Possession Bar Lingcod
Lingcod fishing in Puget Sound opened Tuesday May 1 and we decided to try our luck! I can’t recall the last time I was out on opening day for Lingcod. But with four willing friends and a decent weather forecast we made an appearance on Possession Bar.
I took out my good friends Chris, Mike, Jackson and Jacob. I can’t say that fishing was lights out but we caught a few fish, learned a little more about Puget Sound and had a great time on the water.
Beautiful Morning on Puget Sound
Preparing For Lingcod Fishing
A new fishing season really gets me motivated. I wanted to be prepared for the upcoming 45 days of Puget Sound Lingcod season.
So I rigged up my 10′ 6″ salmon downrigger rods for my live bait set ups. I love those rods for live bait because when a Lingcod latches on to a live Sand Dab (Flounder), the rod really flexes and the fish doesn’t feel much resistance. 40 pound leaders tied with a Gamakatsu circle hook on top and a barbless octopus hook in back. I loaded my weight bucket with 3-10 ounce cannonball sinkers. Four of those rods ready with sliders and leaders.
I always bring a few shorter and stouter jigging rods for fishing metal jigs and jig head/plastics. Point Wilson Darts in 2-6 ounce sizes. I brought jig heads in 3-6 ounce sizes and plenty of soft plastics. Four of those rods ready.
Finally I set up a few of my lighter weight rods with gear for catching Sand Dabs. I rig up a snap swivel to hold a 1-2 ounce sinker and a short leader with a bait holder hook with a tiny curly tail grub. I like tipping my grubs with a small chunk of squid for smell. It does the trick every time!
With all my rods rigged, extra leaders and a bucket of weights (plenty in case we lose gear in the snaggy structure), we were ready!
How I Store My Bottomfish Weights
Fishing at Possession Bar
We launched out of Everett and headed to Possession Bar, which is a popular Lingcod fishing area in Central Puget Sound. We made a quick stop near Hat Island just west of Everett to catch our Sand Dabs. After picking up a dozen or so, we ran out.
Tides play a big role when fishing in Puget Sound for Lingcod. You want a little current, but when there is a big tide exchange the Lingcod seem to really hunker down. The tide exchange was over 10′ and outgoing so it was a little challenging. I really focused my efforts on boat control while everyone else fished. Backing into the wind to slow the drift down and keeping the line angles as close to vertical.
I don’t have any specific Lingcod fishing coordinates for Possession so we went on a scouting mission to find them. Our focus was 30′-90′ of depth and we hunted for hard bottom and any small rocky outcroppings we could find.
We had a couple grabs that we suspected were Lingcod. Then after making a couple drifts here and there, we stumbled upon a nice rocky stretch in about 40′ and hit a 20″ Cabezon on a Point Wilson Dart jig. Nice, we’ve got a fish in the box!
I didn’t even get the Cabezon out of the net and Jackson’s live bait set up got throttled!
I got one! Fish ON!
Jackson let the rod load up and then steadily reeled the Lingcod to the surface. He did everything right. You can’t wind up with a good hookset when fishing with live bait. More often than not, that will result in a lost fish. Chris grabbed the net and waited until it was time to scoop it up. It was a dandy by Puget Sound standards. The slot limit for Lingcod this year is 26″ to 36″ and anything out of that range has to be released. Jackson’s Lingcod measured in at 35.5″. That is about as good as it gets. High fives and fist pumps all around!
Jackson Catches a Nice Keeper Lingcod
We made another drift over the spot and landed another Cabezon. Aside from the one hour foray of action, fishing was pretty slow. But with a respectable Lingcod in the boat on day one of the season, we all agreed our day was a success! I will be out on Friday for another shot at these awesome fish!