Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Trifecta!

Brrrr! Yesterday started out cold and icy, but we new the sun was coming up, and the wind was dying down. The ride across the coast range at sunrise brought the temperature down to 19. Once we got to LI and launched, it was a balmy 25.

The docks were slick. Just getting down to the boat made for an adventure.

While launching, I couldn't help but notice those two damn bar lights flashing. "Uh oh", I thought....

But then realized, it might just be restricted. I hailed and heard it was restricted to 16' and under. WOOHOO! That's what we needed to hear!

We dropped 4 pots in the bay by barview, and headed out to the tips. We poked our head out and was literally smooth sailing! A GREAT DECEMBER OCEAN! The forcast was for 2 and 5 at 13 or so, and was more like 1 and 4. We shot across and headed south for some rock fish.

I took a friend that hadn't been out of Garibaldi before, so I wanted to show him 3 Arches, and some of the scenery around there..

For those that haven't, its almost as amazing, just floating below those cliffs and rocks.. Makes you feel pretty small!

Well, we slid out a little ways and found some pinnacles to fish. After fishing a couple hours on some different mounds, gathered our rock fish and started back. I also caught a healthy cabazon, but it needed to go back down.

We rolled across a 'flat-as-a-pancake' bar to check the pots. Almost had our two limits in one pull, but tossed them back in for another soak through the high slack.

Hearing that there are still a few chinook stragglers out there, we thought we'd try to 'Mine some Chrome Gold from the Glory...errr, Ghost Hole.

As you can see, it was windy the rain was blowing sideways! ...okay, not so much..

There was only one other boat fishing, and was the same boat we saw earlier in the morning. The tide was JUST starting to run out so we went just south of the pooper, turned back toward Garibaldi, and deployed a couple herring. Within 5 mins, Gary's rod almost looked snagged but then started violently ripping line. He jumps up, grabs the rod, and the fight is on! It may have just been us, but the color of that fish, with the sun above, was UNBELIEVABLE! the Greens and blues and purples were SO amazingly vibrant. More so than I've normally seen (I was net man, so no pics of that). This fish was hot and took 3-4 good runs. I wasn't about to scoop at him til his head was coming at the net.. He cam right up to the boat and it was a standstill for what felt like 5 mins.. Him on the surface, just out of net's range, and head pointing away from us... wait...wait...wait... FINALLY!! He turned his head as it to dive under the boat and run. ...However, I wasn't going to let that happen. I slid the net down in the water so he ran directly in.

SCORE!! A 32lb December Chromer! We were ecstatic! What a trifecta! Rockfish, Salmon, and Crabs! Felt almost like August!

It was now about 2:30 so we made a couple more passes and decided to call it. We went back out to the pots, grabbed some monsters, and filled our limits!

Sure makes for a great ride in, when you have a boat full of bounty!

We couldn't have asked for a better day, or better weather window. The temp finally reached about 45-50 and was very pleasant with no wind until the end of the day when it turned around from the north.. but I can take a 0-5kt wind from the N!

See ya at the next weather window!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siletz Salmon with a Couple Snowbirds

My parents are heading back down to Arizona in a couple weeks, so Last Saturday, I was fortunate to fish with them! We headed over to the coast to the Siletz River. We launched at Siletz Moorage around first light. We headed out to the mouth to hit the low slack, coming in an hour and a half. We dropped the crab pots in a channel along the houses on the Salishan spit and continued to the mouth. It felt like a parade with the fuzzy fat onlookers.

5-6 boat were already out there dragging herring, so I made my way into the traffic.

Bankies were lining the beach, casting their spinners. Most were #6 Blue Foxes. Some getting pretty close to the boat if you get near their casting area.  So, we stayed clear while motoring out into the breakers. we turned to come back in on the outgoing tide.

This guy walked over from Salishan with his net and rod and we watched him beach a nice fish right in front of the seals.  Walked away and went home for breakfast!

Depth was only 3-6 feet. I had never fished a shallow inlet like this before. I dropped a herring back on one rod. While getting the second bait out, my dad comments, "Is that rod supposed to be doing that?". I look over and the first rod was doubled over, line screaming out, and yell, "Fish on!". My mom gets first fish, so she grabs the rod and starts the fight. It made a semi-circle all the way around the boat, in this shallow sandy surf and pops off. We were excited for the day, seeing that we had a fish on in the first 5 mins of fishing!

We re-deployed the 3 herring and twenty minutes later, BAM! Fish on again! This time my dad fights it. This fish makes a couple strong runs, but again, eventually just spits the hook. We Finally hook a third fish, following the tide in on a pass. We clear the rods and quickly bring in nice chrome Coho. ONE FISH IN THE BOAT! Already this was a great day.

The tide started to rip its way in so we decided to head back upriver further.   Just above the 101 bridge, we dropped our lines in.  At one point, we had Ken Bolstad, of Rod-Action Guide Service landing a fish with a child on board.  I took a picture of them taking a picture of this kiddos new memory!

It was a great moment.

We trolled our way up from the Siletz Moorage up past Coyote Rock. Along the way the weeds were the worst when we were trolling against the tide. So we trolled upriver with the tide and just kept going. It was a beautiful sunny day with no wind. Why not just keep going. Just around the Coyote Rock RV Park area, I felt we might as well reel up and turn around and head back down. I put the kicker into neutral and say, "Reel 'em up. Lets turn around". At that moment, I grab my rod out of the holder to start reeling and it starts tugging back... HARD!    FISH ON!  ...while reeling up! I grab it and give it to my mom. This fish is putting up an amazing fight. Its running her all over the boat. We get control of the fish and bring it up to the net! Another fish in the boat! That's 2-4! This one is a 16 lb chinook.

Just up around the next bend, my rod starts to bury. This one is a big one! It puts up a great fight. At one point, it swam around a wood piling but we were fortunate enough to get it free and finally net the fish. Right when my dad netted it, my line broke. It frayed from the teeth of the fish. Perfect timing! Much longer and that fish would have swam away. It had a small seal gash on the one side of it, but the meat was still great.

The sun was shining down and we were smiling ear to ear. I couldn't believe we had 3 fish in the boat and were 3-5 for the day!

The day got longer and we decided to call it. We collected our crab pots, with not so great success, and headed in. However, my mom says, "Lets keep fishing! We still have 3 more herring! This is fun!" I LOVED hearing that! So we did. Unfortunately, our luck didn't increase. We took a pass and were weeded up, so we just quit with our bounty.

Ended the day with dinner at Dory Cove, the best chowder on the coast! What an amazing day of fishing, and some great memories with my parents!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Tuna!

It's October, and the fall storms are starting to roll into the coast.  The warmer water is starting to subside, pulling the tuna further and further out of range for our sport boats.

 The water was clear and blue..

We had a very short weather window on Saturday and decided to head west to good ole' Garibaldi! 

Mother ocean was calm to us in the morning, but began to blow hard from the south by afternoon.   The morning met us with a comfortable 6ft swell from the WNW at 12 seconds.   Wind waves came from the South at just a foot or so in the morning.    The ride out greeted us with a partial rainbow and photographic moment.

After clearing the jaws, we knew we had a good window of opportunity to catch fish.   We headed west past Johnny Bowles and the salmon crew.

We found our first fish along the 30 line but headed further west as far as the 125.03.    We stayed south of Garibaldi, around the 23-30 N/S line, knowing that we were going to have to run back to the barn with the wind at our back. 

The ocean was teaming with life.  Jumpers, birds, whales, and dolphins were everywhere.

We spotted many sets of jumpers but none that we could hook up and keep the school at the boat.  We kept heading west until commie (commercial tuna boat) after commie began to pop up on the horizon.   Before we knew it there were 11 commercial guys all around us.  We couldn't get an iron bite, so we decided to troll a couple swim baits.   FISH ON!    Even with these fish being hooked, we still only hooked up a handful on live bait during these stops.  For some reason, the fish were keying on trolled swimbaits today, rather than LIVE bait!?   odd, for sure!   But we found the pattern, put it together, and made it happen!  Trolling 4 rods at a time, our numbers slowly rose.   By the time the wind was howling up from the south, we had 27 tuna on ice and we called it a day.   Pulled in gear and ran east.  The run in was pretty smooth and the bar crossing was like glass. ... I even slept the whole way across and was woken up once we were inside!  That's a first.

Well, that was probably the last trip of the year before they get out of reach for us sporties.   Thanks Charlie Tuna for another fun year to play!  Can't wait til you come back next summer!  Bring more other pelagics with ya!