puget sound piling perch

these fish are easy to catch on a fly I figured out yesterday and this morning. I use an 5wt. 6lb FLORO CARBON LEADER has to be. reel spooky fish. an an size 8 white krystal flash shrimp. did not hit green or pink would not even pay it no mind, was fishin for flounder ( what a blast) and hooked about a 3lb perch on the shrimp. then casting next tp pilings they get it when its fallen down. they attck it. crazy cause these are the most finicky fish there is. caught 5 yesterday and 3 today with about a dozen flatfish in the 12inch range a day. those perch are one of the better fighters on a fly rod I've caught in washington.Ben

P.S. seen about a 10lb blackmouth swim right underneath me at the dock. thinking about dredging the bottom with a clouser in the early morning if they stay there at night. if I can keep the flat fish. just an underutilized fishery to try when your bored
Hey Ben,
Cool! I'd been thinking about going after those pile perch for some time, but I wasn't sure where to start. I used to fish for them in my younger baitcasting days. I would open mussels and use them, as they were absurdley effective.(Possibly an Alaskan Flesh Fly or San Juan Worm in cream or white?) Few people I've talked to (bait/spin/fly- fisherman) know anything about them.
Anyway, where do you fish for them (north Sound or south?) And are you in a boat or are you fishing from a shore or dock?
Any information you could give me on the subject would be REALLY appreciated. I'm really interested in this.
Tight Lines,
whats up larry

yeah now is the time no pogies or bullheads to mess with. I used to use muscles when I was a kid. get a bucketful crush them up and throw them in and youd have a frenzy. do it on a incoming tide where at hi tide it will be about 10 ft. yeah I was at manchester dock. but I got some plans for old abandoned docks. yeah that shrimp looks like a ghost shrimp. I was thinking about maybe small bonefish flies would work. but you know what I mean when reel spooky. use long light floro carbon leader. with small split shot and cast down length of dock or drop next to piling in front of you. I had better luck when I couldnt see them thou. but these fish pull to the last minute. scrappy fish. keep flies small they would pay no attention to anything over a size 8. I'm gonna try smaller. that san juan worm in ginger would be deadly I bet. same with small crab fly. tell me how you do. were probly the only ones around here that fish for these on fly. need to get a picture of one. some are pushing 4lbs. I'm gonna do some trial and error on some paterns I'm scheming up. I'll keep you informed. Ben


New Member
Hey ben in what depth are the pilings your catching your perch
in.Sounds like fun i think i will give it a try. :THUMBSUP

P.S. Perch really like piling worms they are a green worm that live under rocks and barnicles.They are 1 to 3 inches long and
they have a lot of really short stubby arms as i mentioned before they are a dark green , a dark green san jaun worm an
inch or two long should work really well.Oh did any perch rap you around a piling or was six pound test enough to keep that
from happening.All though you can't really go with any heavier of a leader since they are so spooky. :WINK
I've only fished at one place this way, but any marina. I bet first thing in the morning especialy now that traffic is slow cause salmon season. people have mixed emotions on the theory of fly fishing but get some shrimp anise oil like from procure, smelly jelly, ect and smother it. I fished in waters less than 15ft but where I was at its in the middle of a long stretch of sandy beach, hence all flatfish, and the old ferry termninal so theres alot of habitat isolated from other common habitat, try a place like that. I had none breaf off cause I dont stick the fly down the hole for the piling. longer rod gives you the advantage. fly 15 you'll be way ahead if you say piling worms (tube worms) live under docks and around pilings. your referring to sand worms that live under rocks that you can flip over on the beach. try a ginger thats what color they are and maybe nightcrawler scent. I know scents aren't for fly fishing but they dont hurt. Ben
Thanks for the info. I've seen some big perch up here in Bellingham that I would like to try. Does the tide make a difference? In coming or Out going. What about white wooley buggers? I might give it a shot on Tuesday, so I will let you all know how I did.
the incoming is best but outgoing should be good also. white wooly buggers might work. if you throw to some and they pay it no attention change. you'll know when you have fooled em. they come out of knowhere(underdock) and surround it. quite aggressive fish sometimes when properly done. sixe 8 white krystal flash shrimp with anise oil cant be beat. Ben
3 fish to everyone caught without. probly pretty close there. same with all saltwater fish scents will out perform flies without it, I figured that out when I started using them. I guess I'm not a real fly fisherman. oh well, see yeah on the water. Ben yeah but they kind of stare at it more with out the scent, with it its a done deal
Hey ,to each his own. At least your slinging a fly and not chucking gear, though thats ok too if you enjoy it. It sounds like your catching fish so you must be doing something right.


When you people talk about these fish it kinda brings back old memories of when I fished for them as a kid. I used to fish for them at the ferry dock in Bremerton. Stopped at the sea food market and bought shrimp for 10 cents a lb.(when I was a kid people didn't eat them like they do now). Used to catch them by the bucket full. What we didn't eat went into the garden. Didn't use a pole as was to poor. Just a hand line. Jim S. :BIGSMILE
I remeber catching sea bass and flounders off the pier in Hansville as kid back in the 70's. I've thought about going back up their and trying my flyrod someday. Has anyone ever tried it up there? Can you still rent boats there?
thats my stompin grounds all summer long. real early in the morning around pilot point is killer fly fishin. knock em dead. thats way cool you caught sea bass up there but unfortunetly there are long gone from the area. there are still fish to be caught up in skunk bay thou. point no point still rents boats out. that is my favorite area to fish around here. pilot point, point no point, possesion bar and all of whidbey isand. my first run in with pink salmon ever this year came from there and it was pretty good. 85 degrees out in 300ft of water casting flies and pink buzz bombs and couldn t keep them away. Ben
you dont, use it on a light spinning outfit with 6lb test with 15lb shock tippet. can save the day when windy. know point in fishing something thats not working at the moment. situations call for diffrent tactics, and to be successful you have to adapt not limit yourself to a single type of fishing. I guess I'm not a LL Bean sort of dude to fly fishing. its my favorite, but I troll.jig. mooch. plunk whatever it takes for the fish to hit. I dont fish power bait thou. but theres know trout fishing around here except cutts so I doubt I'll use it any time soon. Ben