We all fish for different reasons. Some anglers are in it for a delicious meal, while others enjoy the thrill of catch and release. Some prefer competitive tournaments, while others are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Many of us need no real “reason” at all, and rightfully so. Fishing is awesome!
If you are looking for a new excuse to wet a line, then try to hit a fishing “grand slam.” Here’s how it works. 1. Choose a body of water. 2. Find out what species are present. 3. Do a little homework and pick a target list. 4. Go fishing and try to check every box on your list.
Traditionally, grand slams come in fours. Here are some examples of slams you can chase here in Idaho:
Pan Slam: Catch a bluegill, perch, white crappie and black crappie. Pumpkinseed and other sunfish can be subbed in where they are present. C.J. Strike and Brownlee are your best bets.
Celebration Park Slam: One of my favorites. Catch a smallmouth bass and a channel catfish in the Snake River, then hike to Halverson Lake for largemouth bass and bluegill.
Whisker Slam: Land a channel catfish, flathead catfish, bullhead and carp in the Snake River. If you really want a challenge, add a sturgeon.
Salmon Slam: This one is more of an annual list than a day trip. Troll for kokanee and coho salmon, then hit the Salmon, Clearwater and Boise rivers during chinook and steelhead runs.
Build-Your-Own Slam: This is where it really gets fun. Be creative and experiment with species you’ve never caught before. The possibilities are endless. Lake Cascade, for example, is home to 12 — twelve! — species of game fish. Rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, perch and tiger muskie, anyone?
The best part of grand slam fishing is you can adjust the rules to fit your own goals. It’s hard to find four trout species in one spot, so fish multiple streams or add something else to the mix. Make it as simple as you want — even targeting both bass species in one day adds to the fun — and don’t be afraid to swing for the fences.