Area 2-2 Gray's Harbor Fishing Report

Decides to head out to Ocean Shores and throw a line in the surf... hour before high tide.. Weather was nice, light offshore wind. Fished about 3 hours.. got a couple good hits way out (could have been crabs), nothing landed.Told myself "5 more casts" next cast I was retrieving the line and about 20ft out..BAM.. hooked into a pretty nice slab.. No pictures.. I figured I only caught 1.. might as well let him go. I may go back on the 14th and try again.. surf perch are one of the most fun fish to catch!

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1/10/2017 11:39 AM
The state has new regulations for all ocean areas targeting bottom fish. Not too sure about surf perch, but if I were you I'd check.
1/10/2017 1:18 PM
I know right?? Almost have to go to law school to interpret the regs! Ocean shores area has a 12 fish limit on surfperch.. year round.
1/10/2017 2:27 PM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but WDFW closed marine areas 1-3 to bottom fish (surf perch included). Its noted in the Emergency Rules update. Sucks, because I was wanting to head out there myself.
1/10/2017 2:34 PM
Edward... Unless there is another area.. not sure what emergency rules you are looking at.. but as of 10 Jan 2017 at 2:32PM Pacific standard time: "Emergency Rule Updates and News Please note: These updates reflect changes to the Sportfishing Pamphlet. Rules found in the Sportfishing Pamphlet are in effect unless otherwise noted in the changes listed below. Rule Changes > Saltwater Fishing > A particular Marine Area > Emergency rules currently in effect for Marine Area 02-2 (Grays Harbor) There are no emergency fishing rules currently in effect for Marine Area 02-2 (Grays Harbor). Please refer to the current Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. "
1/10/2017 2:51 PM
Edward.. Area 2 is closed.. not 2-2.
Bob R
1/10/2017 3:06 PM
Why doesn't someone call wdfw and get an actual clarification? Save everyone a lot of speculation. Bob R
1/10/2017 3:18 PM
I hear you Bob... it is fairly clear in the emergency rules... but you have to know what area you are in for sure... its crazy how the rules are!
1/10/2017 5:00 PM
Ocean Shores is Area 2, Grays Harbor, the harbor itself is area 2-2 . You have to be inside (east) of the north jetty and south jetty to be in area 2-2. You always want to know what marine area you are in. If you were in Ocean Shores, you were in area 2, not 2-2. if you were inside the harbor, 2-2.
1/10/2017 5:24 PM
DAMN! Josh... you are right! The regs and "emergency rules" are kind of confusing! I just called Heather Reed and left a message... I find it funny there were 20 or more fishermen there surf fishing also. Anyhoo... I will update as soon as she calls back! Thanks Josh for the clarification!
1/10/2017 9:47 PM
Had to chime in as this was running parallel to my rant on the forum. The official rule change clearly states that Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) are closed to bottom fishing. That sounds like it would include areas 2-1 and 2-2 and heaven forbid we are allowed to fish for and retain flounder or surf perch when this rule change is all about protecting rockfish. Further, our glorious fish and wildlife department, unlike the Oregon fish and wildlife department, includes all surf perch in its definition of bottom fish. I've noticed it seems to take the State a while, after issuing an official rule change, to update the listings for all the effected bodies of water. I saw the same thing when they announced the closure of the Lake Washington system to all angling. Initially, if you looked up Lake Washington, it stated that there were no emergency rule changes currently in effect. If I were a betting man, I think you'd do ok in court had you been cited. Rest assured, the rule change will either be amended to exclude areas 2-1 and 2-2 or it will eventually show up under the separate areas. If you do contact the WDFW for a clarification on a rule, do it by email and keep a print out with you when fishing. Just like we fishermen, the enforcement agents aren't always in agreement on how to interpret a given rule.
1/11/2017 9:10 AM
The way they wrote that emergency reg, I can see how folks would interpret it differently. I live on Camano so I have become very aware of knowing what marine area I am in as the 8-2/8-1 line runs from the southern portion of the island west to Whidbey island. Been more than once that I have had to check where I am at, as sometimes 1 is open and not the other, or has different rules.
1/11/2017 1:59 PM
1/11/2017 11:32 PM
As soon as I saw that emergency rule I left a voicemail for Heather Reed too... just send an e-mail as well. Clearly closure was to protect rockfish. Hopefully surfperch can be reclassified soon.
1/12/2017 7:24 AM
Fish-or-man... I have not received a reply.. how about you? I'll call again today.
1/12/2017 12:20 PM
OK guys... After contacting the WDFW I was finally told to look at the emergency rules again... apparently they have been updated (or maybe I just did not see it the first 10 times I looked at it) that now says: "The winter closure does not include surfperch when fishing from the beach, which will continue to be allowed year round." Full emergency rules below: January 12, 2017 Sport fishing for bottomfish to close through March 10 off the Washington coast Action: Close recreational bottomfishing in Marine Areas 1-3 (including Marine Areas 2-1 and 2-2) and Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) through March 10, 2017. Reopen the coastal recreational bottomfish fishery the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October (March 11 through Oct. 21, 2017). The winter closure does not include surfperch when fishing from the beach. Effective date: Immediately Species affected: Bottomfish Location: Marine Areas 1 through 3, including Marine Areas 2-1 (Willapa Bay) and 2-2 (Grays Harbor), and Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line). Reason for action: The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted changes to the recreational bottomfish seasons along the Washington coast as part of its groundfish biennial management cycle for 2017-18. The recreational bottomfish season is currently open year round in coastal marine areas, although rough ocean conditions in winter results in minimal fishing effort from mid-October through mid-March. This new rule changes the coastal recreational bottomfish season from a year round season to one open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October. It also aligns the recreational bottomfish season with the recreational lingcod season in Marine Areas 1-3, including Marine Areas 2-1 (Willapa Bay) and 2-2 (Grays Harbor), and preserves recreational fishing opportunity in months when there has been significant participation in the fishery (March-October). Marine Area 4B, east of the Bonnilla-Tatoosh line, will remain open year round as some recreational fishing does occur in this area during the winter. This rule change is necessary to conform to federal action taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The winter closure does not include surfperch when fishing from the beach, which will continue to be allowed year round. Additional information: Bottomfish includes Pacific cod, Pacific tomcod, Pacific hake (or whiting), walleye pollock, all species of dabs, sole and flounders (except Pacific halibut), lingcod, ratfish, sablefish, cabezon, greenling, buffalo sculpin, great sculpin, red Irish lord, brown Irish lord, Pacific staghorn sculpin, wolfeel, giant wrymouth, plainfin midshipman, all species of shark, skate, rockfish, rattail, and surfperches (all saltwater perch are surfperch) excluding shiner perch. Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487