Searun Cutthroat Action Heating Up in Puget Sound Estuaries!

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by wadin' boot, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 1,924
    Wallingford, WA
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    Ok I got the Roger Stephens style thread title out of the way

    I fished an S river through fall and rise. Coho porpoised, Searuns jumped and seals hunted. I brought one Coho to hand, a fiesty wild fella pimpled with sea lice, well shy of 6lb and caught with Searun tactics in mind. Nearly exactly the same place they were in two weeks ago. Not the kind of brute seen in the recent beach pictures people Like Nick and Dimebrite have posted ( I confess I was hoping, wishing...)

    The Searuns were a lot easier to trick, and were in their usual haunts- jambs, currents, seams. Though plumper than several weeks back and in general fatter, more aggressive and liced-up like my brother and his family.

    I thought this was interesting. fished a kind of mud/sand drop off on the late falling tide. Small fish rose along the convergence of shallow waters re-funneling into the mainstem. The sand shelf drops from a foot to four feet over one hundred yards. When paddling the one foot verge, small sculpin would rocket away from the kayak in clouds of fine grit. Boat wakes would double up and betray the shallows more than the sun or the wind. And at just about each point of the compass, within 150 yards, there were fisher birds- blue heron, Osprey, Kingfisher, cormorant.

    But no eel grass, no logs, no stones, nothing. Surface casts led to lame strikes. Sink tip similarly. However, with the rod inserted to sand bottom and retrieved against the tide with a dirty, very dirty, fugly, maybe canugly sculpin pattern, multiple cutts and some bigger sculpin/cabezon like things were hooked.

    I thought the cabezon and the cutt do not like the same spot, but this drop was like the conveyor at Blue-C-Sushi, just a straight up food delivery belt. I am revising my Cutt practices to include surface, intermediate, and as deep as I can get with rod-in-river. The take with the rod held deep is different too, more like a straightening, there's really no need for a set. The latter technique worked well in the logjams also, though it made for more snags...

    I'm thinking I need a rod tip protector kinda akin to the lopped tennis balls you see on walkers. Maybe a whole new way of delivering a cast, no more whip tip, but a big bulbous monster of a thing. This would probably screw up casting, but hey, retrieves uptide/stream you can get the current to do most of the work anyways...
  2. ken2cross Member

    Posts: 115
    Lake Stevens, Wa
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Thanks for the post. Unconventional methods that work don't come along often. Have you ever tried it on steelhead? Just th..................
  3. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Marysville, Washington
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    Interesting report!

    It really is not necessary to jam the rod tip to use that deep tatic. With the slower currents associated with the bottom and either a full sinking line or decent sink tip all that really necessary is to get the tip near the bottom - say 12 to 18 inches above the bottom depending on the current, depth and visibility. A much safer approach for the rod. I have similar tatics in some cases where the rod up to the reel was submerged in the river. Allows a slower more delibrate approach that sometimes is necessary for heavily pressure fish or are otherwise in a mood not to move far for a fly. First used the approach on bull trout (aka Dolies) several decades ago.

    Could the cabezon like critters be staghorn sculpins? How big were they? The sculpinsI have caught within river portion of estuaries have been freshwater sculpins and staghorns. Have caught several other species of small sculpins on shallow tide flats associated with the outer portions of estuaries/bays.

    Curt
  4. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 1,924
    Wallingford, WA
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    Curt they were staghorn sculpins. They were around 6-7 inches.
  5. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,187
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    Be aware that I have a copyright on that style thread title;)!

    Roger
    wadin' boot likes this.
  6. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 652
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +230 / 3
    Good report, interesting way to find them. I just got back from vacation and was scrolling through 2 weeks of unread Saltwater posts when I saw this one and said, Oh good, Roger's posted a report! Opened this up and started laughing, thanks.
  7. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,187
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    I am going sea-run cutthroat fishing tomorrow and will write a report summarizing trips this past month and explain a "new" top water technique that has been very effective and enjoyable to use. Steve, you will probably like it and want to give it a try!

    My wife and I are going on a three week road trip the first part of Oct. Timing bad is as I will be missing some of the best fishing for sea-run cutthroat and salmon in saltwater and freshwater.

    Roger
  8. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 432
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    Probably a dumb question but......I have been thinking about spooling up a sinking line on an extra reel that I have. I've been fishing some deep water from the beach with my floating line setup with zero luck, not counting the little six incher I brought to hand this morning. (Sorry; no photo! I was too busy catching and releasing and my iphone hates me when my hands are wet!)
    Was thinking that I could get a streamer of some type down lower with a sinking line and see who is at home. Thoughts?
  9. Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Posts: 773
    Tsawwassen, BC
    Ratings: +46 / 1
    Yes, you could, or you could also get a Rio 15' clear tip and add it onto your floating line. They come in different densities for sinking and it saves you from having to buy a whole line.
  10. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 432
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    OK! I like that idea. I guess the guys at Puget Sound Fly Shop will be seeing me again tomorrow. Thanks!
  11. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,176
    the beach
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    I have a clear camo intermediate line, and I really like that for beach fishing. Casts like a dream. I think for the most part, you don't have to worry about getting too deep. I've been fishing over shoreline water that is from 8-15 feet deep, and over the last week I've hooked into a good number of coho within 1-2 feet of the surface.
  12. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 1,924
    Wallingford, WA
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    I've never had much luck deep on a beach for searuns, if anything it's the other way around. The "deep" line was retrieved 4-7 feet below the water's surface, on a flat trajectory, stripped upstream/tide in front of structures- root balls, logjams, pylons, or this long seam where two currents met in the snohomish estuary. The fly was very close to if not bouncing off of bottom sands. Many searuns are up in the estuaries now, try lurking around there a little
  13. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 432
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    Ok cool.....thanks for the input. Sounds like they may like the 'intertidal' zone; so maybe I'll try them at high tide. Been doing it at low tide cuz it's easier to backcast.
  14. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 432
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    Ok thanks....it's my 'spare' so maybe I'll try that and see how she rolls! :)