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!