So many smolt...not a single tug

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by daveypetey, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Hey all. Haven't posted in a bit, but I finally got out today in West Seattle a couple hours before low tide. There were smolt EVERYWHERE. So many that I actually fouled one, and that was the only thing I caught all morning. I was just floored that there were no SRC's feasting on all these fish. I didn't see any rises or any flashes anywhere on the beach either which was equally surprising. Can I blame it on the bright sun? Very low tide? Just bad luck?

    Dave
  2. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,874
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    Bad luck, happens to me all the time.
  3. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    I'll give you some of my thoughts which may not be relevant since I am not familar with the area where you were fishing.

    Most likely you were seeing chum fry(1 1/2 inches) but I don't know for sure since you did not describe the smolt. If they were chum fry, it is hard to say which stream they came from.

    When I have launched my boat recently, I have seen numerous schools of chum fry by the ramp. I never saw any sea-run cutthroat chasing after the chum fry which was the same experience as you. Almost all sea-run cutthroat have now outmigrated to salt water so it is often a matter of finding out each day where they might be hanging out which can be hit or miss.

    I prefer to fish for sea-run cutthroat during low light conditions since many of their food sources are semi-light sensitive. I know a few locations that fish okay at very low tides but they are the exceptions. So sunshine, very low tides, and bad luck probably were factors if it is a beach that sea-run cutthroat sometimes can be found at.

    Roger
  4. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Thanks Roger. I so wish I had a boat. They were chum smolt, hordes, and hordes of chum smolt. I was so excited when I saw them...only to go home with only a Super Big Gulp to hand.

    Dave
  5. Matt Baerwalde ...

    Posts: 820
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +195 / 0
    You caught a super big gulp? What the heck are you sore about? Lots of guys have fished these waters for decades and have never landed a super big gulp, or even a lowly slurpy!
    jjcheng and Gary Knowels like this.
  6. FlyinFish Active Member

    Posts: 126
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +77 / 0
    I saw the same thing on a Seattle beach two weeks ago. They were all over, but the fish just weren't there. I got really excited at first, but no joy. Still a great way to spend a few hours.
  7. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    One thing regarding the Seattle area beaches. Consider them much better salmon then SRC beaches.
    SRC are there, but you'd best travel south or west if you want to get into SRC primetime central.
    SF
  8. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,874
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    Not a tug this morning and only saw a few jumpers. Of course, they were out of my range. Nice loons though.

    MB
  9. FlyinFish Active Member

    Posts: 126
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +77 / 0
    Yup, I always know I'm going out there with very low chance of finding fish. The main reason I hit them is that I don't have time, and it sure is nice that it's only 10 minutes away. My ventures west have been limited, but I'm trying to get out that way more. It's a lot of driving, but will be worth it if I can ever find some fish that want to play.
  10. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    I agree, fish when you can. If you only have a few hours the local beaches work well in a pinch.
    If you have a full day, time to get serious and put some wear on the tires.
  11. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Why would the populations be so poor at these beaches if they have such an abundant food supply?
  12. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    Just my opinion.....one reason is the lack of good small spawning creeks that cutts can utilize in the Seattle area. There are a lot more and they are in better shape in the south sound and the canal.
    Those areas also have more of the types of habitats that cutts prefer to inhabit.
    SF
    Steve Knapp likes this.
  13. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 2,013
    Wallingford, WA
    Ratings: +1,555 / 0

    Can you imagine how much better Puget Sound's Eastside would fish without the Rail line and miles and miles of RipRap...you take away the downed trees, and replace it with miles of RIp Rap and static coastline, clog lake Washington with a dam at Ballard Locks, ruin the Duwamish estuary and you got a recipe for lame searun cutt territory...
    Gary Knowels likes this.