Saltwater WTF do I do now?

firtree

Almost A Member
  • May 19, 2020
    106
    47
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    This was my first year really fishing on the sound and it was a great one. I moved my boat to Shilshole and that added so many more days on the water. I improved my gear and my landing rate went way up by the end of the season. I learned about spots and tides and how not catch kings when I am targeting coho. It has been a great year.

    But now, WTF do I do? I love fishing from the boat. Half of the fun of fishing is boating and my boat is big and heavy, so the rivers hold no appeal. I guess I could run up to A9 to drop crab pots, but that's a pricey trip if it is just for crabbing and what do I do while they are soaking? Maybe spend a few days hunting for structure? I suppose I could double down on Sand Dabs or maybe learn how to catch squid during the day... If winter Blackmouth opens that's something I can hold out for, maybe pull my boat for a few months and do the annual work early. But if we don't have a season this year it is a long way to spring Lings.

    I need some help here!
     
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    KaiChung

    Member
    Aug 10, 2009
    256
    395
    Newcastle/WA/USA
    Name
    Kai
    Boat
    Boston Whaler Conquest 28.5
    Haha. I face the same dilemma every year. I do go out for daytime squidding in Oct and Nov. But I've never done winter blackmouth or crabbing. Just too cold and wet!

    I grew up on the East Coast and really like the much longer seasons there. But on the flip side, they don't have the crazy fishing opportunities we have that are literally minutes from the marina. I used to fish out of the Outer Banks and the Gulf Stream was 3 hours one way.
     
    boguePogie
    boguePogie
    You hear about the flounder season in NC? Makes our chinook season seem long! Shame what commercial fishing out there has done to the coastal fishery.
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    firtree

    Almost A Member
  • May 19, 2020
    106
    47
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    Haha. I face the same dilemma every year. I do go out for daytime squidding in Oct and Nov. But I've never done winter blackmouth or crabbing. Just too cold and wet!

    I grew up on the East Coast and really like the much longer seasons there. But on the flip side, they don't have the crazy fishing opportunities we have that are literally minutes from the marina. I used to fish out of the Outer Banks and the Gulf Stream was 3 hours one way.

    I need tips on how to squid in the daytime, @KaiChung! I don't think that I have ever seen that distinctive squidy line pattern on my console.
     
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    KaiChung

    Member
    Aug 10, 2009
    256
    395
    Newcastle/WA/USA
    Name
    Kai
    Boat
    Boston Whaler Conquest 28.5
    I need tips on how to squid in the daytime, @KaiChung! I don't think that I have ever seen that distinctive squidy line pattern on my console.
    It's sorta easy. But also kinda hard. :-). First, get some squid jigs. Then go to somewhere with squid. I heard right outside Shishole near the boat ramp is good. I usually go along Alki. Ferris Wheel area also I heard is good. Target around 80-120 feet of water. Go around slack tide - preferably high. Drive slowly until you see a school on your fish finder. It's pretty distinctive and there's a lot of them. It's hard to confuse it for something else once you see it. Then mark it on your plotter, because the hard part is staying on the school as your boat gets pushed along by current and wind. Drop, pull up a squid. Rinse and repeat.

    I think there's a thread somewhere here about 2 years ago with tips on day time squidding. Good luck!
     
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    bdrlgion

    Member
    Apr 11, 2014
    808
    923
    Seattle
    Name
    "Mulligan"
    Boat
    18' Tiderunner Runabout
    This was my first year really fishing on the sound and it was a great one. I moved my boat to Shilshole and that added so many more days on the water. I improved my gear and my landing rate went way up by the end of the season. I learned about spots and tides and how not catch kings when I am targeting coho. It has been a great year.

    But now, WTF do I do? I love fishing from the boat. Half of the fun of fishing is boating and my boat is big and heavy, so the rivers hold no appeal. I guess I could run up to A9 to drop crab pots, but that's a pricey trip if it is just for crabbing and what do I do while they are soaking? Maybe spend a few days hunting for structure? I suppose I could double down on Sand Dabs or maybe learn how to catch squid during the day... If winter Blackmouth opens that's something I can hold out for, maybe pull my boat for a few months and do the annual work early. But if we don't have a season this year it is a long way to spring Lings.

    I need some help here!

    This was my first year really fishing on the sound and it was a great one. I moved my boat to Shilshole and that added so many more days on the water. I improved my gear and my landing rate went way up by the end of the season. I learned about spots and tides and how not catch kings when I am targeting coho. It has been a great year.

    But now, WTF do I do? I love fishing from the boat. Half of the fun of fishing is boating and my boat is big and heavy, so the rivers hold no appeal. I guess I could run up to A9 to drop crab pots, but that's a pricey trip if it is just for crabbing and what do I do while they are soaking? Maybe spend a few days hunting for structure? I suppose I could double down on Sand Dabs or maybe learn how to catch squid during the day... If winter Blackmouth opens that's something I can hold out for, maybe pull my boat for a few months and do the annual work early. But if we don't have a season this year it is a long way to spring Lings.

    I need some help here!
    Chasing c&r sturgeon in the Portland area is a great way to get your fix in the winter.
     
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    EJ Swanny

    Three Generations of Uff-Dah
    Nov 30, 2010
    2,922
    1,719
    Redondo/WA
    Name
    Erik
    Boat
    "Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
    Yep, BM & Squid is the only game in town soon. Not sure how long you've lived in the great PNW. Most of us winterize and focus on hunting and razor clamming. Don't get me wrong...when I was growing up, between hunts, my Dad fed us on winter BM. Squidding is fun, not rocket science, but you need schools coming through, very tasty as well...GL
     
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    Session

    Newbie
    Jul 27, 2019
    17
    27
    54
    Seattle
    Name
    Tom
    Boat
    2019 Outback
    It's sorta easy. But also kinda hard. :-). First, get some squid jigs. Then go to somewhere with squid. I heard right outside Shishole near the boat ramp is good. I usually go along Alki. Ferris Wheel area also I heard is good. Target around 80-120 feet of water. Go around slack tide - preferably high. Drive slowly until you see a school on your fish finder. It's pretty distinctive and there's a lot of them. It's hard to confuse it for something else once you see it. Then mark it on your plotter, because the hard part is staying on the school as your boat gets pushed along by current and wind. Drop, pull up a squid. Rinse and repeat.

    I think there's a thread somewhere here about 2 years ago with tips on day time squidding. Good luck!
    I have done well squidding 20 seconds out from the seawall, pretty much right in front of the beach at Shilshole in 55-80 fow. Have caught them in the day and night. Also downtown, just in front of the aquarium. And Seacrest Pier a classic spot, just keep clear of the pier. Most boats will position between the Don Armeni ramps and the pier.

    Squidding is a blast, it takes a little while to figure out but once you are there fun and easy to have a number of people doing it at once. Tackle super basic too.
     
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    firtree
    firtree
    Right in front sounds great! Thanks for the suggestion.
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    firtree

    Almost A Member
  • May 19, 2020
    106
    47
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    Wait, MA9 is too far of a run from shilshole? Ok, then your options are dabs and sculpin right now and squid soon.

    Nah, not too far of a run for fish, but I guess I am just being cheap when I think about crabbing. I get 1.2 MPG, so a hypothetical run to the east side of possession bar is 27 Gallons, just to get up and back. I should just chalk it up to boating fun and stop worrying about it. Point taken :)
     
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    bifish99

    Newbie
    Feb 7, 2006
    83
    30
    67
    Washington
    Name
    Chip goodhue
    Boat
    22' C-dory
    Decent seasons of BM fishing in PS are largely a thing of the past unfortunately, and I suspect we will not see them return any time soon....
     
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    Salmon King

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Mar 29, 2013
    1,637
    1,736
    Everett, WA, USA
    Name
    Tim
    Boat
    Salmon King 21' Custom Pilothouse
    I don’t think A9 will have a black mouth season anyway. Hate to say it, but good salmon opportunity is short lived in the central sound, especially if you don’t like to burn fuel.

    Can you trailer? That’ll open a bit more opportunity. While it is a bit more work, I don’t know if you want to leave the boat in the salt all winter. You’ll need to pull it to clean it and redo zincs anyway.
     
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    firtree

    Almost A Member
  • May 19, 2020
    106
    47
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    I don’t think A9 will have a black mouth season anyway. Hate to say it, but good salmon opportunity is short lived in the central sound, especially if you don’t like to burn fuel.

    Can you trailer? That’ll open a bit more opportunity. While it is a bit more work, I don’t know if you want to leave the boat in the salt all winter. You’ll need to pull it to clean it and redo zincs anyway.

    I really don't like trailering. My boat's about 32' LOA with a 9.5' beam and just a smidge under 12' tall. I pull it for a couple of months in the winter and trailer it 5 miles from the closest ramp on Lake Washington to my house for zincs, motor service, bottom paint, buff/polish and upgrades. It dominates my driveway so I really try to keep it in the water as much as possible.


    I may just need to get used to the idea of burning lots of fuel (which never seems to bother me in the summer) and throttle it up to go a little farther.

    IMG_4428.jpg
     
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    Captain Decent

    The Bert makes ‘em Squirt
    Nov 2, 2017
    2,077
    3,256
    39
    Covington, wa
    Name
    Ryan
    Boat
    The Bert Makes ’em Squirt
    My advice is get comfortable with trailering if you want to catch fish in Washington. The regs here are so fucked up that you gotta be highly mobile to catch fish.

    So many emergency closures and openers it will make your head spin. Being tied down to a central sound port will be frustrating. This year was a rare exception of relatively long season in MA10 and good fish returns for the most part.

    Trailering a 28ft x 9.5ft boat is no big deal you will be zipping down the road doing 70 before you know it. Don't let the oversize load permit Bullshit deter you. I've never been stopped I'm many thousands of miles and the permit is easy to get anyway.
     
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    rsokolowski

    Almost A Member
    Jun 26, 2009
    170
    32
    Wahiawa/Hawaii/USA
    Name
    Roy Sokolowski
    Boat
    currently boatless
    My advice is get comfortable with trailering if you want to catch fish in Washington. The regs here are so fucked up that you gotta be highly mobile to catch fish.

    So many emergency closures and openers it will make your head spin. Being tied down to a central sound port will be frustrating. This year was a rare exception of relatively long season in MA10 and good fish returns for the most part.

    Trailering a 28ft x 9.5ft boat is no big deal you will be zipping down the road doing 70 before you know it. Don't let the oversize load permit Bullshit deter you. I've never been stopped I'm many thousands of miles and the permit is easy to get anyway.
    Zipping down the road trailering a large boat at 70 mph is not something I would ever aspire to do. Make sure your boat and trailer have a really good insurance policy if you plan on doing this regularly.
     
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    kwik_wurk

    Member
    Apr 10, 2012
    365
    303
    Indianola & Browns Point
    Name
    kwik_wurk
    Boat
    Montauk, Sailfish 2360, and Johnson18
    Go whale watching, duh!

    https://www.king5.com/article/news/...ound/281-eb45d3e7-c46a-43c5-af20-00b98f3ff2e7

    But seriously, you can still target coho, then try fishing for chum (mostly release these), then prospect for squid, finally learn salt water cutthroat fishing. (The last item is a great way to learn all the nooks and crannies, prospect new beaches and small streams, and learn all the eddies and breaks.) That get’s you to the new year and a little more. Maybe there’s a BM season in there somewhere. Otherwise come Jan, pull the boat out, do it’s annual stuff and get ready for April opener.

    (Home ported in M10 myself.)
     
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    SeattleD

    Newbie
    Jan 13, 2017
    38
    5
    Seattle
    Name
    Jon
    Boat
    Whaler
    Would appreciate hearing tackle, timing, techniques for a9/10 cutties. Had traditionally thought of that as a south sound fishery. On the fly? Spoons? Are they gone by January?
     
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    kwik_wurk

    Member
    Apr 10, 2012
    365
    303
    Indianola & Browns Point
    Name
    kwik_wurk
    Boat
    Montauk, Sailfish 2360, and Johnson18
    South sound is generally better, but i’ve found plenty to have fun with center sound. But if I had a choice, Narrows and further south.

    Generally using chrome Kastmasters easy to swap the hook with the split ring already there. (other common gear works too.). Light gear 5#-10#, casting right into the beach, 2’-30’ of water with the boat drifting.

    Gravel to rock beaches; not big tide flats. Some say stick to small streams where they would normally hangout, but i’ve found that to be 50/50; as they do move around. (Rather streams need to be close by ~.5 mile or so. And there are so many small streams it’s hard not be close to one anyways.) W seems to better than E, but that’s just where i fish, so hard to be definitive.

    Has to be somewhat calm as you’re drifting the beach on the lighter wind/current days. (And away from boat traffic.) I prefer mid-late flood tide cycle, but seaweed re-floating off the beach can be a pain.

    And it’s kinda boom or bust; as they seem to be a bit school-ish. And it’s a 20-30 casts (30-40min) then move; if not drifting and covering ground. (Usually had the most fun around X-mass/new year.). — And there is always a bonus blackmouth every now and then; not the dink 8”, but a good 1.5#-2#.)

    [W Bainbridge is a fly fish only (look on the app). That’s streamer flies, basically fast retrieve on a fast sinking line.]
     
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    EJ Swanny

    Three Generations of Uff-Dah
    Nov 30, 2010
    2,922
    1,719
    Redondo/WA
    Name
    Erik
    Boat
    "Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
    Grew up fishing cuts with my Dad. Kwik is right on. We used to troll using wedding rings tipped with a chunk of worm. Small Dick Nite spoons work very well also. MA11 from the marina to Redondo is good. I have a hot spot if you want to PM me. Also....shallow, shallow, shallow.....6-10' of water. I'm sure it's still C&R, though the numbers have rebounded tramatically. Very fun fishery, good fighters on light gear, I think my biggest was about 18-20". Goodluck
     
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    Nosecrets

    Blackmouthers good side
    Jul 6, 2012
    1,914
    4,047
    North of seattle
    Name
    Blackmouther
    Boat
    9' bullfrog "mr big"
    That’s a really sweet boat. Park it like the rest and wait till next season. Get some good polish and start replacing parts about 2 weeks before ling season opens. Polish it good April 31st. Then plan on doing the above sooner next year. We seem to lose about 40% of our fisheries every year. Hope this helps lol
     
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