Bow Fishing For Carp In Washington State

Yes, You Can Bow Fish For Carp In Washington

bow fishing for carpIn Washington State, Carp are an invasive species and need to be managed (heavily).  To that end, they are the only fish legal to bow hunt for.

 Here is a great article with some insights into bow fishing for for carp in Washington state waters.

By the time Tom hit his first fish we had both taken about a dozen shots, encouraged by Estes to “just keep shooting, and aim low” to compensate for the refraction caused by the water.

#As I kept missing — and aiming lower, and lower — Tom hit another fish. Then a third, each going into a large plastic barrel on his side of the boat. Finally, I got past the refraction, aimed low enough, and hit my first carp.

#“That’s a mirror carp,” Estes said as I hauled the roughly 20-pound fish over the side of the boat. He pointed out the irregular, larger-than-usual scale pattern on the fish, then dropped it into my bucket. The game was, as they say, afoot. Or maybe a-fin.

#In either case, by the time we left the inlet for more open water, Tom had hit four fish and I had three of my own in my bucket. We kept count for the next two hours, at which time we both decided we were having too much fun to care who shot the most fish.

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Rigging For Kayak Salmon Fishing – Tackle

What Tackle Do You Need When Salmon Fishing From A Kayak?

Fishing for salmon from a kayakSummer run Chinook salmon season is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to salmon fishing from my kayak.

This is my first year really fishing a kayak and every trip is a new adventure, so it took some research to get the kayak ready for salmon fishing.  In this article I cover some of the ideas of what tackle you will want for salmon fishing from a kayak.

Rods For Kayak Salmon Fishing

The way to go in the rod department when salmon fishing from a kayak is a slow rod that is about 8′ long.  A slow rod is going to bend through the length of the rod, giving you lots of flex to fight a big salmon.  Your length should be long enough to get around the end of your kayak in case the salmon you have on decides to get crazy and you need to switch sides of the boat.  Your salmon rod doesn’t need to be fancy for kayak salmon fishing, it just needs to be flexible to take a run and strong enough to pull in a 30# fish.  You do want to make sure that your rod is rated for braided line, because if it isn’t your line could wind up getting cut on an eyelet. I’ve had it happen!

Reels For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Tackle Direct

A bait casting reel that holds a decent amount of line is essential.  Quite honestly I would rather spend the big money on my reel than on my rod.  Especially fighting pissed off King Salmon, you need a reel with a great drag system that can hold up to getting salt water on it.  A good reel isn’t cheap, but will make or break your fishing trip.  The last thing you want is to lose a 35# Chinook because your drag got sticky and started locking up while your fish is running.  Something like the Shimano Tekota 300 should do a great job and hold up to the salt water.  I like line counter models, but some people don’t.  I will leave that up to you.

Line For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Kayak Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound pretty much means you will be mooching or trolling.  Either way, you will want a small diameter braided line.  If you go for a 20# test braided superline, you will have almost no drag and be able to get a bunch of line on your reel.  The regular complaint with braided line for salmon fishing is that it doesn’t absorb shock.  This isn’t a problem because you will use some mono on your terminal tackle, will be using a soft rod and fishing from a kayak that itself will absorb energy.

Now You Have The Tackle for Kayak Salmon Fishing

Next time we will talk about the terminal tackle for kayak salmon fishing, the common techniques and some thoughts on where to fish for salmon.   Do you have any comments on this article?  What are you  using to go kayak fishing?  Post your comments below, or you can email your comments to me.


2014 Puget Sound Shrimping

Time To Shrimp Again

Pot full of Puget Sound Shrimp
A pot full of Puget Sound shrimp!

Summer is fast approaching and that means that it is time to go shrimping!  The official notice came out a few days ago.

Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 11 are re-opening for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing, with a 150-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. Marine Area 7 East is reopening for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing as well, with a 200-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. All spot shrimp caught must be returned to the water immediately.

Effective date: June 1, 2014.

Species affected: Non-spot (coonstripe and pink) shrimp.

Location: Marine Areas 7 East, 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 11.

Reason for action: Recreational non-spot shrimp shares are available in these Marine Areas.

Other information:  Marine Areas 4, 5, 6 and 7 West remain open daily to all shrimp species.

Contact: Mark O’Toole, La Conner, (360) 466-4345 ext. 241.

Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the Fishing section of the WDFW webpage at  for details on current shrimp fishing seasons and regulations, or check the current WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet  for fishing regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Honestly this isn’t something the Fishing with Cliff crew have done a lot of.  We have plenty of other things to suck at, like halibut fishing.  Though we may try it this year, maybe…

Here are some great links for going shrimping in Puget Sound in case you are wanting to gear up and go.


Photo Credit: Fish Washington

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…

Pike Fishing Fantasy Art

Fantasy Art And Fishing Don’t Normally Mix

Usually you don’t see any fantasy art that features or is appropriate for a fishing site, but these shots I ran across today definitely do.  I can see my brother going after Pike like these.  “We’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

fishing fantasy art

Two guys pike fishing fantasy art.

pike fishing fantasy artOf course I can’t go with out giving credit to Tommy Kinnerup who did these drawings.  Apparently they were pieces done for a fishing catalog and they have grown legs and taken on a life of their own.  Definitly take a minute out of your day and go check out his site:


Anchor Pulling Ring Review

If You Anchor Your Boat Then An Anchor Puller Is Essential

Anchor pulling ring
An anchor pulling ring plus the float, makes getting your anchor back up MUCH easier!

Last year was the first time that the FWC crew took a stab at Puget Sound Halibut fishing.  It was a great learning experience.  Does that sum up our lack of catching any Halibut well enough.  We did learn some things though and one was the need to have an anchor puller.  With 300’+ of rope out and anchoring in ~200′ of water, pulling a muck covered anchor up sucks.  I should know, since as the biggest guy on the boat, I generally did it.  This year I solved that problem using a an anchor pulling ring.

We watched other people out there using buoys as were baffled at first as to what they were for.  Quite honestly we never anchor the big boat up other then when we are halibut fishing, so we had no experience with it and anchoring the little boat doesn’t really require one.

This Year We Got Smarter About Pulling Anchors

As we started gearing up for this year, an anchor puller was high on my list and I like simple, so my choice was an anchor pulling ring.  Obviously there are no moving parts to break, fail, seize up and so on.  I like that!

An alternative design anchor puller
A different style of anchor puller.

Secondly, anchor pulling rings are relatively inexpensive and about half of what the more fancy ones cost.

Third is that a ring style anchor puller doesn’t have to be put on the line before you anchor up. Half the time we are still asleep when we are going fishing it is so damn early and the last thing we need is to forget to thread the anchor puller on.

Fourth is that they anchor pulling ring is pretty forgiving.  Honestly this time out we had to add some rope to our anchor line to replace some that we lost and the knot we used to join them was efficient, but not what I would call mariner pretty.   I know it would never go through the fancier anchor pullers, but the ring didn’t care about our fist full of knotted rope.

Anchor Puller Buoys

The other essential part of this rig is a float of some kind, typically a 11-18″ buoy with a short piece of rope and a clip.  The stores all sell nice red ones and honestly you can save a few bucks by ordering online.   In fact, you can buy whole anchor pulling ring assemblies online for only about $80 but I am a cheap bastard and assembled my own.

After looking at the price of buoys and comparing it to what I was already spending the year in replacing equipment and buying a halibut spear, I figured I could just use an old fender that we found a few years ago.  It was fairly big an I figured it would float the little anchor we use just fine.

If you want something fancier for a buoy to put on your anchor pulling ring that is fine, I can see why you wouldn’t want an ugly old float on yours LOL.

Pulling Double Duty

That is a pun there… Ok, fine a lousy pun.  But since we are halibut fishing, we needed a buoy to go on the line for the halibut spear as well.  A quick change clip and the same float works for pulling the anchor and bringing in the halibut that we will eventually (hopefully) catch!

Easy To Use Anchor Puller

One of the things I like most about the ring and float anchor pullers is that they are easy to use.  When it is time to go, simply slip the ring over the line, clip on the float and motor past your anchor at about a 30 degree angle.  The resistance of the float in the water levers the anchor up out of the sea floor and pulls the line through the ring.  When it hits the top, you simply stop and reel it in.  No more back breaking pulling.  I love it!!!

Where To Buy Anchor Pullers

You can find anchor pullers in most stores, but I prefer to shop online and save some money.  It is up to you if you want to pay a little more to support your local store or if you want to save your money and spend your savings locally on more fishing tackle.  The second is usually my choice.

Wherever you decide to shop, I highly suggest you get an anchor pulling ring.  They are a back saver!

WDFW reaches agreement with Wild Fish Conservancy Over Steelhead

If you weren’t aware the Wild Fish Conservancy and the WDFW have been battling for several years over the release of hatchery steelhead.

Is releasing hatchery steelhead detrimental to wild steehead runs? That is what is still being decided!

In its March 31 complaint, the Duvall-based non-profit group claimed the department’s Puget Sound hatchery steelhead programs violate the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) by impairing the recovery of wild steelhead, salmon, and bull trout. All three species are listed as “threatened” under the ESA.

The theory being that hatchery steelhead harm the survival rates of wild steelhead.  For now the two have agreed to suspend the lawsuit while the WDFW has their steelhead Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) reviewed and approved.  Before this lawsuit, the WDFW was going to release about 900,000 juvenile steelhead into Puget Sound rivers.  Now they will release only 180,000 and only into the Skykomish river.

Other provisions of the federal court agreement include:

  • WDFW may release up to 180,000 hatchery steelhead in 2014 and again in 2015 into the Skykomish River, which flows into the Snohomish River near Monroe.
  • The Conservancy will not sue WDFW over its Puget Sound hatchery programs during the next 2 ½ years, or until NMFS approves those programs, whichever comes first.
  • WDFW will refrain from planting early winter (Chambers Creek) hatchery steelhead into most rivers in the Puget Sound region until NMFS completes its review.
  • A 12-year research program will be established in the Skagit River, during which no early winter steelhead will be released into the watershed. In cooperation with the Conservancy, WDFW will work with tribes to evaluate and potentially implement a steelhead hatchery program in the Skagit River using native steelhead.
  • The department may release hatchery steelhead into other rivers around Puget Sound when NMFS approves the department’s HGMPs. This provision will not apply to the Skagit River watershed, which will not receive early winter hatchery steelhead releases during the 12-year study period.
  • Early winter steelhead from WDFW hatcheries that cannot be released into Puget Sound-area rivers will be released into inland waters that have no connection to Puget Sound. The department will give the Conservancy 14 days’ advance notice of those releases.
  • WDFW will pay the Conservancy $45,000 for litigation expenses.

Is This Decision Good Or Bad?

Drop a comment below and let me know what you think?  Is it better to protect the biodiversity of the wild steelhead, or more important to keep good returns of catchable steelhead coming back?

2014 Puget Sound Halibut Season

More Halibut Fishing Fun

Yes, even after last year, the FWC crew is excited to go halibut fishing again.  The 2014 halibut season for Puget Sound and Juan de Fuca Strait have been announced and it looks like this:

  • Western Region (Marine Area 5): Thursday through Sunday May 22-25, Thursday through Saturday May 29-31, and Saturday June 7.
  • Eastern Region (Marine Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10): (Marine Areas 11-13 are closed) Friday and Saturday May 9-10, Saturday May 17, Thursday through Sunday May 22-25, Thursday through Saturday May 29-31, and Saturday June 7

Pacific HalibutFor us fishing the east end of things, that means a whopping 11 days of Halibut fishing. I must admit I’m wondering if it is worth it.

What am I saying, of course it is worth it.  If  nothing else it is being out on the water and not at a desk!

As usual there is a one fish limit (if you can get one). But we do get to keep Ling Cod on Halibut fishing days, in waters over 120′ in areas where retention is allowed.

I’m not quite confident in my kayak fishing skills to try halibut fishing from a kayak yet, but I think next year, I will definitely give it a go.

Kayak Fishing For Halibut

Obviously not me doing the fishing, but this looks like fun.  I have read reports of 80# halibut being taken from kayaks in Puget Sound in in the straights.

The Fly Fishing Show Lynnwood 2014

If You Fly Fish Then Get Over Valentines Day In Lynnwood

The Fly Fishing Show SeattleJust a reminder that The Fly Fishing Show is back in town at the Lynnwood Convention center again this year.  It is is running Feb. 15th and 16th and is $15 for a day pass.  You can get a $25 two day pass, but unless you want to see all the speakers, you can take it in in a single trip.

The director of the show has this to say:

Our celebrity speakers will help you with your casting, fly tying, and all aspects of our sport. The lectures and demos educate and inspire all fly-fishers: beginners to experts. Manufacturers of the latest rods, reels, lines, clothing and accessories – and the dealers selling all the products – are here for you. The popular Destination Theater talks have everything you need to know about your local waters and exotic dream trips.

If you read any of my posts, you know I’m not a huge fly fishing fan.  It works, but I’ve never gotten into it.  But if you are, this is a good local show to attend.  I was there last year to check it out and while it is small, they have a good number of vendors, guides and such crammed into the convention center.

Tips On Attending The Fly Fishing Show

Biggest complaint I had was that this show pulls way more people than the parking can handle.  They had set up additional parking at the church just to the east of the convention center and that was completely full.  I wound up parking a few blocks away and hiking in.

There was food and drink available in the cafeteria last year, but with the number of restaurants within walking range, I would opt for them instead.

Bring cash or purchase your tickets ahead of time! They are only accepting cash at the door and you don’t want to be that guy that shows up with no money in his pocket.


The Carp Rod Basics

Carp fishing is a hugely popular hobby in various parts of the world and the carp rod specialists at Fishermania have got all the info you’ll need about the most important piece of kit for your carp fishing exploits.

The carp rod basics

carp fishingA fishing rod is a fishing tool used in sport fishing that comprises of an extensive pole having a line held together at its side using guides. The line is normally held in reserve in storage on a particular reel so that the angler spin or twirl to both take up and allow the line out during casting. There is a hook or clip on the loose end of the line to grasp the live worms, insects, simulated lures, bait as well as the floats or bobbers and sinkers that hold the bait at the preferred level inside water.
There are various types of fishing rods available for coarse fishing with each one designed to undertake a specific job. When choosing cap rods you should make sure that the rod has a screw reel fitting to help hold the reel steadily. Numerous rods have sliding clips that you can button up together. Currently, majority of rods comes with safe reel fittings; however it is worth being very careful when buying the rod.

Different rods for different carp

The rod used for carp fishing differs with the variety of sizes of the carp. You might be looking for a carp weighing up to at least 15 pounds when you are in a smaller pond or lake.

In larger lakes, the carp may be very large weighing up to 30 pounds. Not all the rods will allow you to grab a 30 pound carp hence the size of the carp should vary when choosing the equipment for rod carp fishing. A one to two pound test curve rods would hold the carp up to approximately 15 pounds. Anything above 15 pounds should probably need a fishing rod having a test curve of approximately 3.

The other factor when choosing your rod carp fishing equipment is the angling distance. A longer fishing distance comprise of a longer rod having the ability to hold a heavier load.

The diameter of the rod rings must be of a reasonable size which facilitates decline in friction during fasting. Carp rods are normally packed into two pieces with either a put over joint or spigot. Anglers must also appreciate the distinctions between the two since some anglers usually strive to propel the spigot joints which flushes together. However, this can destroy the rod.

The divided rod on the carp is also attached to the underneath half of the fishing rods while the top half is normally pushed to the spigot to grasp it in the right place. This is the most normal type of joint on the carp rods. Also, anglers can join the 2 halves of the rod together.

Different carp rods contain put over joints in which the bottom suits into the top. Many producers fix spigot joints to the carp rods since they are solid and well built than the put over kinds.

Always keep it in your mind that being that a rod is called a carp rod does not mean that it can only be used for carp tasks only since there are some anglers who use salmon spinning rod since they work properly. Any person who would like to go for fishing can begin from anywhere. Just know that it is your execution and not fishing equipment which catches fish.

To see specialist carp rods and see more information on them, view the carp rods section on Fishermania’s website.