Dahl Porpoises Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Stonefish, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Both days I fished this weekend pods of Dahl Porpoises came by the beaches. Pretty cool to see. They seem to be chasing something on several occassions.
    Does anyone know what Dahl Porpoises feed on, salmon, herring etc?
  2. I don't know the answer to that, but have a tag along question. I've seen what look like small dark porpoises out in the sound and when I was out with my brother crabbing over Labor Day (I've still only caught one crab on a fly...) he called them Black Fish, is that the same thing as the Dahl's Porpoise? Would they go for a big 8 inch minnow streamer?

  3. Brian,

    I did a quick search and it seems like they feed on a variety of fish, squid, and crustaceans. So I guess they could have been feeding on whatever was around at the moment. I've seen these guys before in the sound (although they were always well offshore) and agree that they're pretty cool to see.

  4. Willie,
    I recall my dad saying that fishing on the sound was slow due to "Black Fish". This was back in the 60's and 70's. I always thought he was referring to Orcas. Not sure now.
    I was thinking a 14 wt with a Cam Sigler Billfish popper would get them eat. :eek:
  5. Yeah, I guess my little 9 wt might be a little overmatched... My brother was a commercail fisherman in AK and down here for a while (6-7 years) and is always on the water. Now, when I look on the 'Net for BlackFish, I just find a small rockfish looking fish and I know that's not it. And it didn't seem like those Dahl's porpoises were them either, I didn't think they were that big, I would have placed them at 3-4 feet, but they were a ways away... It sems to me a porpoise or Dolphin would be an interesting fight since they have to come up for air...

    So, anyone know why there is not a sport fishery, are they protected by the Marine Mammals act? Not that I want to target them really, just curious...

  6. You aren't seriously looking for an answer to that question are you? Maybe it's the same reason there isn't a sport fishery for whitetail deer; they're not fish.
  7. Dizane,
    Thanks for the info. When I saw them yesterday, they seemed to be just cruising along and then porpoising as they come up for air.
    On Saturday, they were doing the same thing. Then every once in awhile the entire pod would speed up and thrash the water, like they were feeding on something. Pretty cool site to see.
  8. Could be Harbor Porpoise as well.
  9. No, I'm not really seriously looking for an answer, but with that same reasoning, then there should be an open season on them, right? Just like Whitetail deer?

    again, still no cool tag line...
  10. Only black powder and bow are open now...modern rifle opens Oct. 1st. :rofl: :clown: :clown:
  12. I've wondered about that one too. The ones I've seen seem definitely to be a dark grey and not real big.
  13. Some of the postings on Dahl porpose must be tongue in cheek. Dall's (correct spelling) porpose is the the fastest porpose, capable of reaching 35 miles per hour in a sprint. At top speed the Dall's porpose actually throws a roostertail. They do eat most baitfish and squid. They really love the big northern horse herring and pilchards, often tossing them up in the air as they hunt and grab.
    Anyone looking for actual information on whales and porposes might want to invest in Whales, Dolphins and Porposes by Mark Carwardine (DK Press 1995). It is a great book on some of our most fascinating sea-going mammals.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  14. Yes, most definitely tongue in cheek. I don't think anyone really thought I was being serious, but then again I guess most people here really don't know me that well...

    Yeah, I read about them throwing up a rooster tail and while I don't have a desire to fish for them, could you imagine the thrill of seeing that rooster tail coming after your big surface popper?!?!!
  15. Nailknot,
    I believe you are correct regarding the Harbour Porpoise. I was not familiar with this type of porpoise. I don't recall see any white marks on them similar to Orcas. They were a dark gray or brown color.
    I did a google search under both Dahl Porpoises and Dall Porpoises. I found websites with both spelling and pictures that looked like the same species. Are they the same?
  16. Sounds exciting, it's just not very likely. If you ever get a chance to fish for yellowfin tuna under a porpoise school, you'll probably notice how smart they are. You don't have to worry about them attacking lures or flies, even when you're fishing right on top of them.
  17. No, I don't imagine they would chase a fly, but I still think the adrenaline rush you would get watching something that big come after your fly that fast... But then again, the biggest thing I've caught is a 5-6 lb pink and I didn't see anything before it hit...
  18. I vaguely recall that "blackfish" are either pilot whales or pseudo-orca, both of which are quite a bit larger than porpoises. I can recognize greys, orca and humpbacks, beyond that they are all just big sea mammals that make your day when you bump into them. See the description about pilot whales in this site. http://www.rockisland.com/~orcasurv/bcruisgd.htm
  19. Stonefish,
    My book lists them as Dall's Porpose. It doesn't show alternative spellings. I've seen large schools of Dall's around Langara Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands and they are impressive with their speed, roostertail and apparent glee in tossing horse herring and pilchards into they air as they rake through the panicky baitfish. If you are really interested in porposes, dolphins and whales, I cannot recommend the book I listed above too highly. It has great ID pages and just enough data to make for easy reading. Regardless of how easy it is to get information from the internet, in my view there is no substitution for kicking back with a touch of single malt Scotch, one of my books and reading about a subject. Perhaps it is a preference brought on by my advancing years.
    My reference does not however say anything about casting a fly to one. If anyone is truly looking for a real (and legal) rush I suggest sigining up for a trip to Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico and try for dorado, sailfish, marlin and skipjacks. A week of that fishing will give anyone all the "rush" they can handle on a 12-weight.

    Good Fishing,
  20. Les,
    Thanks for the info. I don't think anyone would really consider targeting porpoises with a fly. At least I hope not. I know my comments were made tongue in cheek about the billfish fly. ;)
    You are correct about Baja. I'm heading there next month with 12's and 10's to get my workout on Skippies, YFT, Dorado, Sierra etc. My last trip I had great topwater action with your buddy Leland's Beach Popper.
    Thanks again,

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