South Sound Chapter

Neah Bay outing June 1-4th  2006

One of our members (Dave Pope) likes to cook & has a large enough boat to do so on.  So he offered our chapter members a package deal on meals.  He arranged so that all the boats going were moored in a very close proximity of each other.  Breakfast was at 6:00 AM, he supplied a sack lunch & dinner was back at the dock at 6:00 PM.

Breakfast Saturday night feast

We had about 8 boats on this outing.  Some stayed on their boats while others rented rooms in nearby motels or brought their own campers. 

The Washington halibut season was not open, so we targeted rockfish only.  This included mostly sea bass, ling cod & cabizon.  In the sea bass category, this included China rockfish, Vermillion rockfish, Blue rockfish, Yellowtail rockfish.  We encountered an occasional Kelp Greenling.

The limit here was 10 sea bass, 2 ling cod, 2 cabizon & 1 miscl (which in this case was the greenling).  Almost every day we fished we all limited or came very close to.

For the larger boats the target area was the Umatilla Reef area, which is out to Tattoosh Island & then south another 20 miles.  This is far enough away from civilization that the fishing is worth the trip if the weather permits.

34" Ling Cod Islands at the base of Umatilla Reef

There are many places to fish in this area, as usually near the leeward side of any island or underwater rock formation will hold these fish.  A closer location would be just outside of the harbor entrance, near Wadda Island, or out to Tattoosh Island.   Tattoosh still has an old lighthouse on it.  Around this island is a mecca of bottomfishing  water.  You can move to either side (east or west) of the island depending on the wind, & get some protection.

Occasionally if the wind & or the tide is not fishing friendly & then Sail & Seal rocks a favorite as they are back only a few miles to the east inside the straits which give lots of protection.  Here east & shoreward of the rocks it gets 30' with kelp growing around some partially submerged rocks depending on the tide.  This is a good spot to get near enough to the kelp, just kick the motor in & out of gear enough to maintain steerage & cast to the edge of the kelp.

The method of fishing here is jigging, using lead-head jigs from 3/8 to 5 ounces.  If you are in shallow water, (30') a 3/8 or 1/2 oz. jig will work, but in deeper water like off Duncan Rock with the tide & or wind pushing, you need a heavier jig to get down to 100' & stay there.

Do not use this double rig setup unless you are prepared to land 2 at a time. A assortment of jig tails in size from 7" to 4"

About any medium action rod will work here.  However you do not need a long rod since you are on a boat.  I found that a 7' medium action 8-20# test recommended line rod works fine.   I want a 2 piece rod & they are hard to find in a 7' rod, but finally found a Shakespeare Ugly Stick # CA11070 works quite well.

If you are close to the rocks & casting near them, a spinning outfit may be preferable.  However if you are in water from 30' + & drifting over or near structure, then a level-wind reel spooled with the spectra type line has proven itself.  Here I like the line-counter reels.  With the 35# spectra (Power Pro) line on a level-wind star drag line-counter reel (Cabelas DepthMaster II DM 20) I could feel a school of seabass bumping into my line at 65' while I was letting down.   Needless to say that was the depth to fish & i pulled 3 sets of doubles.

The ideal time to fish would be the slack tide where there is not a heavy current running.  If you get an incoming tide with the wind from the West, Duncan Rock is not the place to try.  One thing we found if you fish a normal incoming tide at Duncan, you want to be on the south side of the rock & drift east into the strait.  The reason is that just south of the rock is some underwater  rock structure that likes to grab your lures.  But just past the rock the bottom becomes more friendly & as you drift eastward, it gets deeper, so just keep in contact with the bottom & let out more line as you go.
Now if the tide is going out this then raising bottom will snatch your lures.  So go to the north side of the rock, run east a few hundred yards to start your drift & the bottom stays pretty level.

We pulled a considerable number of Black Rockfish here that measure 22" long.

Fish on, maybe even 2 in a drift past Duncan Rock Duncan Rock on an incoming tide

You don't need a large boat to fish here, just ask Mike Silvers.   He might be somewhat limited with his 16" Tiderunner, but he catches fish & has just as much fun as the bigger 20-24' boats.

Originated 06-15-06