The original plan was to get the boat on the trailer and loaded up, grab some dinner and take a few ZZZ’s to push off by midnight, but my buddy Joe said that there was already a line forming to launch the boats from Big Salmon. We adjusted our plan and ended up pushing out just before 8 pm.
The drive was pretty good, with Clifford towing Pegasus at a decent clip. We made it to Neah without a hitch and was parked in the lot at midnight. Two of us slept in the cuddy while one slept in the truck.
3 am came quickly, but the gate was still not open for the long forming line of trucks and anxious fishermen wanting to launch their boats. We were able to be the 4th to launch and finally got into the water by 04:30. It was still pretty dark out and a light marine layer covered Waadah island and beyond. I booted up the Quantum dome and she spun around doing the job to help us get out to Tatoosh while the sun gradually started to rise.
The photo below doesn’t do justice to the eiry morning mist, marine layer, and the crescent moon towards the marina.
Our plan was to head back down to the SWC and was helping my buddy Thap as he didn’t have radar on his Arima Legend. Eventually he became disoriented and lost visual contact with us. We hailed him and gave him our position, but sounded like his crew ended up getting sea sick with the waves and fog. They were pretty out of it so he ended up doing all the fishing, driving, working. Not fun for the captain when he has to play guide, fisherman, and nurse.
In fact all our spirits were on cloud 9 as we had several triple hook ups. The halibut bite was very good with many chicken sized butts that came up. This time Ching was prepared with the Daiwa Tanacom 750 we ordered off Ebay and was able to spool up and bring along for this trip.
The fish box quickly filled with large Boccacio, lings, and butts. The action was very good yet eiry as we were the first and only boat to arrive and be fishing. About an hour later, more sport boats started to show and do the drift which was NW to SE. The wind wasn’t fierce but was enough to keep our lines at a 30-40 degree slant. Good thing we had heavy lead to get down.
The weather was pretty snotty, cold, overcast, but little rain. I had forgotten my rain jacket and paid the price with a bloody stinky soft shell to have to launder once back home.
We had it down and while two guys stayed to process the fish back at the cleaning stations, Phil grabbed Clifford and we didn’t have to wait very long to get Pegasus back on the skids and cleaned up for the trip back.
Ching did a great job with the menu, the highlight was the roast beef and salami sub hoagies. Phil ended up driving Pegasus back while I tried to catch a few ZZZ’s on the bean bag. It was a great rocket run and glad we were able to re-visit Neah.
WDFW announced the extended day for Thursday June 1st, but it wasn’t official on the Sunday 6/4 date. While it tempting to return for a 3rd time, its also alot of work and time away from our families. We had a nice haul of meat and memories to share until our July trip for the Kings.
While I was hesitant to obtain another Canadian license, both Phil and I got one to explore some spots on the Maple Leaf side. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find a halibut and deep water ling cod or two…
This was the last official day for the Spot Prawn fishery per the WDFW for the 2017 season. The weather was impeccable and great conditions for some Spot Prawns. We pushed off the dock at 07:30 and made our way south of the bridge. Even saw the legend Tom Nelson with his Salmon University North River boat running to the shrimping grounds.
I wanted to check out a new location near the Toanados peninsula that produced easy limits for some neighbors and we must’ve been at the right location as there were dozens of boats queing up to drop their pots right at the 09:00 breakfast bell.
We couldn’t have asked for a nice day with flat water, and landscape of the Olympic mountains in the background. There is Brinnon and Pleasant Harbor way off in the yonder.
While we had some issues with the bait that went ‘bad’ we were still able to pull off a good amount of prawns, enough for a nice meal for each of us and some to freeze for a future date.
Our sights were set on pushing off for Neah Bay that evening, so we had to swap the Pots for the Poles and head west for our quest for Halibut.