whidbeyislandIf you’ve been following along on Facebook, you would know that I am on vacation this week.  I took the kids up to Washington State to visit their grandparents.  On Monday (August 12), I hooked up with my cousin Henry and his two girls, Tamsyn and Ella.  They had been following our salty exploits from afar and were dying to get salty too.

We took a ferry ride from Mukilteo (close to Everett, about 25 mi. north of Seattle) to the town of Clinton on Whidbey Island…part of the San Juan Island chain located in Puget Sound (image courtesy of WhidbeyCamanoIslands.com).

It was a short ferry ride, maybe only 20 minutes.  From there, we drove halfway up the island, by the town of Coupeville, to the west side of the island.  We setup to fish from the beach next to the ferry landing that takes you over to Port Townsend on the peninsula.

The Buzz Bomb

The Buzz Bomb

Once we arrived, I proceeded to rig some poles.  I keep an 8-1/2 foot Penn 2-piece at my parents’ house and had brought my Revo Toro 50 to put on it.  It’s a pretty versatile setup that I can use for everything from salmon fishing to rockfishing.  Pink salmon or “humpies” run in odd numbered years.  Oddly enough, they are supposed to bite pink lures, so I setup this pole with a pink Buzz Bomb and then hid the hook inside a glow pink squid skirt or “hoochie”.

It looked pretty good, but how did it swim?  Since we were fishing off the shore, we were in pretty skinny water.  At the far end of my cast, it couldn’t have been more than 3-5 feet in depth.  These things look like an injured fish on the fall, so you are supposed to cast out, let it fall, retrieve, let it fall etc.  Since we were in such skinny water though, I just ground it in on a medium retrieve like I would a swimbait.  It looked really good swimming, so I cast it out again.  Oh crap!  I got it stuck in some kelp.

Legal size ling from the beach!

Legal size ling from the beach!

I was trying to whip the rod and shake it out when to my surprise it started to take out line.  Whoa what?  The drag was a little loose, so I tightened it up a bit and fought the fish.  A few minutes later, I had it on the beach.  Omigod, it was an 8-9 lb. ling cod!  I love shallow water rockfishing when I ride on the Pacific Islander, but shallow in that context is maybe 80-100 feet…not 3-5 feet!

Unfortunately, unlike our season in SoCal, ling cod season is very short up here, May 1 to June 15, so I had to let it go.

Needless to say though, I was pretty satisfied with how it worked.  I handed the rod to Jake to fish and set about to rig the other rods.  As I was doing that, not 5 minutes later, Jake hooks up.  No friggin’ way!

I run down to where he is and by the time I get there, he has a 4-5 lb. pink salmon on the beach.  My cousin and his girls are looking at Jake and I like we are some sort of fishing gods.  Jake told me he saw a swirl in the water, casted ahead of it, wind wind BAM!  Hooked up.  High five buddy!


Jake the Salmon King

When we had first gotten to the beach, we were by ourselves.  By now though, we had attracted a small crowd.  One of them informs us that we aren’t supposed to fish there because it’s a dive beach and proceeds to fly a “diver down” flag from a post at the edge of the beach.  Whatever hater.  Oh well, we have a salmon and you don’t 😉

We packed up and left.  We tried a couple other spots, but our luck was used up for the day.  We did manage to successfully dig some clams though and the rest of our crew had fun clamming.  Around 4:30 we packed up for the day and headed to the ferry landing for the ride home.  Not a bad day.  See you back in SoCal next week.  Tight lines!




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