Fishing Reports

Weather Complicates Winter Fishing

Picture courtesy of Jason Brooks Photography

I was up in Seattle visiting my mom again this last week.

I managed to get in one very cold morning (below freezing) of fishing on the Puyallup River.  On the advice of my buddy Jason Brooks, who among other things is a contributor to the outdoor programming on ESPN Radio up there, I went looking for chum salmon going upriver to spawn (above).

Gearing up to go, I stopped by my go to shop, Sportco in Fife, Washington.  There I found out that along with the chum salmon (not good table fare), I might get a shot at chinook (king) and sockeye salmon which could be worth taking home to mom.  Let’s go!  I was able to find a good access point and put in just under 2 hours at dawn in the freezing cold.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any fish headed upstream and tapped out when I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore.

Oh well.  I learned a couple of things about the terminal tackle that will come in handy another time.  It was worth it just to get out and give it a go.

Meanwhile, Back In SoCal

There was a little bit of weather midweek last week.  I’ve been saying for the last couple weeks that this late-season tuna bite should hold up until we get our first good winter storm.  The weather fell short of storm status, but it was enough to throw a little uncertainty into the fishing prospects heading into last weekend.

A reader, Gabriel Gandara, messaged me on Thursday asking me if I thought it was worthwhile to hit the full day ride Friday on The San Diego.  Tough call.  The boat was sidelined Wednesday and Thursday due to conditions on the water.  Usually, after a change in weather, you want to give it a few days to let the fish settle back into a routine and start biting again.  I looked at the NOAA marine forecast and it looked pretty good though…50/50 call.  If it was my only opportunity to fish for the week, I would’ve been willing to give it a go and advised Gabe accordingly.

Luckily it worked out!

It wasn’t easy.  Capt. Ryan Bostian reported being in search mode for the majority of the day.  They stuck with it though and the fish gods responded with a willing school late in the day.  They finished up with 55 yellowfin tuna and 75 smaller grade yellows for 36 anglers.  I’m glad it worked out for Gabe (left) and the rest of the boat.

Thanks for reporting back Gabe.  Enjoy that Thanksgiving Tuna!

Ling-A-Palooza!winter fishing

This coming Friday, I have my annual Ling-A-Palooza trip on the Pacific Islander, sponsored by  The trip is always a fun one and has produced some nice fish over the 5 years that I’ve put this trip on.  Unfortunately, last year’s trip got canceled due to weather and this week’s trip is looking dicey.  Hopefully, we can make it out and enjoy some good times on the water.

That’s kind of the deal this time of year.  If you can go and the weather looks like it will cooperate, you should just go because you never know if you’ll get another chance.  Wish us luck.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone and good luck if you get out there!

Joe Sarmiento
Joe Sarmiento is the founder and primary writer of the So Cal Salty blog. The blog covers saltwater fishing, primarily aboard the many sportfishing b...