My son and I headed out to Tokeland to troll for Willlipa Harbor for salmon and soak pots for crab. We arrived a bit later than we should have, a little after 7:00 a.m., and picked up the dozen salted fresh herring I had ordered by phone the day before from Tokeland Bait & Tackle (the only way to get fresh is by calling ahead one day prior). We then put the $5 launch fee into the box and it was an easy in at the ramp as most boats were already out fishing. The square block parking lot was nearly full.
We motored around the point and into the channel toward Washaway and dropped our four pots, then proceeded to gear up for salmon.
Though we had four rods ready - and each have 2 Rod Endorsements - we fished only one each as the eel grass had us checking our gear constantly. It wasn't as bad in spots, and the most we went between pulling in to check for the crud was maybe 12 - 14 minutes. As long as it seems clear, and you look to be getting the right bounce on the rod tip - no reason to pull out of the water. We trolled out to Buoy 15 and back.
Marked a lot of fish, and the harbor was lousy with bait - anchovies. Calm, clear morning and it looked like pouring rain at times from the bait balls. Quite a few harbor seals in the area too.
We used herring helmets by Krippled - and these performed as advertised! They protect the whole herring (we each used only one bait the entire 4 hours and cleaned eel grass off numerous times) and allow you to put a spin on the bait of your and the fish's liking. I will use these going forward when trolling herring.
We had zero take downs - and saw zero fish netted, though my son spoke with a guy at the launch who claimed to have caught and released a wild fish.
In the crab pots were loads of crab - just none grown up enough to come home. If 6 1/8" were minimum size though - we'd of had a feast as there were plenty of males between 6 1/8" and 6 3/16".
Its early for salmon there, but they are showing, and a few are coming in.
Will go back in a week or two.