Skunk-Fest part 2. After working out in the islands for almost 3 weeks straight I was going to get out on the water and chase fish 2 days in a row. Sunday at the Bubble with my son in law (his first chinook trip) and then Monday with Randy (RMRAUSCHER) from the website. It appears that I have lost my “Pull a Fish out of the Hat”, fish catching mojo.
With a plan to fish the Marine Area 11 opener but avoid the Tacoma traffic Randy and I had agreed to meet and launch at Shilshole. We were both on time and were underway shortly after 2:00 Monday morning. After some is it safe to run in the dark reassurance, our run to the south end of Vashon island was uneventful.
My plan was to fish Camp Sealth then move south to the Clay Banks at Point Defiance as required. My over confidence was our undoing. The conditions at Camp Sealth were ideal and even after a number of empty passes I kept grinding away at it, thinking any minute now… Knowing that both areas fish best on an ebb tide I/we finally decide to pull the plug and head south to Point Defiance.
Our decision was made an hour or two too late. Our arrival at the Clay Banks was met with numerous boats fighting fish but shortly thereafter the flood tide started and the bite was done. We worked at it for about an hour but the tide was not cooperating. We could have run across and fished hot laps at Point Dalco but we had a long run back to Shilshole so decided to call it.
Regarding the fishing we targeted both suspended and bottom dwelling meter marks. We ran a variety of lures and anchovies. I ran various salmon flies, spoons and chovies in a helmet while Randy cycled through numerous offerings. With the exception of a few shakers and a couple sanddabs and a rockfish or two we both struck out. I cycled through various flasher/lures but my go to was a “Chili Pepper” 11” flasher and the Cookies n Cream spoon lathered up with Triple-X herring scented Smelly Jelly. My spoons and Flies were running 42” behind the flasher on 30# Seaguar InvizX leader. The helmeted anchovy was on a double hook rig tied on 60” of 30# Seaguar InvizX leader. Although I usually determine trolling speed by cable angle our trolling speed was around 2.4-3.2 MPH.
Even though we headed north fishless (in Seattle…) it was a great learning trip. The run down and back, 28 miles/56 round trip was uneventful and downright pleasant. The conversation and fish stories were enjoyed and I plan to make the trip again soon.