Neah Bay and Area 10 Report

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Mike, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Took the 5 hour drive from Seattle to Neah Bay wanting to see if the coho where showing yet. After arriving, I set up camp and checked out the town, not having been there before. Not a whole lot to see, a general store, a restaurant, a pizzeria, and the marina.


    The next morning was foggy. After the fog cleared a bit I launched.


    After leaving the harbor it was sunny and clear.


    I started fishing along the kelp beds hoping to see some coho jumping.


    After hearing a loud whooshing noise, I noticed the grey whales and I watched them for a while.


    All that came out of the kelp beds were a handful of black rock fish. They were fun to catch, but not what I was after.


    I went out in the Straight looking for fish. Those that marked were deep so I cast in to some rips with lead core with no luck. Besides, casting leadcore isn’t necessarily the most fun thing to do. I also followed the shallow water out to NW corner of Cape Flattery but no further. There was a thick fog bank which blocked the view of Tatoosh Island. Then the winds picked making it time to head in. With weather forecast for the next day being the same, I called it a trip. The next day I fished Area 10 picking up a 3lb resident and releasing a few searuns.

  2. Nice shots Mike, great scenery if nothing else. Did you get those rockies on fly?

    Sweet whaler by the way.

  3. Thanks for the report and photos. Now that Im geared up, Im going to make the trip myself in the near future.
  4. Great report and photos to go along. You were definitely in the right place just need a little more timing......gotta love that place.
  5. Thanks. Got the rockfish on pink and white and chartreuse and white clousers.

  6. Hey Mike, think I saw your boat buzzing around, not sure though, there were a few other whalers out there.

    I was up there this weekend. It was pretty good, but could be better. We landed around 20-30 coho on Saturday, and about a dozen on Sunday (4 hours of fishing). Most fish were taken bucktailing since the weather was fairly sloppy. Found most our fish where the straits meet the pacific. I had to go into the straits quite a ways to.

    Oddly enough, no pinks at all.

    Rockfishing was slower then it was 2 weeks ago, we did pick up some lings though. I'll toss up some pics once my slacker buddies decide to send them to me.
  7. Great report and wonderful photos. That area is so beautiful. It is also extremely dangerous with weather (wind, fog), currents and the shipping lane in the Straits. Glad you had good sense to call it a trip.

    Nice black rockfish, too. I think taking these on a fly would be a blast.
  8. Friday if you wanted to get into the center of the Straight you had to navigate into a fog bank that ran from Cape Flattery down the center of the Straight past Sekiu. I left Friday afternoon figuring the weather pattern would stay the same.

  9. those without radar and a GPS are quite wise to not run into those fog banks. now, how many of you have radar reflectors on board your small boats??? you do realize, of course, that a small fiberglass boat is all but invisible to radar, right??? hopefully you all go to 'putt' speed when that fog decends on'yah. nothing more dangersous out in the fog that a small ill equipped boat with a 'fearless' skipper running the throttles!

  10. prime time is coming. even during those monster years from 2001-2004, there always seemed to be a lull from middle to late july and then things just went back to bonkers. although 32-42 coho in a day and a half aint that shabby (doesn't neah bay just spoil you?)

    to the original poster mike, keep at it. the more you fish out there, there more comfortable you'll be fishing in the fog, wind, etc. don't worry about radar unless you're heading into the shipping lanes and there's plenty of good coho fishing without doing that. get a good gps with a marine chart on it and use it all the time. become comfortable with it, test it in good visibility and get comfortable with it (learning all the features, become a geek about your gps unit) when you can see, and then foggy days won't be too much different. mark dangers (duncan rock for instance). of course, keep a compass on board as a back up. running slower in the fog is a piece of cake once you not only become more comfortable with your boat and electronics, but with the neah bay area. you'll learn which areas to avoid when running to the entrance. also learn how your boat drifts relative to wind and current, because setting up drifts in and around rips is key. another note on electronics... a sounder is a guide to knowing where fish are but i rarely marked fish during epic neah bay silver bites... so i mostly ignored it for fish, but i used it all the time to know bottom depth.

    also, for learning avoid big tidal swings. they're gonna make things choppier and harder to get comfortable with the type of offshore fishing neah bay is. look for tides like 7/15 and not today 7/22. the big tides create huge tide rips, which are good, but learning to fish tide rips is best learned when they are smaller and less scary.

    the other thing is to go out into deeper water right away. you didn't say whether it was foggy right off the bat, but you're gonna find way more coho in the first rip or two offshore than along the kelp beds. neah bay silver fly fishing is offshore, current oriented fishing. i ran along a lot of kelp beds fishing there, and i can count on one hand the number of times i stopped to cast for coho.

    good luck,
  11. it is only a matter of time, if you are intent on fishing the open water, before the fog drops on'yah faster than you would imagine. being prepared is key, fog is a totally disorienting event.

    a small boat like yours would have a hard time mounting radar. that said, the last thing you will want to be is invisible to boats that do have radar. there are no shipping lanes until you get quite a way into the strait. that means commercial traffic can be anywhere. BTW tugs and tows rarely use the shipping lanes anyway.

    being visible to other boats and THEIR radar should be uppermost in your mind. trust me, as a constant radar user, small fiberglass boats like yours are virtually invisible to onboard radars, UNLESS, you improve your target profile with a reflector.

    there are also lots of folks running radar who are clueless as to its limits. they tend to turn it on when the fog drops and really have not tried it during clear site conditions to understand just what they are looking at. often times that means they are carrying too much speed for the conditions at hand and if you are invisible you could be the next Tbone.

    don't mess with the fog until or unless you come prepared, a radar reflector should be considered a must just like your PFD's.
  12. gotta call bs on this one, the shipping lanes come into swiftsure bank, which is not "quite a way into the strait". tugs and barges will come in closer, but not that close... they will not run inside of the whistle buoy and tend to give it a wide berth. this is not meant to lessen caution in boating and fishing neah bay, but to give some accurate information.

    here's a chart link

    i gotta ask, how much actual time have you spent fishing neah bay?

  13. What's the minimum size for a radar reflector? I read on a sea kayaking site that a pie tin attached to the end of a vertical pole, or a "tin foil hat" will work in a pinch.

    Oh, and thanks for the great report and photos, Mike. I have never fished out there.
  14. Just out of curiousity mike, Is that 4runner a V8??? I have the v6 sport version and I may be looking for a boat like yours. How does she tow?
  15. It is a 4 Runner V8. It pulls the boat no problem. A 6 cylinder 4Runner wouldn't have any problems pulling that size boat either. The 6 cylinder has a capacity up to 5,000 lbs and I believe the Sport model comes with a tranny cooler as a standard option.

  16. thanks topwater, i stand corrected. the VTS actually starts at 125W. the 'recommended' two way route is pretty close in to the S of the actual VTS lanes and that is where you are likely to encounter tugs and tows as they travel at a considerably slower pace than the commercial traffic.

    check the west marine site for radar reflectors or google the phrase and read all about just how they work.
  17. That stuff out there in the ocean has gotten waaaay to scary for an old fart like me....great pictures though!!:D

  18. topwater, thanks for the link to that NOAA chartviewer. Awesome.

    My experience on some large boats has been that those aluminum radar reflectors, commonly seen on sailboats, are very effective and throw a big signal back. Wonder how rigging one on a VHF antenna would work?

    Neah Bay someday...

  19. I'm trying to come up with a mount for mine that will fit in a rocket launcher so I can put it up when needed and stash it out of the way when I don't.

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