Whenever you’ve found a fishing spot where the fishing is fun and the catching is great, you know you’ve found something special. I’ve been filling in as a deckhand on the Reel Tight out of Westport, Washington. We are currently fishing for Lingcod and Rockfish, just like the rest of the charter fleet. Unlike the Westport Charter fleet, we are running a speedy 29’ Defiance boat and are offering Express trips. While the Reel Tight seems just as speedy as any private sport boat, it is quite a bit faster than any of the other Charters in the Westport fleet. We often will be out fishing for an hour before we notice the first of the traditional charter boats bobbing on the horizon, headed our way.
Fishing for Lingcod and Rockfish today was nothing short of amazing! We cruised out quickly, with less than a four foot swell. Ian and I decided to alter our tackle a bit for this trip, instead of fishing double shrimp flies, we opted for a shrimp fly rigged above a large swimbait. We have been fishing a few select rockpiles and reefs north of Westport, and just knew there were Lingcod to be had at our favorite Rockfish spots.
Ian positioned the vessel for our first drift. Sure enough, our intuitions about Lingcod were correct! Scott was the first to lower his gear down, and WHAM! Fish on! And look… a ten pound Lingcod bit the swimbait and a four pound Black Rockfish bit the shrimp fly. Gotta love doubles! Then David hooked up, then Dale, then Tom, then Dale again, and before I could jump over the pile of Lingcod on the deck to net David’s second Ling, in looked over to witness Scott set the hook on another monster! We were in a fast paced bite for sure.
The weather was fine heading out, but Ian had been paying close attention to the weather forecast, which was quickly turning. We were able to make two final drifts, yielding up a pile of Black Rockfish and quite a few more Lingcod, then we were forced to call it a day and race back to Port. The final count for the day was 11 Lingcod and 30 Black Rockfish. Our swimbait program paid huge dividends, as our average size for Lingcod was easily twice that compared to the hauls of offshore fish. Although we only fished for two hours before having to bag it due to weather, the phenomenal pace of catching was enough to produce some happy clients. It was a great day to be fishing as the action could not have been faster, but we called it at the right time and headed back to Port before the bar was closed.