Trying new spots and bonaparte gulls

It is easy to "fall into the trap" of only fishing the "old reliable" spots. I'm sure that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of "old reliable" spots on the saltwater of Washington. It can be enjoyable and rewarding to change it up and fish some new spots.

Last Tues. and Thurs. a fishing buddy and I fished two new spots and were rewarded with excellent fishing. For many years we have motored by these spots in winter/spring(moderate tides) looking for resident coho and sea-run cutthroat but never fished them. We decided to check them out this summer during extreme tide exchanges(minus tide) when there would be a lot of current. As it turned out we got lucky which is nice to have happen once in awhile!

At the first spot there is a gravel spit which has an extensive shallow/gravel shelf which comes into play at the lower part of the tide as the current swepts across it. The whole area has broad gravel shelves(prime sea-run cutthroat habitat) with current and nearby there are extensive areas with shallow sandy bottom(prime sand lance and sand shrimp babitat). Thus, there is ample food sources available nearby which are swept across the gravel shelves. This spot rewarded us with excellent fishing for large sea-run cutthroat, adult silvers, and small blackmouth(1-2 lbs). Every couple of minutes there would be sea-run cutthroat or salmon swirling/chasing after the sand lance on the surface.

At the second spot there were adult coho at a point with the salmon swirling on the surface as they chased after baitfish. Bonaparte gulls were slowly flying around waiting for the coho to drive some baitfish up to the surface then would swoop down and grab a meal. Thus, the bonaparte gulls gave away the location of the adult coho. We thought that the salmon were feeding on sand lance or anchovies but as it turned out two adult coho had 3 1/2 to 4" herring in their stomachs. The water was deep(35 ft) where the coho were active and my buddy's fish finder showed that the bait and salmon usually were down deep. So we would cast up current and let the fly get down as deep as possible and then let it sit there or very slowly twitch it. We had one double using that technique. The fly of choice was an olive/white tube clouser minnow.