I have been quietly enjoying and learning from all of your exploits for some time but have had nothing to contribute before now.
While wife used to live on an island up in the archipelago north of Vancouver Island and as far as I know, she was born behind the helm of a small boat, my boating experience has always been far more limited due to a lack of a boat. Late last year, we decided it was high time to change that and took the plunge. We got a Stabicraft 2500 XL (delivered in March) and have been making prolific use out of it. Well, as prolific as possible and still keep my job, marriage, etc intact. (I’m pretty much in love with that boat.) We have had minor successes fishing in the Sound but I have been longing (somewhat vainly) to try and recreate an experience like I have had on the charters. (Slammer, Tequila Too, All Rivers have all been so awesome to me over the last 20 years and I still intend to occasionally go out with the experts.)
I first took a trial run out of Westport with an old Navy buddy whose level of required comfort matches mine. We managed a limit on small lingcod, but the family definitely wouldn’t have appreciated the conditions that day so I have been watching the forecasts looking for an opportunity.
Yesterday was finally the right day to take the family out. The weather was great and the seas/tides were very forgiving. The goal was simply to go out, be safe, and make sure it was enough fun for everyone that we’d do it again.
We “boat camped” Thursday night in a slip and got underway in the morn. The bar crossing was uneventful at low slack but the kids were a bit wide eyed none-the-less.
We ran North to the area off Moclips and found a rocky bottom to drift over. Used purple herring on essentially a mooching setup in about 100 fow. We all caught lingcod although none were the monsters of our dreams and though technically legal, we returned them to grow. All save one that is. My son managed one that we deemed worthy of our collective dinner plate.
We fished for a only few hours total and headed back. Crossed the bar at high tide again uneventfully and we were one the trailer again by 1:30. Everyone was smiling we had a lovely fish and chips dinner last night. Success!