With just 16 days left with the season it’s been tough to find a legal sized fish. Seems like our usual haunts have been plucked and deep fried. We even tried out a spot that was good in the past but got no takers this morning with the first light bite.
Phil K. did connect with a small sub 20″ fish and we all hooked into a rockfish here and there but for the most part, I may be hanging my hat up on this fishery.
Was a flat calm and beautiful day out nonetheless and was nice to have Phil drive and guide the boat for us. Much if the slower results were likely due to the big negative tide swing. High tide was at 6:22 and we worked it pretty hard from daylight to 8 am.
Had a few hours and the weather forecasts have been gorgeous so we decided to take the Whaler out to the lake for a few hours to throw some bugs and plugs for some willing bass.
Jason D. Met up with me and we proceeded to launch by 11:30, not desired timing but as both working dads and realtors, we take out time off during the busy season when we can to get our fix. I brought one spinning rod with braid and a Rapala while Jason brought a fly rod and a small spinning rod.
We found many chasers and a few takers but small was an understatement. Jason did have a monster swirl on his top water crease fly but that was it. Still was nice to get out and recharge the system with some fun in the sun.
With the first trip under the belt and the kinks out, I was hopeful that today would be a better outing. Thao T. Joined and brought the onslaught of bait: black label herring, squid, sardines. I prepped a chum bag and studied a new spot to try.
The run and weather was nice making the trip to Mutiny bay in 30 minutes from Mukilteo. There were less boats on the water than on the opener but was still a fair number of anglers.
I wanted to get down to try a place that produced good Ling Cod fishing in the previous years. Thao T. would meet up for the task as we’ve been fishing for lings for 7 or 8 years on the fly.
We met up at 5:30 and left Bellevue with little traffic issues. The launch was free and the parking lot void of other rigs and or trailers. This could mean a good thing or bad. We motored up to the spot and started methodically working the water column with our patterns. The rockfish sure liked our offerings and especially my articulated fly as I landed 9 medium sized rocks. Thao on the other hand had some odd eel or snaky fish snagged to his fly hook.
The only fish of the day was a small ling which we released after a couple of photos. The afternoon winds kicked up and we decided to try a reef to drift our flies. Which produced many hits on sand dab, rock sole, and a large starry flounder. Thao wanted to keep a few flounder for the dinner table and I kept 2 to steam up and try with my ginger and green onion recipe.
It’s been poor for me the last 3 outings with no Lings to net. I am liking forward to shifting heard and prepping for the King salmon opener in Westport in a couple of weeks.
The marine forecast was horrible with the report calling for 10-25knots and 2-4′ wind waves from the SW. Had my eyes set on Admiralty Inlet with no advisories and considerably lower winds dues to the Kitsap peninsula blocking much of those southerlys.
We decided to push off a little later and left Bellevue by 8 am and made it to mukilteo by 8:40. We launched by 9 am and were under way. It took us 45 minutes to make the run to Mutiny Bay where we would find the majority of the fleet, about 30-40 boats anchored and or drifting in 120-140′ of water on the southern tip of a contour.
I opted to stick to the northern section to get away from the crowds and anchored in 130′ of water. The Columbia river anchor and EZ puller worked great once We were able to get all the twists and knots out of the 300′ of anchor line. I used a buoy to help other boaters identify my presence and we proceeded to rig up and drop our artificial squids with lack label herring on double Gamagatsu Big river bait hooks on 80# Ande.
Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with the dogfish but the sanddabs wouldn’t leave us alone. They were chewing up our bait, so we decided to have a little fun and throw on a small hootchies with stinger hook and catch a few limits of flounder for a fish fry.
If I try it again will also consider a chum bag dropped with a downrigger and location moved closer to the inlet itself where better currents might bring in those larger cousins of the dabs.
The thunder showers moved in the afternoon and we decided to leave at 3 pm. We encountered some wind waves and got battered coming back and averaged 10-13 mph on the GPS. We did much better than the Sea Sport and aluminum boats that were trying to follow us and couldn’t ride out the waves as nicely. It took us an hour to get back to the launch. After a nice dinner at the H-Mart food court we missed rush hour and spent the next couple of hours cleaning the boat md prepping her for the next outing to Westport for the King salmon opener.
I wanted to test out the big boat prior to he halibut opener but the wind and rain would have is stumped. Trying to keep the 5000# boat straight and tracking with southerlies on us was no easy feat.
I did have one monster grab and peeled off line like a freight train. It must’ve wrapped itself into a rock as I tried to release her from the depths but ended up breaking my sink tip. That was only 3 trips old! More flies to tie and new tips to buy!
Not much to report as I had Ching W. And my dad out for another shot. Ching did end up hooking one but it was a couple inches too short to retain. He did have a blast playing the bugger and landing it. He didn’t want to hold it up for a glory shot so unfortunately no pictures.
We were boarded by a couple of WDFW officers ad checked for barbed hooks and current licenses. All of which we passed and were legal. That must’ve set off the mojo for the fish as I hooked 2 more but never got them close enough. One came unbuttoned from the barbless hooks. And the other broke the perfection loop knot at yeah handshake loop. That was 40# Maxima!
There is next time…