Tag Archives: Westport

washington-razor-clam-digging

Razor Clam Digging Reopens Feb 15

Washington’s coastal beach communities will once again welcome thousands of eager visitors as yet another long Razor Clam dig has been announced. Extreme low tides and an abundance of those quick footed clams should bring plenty of limits for those willing to hit the beach. Low tides are early enough the first couple days to offer plenty enough daylight to make gathering the 15 Razor Clam limit an easy task. Be prepared to start digging a couple hours before low tide, make sure to keep your limits in separate containers, and have your shellfish license on you. Spring digs are my favorite, and with our unseasonally mild winter, hopefully everyone will get to enjoy a great week of clamming!

[table id=1 /]

As always, consult the fishing regulations before you hit the beach. Here’s the Official WDFW Razor Clam Dig Announcement.

westport-albacore-2014

Westport Albacore Tuna Fishing Report 2014

We’ve all been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the season’a first Albacore to hit the offshore areas of Washington, and guess what? They have arrived! The first phenomenal tuna report came in from Captain Mark Coleman yesterday. Lots of Albacore action out in the deep blue!

Mark steered his charter boat, Reel Ultra, out of the harbor and headed Southwest, and found all the telltale Tuna signs about 55 miles from Westport.

Good water temps. Lots of sealife and bird activity. Time to troll. They dragged tuna clones around a really fishy area and found a great bite, they caught Albacore on the troll, and found a few nice schools and decided to setup for live baiting them. Fishing was really good and there were flurries of activity while fishing live anchovies.

At the end of the day, around Fifty Albacore Tuna hooked, and the crew brought back about thirty five. Mark told me that having a such an awesome day early on is a great indication that this will be, yet another epic Albacore Tuna season in Westport.

Mark operates two Express Style charter boats in Westport that will be going full bore on Tuna through October. Check it out at All Rivers & Saltwater Charters

westport-salmon-fishing-june

Westport Weekend Salmon Fishing June 27

Westport’s charter fleet is currently experiencing the salmon fishing that is as good as it gets. It seems that everyone, from the larger charter boats to the smaller express style boats to the weekend warriors are all out there enjoying some of the best offshore salmon fishing that anyone can remember. I was out there at it again, fishing aboard the charter boat Reel Ultra for the weekend, and we did well. We had some phenomenal fishing over the past few weeks, and it is just amazing just how consistently good the fishing has been.

It seems that day to day, there are a few hot spots where the salmon fishing is really good, but even for those that don’t have the inside scoop, and take a random guess at where to fish, those guys are still finding some pretty decent fishing opportunities. We had been targeting Chinook and Coho along the 250’ to 300’ line due west of the mouth of Willapa Bay. It had been a strong producer since mid-June, but shifted to the North a bit. This weekend we fished along the 250’ line due west of the Quinault Beach Casino, and found quite a few nice Chinook, quite a few nice hatchery Coho, and a bunch of Wild Coho and undersized Chinook that were released.

Chinook and Coho salmon are on the bite at Westport, to do whatever you can to plan your next fishing trip before the end of the season!

ocean-chinook

westport-chinook-salmon-charter

big-westport-lingcod

Bob’s Big Ling

When you fish every single day, it is sometimes not easy to remember every little detail about every single trip, and that is exactly why I like to take photos. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and when I browse through the fishing pictures from days gone by, it helps me draw details from my memory bank. I found this photo today from a great day’s worth of fishing sometime last week.

We had a group of folks on board that were a pleasure to fish with, pictured above is Bob, one of the day’s guests. Bob showed up to the boat to chit chat about our trip the evening before, and I could sense he would be a fun one to have on the boat. He brought his own rod and reel, which isn’t uncommon, but rare that a guest would have the perfect setup for the targeted species (perfectly matched rod for the fishing method plus the same braided line that we use on our own rods).

Bob had a new rod that he wanted to try out, and I thought it would be perfect for today’s Lingcod & Rockfish adventure. Later in the day, when I saw Bob’s rod double down into a hefty Lingcod, I smiled a little, glad that he had a chance to nail a respectable fish on his new setup. I didn’t weigh nor did I measure this monster Lingcod that Bob caught out of Westport, but regardless of whether it was twenty or twenty-five pounds… it was a memorable fish, caught by a memorable Bob.

halibut-fishing-westport-washington

Westport Halibut Report May 13

Today was another action packed day of fishing on the Pacific. Our target was a boat limit of Halibut and Lingcod caught in the deepwater canyons at the edge of the continental shelf. Our gear was ready. Our crew was eager. Today would be my third and final day of Halibut fishing out of Westport, and I was in a really good mood! The weather would be beautiful, the water would be calm, and the fishing should be easy. We greeted everyone at the boat early in the morning and cruised out of Westport’s harbor before the sun rose.

On board we had Logan, Blake, Mike, Katie and Danny. All were very excited about our prospects, and as stories and anecdotes from our last we days of fishing were shared, the excitement only grew. We were planning to explore a little today, even though we knew where to easily find a limit of Halibut, it is always a smart move to try out new areas every once and a while.

We headed straight for an interesting piece of deepwater structure that was out 25 miles due west of the entrance to Grays Harbor. Our first drift yielded a few small Halibut and a Lingcod. Not bad! Our second yielded a few unwanted fish, including a Dogfish and a Skate. Not good! While seeing new species is something that I usually enjoy, the folks reeling them up from 500 feet would have preferred it if those fish happened to be something that would’ve added to our needed limits. By our third drift we added our fourth Halibut and third Lingcod to the fish box, as well as a beautiful Bocaccio Rockfish that Katie reeled up. We were two hours into fishing and not even halfway to our fish box. I know that for most this sounds a little overzealous, but when you factor in a two hour run to the fishing grounds and a two hour run back, time is of the essence. So the question: grind it out here or make a move? We made a move.

We cruised north to our favorite little spot at the edge of Quinault Canyon. Today it was home to half the charter fleet, as the captains of the larger charter boats knew they could pretty much guarantee every guest their limit of Halibut. We dropped three lines and hooked three fish instantaneously. We had made the right choice. After releasing the smaller Halibut, we finished off netting our seventh and final Halibut. Our crew felt accomplished, and we were enjoying sore arms under a bluebird sky. With a limit of Halibut resting in the fish box, we had time to seek out our Lingcod. We zipped inshore to a rocky area to dredge some herring. It took only a few drifts to find a limit of Lingcod as well.

Our days catch included seven beautiful Halibut in the 20 to 30 pound range, thirteen Lingcod in the 24 to 33 inch range, a Bocaccio Rockfish and a few Black Rockfish as well. We cruised back to port at a speedy clip, and I had most of the fish filleted and bagged before we had the boat tied up in the slip. Another great day at Westport, it was an awesome day guys!

westport-washington-halibut

westport-halibut

Westport Halibut Report May 11

Sunday was our second chance at Halibut fishing in Westport this year. I fished aboard the charter boat Reel Tight with Captain Todd. With the way our trips had been going, we were very excited for another day of fun on the water and expecting to limit the boat on both Halibut and Lingcod for 6 passengers plus ourselves. We knew exactly where to find the Halibut, and while we have a Lingcod spot that is almost a guarantee, Todd was excited to find our guests some big Lings out in a few deepwater spots he had fished years ago.

Me: Great to meet you, my name’s Andrew and I am your deckhand today. (handshake).

Rich: Good to meet you Andrew! So how long have you deckhanded down here for halibut?

Me: This is my second day! Hop in the boat and let’s go!

While the answer shocked Rich somewhat, honesty is always the best policy. The crew had a rookie deckhand for their Westport Halibut trip, but they needn’t be worried. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I have made quite a few trips to Neah Bay with friends, fished for ‘Buts in the Puget Sound, and spent the last 4 years at a fishing lodge in Cordova, Alaska where I had handled more than my fair share of Halibut. But up until last week, I had never been given the opportunity to fish for them in Westport. I can now proudly check that one off the list. So off we went.

We cruised out of the Westport harbor and across a placid Grays Harbor Bar. The ocean couldn’t have been calmer, and I would guess that the swell was under 4 feet and spaced very far apart. Our target was the Quinault Canyon to the northwest of Westport. When we reached the Halibut grounds, we were greeted by about half of the Westport charter fleet plus a few private sportfishing boats, you would think a 5 am departure would give you a head start, I guess not.

It appeared that every guest aboard was excited to be out on this Halibut fishing charter, along with the possibility of taking home a big one. One of the guests mentioned that they didn’t mind releasing “a bunch of chickens” to get that barndoor. I was excited to see a big Halibut as well, but from what I have been told, most of the structure in Westport holds averaged size fish. This is not the land of barn door Halibut. When I mentioned that the average fish we were likely to keep was in the 20 to 30 pound class, they took that statement with a grain of salt.

Eventually our two hour cruise to the Halibut grounds came to an end, as we neared the dozen or so charter boats already fishing at the edge of Quinault Canyon. This deepwater canyon pierces eastward from the ocean’s abyss eastward into the continental shelf. It is along the edges of this canyon where Halibut can be found in high concentrations. We were not the only ones that know this, and the spot we stopped at was one of the more popular spots to fish. We set up for our first drift. For the first drift, we kept things simple and deployed only three lines to lower the chance of tangles. Once our gear reached the sea floor (900 feet beneath the boat), it took about a minute for all three rods to hook up. Three lines, three Halibut on! After a few minutes to battle these fish from the deep, one by one they came into view. First one: 15 pounds, released. Seconds one: 20 pounds, released. Third one: 22 pounds, released. I knew that these fish were close to the average size, but asked the guys if they wanted to keep their fish. “Nope! Let’s try for a bigger one.” So we continued on. After releasing numerous other fish, and witnessing nearby charter boats keeping pretty much every halibut they brought up, the guys decided that the 20 to 30 pound fish we were catching was better than the average. So we filled the fish box. Our Halibut limit was filled before 9am, which gave us plenty of time to search around for some deepwater Lingcod.

Pipe Jigs are a deepwater Halibut and Lingcod angler’s best friend. They are made by filling a copper pipe with molten lead and attaching a huge treble hook. They are simple and don’t give an angler much hassle with fouled gear. They are heavy so they sink fast and stay on the bottom. The contact of the two dissimilar metals creates an electric charge that attracts deepwater fish to strike. We cruised around to a few spots, made a few drifts, and searched for some good rocky deepwater structure. Eventually our search paid off and Captain Todd put us into some excellent fishing. Drift after drift produced multiple quality Lingcod, as well as a few more Halibut that were fought and released. By the end of the day we had our boat limit of Halibut, our boat limit of Lingcod and were very happy with the results of our exploratory deep water Lingcod hunt.

As we cruised back to Westport, I filleted our catch and separated out each guest’s fish into bags. It was a great day of fishing, we had great weather, we had a fun crew. My second day of Westport Halibut fishing was in the books, and I sure can’t wait until we head out again!

westport-lingcod

westport-washington-halibut

Washington Halibut Seasons 2014

Here in Washington, there are few fish that draw more attention than the Pacific Halibut. Even as I try and stumble through writing this synopsis of the 2014 Washington Season, memories of the Barndoor Halibut we’ve landed, memories of incredibly fast-paced fishing, memories of almost getting pulled in by a just-harpooned-trophy, all those memories of great fishing days and the tonnage of fillets we brought back gets me too excited to focus. There is always a huge amount of excitement and anticipation geared around the upcoming Halibut seasons. This year we should see a great season, both on the Washington Coast and inside the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Here is a basic rundown on this year’s seasons and quotas, as always please refer to the Washington Fishing Regulation Pamphlet along with the Official Halibut Season Press Release and the Washington Halibut Reports for every detail.

[table caption=”Coastal Halibut Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|left|left “]
Marine Area,Season,Days
MA1 Columbia River (all depths),May 1 until quota (or Sept 30),Thursdays-Sundays Only
MA1 Columbia River (nearshore),May 5 until quota (or Sept 30),Mondays-Wednesdays Only
MA2: Westport (all depths),May 4 until quota,Sundays & Tuesdays Only (Except closed May 25 & 27). Might re-open June 1/3 if quota remains
MA2: Westport (north inside 30 fathoms),May 4 until sub-quota, 7 days a week
MA3: La Push,May 15 until quota,Thursdays & Sundays Only thru May 24 (or quota). Closed May 29-31. Might re-open June 5/7 if quota remains
MA4: Neah Bay,May 15 until quota,Thursdays & Sundays Only thru May 24 (or quota). Closed May 29-31. Might re-open June 5/7 if quota remains.
[/table]

[table caption=”Puget Sound Halibut Season 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100”
colalign=”left|left|left “]
Marine Area,Season,Days
MA5: Sekiu,May 22-June7,May 22-May 25 Thursday-Saturday Only; May 29-31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only*
MA6: East Straits,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA7: San Juan Islands,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA8-1: Skagit Bay,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA8-2: Everett,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA9: Admiralty Inlet,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA10: Seattle,May 9-June 7,May 9-May 10 Friday & Saturday Only; May 17 Saturday Only; May 22-May 25 Thursday-Sunday Only; May 29-May 31 Thursday-Saturday Only; June 7 Saturday Only
MA11: Tacoma,CLOSED,NO SEASON
MA12: Hood Canal,CLOSED,NO SEASON
MA13: South Sound,CLOSED,NO SEASON

[/table]

Ilwaco Halibut Season

Halibut anglers fishing from Ilwaco will have the longest halibut season in the state. The Marine Area 1 halibut quota isn’t usually reached, meaning that a season could potentially run through September 30. There is a clause in the quota arrangement that if 80% of the quota is reached early in the season, there will be a break to allow some dates later on in the season. At the very least, there is 20% of the quota saved for later in the season! There is also a nearshore halibut fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River that is available.

Westport Halibut Season

Westport hosts dozens of fishing charters that hit the offshore halibut grounds and are joined by many private boaters. Typically the majority of Westport’s fishing fleet heads out to fish along the Quinault, Grays and Guides Canyons way offshore where the halibut are plentiful. There is a nearshore halibut fishery in Marine Area 2 north of the entrance to Grays Harbor and inside of the 30 fathom mark (this inside fishery is mainly designed around allowing folks fishing for bottomfish to keep a halibut if they incidentally catch one). Don’t be surprised if the South Coast Quota is harvested within 5 to 6 days of fishing.

La Push & Neah Bay Halibut Season

Both Neah Bay and La Push are quiet coastal hamlets that become a hive of activity during the halibut seasons. Both harbors fill with boats, every hotel will be at capacity, and the fillet tables will be packed. While the North Coast is allotted 108,030 pounds for the recreational catch, this quota will usually be filled within 4 to 5 days of fishing.

Sekiu & Puget Sound Halibut Season

It seems that every year the Puget Sound halibut fishery becomes even more popular. An on-the-water survey of the angler effort on any day open to fishing will stun the Average Joe. While the Halibut seem to be spread out because there are just so many great fishing areas in the Eastern Straits and Admiraly Inlet, anglers find their fish. Once the annual quota is announced, it allows the state to create a set season which will stay open through June 7.

[table caption=”Washington Halibut Quotas 2014″ width=”500″ colwidth=”100″
colalign=”left|left|left “]
Marine Area,Season,Days
MA1: Columbia River (Early), 9516 pounds
MA1: Columbia River (Late), 2379 pounds
MA1: Columbia River (Nearshore), 2000 pounds
MA2: Westport (Total),42739 pounds
MA2: Westport (Primary),40739 pounds
MA2: Westport (Nearshore),2000 pounds
MA3-4: Neah Bay & La Push,108030 pounds
MA5-10: Puget Sound, 57393 pounds

[/table]

razor-clam

Early November Razor Clam Digs

All of you eager diggers will be happy to read that we’ve got a full week of Razor Clam opportunity on the Washington Coast coming up! Digging will be wide open during the first week of November. With evening clam tides, break out the headlights and lanterns for easy limits. October 2013 Razor Clam digs were exceptionally good with easy limits for nearly every single person who participated, regardless of experience.

Please also check out the Official WDFW News Release for details and the WDFW Razor Clam Page for additional information and regulations.

Digging Razor Clams at night requires a little more preparation, and the November dates will be a little more chilly, gear up and dress warm! Good luck out there everyone!

Friday November 1

Open Beaches: Twin Harbors & Mocrocks.

Low Tide is 0.1 feet at 5:52 pm

Saturday November 2

Open Beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, & Mocrocks.

Low Tide is -0.6 feet at 6:36 pm

Sunday November 3

Open Beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, & Mocrocks.

Low Tide is -1.1 feet at 6:16 pm

Monday November 4

Open Beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, & Mocrocks.

Low Tide is -1.3 feet at 6:59 pm

Tuesday November 5

Open Beaches: Long Beach and Twin Harbors.

Low Tide is -1.3 feet at 7:45 pm

Wednesday November 6

Open Beaches: Twin Harbors.

Low Tide is -1.2 feet at 8:33 pm

Thursday November 7

Open Beaches: Twin Harbors.

Low Tide is -1.2 feet at 9:24 pm

Friday November 8

Open Beaches: Twin Harbors.

Low Tide is 0.3 feet at 10:19 pm

Razor Clam Digging Tips

  • Clam digging not allowed before noon during each open day.
  • Daily limit is the first 15 Razor Clams dug.
  • All clams dug are considered part of your limit, you may not return any small or broken shell clams back to the water.
  • Each person’s limit must be kept in a separate container.
  • Washington Combo Fishing License, Shellfish License or Razor Clam License is required for all participants 15 years or older.
  • Arrive at beach 2 hours before low tide.
  • Bring a propane lantern and a headlamp for night digs.
  • Dress warm during winter Razor Clam digs.
ocean-shores-razor-clam-dig

Washington Razor Clam Digs October 2013

Washington’s Pacific Beaches are about to reopen for another exciting and rewarding Razor Clam dig! An earlier October dig proved to be a great success for hordes of Northwest clam diggers and this upcoming dig offers a chance to get back out to the Coast and score limits for the entire family.

Digging on Washington’s best Razor Clam beaches starts at noon each day, but remember that the closer to low tide the more productive digging gets. So plan to be out on the beach at least 1 to 2 hours before the low tide.

Thursday October 17

Open Beaches are Twin Harbors.
Low Tide is -0.2 feet at 6:15 pm

Friday October 18

Open Beaches are Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks.
Low Tide is -0.6 feet at 6:57 pm

Saturday October 19

Open Beaches are Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks.
Low Tide is -0.7 feet at 7:38 pm

Sunday October 20

Open Beaches are Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks.
Low Tide is -0.7 feet at 8:16 pm

Monday October 21

Open Beaches are Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.
Low Tide is -0.4 feet at 8:55 pm

Tuesday October 22

Open Beaches are Twin Harbors.
Low Tide is -0.1 feet at 9:34 pm

Please consult the Official News Release and the WDFW Razor Clam Page for more information.

copalis-razor-clam

April Razor Clam Digs In Washington

More Razor Clam digging to be had on the Washington Coast this month!

To wrap up the season, we are looking at two openings for Razor Clams at Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Long Beach in the month of April. WDFW always makes these digs tentative until bio-toxin tests are completed to make sure that the Razors are safe to eat.

I for one am very excited to get out after these tasty critters, either fried or frittered.

The tentative April digs are looking to be the best digging of the year! Extreme minus tides in the morning hours means pleasurable digging on the beach with the entire family!

  • April 9, Tues., 6:39 a.m., 0.0 ft., Twin Harbors
  • April 10, Wed., 7:19 a.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors
  • April 11, Thurs., 7:57 a.m., -0.4 ft., Twin Harbors
  • April 12, Fri., 8:34 a.m., -0.4 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 13, Sat., 9:11 a.m., -0.2, ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 14, Sun., 9:49 a.m., +0.1, ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 24, Wed., 6:10 a.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors
  • April 25, Thurs., 6:54 a.m., -1.0 ft., Twin Harbors
  • April 26, Fri., 7:38 a.m., -1.5 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 27, Sat., 8:24 a.m., -1.7 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 28, Sun., 9:11 a.m., -1.7 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • April 29, Mon., 10:01 a.m., -1.5 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks
  • April 30, Tues., 10:55 a.m., -1.0 ft., Twin Harbors

It looks like we can dig until Noon each day, as always your limit is the first 15 Razor Clams dug, regardless of size or condition. Please check out the OFFICIAL WDFW PRESS RELEASE for all the details. Hope you all get a chance to hit the beach during the Razor Clam season! Good luck digging!

digging-for-razor-clams

Weekend Razor Clam Season on the Washington Coast

We have just been given the green light, many Washington beaches are open for Razor Clamming this weekend! This is going to be one fun filled weekend for many lucky Washington clammers.

With early tides this weekend, we have 5 days of digging, and the first 3 days are daylight digs.

The weather for the Washington coast looks pleasant, with little chance of rain.

The daily limit is 15 Razor Clams. By law, we must keep the first 15 we dig whether they are small or broken shelled.

Here are the tides & beaches for this weekend’s digs:

  • March 7, Thursday, 3:06 p.m., +0.3 ft., Twin Harbors
  • March 8, Friday, 4:01 p.m., 0.0 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • March 9, Saturday, 4:50 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • March 10, Sunday, 6:33 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
  • March 11, Monday, 7:12 p.m., 0.0, Twin Harbors

Here is the official WDFW PRESS RELEASE FOR THIS WEEKEND