Well, we anxiously watched the marine weather forecast build and build, but decided to go out anyways and had a hell of a day on Puget Sound. My buddy Jake invited me, Jerome and Dan out for our first stab at the Marine Area 10 Winter Blackmouth season. After a couple reviews of the weather, it looked like it was possibly going to be pretty nautical, but with how ever-changing Puget Sound conditions can be, we decided to head to the launch pre-dawn and take a look.
With all the mixed reports from the classic spots in the area, Jeff Head, Richmond Beach and Kingston, we decided to head to a few spots south and check them out. Sometimes going outside of the normal pays off.
We cruised out of Elliott Bay and rounded Duwamish Head to get our first glimpse of Puget Sound and it looked beautiful! The forecast was for 5-15 knot winds but there was barely a breeze. We made it to Bainbridge Island just as the sun rose over Seattle. The sky was a blaze of orange and pink, and Mount Rainier was visible, which is always a cool site to see.
After we got our lines in, Jake pulled out his grill and made some killer breakfast burritos right on the deck! We caught a few sub-legal Chinook, grubbed down breakfast, and made a decision to make a move. It was an exploratory trip and our goal was to fish a couple new spots.
We ended up at Allen Bank, which is a large underwater ridge that runs from Blake Island to the north side of Vashon. Currents will usually concentrate bait and salmon here, but without any winter trips here we were on a searching mission.
We covered plenty of ground at Allen Bank before we found a small area where there definitely was a concentration of salmon. A flasher and a herring rigged in an Anchovy Helmet was the top producer. We caught a bunch of sub-legals, many were right under the 22″ minimum size. Dan hooked a really good one on a Flasher and Needlefish Hoochee, but it came unbuttoned right at the net! I grabbed a rod and we ended up with our one keeper for the day, just over the minimum size and we will take it!
One big highlight was a Pacific True Cod, one of only three I’ve caught in all my time in Puget Sound, and this one was the biggest at around 16″. Very cool species and it’s really killer to see them start to rebuild in Puget Sound.