The marine forecast was not looking pleasant with small craft advisory that was supposed to be lifted by 5 am, winds from the SSW at 20-35 knots, and 2-4 foot wind waves. We however decided to make the annual run for the May 1st Ling Cod opener. I woke at 5 am to hear the wind still rustling outside and was a bit concerned with the 3 am marine forecast that called for the extension of the small craft advisory until 8 am. When I arrived at the boat ramp at 5:30 to meet Rob D. it appeared fine with only a handful of trailers in the parking lot there was one other boat launching and the sky was starting to break and the sunrise was filtering through the Seattle skyline.
The guy launching his Hewescraft asked me if the Lings were open and I said ‘yes’, May 1st, and he strugged his head wondering where the crowds were as he motored out. We set up our gear, launched and also motored out and by then, there were bigger waves and the wind speed was picking up behind us as we motored to the north out of the bay. Rob was feeling a little worried about our safety and his boats well being as it was tough keeping the bow straight in order for us to put in any sort of casts as waves were crashing over the rock jetty. We decided to wait it out in shelter while I peppered the interior wall with casts. Within our first pass, the line went tight and I knew it was Ling fever, a mouthful of teeth and partially digest sand lance spat up with the first 22″ that came to hand. It was a positive sign, but was hoping for something bigger. With each pass I picked up more Lings, but just were the cookie cutter size, with the biggest measuring out at 25″. Finally we snugged up to a guest dock and waited things out hoping that 8:00 would bring calmer winds and stable seas, which never happened. We decided to bust out back to the launch and when we were within range the wind slowed and the water calmed. A couple more passes through the pilings and in front of Salty’s didn’t produce any bites, as I knew our presentation and depth was good, showing 20-40′ of water.
I finished out the day at 10 am, needing to get back for a meeting and finishing up some work around the house. We’ll watch the weather report for tomorrow and hopefully make a re-visit to hit some of my more favored spots in search of a bigger female. Final tally was 6 Ling Cod to the net, and the only fly I used was my double bunny articulated string leech.
Rod: Sage RPLXi, 9′ 11wt
Reel: Galvan Torque 8
Line: Rio coldwater 0.30 intermediate running line with Rio high density sinking head.