts on shrimps, whitebait, sandeels and small cod. Salmon then move on out into the open sea, most to the west coast of Greenland. In the sea they face threats from seals and predatory fish.
The time spent in the sea fattens them up in preparation for the journey back upriver to spawn.

The long trek:
The journey downstream as a smolt must have been gruelling, but the long haul back is even more so. How the salmon finds its way from ocean to coast is an extraordinary feat of navigation. The Salmon uses its acute sense of smell to find its way home.
Having survived the pollution and nets in the estuaries, the salmon stops feeding - it has stored up enough fat to sustain it for over a year. Swimming against the flow, the fish moves upstream in a series of runs - a task made easier when the water is warm and river running high.
When it comes to obstacles, such as weirs and waterfalls, by swimming the salmon jumps over them. It can leap as high as 3.5m, but it can only jump during the daytime since it judges where the top of the obstacle is by aiming for the light above it. This is how the salmon gets its name - the Romans called it Salmo, from the Latin salire to leap

Salmon Baits:
Considering Salmon don't actually feed when they are heading upstream it is impossible to single out effective 'baits'. However, Salmon are known to grab at certain objects should they be presented in an attractive way to them. These include worm, prawn and shrimp mounts. Fly fishing and spinning are 'probably' the most popular ways to salmon fish. Various plugs and lures can also be used.

How to catch Salmon - Techniques at a glance:
Fly fishing, with floating lines. Spinning - sink and draw. Worm or prawn in the current using spinning tackle. Spinning prawn - sink and draw.