Earlier in the year I was on more or less a fishing hiatus, lately it has been more of a fishing bender. I arrived at Westport a few days ago to play the role of deckhand on the charter boat Reel Elite and while I’ve had two solid days of offshore fishing, I just couldn’t get enough. After a morning full of errands and unnecessary busyness, I decided to dedicate a few hours to fish the Westport Jetty. I wouldn’t be able to get all geared up to hit the max flood tide, but I still was eager to go wet a line. The weather was absolutely beautiful, today was definitely a Mandatory Sunscreen Day.
With nothing more than a light pack with a few essentials and a fishing rod, I was ready to test my luck. It was almost a year since I last fished at the south jetty at Westhaven State Park, and probably two years since before that. I used to consider myself a regular here, and in my younger years have spent many days working the rocks for Lingcod and Rockfish. Westport’s jetty is arguable the best place on the West Coast to shore fish for the Pacific’s bounty of bottom fish.
Equipment: 9’ medium action spinning rod. Spinning reel spun with 30 pound Power Pro braided spectra with a 4’ shock leader of 20 pound mono.
Tackle: 1 ounce jigheads and Berkley Gulp 6” grubs, New Penny, White Glow & Nuclear Chicken.
I arrived soon after the tide change, and as Grays Harbor emptied, it created a ripping current along the bayside of the jetty. I peered from atop the jetty to see what looked like a fast flowing river. Not fishing that side. So I went to check out the ocean side and found that while the tide was most surely going out, the current wasn’t nearly as fast. Current not ripping: CHECK. Swells on the Oceanside small & safe: CHECK. Not a fisherman in sight: CHECK. It looked good!
The water was clear and I fished the underwater structure for about 100 feet of jetty. Numerous grabs, numerous rocks snagged as well. But I ended up coaxing out two smaller Cabezon and a nice Greenling that I released. In all honesty, I was searching for Lingcod and Black Rockfish, but I guess for an hours worth of fishing, I will take what I can get. I did hook two Lingcod, but both won the battle. I got the first Lingcod to the surface and it thrashed and came off the hook before I could grab it. The second darted out from a rock ledge below where I was standing, swatted at my lure just below the surface, and I just couldn’t get a hookset in before it gave a few headshakes and was free. I still consider the few hours out there a success and oh yes, I will be back.