Beautiful day

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by HotinTotten, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Started out this morning fishing the lowering tide- no wind, light fog, clear water, the maple leaves and seed pods floating around the edges, and baitfish everywhere. The schools of 2" fry are infathomable in biomass, I followed one for several hundred yards across the bay, each stroke of the kayak producing jumping and frantic minnows wanting to get out of harms way...wave after wave after wave jumping in front of and to the side of my near silent boat....had a flock of cormorants 200-300 strong come in a hundred yards from me, leap-frogging each other to get at the minnows they feeding on, the first birds to land would take one quick dive, surface, see their buddies landing in front of them, then take off to land ahead of them. In that motion they covered the entire small bay in 5 minutes, wings slapping water, a hundred voices croaking out their raucous song, and then they departed, leaving the few local cormorants and grebes and myself in calm silence again.. A sudden breeze appeared and cleared the fog in an instant, and I made my way back off the water, blindied in the morning sun, overwhelmed by the greens and oranges and reds of the changing trees, giant maple leaves now skittering about the surface like small sailboats. Laughed at a couple Grebes that were frightened of me when they both surfaced 2 feet off my bow, then was paid back a few seconds later by a seal surfacing a paddle-length off the stern and slapping the water in dissaproval of my being in it's turf.

    Went about my day, until 6 this eve, when, looking out the kitchen window, I saw that the minnows were trying to fly- the silvers were on a feed, causing the baitfish to jump in sheets around the bay. It was amazing to watch for a few minutes- the jumping baitfish had attracted a flock of 20 or 30 Napolean Gulls who were flying erratically over the water and dipping down to catch their supper. Near shore a family of 5 Grebes were diving and surfacing, beaks dripping with minnows. By the time I got myself geared up and fishing I only had 45 minutes until dark, but still managed to put the fear of flies into the hearts of 7 fair-sized silvers, fat and round, bellies engorged on minnows. I simply drifted 40 feet off the shore, and would lay a minnowish-looking chartreuse streamer in the vacinity of one of those sheets of frantic baitfish, give a quick retrieve, and get a huge hit every 5th cast, just often enough to make me feel rewarded for laying the fly far enough off the edge of the action to keep from scaring my quarry. What a rewarding day in what I call paradise.

    Guess it helps that I recently moved back to WA from the Mojave desert, dont know what I was thinking leaving this area!!
  2. I see that the double post is happening to you also.


  3. awesome!!!!!!!
  4. Nice report HT, keep them coming. Since the Sno Co beaches are conspicuously void of baitfish this year, thrills are vicarious only. I envy you your bliss, enjoy.
  5. HT, bTW, were you able to identify the baitfish?
  6. I have no clue whatsover what the baitfish are. Asked one of the oyster farmers (a resident since 1947), he said they get anchovy, sand lance, and occasionally smelt in here. They are nearly translucent (can see the guts inside 'em), 2 in or so long now, with a bluish top side. When not being chased they surface in light dapples across the water, and when being harassed, the literally skip out of the water in sheets.

    Sorry about the double post, I have a tenuous wireless connection at best, in the eves it becomes a real pain in the patooty, I didnt think the first try was going through so I hit the post button again...whoops!! My Bad!
  7. Thanks for your description. I had heard that Northern Anchovies were present in South Sound this year, a somewhat unique phenomena being researched by some biologist.

    Perhaps somebody else that has a positive ID on these baitfish can add to our mutual education.
  8. I thought the blue back was more pertinent to herring?
  9. Ill lay this question of I.D. to rest tommorow (hopefully), I'll get a picture or two, if some of you experts can do the actual identification...

    Had quite an adventure trying to catch baitfish, more elusive and difficult than the silvers!! Unfortunately for me (conversely, fortunately for them) they have moved from the shallow edges and broken into smaller schools throughout the bay and into the inlet, making dipping any from the edge impossible. Tried several different nets (lol, broke out a 12' smelt net, made for an intersting time in the kayak!) to no avail, the best attempts ended with the kayak being pushed, and the net basically sitting still....makes one realize just how gifted the birds, and fish are who rely on catching those things are!!

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