Puget Sound Halibut Fishing

Halibut Fishing And The FWC Curse

We aren’t known for catching fish like experts, but we do still like to go fishing.  Halibut fishing is something we started doing last year with no success.  This year we came back with renewed spirits and all the right gear only to be met by foul ass weather.

First day we had scheduled to fish, we wake up to a small craft advisory.  Yeah…  That didn’t sound like fun so we screwed off, went to a Russian Spa and ate a huge pile of meat for lunch.

The next day we rolled out in the afternoon and had beautiful weather.  Not one bite and everyone we talked to hadn’t seen any halibut caught.  Great boat ride though!

Once More Unto the Breach

This last weekend we headed out halibut fishing again.  The weather was reasonable leaving Everett and wasn’t horrible when we got to Mutiny bay.  We were hopeful.  We dropped anchor and started setting up our gear.

It was about this time that I noticed that our boat, while anchored, was holding at a 90 degree angle to our anchor rope.  That was our first WTF moment of the day.  From there on in, the weather got progressively less fun.  The small waves started to build, and since we were sitting odd to our anchor rope, we were side on to the waves and wind.  When they all started to get white caps, we decided to go home.

This mean that we had already spent more time driving than fishing and were severely bummed as Thomas had just lost half his bait to a decent bite.  But we pulled anchor and bailed.

Rounding the corner into Useless Bay is when things got really fun.  I’m not sure exactly what sea or weather God we pissed off, but by the time we were in the middle of the bay, the 1-2′ waves were now 5-7′ waves and we were banging through them, hoping to get home in one piece without swimming.  After an hour of slogging our way through shit-ass waves, we made it to the East side of Possession Bar where the water flattened out and all was sunshine and happiness again.  I think the Gods don’t want us to catch Halibut…

We have one more Friday scheduled to fish, so with any luck, we can actually spend the fishing and not fighting waves and trying not to drown.

Puget Sound Halibut Fishing Tips

Since we have had plenty of non-fishing time to research what we are doing wrong, I figure we might as well pass along one of the better videos we’ve seen on Halibut fishing in Puget Sound.  Hope you enjoy and get to catch a Halibut.  I’m not sure we ever will…

2013 Puget Sound Pink Salmon Fishing

2013 Should Be Great for Pink Salmon

Nothing is more fun than coming home with a limit of salmon for the boat and every other year, Puget Sound Pink Salmon fishing delivers on that dream.  With their abundant returns and proclivity to biting, Pink Salmon traditionally fill buckets and the bellies of anglers all across the Puget Sound region in the fall months of odd numbered years.

This year looks to be as good as it ever is and Pink Salmon fishing will be explosive!

Pink Salmon are the most abundant of the Pacific Salmon species though they trade that off for being the smallest. Pink Salmon or Humpies average only five pounds.  Unlike Chinook which can stay out to sea for years, Pink Salmon rigidly adhere to a 2 year life cycle, giving us our odd numbered Pink Salmon runs here in Puget Sound.

Pink Salmon get a bit of a reputation for being the “junk fish” of the salmon family along with the Chum, primarily because they are less flavorful and degrade pretty quickly if handled improperly after they are caught.

Personally I have grilled Pink Salmon up after we get home from fishing and it tastes GREAT!  I also fillet up a bunch and smoke it which is my absolutely favorite way to eat salmon.

smoked pink salmon
Flavorful brines and a good smoking are my favorite way to prepare Pink Salmon!

WDFW 2013 Pink Salmon Predictions

The WDFW is predicting that more than 6 million pink salmon are expected back to the Sound in 2013.  A pretty good showing and a far more abundant run than the Coho or Chinook salmon.

“It’s a pink year, which is a great time to introduce a friend or family member – especially children – to salmon fishing,” said Lothrop. “Fishing this summer should be similar to 2011, when anglers were catching limits of pink salmon throughout the Sound and its rivers.”

Pink Salmon River Fishing

If you are lacking a boat to get out on Puget Sound with, you can either fish the shores, or wait until the Pinks start to head up the rivers.  Action will be fast and furious, and you can expect there to be a lot of other people out there fishing with you!  Here are the rivers you will want to try and get out on for Pink Salmon Fishing:

  • Nooksak River
  • Skagit River
  • Stillaguamish River
  • Snohomish River
  • Green River
  • Puyallup River
  • Nisqualy River

The big months for Pink Salmon fishing on the rivers are August and September, so if you are racking up the paid time off, my suggestion is to burn it then and fish mid-week!

Kayak Fishing for Pink Salmon

This year, you will find me sneaking out of Mukilteo and fishing for Pink Salmon between there and the shipwreck.  What better way to spend a beautiful morning than chasing Pink Salmon around with a trout rod?  I have watched them running through the weeds along the shore, so I know they go through there, and a lot closer to shore than you might think!

So if you see some crazy dude out in a bright yellow Trident Ocean Kayak this year, it probably will be me!

Puget Sound cabezon fishing limits debated

Do you fish for cabezon in Puget Sound?

Puget Sound cabezonIf you fish for cabezon in Puget Sound, you may want to get in on this discussion about changing the limits on how many you can keep and when you can fish for them.

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept public comments through May 31 on a proposal that would reduce the length of the fishing season for cabezon in Puget Sound.

Cabezon are bottomfish that inhabit rocky areas of Puget Sound. The fish can measure up to 30-inches in length and weigh up to 25 pounds.

The proposed rule would limit the season in marine areas 4-11 and 13 to May 1 through June 15. Currently anglers can fish for cabezon in Marine Area 4 year-round and in marine areas 5-11 and 13 from May 1 through Nov. 30. Retention of cabezon is closed year-round in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

To review and comment on the proposed change, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/cabezon/.

Earlier this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to reduce the catch limit of cabezon to one fish a day in marine areas 4-11 and 13 and prohibit the retention of cabezon measuring less than 18 inches in length.

In addition, commission asked the department to seek additional public input on restricting the cabezon season to May 1 through June 15, with plans to conduct further review and discussion.

In recent years, WDFW has implemented restrictions on fishing that have provided greater protection for bottomfish.

The public also will have an opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed change during the commission’s June 7-8 meeting in Olympia. The commission may consider taking action at that meeting. Check the commission’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/) for the specific day and time.

King salmon still in northern and central Puget Sound

King Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound Ain’t Over Yet!

report on King Salmon in Puget sound.
According to the WDFW test fishing boat (how do you get that job anyway?) there are still king salmon to be caught in central and northern Puget Sound.  Thomas and I were out Sunday, and thought the water was beautiful, the waters off Possession Bar were not turning out any fish for us or the boats we could see.

Mark Yuasa the fishing reporter for the Seattle Times had better luck than us the previous week with two fish on his trip, but apparently the WDFW boys have it dialed in as they were telling him they caught are released 16 king salmon in two days.  I would love to know what they are doing right!

Sunday, we took the boat out and did a few laps around area 9  hitting the east side of Possession bar, chasing one small school of bait fish, then wandered a bit, fishing the edge of the bar.  Would have been much easier to track if the GPS antenna on our Lowrance wasn’t dead, more on that another time.

Realizing our fuel was low we trucked over to the Port of Kingston and gassed up then started fishing out way up from Apple Cover Point to Point no Point.  Still no fish, though we did manage to hook into someone’s sunken crab pot.  That was soooo fun to get my hook loose from and smelled so good when we got it on deck.  Still no bait fish though.

Starting to be a bit frustrated, we then ran over to the west buoy on Possession Bar where we normally have good luck.  Still nothing.  Finally in hopes of one last shot at a king salmon for dinner, we dropped down to the bottom edge of the bar and trolled north.  Watching the other dejected fishermen we all seemed to be trolling for port in Everett and as we approached the north end of the run we watched one after another pull lines and motor up for port.

The king salmon may still be in Puget Sound, but Sunday they were no where that we could find them.  Hell, even our crab pots came up mostly empty.  May be all the fish took the day off because of the sunshine.

Hammerhead Sharks in Puget Sound?

There are a lot of weird things turning up in Puget Sound.  This time it is the head of a Hammerhead Shark that has washed up on Alki Beach.  Not what you normally expect to find down there.

What is next?  More Great Whites patrolling the sound?  The real question is if this shark swam here or was dumped off a fishing boat that had come up from warmer waters.

What do you think?  Is the ecology of Puget Sound and our Oceans in general changing that much?

NWCN Story on the Hammerhead shark head found on Alki Beach.

Spy boat looking for our lost Coho?

Have you seen the camouflaged boat that is patrolling the waters of Puget Sound in the Seattle to Everett area?  The news reports say it is a privately funded spy boat that they are testing out and trying to get a buyer for.  Personally I think someone is running stealth operations looking for the lost Coho run.

SEATTLE – If you look out at Puget Sound from Seattle to Everett, you may get a peek at it — a strange looking boat with camouflage paint.

It is intended to carry out its missions unmanned.

It’s called the Piranha, a boat developed with private funds trying to get the attention of U.S and Allied navies as well as the Department of Homeland Security.

Zyvex Technologies of Columbus, Ohio developed the Piranha and had it built in Seattle. It’s made from lightweight composite plastic, similar to what Boeing is using to build its new 787 Dreamliner. Zyvex says it’s so light, several of the 54-foot vessels could be launched out the back of a flying C-17 cargo jet with parachutes and land in the water to begin its mission.

Like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), those robotic airplanes flown by government agencies including the Air Force and the CIA, Zyvex’s website shows a variety of applications the Piranha could carry out.

It could be used as a weapons platform armed with missiles or torpedoes. It could go on surveillance missions and be able to stay at sea for extended periods of time, even launching small UAVs from its rear deck.

For the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard it could be deployed to search out bad guys on the water and even carry out search and rescue missions.
Via:  King 5 News

Coho are still a no-show in Puget Sound

Coho Salmon So where are the Coho Salmon that should be coursing through Puget Sound right now?  Did the Squid eat them all?  Did the Japanese trawlers get them?  Who knows!  With the weather being as weird as it has this year, anyone’s guess is as good as mine.

According to the Seattle Times only 129 Coho got weighed-in at last weeks Edmonds Derby.  This doesn’t bode well for the Everett Coho Derby coming up.  Quite honestly if something doesn’t change for the positive with the fish runs, I am guessing you will see the derbies fade away.

The reality is that sport Salmon fishing is big business and until the people in charge of protecting an promoting Salmon recognize that, things will only get worse.  Hopefully they don’t wait so long to wake up to this fact that they are too late to do anything about it!

Photo Credit:  pstutheit

Interactive map information on Puget Sound

Puget Sound Keepers Ever wonder about the water quality in Puget Sound, or if a certain shellfish beach is open or not? Then check out this interactive map from the people at http://www.pugetsoundkeeper.org/ and shows just how messed up the Puget Sound waters really are.  The idea of course is if you know just how screwed up the waters we love are, you will help fix it.

Take a look and see just what is going on in your area.  You might even consider helping to do something about it.  Cleaner water means more fish, crabs and clams for us all!

Halibut and Ling Cod Fishing in Puget Sound

Looks like the Halibut fishing is starting out good.  Now just to get enough time to get Thomas and get the boat around into some spots where we can actually catch some!

The halibut and lingcod fisheries in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and two southern coastal ports started off on a high note.

The eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and north Puget Sound generated good catches of halibut when the areas opened last weekend.

“I’ve never seen such a phenomenal halibut fishery on the (May 1) opening day like this one,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait.
(Seattle Times)