Saltwater Westport tuna rookie Sat 9/17

jonbackman

Newbie
Nov 20, 2011
65
93
Bellingham, WA
Name
Jon Backman
Boat Name
2009 Defiance Admiral 220ex
After years of reading about it, collecting necessary rods/reels/tackle, and compiling a ton of information, I finally made my first trip to Westport yesterday to fish tuna. Loaded the boat on the trailer Friday afternoon, picked the kid up from school, and drove through every bit of rush hour traffic on the I-5 corridor from Bellingham to Olympia….not something I’d recommend when pulling a boat.
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We made it to Westport with some daylight to spare, so we took a quick tour to scope out the ice spot at Westport Seafoods and then the ramp situation. All looked good, as expected, so we checked in to the Holiday Motel. Threw our stuff in the room and walked across the street to the King Tide for dinner.
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Great new family run place with tv’s everywhere so we could watch the Mariners, beer on tap, a wall of wine if you’re into that, delicious home-cooked food, and fresh bakery case to grab some stuff for the morning. I recommend it. But this isn’t a Yelp review, so enough with that.

Woke up early Saturday, rolled over to Westport Seafood, through the roundabout and parked behind another boat trailer. The forklift rolled right out, took my $60, and we took all the ice we could handle. Very smooth process, really nice to have this option as a sportfisher. Headed to the ramp and launched the boat with no sweat, other than leaving my headlights on and blinding the guys after me(sorry if you’re on here). Then we followed a couple other boats and the green & red dots on the chart to work our way out to the ocean. The bar was not noticeable with the mellow tides, and we were soon on plane heading southwest.
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Fresh info had me heading toward The Corners. It was a great ride out, and along the way we saw dolphins, a whale, and several mola - one large one and multiple schools of juveniles about the size of a frisbee.
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Stopped short of blue water on the way to prospect near some birds and 59° water. Trolled for 20 minutes or so with no action. Heard radio chatter about 125°05, so we pulled the gear and headed west. Got close to that spot, found warm 61° blue water and a couple distant boats fishing, so we dropped the gear. Got a cedar plug, x-rap, and 2 clones out for maybe 5 minutes, when we finally found out firsthand why all you guys are so damn excited about these fish. Wow, never had seen that much line peeled out that fast. My kid had the rod (he always gets first fish), and he was both amazed and worried he was going to get spooled. We lost that first fish, but got gear back in the water and hit another in short order. This one hit the deck and the high-fives followed.
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The next few hours we trolled the area, continuing southwest. With a couple 20-30 minute spans of downtime, it was pretty steady action. Right around 46.33262° N, 125.08003° W, cords copied/pasted from an iphone photo.
A few double headers and maybe five lost fish, and we managed to put 10 in the boat on ice. All trolling and they really liked the cedar plugs and x-rap. Only 2 fish hit the clones. With 10 fish and the NE wind picking up, we felt pretty good about our day. So we decided to pack it in and head to port.
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The run in sucked. Straight into a stiff breeze was a 3+ hour banger. The boat handled it well, but it was all I could do to keep it between 15-20 mph without pulverizing my internal organs and lower back. We made it in, trailered the boat, packed it up and bombed it back to Bellingham. Overall it was a great experience, and I surpassed my expectations for my first attempt at tuna. A lot of you responded to my request for info last week, and I thank you all. It’s great to see the willingness to share information. Also, the radio chatter out on the water was very helpful. Pretty exciting fishing, and I hope that my first trip isn’t my last. Now it’s time for me to go loin some tuna.

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KodiakMike

Kodiakmike
Aug 12, 2008
136
109
Seattle
Name
Mike
Boat Name
26' North River Seahawk OS
Great report. We fished the same area Friday. Absolutely nothing happening all day until about 3:00 pm and then it
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switched to wide open. Got 23 in the boat before heading in. Saw some weird fish jumping a couple of times but couldn’t figure what they were until we hooked up. First two Washington dorado for us.
 
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wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
10,223
10,902
Florida
Name
Good
Boat Name
2021 Allied WildCat 30
5 fish per person is a great day!
 
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jonbackman

Newbie
Nov 20, 2011
65
93
Bellingham, WA
Name
Jon Backman
Boat Name
2009 Defiance Admiral 220ex
Great report. We fished the same area Friday. Absolutely nothing happening all day until about 3:00 pm and then it View attachment 1425464switched to wide open. Got 23 in the boat before heading in. Saw some weird fish jumping a couple of times but couldn’t figure what they were until we hooked up. First two Washington dorado for us.
The Washington Dorado is badass, nice catch!! We heard some mentions of them on the radio, but saw no sign of them.

Just finished cleaning the fish and boat. Pretty spent now, glad we only kept 10 and that I fished a Saturday; can’t imagine having to go straight back to work the next day!

Oh, and that fish went straight from iced down cooler, to table, to freezer…never a chance to get warm.
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Fireball

Not so New
Jun 23, 2010
1,787
1,052
Lynnwood, WA. USA
Name
Bud
Boat Name
SOLD
Great report! Looks like you will be back now that you got the bug. Your carking looks great also. We just finished up ours from yesterday but I did not have to do that drive! Good on you for getting your bot out there. Even though you have now ruined him for life it is an addiction!
 
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Team Sency

Fish!! Or be Fished!!!
Jan 6, 2012
2,963
2,913
Black Diamond
Name
Chris
Boat Name
JuiceBox2
So cool that you got to share the adventure with your son! I grew up fishing with my dad and now I fish with my two young boys. No life complaints!

Yes on going Saturday......

A few years ago did the meet buddies at 2am at Sportco in Fife of a Sunday morning......well turned out to be an afternoon bite and we got back to Sportco at 2am Monday morning! Work was rough!!
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jonbackman

Newbie
Nov 20, 2011
65
93
Bellingham, WA
Name
Jon Backman
Boat Name
2009 Defiance Admiral 220ex
So cool that you got to share the adventure with your son! I grew up fishing with my dad and now I fish with my two young boys. No life complaints!

Yes on going Saturday......

A few years ago did the meet buddies at 2am at Sportco in Fife of a Sunday morning......well turned out to be an afternoon bite and we got back to Sportco at 2am Monday morning! Work was rough!!View attachment 1425796View attachment 1425797View attachment 1425797View attachment 1425798View attachment 1425799View attachment 1425800View attachment 1425801View attachment 1425802View attachment 1425803View attachment 1425804
Damn, those boys can fish! Nice work Dad
 
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RatherBfishN

Gone Coastal
Jul 10, 2012
247
85
Bellingham, WA
Name
Phil
Boat Name
Wellcraft 252 Coastal
Well done! and I wish I got your intel. I went west (.00/.10'ish) and only found 1 on Saturday, by afternoon I was further south in water over 66deg (.46/.20ish) ride back in was sporty
Salmon was easy though Friday afternoon and Sunday morning before the trek back to Bham
 
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