We came up 1 fish short of our limits. By 9:00 we had three fish in the boat and I figured that the last one was going to be a cakewalk. Apparently, the fish thought otherwise. Sunday morning, I got up at 3:15, checked the wind forecast and decided we were heading back out to the banks again. I got things ready, made a thermos of coffee and pried the wife out of bed at 4:30. By 5:00 we were rolling and after a quick stop at Holiday for a country gravy breakfast burrito or two and a top off of non-ethanol for the boat we were in the water at Cornet Bay by 6:00. We pushed away from the dock and headed out on our very dark predawn cruise. Arriving at Eastern Bank 7:00-7:30 we got to work.
Being as stubborn as an old mule I decided to focus on a 100’ depth line. We were running 11” Purple Haze Pro-Troll ProFlash flasher. On one side of the boat the flasher was followed by a 3.5” Cookies and Cream spoon lathered up with anchovy goo. The other side of the boat was sporting a squid fly tipped with a herring strip. About 5 minutes in to our troll the Cookies and Cream spoon gets hammered and the fish is headed for Neah Bay. I don’t think that I have experienced a blackmouth having so much spunk. After an extended battle we slide the net under a trophy sized fish but our fin count came up with one too many. The fish reluctantly posed for pictures and waved goodbye before as we released our aquatic friend.
The next encounter turned into a bit of a chaotic double. We had two fish going and the big one swam around a downrigger cable. We had to put the rod in a holder to untangle things and ultimately slid the net under our biggest keeper of the day. Unfortunately, number 2 managed to throw the hook just as we were able to pick the rod up again. Gear reset and we continued the hunt.
Over the next hour and a half we were blessed with nonstop action, including two more for the box. We released another nice wild fish, some smaller legal fish, a ton of fat coho and a handful or two of shakers. To be honest it was pretty darn good fishing and a major good time. From that point the action settled down a bit and we had to work for our fish. Ultimately, lots of other fish came out to play but we couldn’t find another keeper.
We did our usual blackmouth drill. Trolling at 2.5 to 3.5 mph we would bounce the downrigger balls off the bottom and bring them back up a few feet. We were running 42” of 30# fluorocarbon leaders with a 20’ set back. I don’t think that either one of the lures had an edge over the other but our larger fish were caught on the squid fly.
Our blackmouth season has started off with a bang. We had an absolute blast today and I think that both of us have sore arms. The weather today was interesting; it would be calm and sunny one minute and 10 minutes later a squall line would roll through and dump hail on us. Over all, it was a great day on the water!