After driving to anacortes and struggling to buy a bite or calm water Thursday, I got a tip to go North. We had a much shorter car ride and much longer boat ride as we launched at Squalicum around 7:30 and ran almost an hour til lines in at 8:30am. Of note on this boat ride, maybe the most porpoises I've ever seen in Washington. Bellingham Bay was chock full of them, and the flat glassy water helped us spot them easily.
At about 10am we got a hard bite on one of the bottom rods and brought to the net a chunky 8lb Blackmouth, but just about the time I was going to high five it rolled over and showed us its extra fin. So we popped out the hook and snapped a quick pic, as it was our first Blackmouth in the new boat. At that moment, the water darkened under the net and a seal came right up to snatch the fish. Luckily I reacted quickly, pulling the net out of the water and yelling at the seal. Once the seal backed off I ran to the other side of the boat and gave the fish a head start, I hope it outran the seal!!
Around 1pm we made a slight move to the other side of some structure to take advantage of the back eddies of the still ebbing tide. I had just set lines down on one downrigger and turned around to take the helm when my friend was already yelling that a fish was on. I handed the rod to my girlfriend who fought hard to bring about a 20lb Springer to the net!! Her first King ever, and her biggest fish of any kind by at least 15lbs. Unfortunately this was a native springer, so it had to go back, and already bleeding with seals on the prowl, I didnt want to waste any more time taking a picture and sent it on its way. Our day was 5 star for us at that point and any fish for dinner were going to be a bonus.
At 2:30 we moved again to our original spot for slack tide and suddenly the bait balls were showing up everywhere! Consistently we started getting bit every 20 minutes, and although we lost more than we netted, we got the net under 2 beautiful hatchery fish. The bigger of the two, 10.34lbs bled, was the biggest the WDFW biologist had seen come into Squalicum, the other was just short of 9lbs. While we probably could have stayed and found our third fish, we wanted to get home in time to eat our awesome catch, so we headed back to squalicum knowing there would be more fish to catch next time we return.
The fish we brought aboard were coughing up candlefish and had full stomachs. Obviously the adage "at slack salmon attack" was holding true today. Coho killers were the best spoon, though these feisty kings were doing some damage to the back end when they hit. Color didnt matter, green, yellow and copcar all got hit equally.
One of the most memorable days on the water in a long time for me today. Weather cooperated and so did the fish. Biologist said that of 15 people checked so far there were 6 fish checked.