Today was going to be the first fishing day in the salt, however a very chilly morning with temps leaving home were a balmy 24 degrees. As we passed Belfair noticed sheets of ice on the canal. Not a single crab pot could be seen or signs of life anywhere on the canal. No jumpers, finners, or visible chum. Our plan was to launch at Twanoh state Park but the docks had been removed for the winter and the creek was low and flowing very low. There is a run of fish on the creek but only spotted one half dead male that must’ve frozen up top as his body lay party in the creek with his decomposing body upright. His gill plates opening and closing very slowly, it was a matter of time before it would come to an end. Not only for that chum but the run in the Hood canal.
We decided we didn’t want to cut ice so proceeded forward towards Union. Met a couple of commercial oyster guys as they were prepping to load their boat. They didn’t know about the chum run and focused on getting their job done so they could go home and warm up.
As we passed Hunters farm, and the bridge we could see the bright orange vests of the hunters and their dogs as they were trying their luck at flushing out birds from the gleaned fields. A shot was heard but probably having a day like ours would as we pressed towards Potlatch.
We finally decided to launch at Potlatch under a steady North easterly with 2′ wind waves. Since their was no dock at potlatch we had to trailer launch the boat, she fired up and idled down ok so we were excited to see what Hoodsport would show. We had also baited up 4 crab pots to drop and the plan was to soak them while we fished, return with our limits of chum to pull and have our limits of crab as well.
Plans change, based on how fickle a new boat can be, as evidence by Tara Michelles shock to our 40 degree salt waters. She had difficulty starting and idling, getting throttle to open up and all around sluggishness. At one point both motors wouldn’t stay fired up and we prepped for anchoring as a frustrated caption tried to get her lit.
The run appears over, while we saw the bankers land fish, it wasn’t hit and heavy. There were several boats anchored or tied up, drifting but we saw no nets or bent rods while we were fished. All 4 pots were empty apart from a few small red Rock crab and to add insult to an already injures ego, Tara Michelle didn’t fired up as we had to use the T8 and motor back towards the launch ramp.
What a bust in all regards, I called up the Yamaha mechanic and he would wait for us to drop off the boat. I have a feeling that the carbs need to be synced and or tuned. I’ve never had this much issue with any boat. Still need to put in a thermostat in the kicker as I believe the engine runs cold and doesn’t properly warm to opererate properly. I will have to say that the ride and handling of the Outrage is the best of all the center consoles that I’ve owned. Rides high and dry, and cuts like a knife.
At least the test of the new Orvis H2 8 wt rod was better than I expected. I can confidently say that it’s better than the Sage One. Even with the winds was able to throw all the length of fly line with a double haul. I had tied up some new chum patterns in preparation for this outing but they’ll have to wait until the next trip.