We looked forward to this day for a whole year. All the planning, preparation, and anticipation of King Salmon and Rockfishing on the fly would come to these 4 days. We met up with Joe H. and Bryan S. off the 101 in Sappho at the non-ethanol fuel station to top off the tanks before the twisty road towards Sekiu and Neah.
Capt. Joe at the helm aboard the C-Dory Tomcat, nice ride, but plagued with mechanical failures that would have them heading back home after a fruitless day on the water for flatfish and or Kings. We did pick up a Coho salmon and a nice sized Yelloweye. Since we’d wasted a day, Phil and I were determined to fish, after a snafu with The Cape ‘resort’ we ended up moving to Hobuck for one night. We decided to give the beach a try for surf perch. Only to add insult to injury, no perch, and more rain and cold weather and bad seas.
Phil and I pushed off towards Canadian Swiftsure where we caught up with the Canadian guides and followed a line which they were working on the SW corner of the closure. The drift was from NE to SW in 280′ of water, we worked the depths at 150′ and 180′ with good success. The water was un-settled and we pounded alot that day, but got our limits.
Cookie cutter Kings in the 12-13# class.
We fished Mushroom rock for rockfish along with our usual spot with little to no success, we did find a couple of biters, but the weather and the odd currents put it off point.
Mushroom rock, which really looks like a mushroom growing from the sea. Gotta love the carved out hillside and the trees trowing on the rocks. Nature finds its way!
Phil’s first eye witness account of a wild pod of killer whales. It wouldn’t be our first run in with whales. I have a saying that when we find whales, the fishing will be good! It usually means the bait is around and the seals are nervous.
After Phil and I wrapped up, we headed back to camp and met up with David, Ching, and David’s sons Elliot and Charlie, we realized that the Cape didn’t provide us with cookware, any cooking device, or cutlery. Thankfully David’s wife packed some essentials for us to by, we ended up borrowing someones’ propane grill and used it to grill up some steaks. Some Romaine lettuce cups, homemade Korean ssamjang (fermented soybean paste, and spici chili sauce) complimented the steak lettuce wraps. Phil’s mom made the cucumber kimchi and having an english cucumber was also nice. We ate like Kings in order for us to catch some kings the next day!
SATURDAY: July 9th, 2016
The marine forecast indicated a SCA (Small Craft Advisory) 15-25 knot winds with 4-6′ wind waves at 9 seconds. It was definitely a washing machine the day prior with rough water and the thought of being in big rollers spaced tightly wasn’t comforting. This even put some of the local charters to cancel. We ended up staying in close and trolled the insider, got our limits of rockfish and also two Kings.
SUNDAY: July 10th, 2016
Our last day in Neah, so we out to make it out. Everyone was ready to head off shore towards Swiftsure bank. We woke up at 04:00 and pushed off the dock by 05:00 for the hour long run in very good seas. The skies were amazing and we got to witness some humpback whale bubble feeding of 20 or so whales. I’d never seen so many birds, bait or whales before, it was a magical and amazing morning.
My largest fish of the trip, a 28# King on a 5.5″ Kingfisher spoon in 190′ of cable fished at 280 of water. We ended up moving away from the fleet of trollers that were having no luck down south. I am not a fan of following the hoards, but exploring and doing my own thing. That was a good choice as we found tight bait balls with actively feeding Kings. David’s crew was able to scratch out 3 fish, with their largest fish pushing closer to 30#. Awesome job for Elliot, Charlie and David on their very first Neah Bay trip. They did great and learned alot. We can’t wait to get back there next year!
My dry brine King Salmon marinating for the smoker. 4 parts brown sugar to 1 part non-iodized salt, garlic powder and a 24 hour soak into some ooey-goey goodness.
This is what its all about, good fruits of the sea and family. Everyone loved the dinner of freshly caught King salmon and Rockfish prepared Chinese style.