My quest for a Chinook this season was relentless since there were so many missed chances. I crackered one off in Neah bay, we missed our chance in Westport, could only catch wild kings, which had to be released in MA10 and 11. So, today had to be the day. I think it all stacks up to fishing with dad. Whenever we fish together, we catch fish and or at least hook a King.
We left home right at 4 am and hit Shilshoal around 4:40 to motor out with dimly lit skies and a marine layer of clouds. The tide exchange wasn’t looking favorable for biting kings, but that didn’t deter me as my honey hole usually holds bait and lots of it would be stirred up when the tide goes out.
When I fished that spot with Jon and Phil we hooked and landed several Kings with a big native that had to be released. It was also on a big tide swing and the bait was also stirred up. Find the bait and you’ll find the fish!
6:00 hit with no love, 7:00 came by with no action and then right around 7:30 with a great rip occurring in the honeyhole the starboard side rod starts pulsing wildly. I pick up the rod, slow the kicker and the fish unclips itself. After I put some pressure on the fish she sensed something was wrong and then headed to Tacoma taking 4 deep runs into the 30lb Maxima running line.
I prayed that this would be my holy grail and hoped she had the missing fin. As I reeled in for a closer look she showed her tail and holy moly, what a brute of a King. I hit the jackpot, clipped fin!!! My heart raced and I gave instructions to dad to bring up the other rod and take the kicker out of gear and get the net ready. She took two more runs when she saw the boat but inwas able to get her to succumb and with one big scoop she was ours!
Success was based on knowing the tide, time, and location. We could see the kings And Cohos near the bait balls and this was crucial to figuring out what depth to place the lures. I was running a Q-cove quick release flasher in green dragon color with 48″ of leader to a white lightening Coho Killer.
We picked another 5-6 lb Jack king but it became unbuttoned right at the kicker motor. Ah well… A hatchery resident coho came to hand along with a flounder. We also took a few red rock crab but no Dungees for some odd reason.
Dad and I took the opportunity to do some ink prints to best capture this beautiful fish. I think they turned out quite well and hope to have them framed so we can remember this epic beauty.