Blackmouth

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by MasterAnglerTaylor, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    So i have used the search function, looked around online and i was just looking for a little more information on fishing for them from beach.

    I have been out on boat mooching/trolling for them but, i have been wondering about fishing local beaches for them. I figure i could apply the old standard of fishing and hour before tide change and 2 hours after. Also i assume that fishing at day break or at sunset would prolly give me the best chance at them.

    Anyone else out there specifically target them ever and have any success?

    Thanks
  2. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    For the big guys... I think people are very successful at night off the beach. Find somewhere with good current.

    In general... same drill as cutts and coho.
  3. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I found some local guy online that write for a paper. I cant think of the name of paper right now but he uses glow in dark material for clousers. Any experience with those?
  4. gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

    Posts: 741
    Gig Harbor, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I have caught them a couple of times during the day light hours, which were both during low light conditions I have done much better for them at night. At night I did good with glow in the dark tube fly bait as well as glow in the clousers. Spirit River has a good variety of glow in dark materials, such as crystal flash, thread and flashabou.
  5. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've caught a few blackmouth during the day while fishing for silvers. I've only fished a few times at night, but have caught some nice silvers. Mostly using clousers and shock and awes tied with glow in the dark flashabou and some other flash.
  6. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 813
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +260 / 0
    Great topic, blackmouth (chinook) are definitely worth the pursuit from the beach but it is difficult to routinely target them. In my experience they have proved far more elusive to find (catch) than the mythical native winter steelhead. On the other hand a fishing buddy caught a nice 15" blackmouth on his second trip out to the beach. My experience is limited to searching for them from the beach while also targeting resident silvers and SRCT. As you mentioned, fish very very early, show up to the beach and gear up well before sunrise. Blackmouth linger close to shore longer on dim cloudy days, so blustery weather is good. Some folks in the south sound use glow in the dark flies at night during the winter (now), which are probably mimicking the squid that show up in the Sound this time of year. Most blackmouth you catch from the beach are relatively small (10"-18"), but fight with great strength and stamina. If you fish the beach long enough you will eventually meet up with bigger 3-8 pound blackmouth, or even better an adult chinook that will remind you why you have been getting up so early day after day (better than steelhead). Find beaches with a steep drop off and good current (the Tacoma Narrows is a good place to start in the south and PNP in the north), kelp or eel grass beds nearby are always welcome. If you fish from a boat you are at an advantage, because you can cover more water and work the kelp and dropoffs more thoroughly with heavier lines. Blackmouth are elusive because they are normally feeding on baitfish in the depths, but when baitfish are concentrated close to shore due to wind or tides they will come (hopefully you'll be there too). For flies I've had success with Shock&Awes, Blackmouth Candy, and Clouser patterns (prepare with materials to reflect light to match the dim conditions) barbless on 10lb tippets. Best tides to fish depend on the beach and weather, but I enjoy fishing a moderate current (my rule is to keep fishing until I'm not getting hits anymore: flood, ebb, slack,.. whatever). At certain times of the year in certain marine areas blackmouth >22" can be kept, but wild fish should always be carefully handled and released (not as many as in the old days). The evil eye of the blackmouth casts a dangerous spell of addiction, be warned.
  7. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Well i got some new ideas then and confirmed some of my own ideas. Say i do head out to a place such as PnP when it opens back up, what line you think i should pull out, i got versitip so there are the options. I was thinking just a intermediate. I guess when that opens up i might give it a try. Who knows maybe i will get one on my quest for my first src:confused:
  8. RedFive Member

    Posts: 125
    Initech
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    The glow in the dark material is Flashabou--I think the shop in your neighborhood (not sure if they're a site sponsor, so I won't name them) has some on their rack, but I'm not sure. I'd start with regular white, I haven't had any consistent success with the other colors, but your experience may vary.

    The only time I've been able to target these guys consistently during the day is on some of the beaches up in your area, actually. I suspect the guys who work the shop in Poulsbo will be able to give you more guidance on that.

    Otherwise, the night fishing thing's been the most consistent way to find them--they roam around the same haunts as rezzies and can be found closer to shore than you think.

    Given that, you won't need anything more than an intermediate line to get to them. A buddy of mine was even thinking about tying glow in the dark poppers and dry-lining for them!

    If you PM me, I'd be happy to talk more about it.
  9. Clint F Fly Fishing Youth

    Posts: 675
    Port Orchard,WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Back when I was younger and trolled for chinook and blackmouth we always found the best fishing to be around slack tide. The big kings not sure if its true with smaller blackmouth seem to be lazier. They seamed to stay away from the current. They seemed to prefer the down stream side of a point where the bait would get traped and there was less current even if the bait wasnt there. So for a general rule of thumb for me " one hour before and one hour after slack tide". I hope this helps.

    Clint
  10. Tom Bowden Active Member

    Posts: 422
    Black Diamond, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 0
    In the original version of Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon by Bruce Ferguson, Pat Trotter, and Les Johnson, there was mention of a gentleman in Bellingham who caught blackmouth consistently. He fished from a boat using a fast sinking shooting head, cast out a long distance, and waited (sometimes over a minute) for the line to sink down to the right depth.

    Interesting.....
  11. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Haha yea i always wondered about just getting that sinking line on there and lettin it go down for while and retrieving. Who knows lol.
  12. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 813
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +260 / 0
    An intermediate line like the Rio Outbound series or Steamer Express (200 or 300 grain) with work well for salmon and SRCT, especially in moderate to strong currents like at PNP. I always bring a second rod with a floating line, long leader, and popper (slider) pattern on the end to work the surface. Two rods will help to keep you on the fish as currents and other conditions change over the course of a tide.
  13. Wayne Chan Member

    Posts: 60
    .
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Anyone ever used lead core shooting head on mono running line to get really deep? Or even braid for running line, though braid probably cut your finger ...
  14. zeelander New Member

    Posts: 21
    Richmond Beach, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I do this off my kayak in 80 FOW w/ 700 grain Airflo Depth Finder. I've done pretty well but you really have to have a fishfinder to spot a school and shoot for 'em. It requires a lot of work but hooking up w/ larger Chinook is a nice payoff. ;)

    Z
  15. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,530
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    The small blackmouth 14 - 18" seem to swarm in the shallows - if you want to target them for cnr w/ the fly rod this winter/spring, find locations with known spawning beds for herring or candlefish. Larger fish will occasionally come into the shallows to feed on these same spawning fish.

    Areas where I have found blackmouth in the shallows include: Mutiny bay, useless bay, & Saratoga Passage on the south end.

    I read the Everett-based charter owner, Gary Krien, mention in the paper the other day that when the bay is muddy from blown rivers, bait and blackmouth will move in shallow.

    Something to consider for small boat fishermen. Bring a rod for jigging buzz bombs or darts and see what you find in the shallows (20 - 40' water) if you see blackmouth following or hitting your jig, bust out the fly rod!

    I've heard there is a spot near Port Orchard/Bremerton, under one othe bridges, where large blackmouth will move into the shallows to feed, where they then are available to beach fishermen. Sorry I cannot provide any specifics...

    Good fishing!
  16. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,020
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +38 / 0
    With a handle like "MasterAnglerTaylor", shouldn't you be the one giving out the advice on how to catch blackmouth? ;)

    Blackmouth for me have been a bycatch when I've been fishing for coho and searuns. As someone else noted, in some ways they are more rare than steelhead.

    I'll never forget, though, once fishing with 3 buddies from a beach in the South Sound. A local I'll call John came down to the beach and started fishing near me. During our casting and stripping, I asked him how he had been doing; he looked around to see if anyone else might be listening, and quietly told me "yesterday, 20 casts, 20 fish". They were resident coho, with a couple of blackmouth. I of course called bullsh_t, and then asked him how he did it and what he was using. When he told me how, I responded with a 'why'? He replied with a quick 'Because', to which I immediately responded with another quick 'but why'?, when he then set the hook with a big grin and said "that's why". About ten minutes later he landed about an 8 pound blackmouth. :eek::eek:

    Nothing like putting your money where your mouth is. :thumb:
  17. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I was waiting for someone to say that to me. Haha
  18. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +551 / 0
    I have to wonder if we really want to be targeting those sub legal blackmouth (baby Chinook).

    It makes less sense to me than targeting steelhead smolts in the river. Ever time that comes up folks are beaten severely about the head. Both the steelhead smolts and shaker chinook are a couple years from being adult fish and the hooking/handling mortality on the Chinook is much higher than what we expect to see with the steelhead smolts. The commonly applied hooking mortality assigned to "shaker" Chinook is in the 20% range. Given the fragile nature of those fish I sure that the mortality on fly gear is much higher than many would be comfortable with.

    Would it be better to take those fishing impact hits when the fish are older and larger?

    Tight lines
    Curt
  19. Saltman "Just Fish!"

    Posts: 109
    WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    The blackmouth are there, and catchable from the beach this time of year. We caught 4 last Sunday in the 6-8 lb range. All were hatchery fish. 4", light colored, weighted streamers work the best. Use your weighted lines and flies this time of year. Do try to fish as much current as possible, and look for drop offs. Sun or clouds doesn't seem to matter much if you are on the x. Good luck!!!
  20. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I have fished over a lot of feeding blackmouth (chinook) salmon during the past thirty years from se Alaska to Puget Sound. My partner, Bruce Ferguson was with me on most of thes junkets and also did well on salmon that ranged from probably 4 to more than 25 pounds -- all taken on cast flies while they were actively feeding. I'm not including estuary chinook here as they have stopped feeding and are a very different animal once the fresh water has hit their system.
    Feeding chinook are, for the fly-fisherman, very definately a dawn and dark quarry. They tend to be shy. We generally found them over thirty foot bottoms and along kelp beds. They were all taken on a deep sinking line and bait-imitating flies. Ferguson almost always used a 4-inch Waslick Seabait. My go-to fly was (and remains)t Mark Mandell's Calamarko squid pattern, a 4-incher tied on a weighted tube and laced with Everglow Flashabou. The Calamarko is in the book, "Tube Flies" and will also appear in the new forthcoming salmon book. I use this pattern right on down to number 6s tied on hooks.
    This is not to say that we've never taken chinook through the day but that old early and late rule has nearly always been successful. Incidentally, Jim Darden, the Bellingham angler who fished lead core heads and timed his drops with a stop-watch took a lot of chinook from the Bellingham area back when we wrote about his exploits in 1985.
    Cheers,
    Les Johnson