Seals 3, Fly guys 2

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Sterling silver, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. This is beginning to take all the fun out of fishing the coho runs. Today we lost 3 coho to seals, or maybe only one seal got the three fish. We did manange to land two coho without the bite marks. Wish I could figure out how to dodge these fish eaters. They seem to be looking only for a fisherman to take his catch. And the coho are hard to come by as they are not into biting all that readily. Anybody have any good tae kwan doe moves? Or should we just fish closer to R. Stephens and let the seals eat his fish?

  2. Sterling -
    You did not say whether you are fishing from a boat or not. The seals are definitely looking for a fisherman with a fish. Have found that you can delay the seal detecting that you are playing a fish if you stay calm. They seem to watch for waving nets, etc. We leave the net laying on the boat gunwales until the last minute. This works pretty well with coho and shaker chinook. The larger chinook with multiple runs can be a problem. Partner is always on seal watch and if they are in the area we try to play the fish a little hard - rather break them off then give them to the seals - let them catch their own.

    If you are fishing from the beach I think that they may be listening for the whirrrrl of the reel clicker as a fish runs. That certainly was the case in BC with the loons.

    Tight lines
  3. Hmmmm. You should contact their union rep and work out a quota distribution system for salmon benefits...2 for you, 1 for them type of thing. Be careful, though, as they are notorious for going back on their word. ;)

  4. I try and use a beefy leader and horse the fish in a little faster. You can put some pretty good heat on a fish w/20lb floro and an 8 or 9wt.

    I have more problems with seals and rockfish then I do sealions and salmon, most of the seals tend to take the fish when it's pretty close to the boat, were your fish being eaten beyond your view, or next tot he boat?
  5. when i am in the boat and they grab a fish i try to keep them down by following with the boat right on top of them. Then if it looks like they are trying to get to the surface i grab my broom that i keep in the boat and whack them with it. You can usually tell when they need to get air as they speed up quite dramatically.
    i have got both of the fish that seals grabbed this year back intact, although not quite alive.
  6. Careful, Smartie - if WDFW or NMFS sees you doing that, you're gonna get a ticket, man! It's frustrating as hell to see these fish-vacuums taking a big chunk of the "escapement quota", but it ain't worth getting a ticket over (which can be MIGHTY hefty :eek: ).

    Just a word to the wise, no judgement here...

  7. get a sling-shot or paintball gun and follow the seal w/ the boat. When they come up for air, let em have it!
  8. sean.... i have been fishing the salt for about 15 years and have yet to see a GW or anyone checking licenses here in the sound. I have been hunting for about the same and never seen a game warden out in the field. I am not too worried about it, but at the same time, i am not trying to impose harm on the seal.... i would never do that, i am just putting a barrier between him and my fish. :)
    I am much warier now though when i release fish as i did almost get a chunk taken out of me by a seal early this summer while releasing a small BM.

  9. MAN, that musta sucked! I'd have been scared to death to have something that big trying to take the fish from my hands!! :eek:

    My personal belief is that there's too damned many of them, and they oughta be taken off the protected list, but that's a loooooooong thread that's already been played out on this board.

    Tight lines (but not TOO tight) ;)

  10. Are Seal bombs (M80s) legal for sportfishermen to use in WA? I know this is how some commerical fishermen keep these beasts away from their nets.

  11. I fished with a guide on the Quinalt who claimed to shoot them when he would find them in the mouth of the Queets and Quinalt. Who knows if he was all talk or not, I found that interesting, he was so casual about it, it made me wonder if it's legal for native quinalts to kill them. I wonder how many people out there actually DO kill them.

    I don't really have a problem with them, seems like there are too many around, but whatever, whenever we try and "fix" nature it seems to backfire.
  12. "whenever we try and "fix" nature it seems to backfire"
  13. The seals come right up to the boat, within arm's length.

    D3, you mean a broom is now a piece of fly fishing gear?

    Tomfish, I think M80's would bugger up the fishing more than the seals. Kinda "blows" the whole solitude and silence thing, doncha think?

  14. Compared to what a seal has to deal with all of the time just to stay alive, I would say that our little fly fishing game is just vanity. Leave the seals alone. If they bother you, go fish somewhere else. If you bother them, you deserve whatever the law metes out to you. Just my .02. :mad:
  15. At the mouth of the Hoh I've seen a drunken indian blasting away at a seal that was "poaching" his net. Pretty sickening sight.
  16. Several years ago on Hood Canal we gave up a brand new intermediate line to a seal with my partners silver in its mouth. Last Sunday a seal chased a silver up to our feet on the beach as we were putting the boat in. Unfortunatley, WE (the people) have caused this imbalance now we are paying the consequences.
  17. It funny and most likely since I am writing this it will now, it will now happen, but after fishing the Salt from South Puget Sound to Alaska since 1974, I have never lost a fish to a seal yet. I have had one follow and We are still not sure what took 50 yards of line of Amie's rod in about two to five seconds this year at Browns while the Pinks were running, but of course that may have been just a big King, but that is it. I have seen other fishermen and women have trouble with Seals mostly when fishing in crowded conditions. I end up fishing with Seals all around all the time to, I always figure if they are around at least there has to be something in the area even if its only bait.
    The only thing I can think of that I do diffrent then what others do is as follows. First I do not start to jump up and down or anything when I catch one. I have been here before and why let every one in the area know about it. Letting every one know about it, is a good why to all the sudden be fishing in a crowd. Next I do not take out the net till the last minute and the fish is close to the boat and then only if I feel I really need the net. The gear fishermen on the VHF radio do not call them Signal nets for nothing. Lastly I alway use at least 10 LBS line so I can get in and release a fish quickly.
    The one time I did get a follow from a seal, a quick yell to get away seemed to scare it off. To bad it brought in all the boats close to me that then saw me with a fish on.
    Look at the Seals to see if they are playing or eating like you do with Sea Birds. If the Seals are playing there are most likely no bait or Salmon active. If they are feeding, are they feeding on Rockfish, Baitfish or Salmon or are they feeding on other sea life. This can be another trick to help find the fish you are looking to catch. Always watch the wildlife while you are fishing. Often the wildlife will tell you were to fish or what fly to fish will. A Seal or three, feeding on a 6 inch Squid would tell me that is was I sould be digging out of my fly box something to match the hatch the seal has shown me.
    Always watch the animals for signs. They are much better fishermen then we are because their life depends on it.
  18. From what i've seen on the beaches, the seals are in it for the sport. There must have been hundreds of thousands of pinks milling around and easy to pick off by any predator interested. But we all know animals like seals like the sport of the hunt as well as any predator mammal.

    There was no waving of arms or leaps of joy. Just a bent rod. The sign to the seals was a combo of the singing reel and a jumping fish. The seals would chase the fish all the way to the beach and at times nearly knocked over wading fisherman. They were not scared at the slightest. They just wanted a little sport.

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