Jeff H. and I did some exploring of the South sound as reports of pinks were coming in from Dash and Browns pt. We launched from Redondo and explored a few well know spots to me without much luck. We did have 5 hookups and landed 2 fish, one double hookup but I lost 3 fish which came unbuttoned. My hooks are super sharp and I attribute it to soft mouths.
Things will improve daily and the full moon tonite should bring them in good jumpers by next week.
Mike E. and I wanted to check out the action for the king salmon but didn’t find much to our offerings. Saw a few fish, but that was it. Had reports of good fishing above the great Bend but never saw any nets flying or fish being caught. He let me drive his 16′ river wolf sled with 115/80 pump. Very nice 4-stroke set up and perfect for the shallow waters.
Dad and I had been out a couple of early mornings in search of those elusive Puget Sound kings. Since the quota of almost 2500 fish was already met with just the season open for 2 weeks we knew it would be difficult but we were up for the challenge.
We had a Heartbreaker loss of 1 nice fish that we never got a visual on but it’s fight, and eventual pop off from the hook haunted me. When I inspected the hook it was bent open. Dang sickle hooks?!?! Usually they are strong but I should have replaced it out with a Gamakatsu octopus instead.
We did also land a nice keeper sized coho, but set it free event though we could have kept it. It was an unmarked or intact adipose finned fish. Hopefully she grows and learned her lesson to escape the lip pain again.
We also hooked a couple of pinks but lost them at netting due to soft mouths or user error. They are just a concession are fish and I didn’t mind as well one way or the other on if we killed those or not.
The really nice part of the three days was my sister visited and decided to join us for the last day. She brought us some action and even before I could get the second rod into the water hers was dancing and she was able to land a pink salmon. Dad would also get into the action and also landed a few fish. We saw porpoise, harbor seals and lots of diving birds as well. Lot of people banking it at point no point and also mooching and working the tide rips, but we saw only a couple of nets flying the three days with mostly pinks being caught. We feel fortunate to have good health and enjoy a great family time together fishing.
Rain and fog but small swells and little wind made for some mixed fishing conditions. After a good few hours of sleep we made it back to the boat by 05:00 and moving past the breakwater under some thick fog. Next upgrade to the boat will be radar but having two chart plotters aboard was extremely helpful for running different aspects heading out to Swiftsure bank.
Fishing conditions change day to day and things were slower and definitely had to work for the Kings. Best action came on whole herring on helmet heads and flashers. 5″ silver horde plugs and green and white splatter back hootchies.
It took us few hours to filter through the fish and got off the bank by 11 am. Once we limited on Kings we headed back in to test out some spots for back bass. The bite was heavy and quick. Those 4-5# bass put up a great fight and glad we brought the 10 wt Sage TCX rods as an 8 would be undergunned.
Green over white and yellow green clousers worked great and put some hurt to the hungry predators. Once we were done with the bass we headed back but didn’t bother targeting the pink salmon that were thick around Waadah island. We just wanted to get back to the the fish cleaning tables and to the cabin for a hot shower and dinner and sleep.
A bit of a homecoming to experience Neah Bay with newbie Phil K. and repeat offender Ching W. The reports had been solid with good hookups at swiftsure bank about 15 nautical miles due northwest from the launch.
We had driven all night to arrive at 04:30, got the boat launched and made our way out under overcast and cool skies. Fortunately there was good visibility and the seas were kind to us with 3′ swells at 18 seconds.
It was an epic morning with multiple hookups, several doubles and over 15 legal sized fish released in search of the big one. I ended with the largest fish, a 30″ king that weighed in at 13#.
Once we limited out by 09:30, we headed inshore to Duncan rock for some fast action on the fly rods for black rockfish. The tasty denizens of the shoals. All the experimentation of lines and fly patterns really paid off in some beautiful fillets. On our way back to the marina we couldn’t ignore the jumping pink salmon so we dropped the gear and was able to limit in 15 minutes.
We got back around 5 pm, enough time to shower, eat, prep and hit the sack. Tomorrow would be another 04:00 we up and push back out for a repeat. What an amazing day that is hard to beat.
The Puget Sound opener was a great one with some nice hard shelled dungeness crabs. While they weren’t s large as south of the hood canal bridge they were just as tasty.
I met a commercial fisherman that hooked us up with fresh sockeye and Atlantic carcasses, the very best stuff that converts waste into crab cakes and crab fried rice.