Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

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pugetsoundnewbie
Angler
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Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 4:12 am

Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

Post by pugetsoundnewbie » Sun May 17, 2020 11:26 am

As my username suggests I am new to fishing in the Puget Sound and salt water in general. I am looking catch some bait, and wasn't sure where to start. I'm thinking I want to go for herring, but any good bait for flounder, salmon, and dogfish will do. I only really have a kayak to work with, so the simpler the better. I am in marine area 10 near Indianola if that helps. Thanks.

Shad_Eating_Grin
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Location: Renton, WA

Re: Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

Post by Shad_Eating_Grin » Thu May 21, 2020 4:07 pm

Use sabiki rigs to target the herring. If you fish near docks, you may also catch surf smelt. Shiner perch will also bite on the sabikis.

The best sabiki rigs are the ones with the small hooks and feathers. Avoid the cheap ones that come with beads. The Gamakatsu brand of sabiki rigs is what I use (usually available online on amazon or ebay).

Limit is 10 lbs combined for herring and smelt. Believe it or not, the limit for shiner perch is 15 fish. I would suggest fishing near shore next to docks, for your best chances for catching some bait before venturing out in the open water.

Smelt, herring, and shiner perch should be good enough to get you going for bait for bottomfish like flounder and dogfish. Alternatively, just go to the store and buy some squid or shrimp to cut up--bottomfish are not too picky.

TrackerPro16
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Re: Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

Post by TrackerPro16 » Fri May 22, 2020 9:39 am

Most of the Sabiki rigs I have seen have four or more hooks on them. I am fairly certain the limit is two hooks per line here? And only one line per person on the salt? Something to be aware of.

hlindsay
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Re: Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

Post by hlindsay » Fri May 22, 2020 5:40 pm

You want to look at page 98 of the fishing pamphlet under "Forage Fish"

FORAGE FISH - Forage fish jig or forage fish
dip net only except anchovy and sardine may be taken by a cast net in Areas 1-4. Only one net may be used at a time. Dip net gear must be held by the rigid handle at all times and may not be used from a vessel while under power. Cast net gear must be in immediate control at all times with retrieval cord in hand. Anglers with the reduced- fee license or a Designated Harvester Card may use a forage fish dip net with a hand-operated gate. Jig gear may have up to three treble hooks or nine single-point hooks, not to exceed 3⁄8" between point and shank. While fishing in Areas 5-11 &13, a second line using forage fish jig gear may be used to fish for forage fish.
You may use forage fish jig gear in Columbia River waters from the Buoy 10 line to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line.

so you can have this as and added line and more that two hooks

I tried for herring with one of the cheep rigs long ago and didn't do any good. Maybe I'll get one of the good ones and try again.

Shad_Eating_Grin
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Location: Renton, WA

Re: Questions about catching baitfish in Puget Sound

Post by Shad_Eating_Grin » Wed May 27, 2020 7:46 am

Yes, the Gamakatsu sabiki rigs are the best I've used. The cheap gaudy Walmart ones don't do too well. I think the feathers and their beads are too big.

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