Beach report

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Anil, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Anil Active Member

    Posts: 1,054
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +205 / 6
    I had the opportunity to fish a South Puget Sound beach on Tuesday morning. If you’ve been paying attention to the tides, it won’t come as any surprise to you that fishing was merely ‘O.K.’.
    This particular beach has private access and although I’ve had excellent luck there in the past, the extreme tidal movement was a little too much for the fish. Having said that, we did catch some beautiful fish, enjoyed ourselves and had the opportunity to observe the bottom structure in areas that are normally underwater. Observing the bottom structure at a lower tide, also confirmed why (here) you will often see Cutthroat jumping 100’-150’ feet from shore. There is a huge shelf with a variety of structure which the fish are attracted to.
    I field questions from beginning Cutthroat anglers on a daily basis. While it is useful to simplify things by telling them to concentrate on structure near shore or certain types of beaches, it is equally useful for anglers who are trying to advance their skills and their territory, to move beyond these hard and fast ‘rules’. Because the fishing was slow, I waded way out and fished a current seam near the middle of the inlet, over 150’ form shore. I ended up casting into a channel with structure that still held several Cutthroat and convinced a couple of them to cooperate.
    It was a good reminder that fish don’t read the latest books about them nor do they come into fly fishing shops to learn about where they should be.;)
  2. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Nice report Anvil! And great observations.. I was fishing a beach a little over a week ago at an extremely low tide and noticed alot of changes.. thinking out of the box and trying a new section or technique can pay off! I will be out to the same spot this weekend if the weather doesn't suck to bad...
  3. Chester Allen Fishing addict and scribbler

    Posts: 434
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    Very cool post.

    One of my favorite spots is similar to this. During a minus tide, the water level retreats far enough to expose rocks and ledges that are usually too deep to see, let alone fish. But, at these low water levels, they create current seams and attract cutts.

    All this said, I would never try to cross areas of Puget Sound mud to get further out into an inlet. It's easy to get stuck in that stuff, and what goes out always comes back. Of course, it's perfectly safe to explore rocky shelves or shoals. It's the mud that will get you.
    Jeff Dodd and miyawaki like this.
  4. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 881
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +369 / 0
    True dat!! ;)

    Not long ago up here in Dyes Inlet I decided to fish a beach that I knew was full of really sticky mud in spots. I thought that it was a little more firm and rocky just north of the creek outlet and perhaps would hold some fish. Sooo....I walked down the beach close to the stream where I knew it was firm and then cut back up and to the north in order to access the area I thought might be good.

    Wrong! :eek:

    Even up high on the beach I got stuck in some of the suckiest mud I've ever experienced! I was striding pretty well but then all of a sudden stepped into the "tar pits" and the mud caught both of my wader boots and caused me to fall down and I couldn't free myself! I was well and truly stuck!

    After several minutes of effort, I seriously thought I might have to pull out the cell and call 911. After a lot of struggle I finally extricated myself, picked up the rod and gingerly trod back to where I knew the ground was more firm.

    That's when I looked down at my left hand and realized my wedding ring was gone!

    "Oh sh**!" I thought, "the wife is gonna kill me!"

    I set the rod and pack in a secure place and carefully (very carefully!) walked back to the scene of my disaster. I started to bare-hand dig up hands-full of really sticky stinky mud, trying to determine exactly where my hands had landed. After about 10 minutes I was rewarded with a wedding ring in hand!!!

    Ah, the perils of the solitary fly-fisherman!!!
  5. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,561
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +349 / 0
    Great post, good idea to Warn of mud. On the Saratoga Passage side of Whidbey even the large sand flats can trap a person. I've been in them while collecting Dungeness crab at extreme low tide. You are lucky if all you loose is a sandle! I think these are ghost shrimp beds that act like quick sand, but not certain.
  6. Anil Active Member

    Posts: 1,054
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +205 / 6
    Probably a good idea to warn anglers to be wary of mud in a variety of locations. This particular spot has extreme tidal flow and like most shelves that are scoured by heavy tidal flow, only larger substrate could last under such conditions.
    In backwaters and near the terminal ends of bays, I too have had that sinking "I hope I get both my boots and myself out of here" feeling!
  7. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,203
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +828 / 1
    I've been with guys who, rather than walk around, walk through mud bays to get to the other side. I tried it once. Bad idea.

    Leland.
  8. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    There's plenty of mud here in the Twin Harbors. Some of it is soft and deep, especially in the lower tidal flux areas of the tributaries to the Harbor and Bay, where silty, muddy flows collide with the incoming tide, and drop much of their load. I think it helps keep these delicate shorelines from being over run by people. Its much more fun to paddle by it, around it, or over it, though. I plan to expand my local explorations, and fish different areas and different tides.

    Anil's post reminds me that I have a tendency to return to the same places on similar tides where/when I've had success in the past. That strategy works, but I wonder what I'm missing or don't know about.

    I'm sure that this narrow focus has retarded my learning about the real extent of the fishing opportunities right here my local waters.

    I find it difficult sometimes to bust out of the groove.