SRC action near Aberdeen or Hoquiam

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by daveypetey, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. daveypetey

    daveypetey Active Member

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    Hey all-

    So my old man is coming into town this weekend and I think we are gonna likely float the Wynoochee a day or two this weekend. I'd love to show him some SRC beach action, and I was wondering how the Grays Harbor, or North/South bay fished? Is it worth staying a night out there and hitting it up in the morning?

    Dave
     
  2. Gary Knowels

    Gary Knowels Active Member

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    Pm Jim Wallace. If anyone knows the status on that it would be him
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I don't know anything! :rolleyes: I do have my suspicions, though.;)

    Dave, there aren't many spots to fish for searun cutts from the shoreline in Grays Harbor, itself. We are cursed with low gradient mud flats, muddy sand bars, and lots of silty mud bottoms along the high estuary banks. We don't have gravel or cobble beaches here, like up in the inland waters of the Salish Sea. And where we do have some gravel and small cobbles, its usually all silty and often quickly segues into mud.

    We usually wait until the cutthroat begin to move toward their natal spawning streams in late July, and fish for them in the tidal reaches all the way up to the head of tidewater through Sept and into early Oct when they begin leaving the tidewater zone and heading upstream. In the larger streams, such as the Satsop, you may find larger cutts upstream much earlier than you will in the smaller streams.

    This time of year, most of the searun cutthroat will be up in the rivers and creeks, spawning. Some probably are done and dropping back down. I have found post-spawn cutts upstream this time of year. In the tidal creek areas I often fish during the summer and fall, I have only found a few small resident or smolt-sized cutts this time of year. These were usually spread out rather sparsely in the stream. Its still fun to paddle and search for fish, though, since one never knows what one might run into.

    Yesterday afternoon, I walked from Firecracker Point (just E of the Westport Coast Guard Station) out all the way to the end of Whitcomb Spit. I have often thought that this might be a spot from which to try casting for perch, and maybe a lucky cutthroat. There was a decent rip pushing in along the outer edge of the spit on the incoming tide, and a back eddy coming around from the inside of the spit merging with the rip. Only problem was the 22 + (I was able to count) Harbor Seals that saw me and converged upon the tip of the spit while I stood there. I guess I'm a "seal magnet." They seemed almost fearless up to about 15 yards from me. I had heard that their population was growing inside the Harbor there. They haul out on a sand island north of the Elk River channel. We sure would welcome a roaming pod of Orcas to come around and clean 'em out. If you know any, please send them this way!
    Now I'm not sure If I am going to try to fish there, as long as all those seals are around. I went out to poke up a few sand shrimp for perch fishing (was too late on the incoming tide, and only found 3), and ended up cleaning about 7 gallons of plastic trash from the outer end of the spit as I walked in. Right now its time to think of surf perch out here, if beach fishing. I've tried clam siphons for bait, but have only caught one perch in 4 sessions, now. Water has been cold, and I have only found one small school of Red Tails, and managed to catch just one small fish, so far.

    For beach fishing for searun cutts this time of year, you'd be better off fishing a S Sound or northern Hood Canal beach.
     
    FlyinFish and wadin' boot like this.
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    However, just for the record, a bio with a group doing a population survey of smolts and forage fish using a seine net told me this. They captured more cutthroat in their net on pulls farther up toward Aberdeen in the Chehalis River channels than they did on net pulls along beaches and areas farther out toward the harbor entrance. I recall that this was in the late Spring or early Summer. There are eel grass beds along the edges of the channels, and I suppose those provide the necessary foraging habitat. However, it is next to impossible to access those areas wading from shore.

    That stands to reason, as the mighty Chehalis itself has many good sized tribs and many creeks.
     
  5. Dipnet

    Dipnet The wanted posters say Tim Hartman

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    So Jim, my BIL is a commercial fisherman based out of Westport . He's been involved in sport charters, commercial tuna, groundfish, salmon and crab over a lot of years but he loves sport fishing also. He regularly bait/gear fishes the Johns during season and has done pretty well there. He's caught a lot of "bluebacks" as he and the other locals call 'em. I've told him that to my knowledge, those are cutthroat. He argues with me about that but can't really tell me what he thinks they are. I've always heard that coastal folks call estuary and river cutts "bluebacks".

    As a resident down there, can you shed some light on this subject? TIA!
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    The "bluebacks" here in Twin Harbors are definitely Searun Coastal Cutthroat Trout. No doubt about it. Trout.
    I have heard some locals try to make the claim that "bluebacks" aren't trout. That is absolutely 100% wrong! Searun cutts have been called "blueback" in SW WA for generations, as well as "harvest trout" and "yellow bellies."

    In my experience, anyone trying to tell you that bluebacks aren't searun cutts and that they aren't trout is probably some local poacher hoping that you don't know excrement from shoe polish. I've seen it on the WillapaRiver, the North River, and other streams where the regs require C&R for any trout other than hatchery steelhead. Someone will keep a 12" cutthroat, and call it a "blueback," infering that its not really a trout but some kind of salmon and that its OK to keep it since the min size for salmon is 12" during that time....hmmmm...:rolleyes: If they can whip it into their boat quickly enough so that all you see is just a slivery blur, then it was a "jack."

    The Quinault Nation calls their Sockey Salmon "blueback." That little bit of marketing terminology is where some of the confusion arises. This confusion about bluebacks being (vs not being) searun cutthroat trout, just shows how inaccurate myths can persist in places where people get their knowledge passed on to them via word of mouth.
    These searun cutthroat are too easy to catch with bait (easier even than steelhead), and they often swallow it. Lots of undersized fish get hooked, swallow the bait, and then suffer a high mortality rate. Lots of cutthroat get hooked by steelhead bait fishers, and then released, often in bad shape. With the minimum size limit 14", bait should be outlawed for trout fishing in our rivers.
    Let 'em use bait in the streams that fish under "state-wide rules" and an 8" minimum size limit. Oh, and make it legal for kids only. Max age 14 for using bait. Once you're old enough to buy a license, then no bait fishing in coastal rivers, streams, or creeks. Wouldn't that be nice?
    If the minimum size limit is 14", then WhyTF is bait allowed????? And why is bait allowed in streams where wild fish must be released? I wonder how many gear/bait fishing river guides on the O.P. make their clients keep any 14" and larger (legal sized) cutthroat that are mortally hooked during guided steelhead float trips? (Sorry for the rant, heh, heh;))
     
    dryflylarry, daveypetey and Dipnet like this.
  7. Gregg Lundgren

    Gregg Lundgren Now fishing on weekdays too!

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    Hey Jim,

    Thanks for bringing back some old memories of fishing for searuns on North River back in the early '70s. I had the distinct impression some of the locals back then just followed their own set of rules.:confused: As a high school kid, low tide on the river brought a bountiful harvest of gear off the exposed wood in September. Luhr Jensen "Sneaks" were my favorite. Shhhhh!:rolleyes:

    But the locals "go to" gear was Indiana Spinner blades and night crawlers.:eek:
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Gregg, I was told to troll a night crawler rigged on a wedding ring behind a #4 50/50 Hildebrandt double-bladed spinner. I figured that would be a good way to find where the fish hung out. However, first time out, I forgot my night crawlers, so I let a fly down to the bottom and caught a sculpin. Then another one. I made a cut-plug out of one (lopped off the big head) and rigged that on the above-described trolling hardware and trolled my way upstream... That eventually got me into some fish, and I learned the locations of some "higher probability waters."
     

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