And again, a long dry spell. It's funny, on the water almost every day but I am working and not fishing. So much for retirement... I had to work Saturday so a fishing buddy and I decided to catch day two of the 2019 Everett Blackmouth Derby. Alarm goes off at 3:00, I hit the floor running and was rolling out of the driveway by 4:00. Although beforehand we had texted back and forth a bit we hadn't really put a plan together so 5:00 Sunday morning while the motors were warming up we made a plan. We were going to fish Greenbank, North Bluff and if required I had a couple other short trolls up my sleeve.
Shortly after 5:00 we pull away from the dock and head into the moon lit darkness with a plan. Being dark, knowing there were both whales and commercial crab pots in the area we kept our speed to 6 or 7 knots as we made our way around both Hat and Baby Island, arriving at Greenbank just as the sun was coming up. Once onsite we were gear down almost immediately. The area was alive with bait and some solid meter marks so we had high hopes for phase 1 of our plan. Historically Greenbank is one of my money spots but we had agreed that we would do one deep water and one shallower pass then move on if the fish were not snappy. After a couple drive-bys we decided that the area was like a casino buffet, the fish were stuffed and sleeping off their all night herring-fest so we headed for North Bluff.
On the troll in the North Bluff area, maybe at the north end of the seawall we went through a huge bait ball. The rods and downriggers were vibrating with intensity as we passed through the bait ball. Just as we pulled out or the bait ball I noticed a cluster of salmon on the meter and as I was marking the fish one of the rods goes off. The fish was one of the feistiest 24" fish I have ever seen. After an extended fight we slide the net under # 1. Keeping the fish in the water we decide if we were keeping it, or releasing it in search of a larger fish. In the end we decided to keep it and get the skunk off the boat. We had double going for a while but ended up empty. I did a hard turn and circled back through our meter mark and we were fish on again. I love blackmouth fishing, they are bulldogs and put up a fuss right to the end. This fish did not disappoint, making many long runs in an attempt to gain its freedom.
The fish was in the net by 8:00 or so and we were done. All the fish were caught off the same meter mark at 87' in 95' of water. We were trolling 2.8-3.5 mph. Our gear of choice for the day was a helmeted anchovy with no flasher, and a 3.5 cookies & cream KingFisher spoon 42" behind a 11" chili pepper flasher. My setbacks are 22-24'. All my spoons are slathered up with one Smelly Jelly or another, Sunday it was the UV Chovie flavor that did the trick. A quick note: the fish were absolutely packed with 6-9" herring.
The Everett Blackmouth Derby Is a well run family derby. When we weighed in we were in 10th but slid down to the 20s by the time the scales closed. The awards ceremony went smoothly and everybody went home with something. The weather was beautiful and it was great catching up with my fishing buddy Tony. All in all a fantastic day and I hope to get out again soon.