Last weekend was opening day for Puget Sound Lingcod, and we had such a great time fishing that another trip needed to happen. (Opening Day Post).
I’m learning more and more about marine forecasts. One thing I’ve learned is that if the weather forecast is in that “gray area” between pleasant and choppy, half the time it’s wrong and the other half the time it’s spot on. I’ve had plenty of planned trips where we check the Puget Sound Marine Forecast daily leading up to our trip, only to cancel and find out that the weather was totally doable in our inland waters. Saturday was questionable, but it looked okay when we got to the launch, and fished for a few hours before the weather built to choppy and we headed back in just before the weather got angry.
Possession has been my go-to Lingcod area for a long time, but every year I spend more time in Marine Area 10 searching around for new spots. We decided to stay local and not head north, and found a few really nice keepers in the 26″ to 36″ slot range.
We started the day fishing for Sand Dabs in Shilshole Bay. Once we had a couple dozen, we headed to one of the spots. The winds were strong enough that made backing the boat into the wind crucial to slow our drift down enough. After drifting over the structure a couple times, and losing a handful of rigs, we found a good one that gobbled up Fred’s live bait. This is really the only fishery in Puget Sound where live bait is one of the key techniques, and Fred’s patience let that Lingcod chew for a solid half a minute before the rod fully loaded up and gave a solid hookup. First keeper!
After another couple drifts, Ross hooked two but they didn’t seem to stick. Half of the battle is letting the Ling chew as long as it wants, which he did, let the rod completely fold and they essentially hook themselves. The other half is luck.
A couple more drifts, and I got lucky. My patience was tested to the limits as my rod lightly bounced, for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually it went full bendo and we had another battle on our hands. My rod-holder was on the downwind side of the boat, line ended up under the boat and I ran around the bow of my center console to get the line out from under it, Fred chasing me with the net and we got it!
Once the winds kicked up, we cruised to a few other spots, thinking we could find a place where we could hide from the winds a little better, but it was to no avail and we eventually had to call it a day. We took our time at a quiet Shilshole ramp, filleted out our catch and everyone took home a fillet of fresh Lingcod. Jerome, Ross, Fred and I had a great trip, albeit a little shorter than we wanted but we still made a great day out of Saturday! Already planning next weekend’s trip!