LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Making a case for lingcod
By Lee Horton
Print This | Email This
7th UPDATE — I-5 bridge collapse near Mount Vernon blamed on oversize truck hitting it [**GALLERY**] -- 5/24/13 -06:28 AM
5th UPDATE — I-5 bridge collapses near Mount Vernon, tossing people, vehicles into Skagit River. 3 injured, no deaths -- 5/23/13 -11:54 PM
LEE HORTON'S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Halibut derby this weekend -- 5/23/13 -06:31 PM
Hundreds attend funeral of Port Angeles teen -- 5/23/13 -05:53 PM
Juan de Fuca Festival brings performers to Peninsula from around the world -- 5/23/13 -05:57 PM
But they do have a bit of a cult following on the North Olympic Peninsula, especially along the Pacific Coast.
For most of the Peninsula, lingcod season began last week.
But in the Pacific areas, such as Neah Bay and LaPush, the season has been open since March or April.
Neah Bay is one of the hottest spots.
Joey Lawrence of Big Salmon Resort (360-645-2374) reports that most boats come back carrying their limits of lingcod.
Because lings are also bottomfish, catching them is similar to snagging halibut.
Some use spreader bars, and artificial and live baits work well.
Lawrence lists pipe jugs, 6-ounce jigheads with scampi, squid and herring as some of the most effective baits.
Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles adds that lingcod are lured by shiny things.
Whatever the bait, catching lings have one necessary tactic: go deep.
“Get down tight to the bottom,” Aunspach said.
Since keeping bait near the bottom is so crucial, lingcod anglers are at the mercy of the weather.
“Lingcod fishing goes well when the weather’s good,” Lawrence said. “When the water’s nice and there’s no wind.”
He adds that wind over 20 miles per hour can put a serious damper on the ling-catching results.
Around the Strait, lingcod fishing is overshadowed but not completely ignored.
“You just need to find where they’re at,” Aunspach said, noting that one popular spot on the Strait is the shipwreck in the Salt Creek area.
But knowing is only half the battle in the Port Angeles Harbor.
There are lingcod there, but baits can get hung up on the logs resting at the bottom.
Lingcod season ends on June 15 in Port Angeles, Sequim, Sekiu, Port Townsend, the Admiralty Inlet and South Puget Sound.
There is still plenty of time along the coast where the lingcod remain in-season until October.
Though lingcod is a big deal on the Pacific Coast, they are about to take a back seat.
“The focus is on halibut,” Lawrence said.
In Marine Area 3 (LaPush) and Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), the crazy halibut season begins today.
However, there is a big question of whether or not the weather is going to cooperate.
Bob Gooding, owner of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks, says things don’t look good.
“It’s pretty rocky and rolly out there,” Gooding said on Wednesday.
A few anglers have gone to check out the water, and told Gooding they’ve gotten a “nasty feeling” about the windy conditions.
If the wind gusts blow hard enough, the Coast Guard will prevent anglers from heading out, or they’ll require boats be at least 20- or 30-feet long.
Gooding suggests you take notice if the Coast Guard is making restrictions.
“You’ll probably want to say ‘no,’ even if your boat is big enough,” he said.
Here’s a halibut season refresher for Marine Areas 3 and 4:
■ May 10 to 19: Thursdays through Saturdays only.
■ May 24 to 28: No halibut fishing allowed.
■ May 31 to June 2: Could reopen, if the quota has not been reached.
The daily limit is one halibut, but there is no minimum size regulation.
Banquet at marina
The North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association will hold its third annual fundraising banquet June 8 at the John Wayne Marina.
The Coastal Conservation Association, the largest marine conservation organization in the nation, has been a force in marine conservation for more than 30 years.
The grassroots organization was founded by sports fishermen intent on restoring wild salmon and steelhead populations.
The North Olympic Peninsula Chapter was formed in February 2010 and has approximately 175 members.
“We are fishermen who support sustainable harvest and conservation of our marine fisheries,” John Albiso, president of the Peninsula chapter, said.
The chapter has organized efforts to prevent the complete closure of Lake Sutherland for the next five years.
It also successfully championed a winter blackmouth fishing season that will last from Dec. 1, 2012 to April 10, 2013.
Tickets for the banquet are $65 per person or $120 for a couple, and include a one-year membership to the Coastal Conservation Association.
The event starts at 5 p.m., and will include raffles, and live and silent auctions.
For more information, contact Albiso at 360-928-1073 or at email@example.com.
Details can also be found online at http://www.facebook.com/ccanortholypen.
Flyfisher in PT
Flyfishing writer and guide Bob Triggs will talk at the Library Learning Center in Port Townsend on Saturday.
The presentation, titled “Wilderness Fly Fishing in Kamchatka, Russia and Southwest Alaska,” will provide a behind-the-scenes look into river guiding from a fly-fishing guide’s perspective.
Triggs will cover topics ranging from camp life to float-plane fly fishing, river boating, mosquitoes, bears and near-death experiences.
He also discusses bush pilot Ted Gerken’s famed Iliaska Lodge at Lake Iliamna, Alaska, and Rudy Steele’s rustic and remote river tent camp on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
The presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.
The Library Learning Center is located at 1256 Lawrence St. in Port Townsend.
Spey cast class
Waters West will teach spey casting to anglers of all skill levels on May 20 on the Sol Duc River.
Spey casting is an advanced form of fly casting primarily used for river fishing of steelhead and salmon.
The cost for the class is $95, and spey rods and reels will be provided by Waters West.
For more information or to register, call Waters West at 360-417-0937 or visit www.waterswest.com.
The monthly meeting of the North Olympic Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers will be May 17.
Representatives from the state’s fisheries management section will be in attendance to discuss the 2012 salmon fishing forecast.
The meeting starts at 6:45 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church on 100 S. Blake Ave. in Sequim.
Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lee.horton@
Last modified: May 09. 2012 6:02PM