Port Angeles Mooching: The 1970's

Woodhunter

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2011
797
480
Port Angeles, WA
Name
Big John
Boat
Classic MAKO 22
Things were different back then. Almost no downriggers. Jigs were scarce. Knuckle busters like the Pakrons were common, with wire line.

And the Moochers. An 'ol Florida boy like me had no clue. Tried dragging herring along Ediz Hook with no success for 2 years.

So I studied the old guys that caught fish, tried to see what was going on, without finding out much.

Then one of the guys started feeding me little tips, one at a time, over a period of several months. Finally caught a fish on a cut plug!!!

I love Mooching to this day. Not an expert but I have found a few things over the years that put fish in the boat.

Today I am spooling new line and servicing some of the 109 Penns. As I stumble across interesting (to me) items in the shop or boat I will take a photo and post.

The Penn 109: A simple reel, the handle does not disengage from the spool when in "free spool". Actually the anti reverse dog is disengaged. This allows the handle to be turned backwards to feed line to a nibbling Chinook. This IMHO is the singularly most important thing in successful Mooching: Being able to feed the bait to a Chinook that has taken a nip on the herring.

This reel was purchased new in about 1978 at Swains in Port Angeles.

Two things to note in the disassembled photo: The clicker has been removed and the hole has been sealed with epoxy. And the tiny 109 handle has been replaced with the larger 209 handle.



Back together. Note there is no reel stand.



No reel stand in the previous photo as we don't need no stinking reel seats!! Reel stand is wrapped and epoxied to the rod blank and covered with cork. Why this way? Maximizes hand comfort when holding the rod for long periods of time when working the herring up and down. My left hand cradles the reel and the right hand manipulates the reel handle. Yo-yoing the bait up and down near the bottom. Backing the reel up a lot. Enticing that big Chinook hoovering near the bottom.

I do not use a rod holder when mooching, the rod is in my hands.

Made this one in 1979 using a one piece Lamiglass S blank, 9-1/2 feet long. I have more rods that are built a little different.





Gotta get back to spooling reels, when I return I will post some rod details. And some photos of the "Mooching Station" set up in the boat.
 

KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,501
2,213
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
Cool....I also was a 109 fan but prefered the small handle. The one that I have left bad a bad pinion gear but I was able to find one at Mystic so it's all put together and ready to go. I liked the small handle as I always used my thumb for drag.

Mooching out of Westport years ago I always felt I had better luck when I felt the tap, tap, tap of a fish was to slow down the crank (retrieve) to very slow instead of feeding line. Once the pressure got stronger I did a small hook set. I'm sure different methods such as yours produced as well or better. Of course sticking them on a Harnel rod was great also.

When I was running charters in the early 70's if you had a crew of crankers you most always did better.
 
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Siv

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 8, 2008
2,073
687
Normandy Park Wa
Name
Dave
Boat
19' SeaSport
This is the only way to mooch. Rod holders are for trolling.

" I do not use a rod holder when mooching, the rod is in my hands. "

Nice post.
 
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EJ Swanny

Three Generations of Uff-Dah
Nov 30, 2010
2,690
1,497
Redondo/WA
Name
Erik
Boat
"Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
Mooching or Motor Mooching?? I grew up motor mooching with cut-plugs. Easy to cover the entire water column with a 3oz banana weight. Speed up, slow down, easy peasy. Seem to catch just as much with a DR, and keep the bow-wows, and other by-products away. No need to mess with soft herring, or out of herring. To each their own....they both have +/-.
 

KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,501
2,213
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
Damn I must be getting old as this brings back some memories of when I was either deckhanding as a kid on the charters or running them after I turned 18.
There was a Pfuegar reel that would be vintage now that some customers would bring out. I remember it because they had a patch of leather attached to it to use as a buffer to your thumb. Basically your thumb and the leather piece was the drag.

The other reel that always fascinated me was the Winona that a few would bring out to fish with. Probably an early center pin or center pin style reel. Cool stuff.

Since I grew up with the 109's and its ability to be single action I've always gravitated to the single action reels even when using downriggers.....haven't broken a knuckle yet. Wish they still made the 109's.

Cool thread...
 

Fish Asassin

one cast = one kill
May 16, 2012
897
420
San Diego / Baja
Name
Fred Garvin
Boat
U.S.S. Mobile (LKA 115)
That reel looks like new. I respect a person that takes care of his gear.
 

FishPimpII

Repowering the boat..
Jul 27, 2009
2,110
2,179
Seattle, Wa
Name
Jeff Nelson
Boat
255 conquest... needs a name
Anybody run the goofy sideways heddon Winonas with the spot for the thumb drag for mooching?
I bought one 15+ years ago because I saw some guy killing with it in south puget sound and it looked like a cool alternative to my knuckle busters but I’ve never fished it.
1595907220936.png
1595907220936.png
 
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Hunter Dan

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 30, 2011
2,495
1,128
Stauffer
Name
Dan
Boat
MUGWUMP
That "leather patch" is called a Thumbstall . I believe the advent of the new braided lines could bring about a come back of the old tool. There's been a couple of times on fish or a bottom snag with my ling cod jigging stick when I burnt my thumb!
 

Woodhunter

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2011
797
480
Port Angeles, WA
Name
Big John
Boat
Classic MAKO 22
The old school type of mooching is not the same as motor mooching, mainly because of the depths we fish in the PA area. The little motor is a key component.

I drop the new bait in the water beside the boat, watch and see if it has a good spin (If I cut the plug correctly!) and adjust the little motor throttle to obtain the right "spin". Then drop and hit the bottom with the sinker, reel up about 5 turns. Watching the line angle all the time and adjusting the throttle to obtain my line angle. Too much angle and I reduce the throttle.

One area I start at 240 feet deep and work upwards along the ledge to about 100 feet, pull up, start the main, run back to 240, and repeat. All the time bouncing the lead on the bottom and yo-yoing the bait up and down by cranking the reel handle up and down. This is why the currents are important, too much and you cannot keep the bait near the bottom. I start out with 6 ounces, sometimes 8 is needed. This is why the rod is important: Few rods can handle the 6 to 8 ounces at the depths I fish and still give you some feel of what is going on way down there. Another area I run a east-west ledge that drops from about 80 feet to over 300. A very tide and current dependent area.

Weights are small cannonballs on a slider. This way I can change weights quickly.

Yea I have some of the big single action reels and a couple of 10 foot B.C. type "Mooching rods". But I find the Penn 109 much easier and faster to use. Remember I do not use a rod holder, I am constantly holding the rod and manipulating the bait up and down. The little Penn has a 3.75 to 1 gear ratio, with the longer 209 handle I can run the bait up and down pretty fast if needed.

I have fished at 300 feet and caught Kings. Hard work, using a 10 ounce cannonball and a rod I built for this that is stiffer than my standard mooching rod.

Below, and old mooching leader from the 1980's, found it in the fishing junk box. See if you can figure it out. The two swivels and swivel configuration are very important.



More later, I have to make a feed store run.
 

South Sounder

Skipper
Jun 12, 2011
1,933
1,808
South Sound/ WA/ USA
Name
Chris
Boat
South Sounder
Anybody run the goofy sideways heddon Winonas with the spot for the thumb drag for mooching?
I bought one 15+ years ago because I saw some guy killing with it in south puget sound and it looked like a cool alternative to my knuckle busters but I’ve never fished it.
View attachment 1176438View attachment 1176438
I have two. Super fun when the fish takes off and the thumb break can get a little warm.
 
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Woodhunter

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2011
797
480
Port Angeles, WA
Name
Big John
Boat
Classic MAKO 22
So I told the Nephew to bring his rod by today and put it in the boat so it would not be forgotten in the morning when we pull out. We will make a few passes along Ediz Hook first then head out to the Humps.

I thought he would bring one of his mooching rods with a Penn.

Ha! He showed up with a 10 foot vintage dark brown one piece fiberglass rod from the 1950's equipped with a like new Peetz 5 inch full of braid and top shot of 20 pound mono. Equipped with a 5 inch Tomic No. 158 plug! With the sliding Peetz sinker of course.

So I will be Mooching Port Angeles Retro style on one side of the boat and he will be pulling a plug Retro Campbell River style on the other.

I have some Lucky Louies in the boat just in case. And some Gibbs Stewart spoons.

Hopefully I will be able to obtain a photo of him holding a fish next to the Peetz, in the Tomic Time Style!

Does not get any better than this for an old retired guy.
 

Nosecrets

Blackmouthers good side
Jul 6, 2012
1,751
3,100
North of seattle
Name
Blackmouther
Boat
9' bullfrog "mr big"
And all of the old school tactics and gear works still. People need to remember a fish brain is small and lives 2-8 years. They dont remember not to bite the particular coho killer or fake rubber squid.
 

Woodhunter

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2011
797
480
Port Angeles, WA
Name
Big John
Boat
Classic MAKO 22
Fishing trip a bust. No wind here at the farm (800 ft elevation) at 7AM, warm & Sunny. Forecast said 5 to 15 then Gale warning late in the afternoon. Towing the boat, the closer I got to the ramp the more wind.

Darn. At the ramp wind was picking up with fog, maybe 10 rigs in the lot, and boats returning to the floats, too windy out in the Straits. Looks like our gale got here early! Still no wind here at the farm.

Oh well this is PA. Can't fish today, always tomorrow. I am 5 miles from the ramp so nothing lost.