The ling opener has come and gone, for us a great day on the water but finding a legal ling was not in the cards. Launching at Cornet Bay we were underway by 6:30-7:00. After cruising under the bridge, we hit a solid wall of standing waves and decided to wait for the strong ebb to subside a bit before heading out into the islands. While waiting for better conditions we fished a number of back eddies in the pass. No lings but we did see quite a few salmon rolling on the current breaks. In the same areas the fish finder was lit up with arches consistent with salmon. Some were quite substantial and we figure they were Skagit River springers.
About 9:00-9:30 we decided to brave the seas and push out to the islands. At the mouth of the pass it was still a bit lumpy but once we were out of the influence of the dreaded DPE (Deception Pass ebb) it was smooth sailing to our first stop. For a couple reasons I’m not going to give exact locations but that said; any reef, high spot or rocky structure should be holding fish. Do your homework, review local charts or download the Navionics app and lay out a plan. My first option had a local charter on it and I didn’t want to crash their party so we moved on. Working through our plan and combined tribal knowledge we fished many of our east Marine Area 7 spots.
We worked the area until almost 5:00 catching many 23 to 24 inch lings. We could not find a legal fish but we did get a very respectable cabazon. Not sure why the larger ling bite was off but our collective aging gray mater figured the combination of a full moon and big tides had the fish hunkered down and off the bite. We were fishing 5-7” swim baits and curly tail grubs. We did not have any bait on-board and in hindsight we should have brought some herring or frozen squid. Usually the artificial baits account for quick limits but it was not our day.
Aside from the early morning tide related washing machine it was a beautiful day on the water. The fishing was ok, the fellowship great and the ling opener made for an incredible day in the islands.