Spot Shrimp & Sunburns

Day Two of our two day Spot Shrimp season! With such a huge haul of Spot Shrimp on Saturday, how could we not hit it again on Wednesday! While we ended up with a cooler full of Spot Shrimp we didn’t quite reach our limits, and although our hunt for live bait was more than successful, our hope to live bait a Lingcod was not, but oh the fun we had! With a boat full of longtime friends, how could a guy not have a phenomenal time?

Ryan, Ian & I met Todd down at North Marina in Everett and off we went. We headed to Gedney Island and hovered for a bit while we waited for the 7am opening. Cruising around that 250 foot contour line: Pot One down! Pot Two down! Pot Three down! Pot Four down!

The tidal exchange Wednesday was extreme, but we were prepared. When you are shrimping in an area that has a lot of water movement you need to worry about two things…

1.) Heavy currents that push against the shrimp lines can cause your pot to drift into deeper water .

2.) Heavy currents that push against the shrimp lines can pull your buoy underwater for a period of time, making a pot impossible to find let alone pull.

But with the proper equipment including heavy pots and large buoys, there is usually no cause for concern.

In between sets we headed over to collect some live bait for Lingcod fishing. We anchored in about 30 feet near the East Gedney Green Buoy. Sand Dabs & Sole were easy to catch. Ian was using a tandem white Crappie jig and was out fishing Ryan & my shrimp by a margin of 2 to 1. With a dozen baits swimming in our makeshift livewell, we were prepared for Lings.

After another round of pulling and setting pots, we headed for the reef. There is a large artificial reef on the southern side of Gedney, but being a week into the Lingcod season, it was a little fished out. We managed to entice several aggressive Lingcod, each one ravaged the bait and clamped down. Lings rarely hook themselves when attacking a live bait, yet they will hold on all the way to the surface and hopefully will be netted. When reeling one up, it is essential to keep the Lingcod from breaking surface; once they feel the waterline they immediately spook, drop the bait and say bon voyage. We couldn’t get any of our hooked Lings to hold on, and each one was lost midway to the surface. I think it was the intense sunlight that made landing a Ling nearly impossible, but who knows.

We ended up making 4 sets with 4 pots for a grand total of 250 Spot Shrimp (our potential limit was 320, but man I can’t complain with our haul!), we hooked 5 Lings and lost every single one. I am going to sit down and rethink my Live Bait set-up, back to the drawing board for now!

Wednesday was the final day for the 2013 Puget Sound season on Spot Shrimp, but there are a few more days available in Hood Canal & San Juan Islands, if you can get over there have a great day and enjoy this awesome May weather!