We had a great couple days of fishing this weekend! Neah Bay is one of those special places. And the rugged beauty of the North Coast of Washington is the perfect backdrop for reeling in Salmon, along with everything else we caught during this epic trip.
Fishing Neah Bay from Sekiu
Because of the Neah Bay closure, we stayed in Sekiu at Mason’s Olson’s Resort. It’s an awesome place to set up fish camp with everything we needed. Boat launch, moorage, freezer access, fillet station, campsite are all right there.
Fishing was still open in Marine Area 5 and we could have fished there. But I really wanted to get out a little further and explore.
We were blessed with calm seas this weekend, which allowed us to run all the way out to the ocean. Any of the good Marine Area 4 salmon fishing spots are quite the run from Sekiu. Wadaah Island is 14 miles, Tatoosh Island is 20 miles, and the nearest shoreline spots in the ocean are 23 miles. But with light winds and small swells, it was a pleasant run out and back.
Neah Bay Chinook Salmon Fishing!
On Saturday morning…
We started fishing at Wadaah Island, directly in front of Neah Bay. There were a handful of boats working the area in 100′ to 180′ and we saw a crazy number of Coho hit our gear. We tried to run the gear within 25′ of bottom and even though we were fishing super deep the Coho seemed to be down there too! After a while, we had had our fun with Coho and looked for somewhere else to fish.
We set up just inside of Tatoosh Island along the shoreline and worked the bottom. Ross hooked up on a good one, and we ended up chasing it down after it peeled off 200′ of line. It felt so good to scoop up our first Neah Bay Chinook of the trip, and have it be a good one! Hatchery Chinook that scaled out at 18 pounds.
We put in about an hour of trolling. On a shallow pass near the shore, we could see bait rippling on the edge of the kelp beds, and decided to retire the downriggers for the mooching rods.
I picked up a couple small Lingcod, a couple Black Rockfish mooching the kelp line. Ross landed a nice Lingcod and a few China Rockfish that we released. Then, Ross hooked up on a heavy fish, it bogged down, then started tearing out line and headed straight out… CHINOOK! Although that one came off during the fight, it was cool that we hooked a Chinook in 40′ of water right next to the kelp.
On Sunday morning…
We decided to head straight out to the ocean and fish alongside the rocks south of Cape Flattery. First pass of the morning we had a clip pop and rod-thrashing take down. I picked up the rod and we were in for quite the battle. It decided that it wanted to come home with us so it swam into our net. Another huge hatchery Chinook, weighing 18.5 pounds.
We eventually transitioned to mooching, and once again hooked a great fish and once again lost it… you can’t win them all. However it would’ve been nice to say we landed one mooching.
The Rugged Beauty of the North Coast
We even got surprised by a bonus Halibut! Trolling just south of Cape Flattery in 100′ of water and it bit our trolling gear. It would’ve been nice to add a 20 pound Halibut to our cooler, but we tossed it back… I’ll be back for you in August buddy!
Catching Lingcod and Rockfish
Our main goal was to catch those big Neah Bay Chinook, but we did spend a little time each day fishing for Lings and Rockfish. We caught a number of Lingcod and Black Rockfish while mooching the edges of the kelp beds for Chinook. When we actually dropped the metal jigs, that’s when fishing got really good!
Sekiu Camp Life
Fishing was great, and the camping set up really rounded out a great weekend. We had some good friends to hang out with, great camp neighbors and some awesome grub.
The weekend ended and I’d say it was a successful one. We had a great time and quite a bit of Chinook, Lingcod and Rockfish fillets each to bring home.