I wanted to try fishing Hoodsport from a different angle, so I proceeded to rig up the Bucks Bag Pontoon boat, which is a 6′ Alpine model that I picked up inexpensively a while back but never really used. The advantage is that I can get away from others, be fishing not dependant on the tides, and being able to chase the fish or re-position to catch fish when they are schooled up in the bay.
The netting schedule for the Skokomish tribe is on Tuesday and Thursdays, so it takes out alot of the darker fish that have been milling around the bay and gives the more aggressive fresher fish a run into the mouth of the creek. We arrived at 10 am and proceeded to get set up after the low tide which was at 9 am. There were as usual the crowds of regulars and probably some new fisherman hoping for the chance at some fresh Chum.
I didn’t expect it to be hot, but already there were several boats anchored up and fishing without any signs of nets flying or bent rods. I did meet up with a fellow from the WFF.com Michael Davidchick who was fishing with a friend from a aluminum jet boat. They were up from the south end, and were camping out and fishing a couple of days.
They’d positioned near the second buoy on the north end and was casting towards the hatchery in the channel where fish were cruising. They proceeded to hook up with a few fish later on in the day around 1 pm when the tide started creeping back up. The high was at 3 pm and it was a pretty good flood tide at 11’6″. I find that fishing a couple hours before the incoming and few hours after the high is the best time for incoming salmon. This was especially the case for the Chums yesterday afternoon.
Once the flood came in there were some massive schools of Chum (Keta) rolling around and swarming in preparation for entry to the creek. I guess not all of them make it as there was a purse seiner boat anchored up in the bay and ready to fire its engines up at the stroke of midnight in preparation for netting on Thursday.
I think the next time I fish Hoodsport I’ll be equipped with a multitip line with 15′ intermediate tip on a short leader. The tide and the bottom aren’t that deep and I think I would have had more strikes with either just a floating line or perhaps just an intermediate tip versus the full intermediate line.
Flies were small, size 6 and sparsely tied variants in Chartruese, Fuschia, Black, and white color combos. with the fuschia/Chartruese working especially well.
Don’t know when I’ll be back, all dependent on the tides and schedule, but at least I returned with some salmon to brine for the smoker. I don’t really care for the taste of Chum nor do I typically keep them, but Thao swears by the smoked Chum and says that they’re a pretty fatty fish and tend to smoke up very nicely. I opted to give these fish a try and did get one female for the Ikura which my parents especially enjoy. I’ll let you know how the smoked Keta (chum) comes out… maybe Luca will enjoy some smoke salmon in his rice and oatmeal porridge.