SRC spreading out from estuaries

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    The last week or two there are have been fewer SRC in a couple of home water estuaries. Today was one of the first light wind days in the last week. So my fishing buddy and I made a curcuit of our favorite fishing locations away from estuaries. We got into some nice/large sized SRC at seven of the nine locations that we fished. Almost all the spots were 4 miles or more away from any estuaries. Almost had schools of chum fry dimpling the surface in slack water adjacent to current seams but only the occassional SCR were chasing the fry. It looks like the normal run(Nov.) Fall chum fry have finally made it out to the saltchuck and are heading out to the ocean and bring the SRC in hot pursuit after them for an easy meal. Thus, the main out migration of SCR to the saltchuck appears to have happened or is in progress with the SRC spreading out into Puget Sound. So now it is a fun hunt and seek game to find out where they are hanging out that day.

    I was using a chum fry pattern plus a small skating candlefish pattern with little success which was a surprise. My buddy was getting the SRC regularly on a reddish/yellow/orange mixed dubbed soft hackle shrimp pattern that he ginned up a month ago and has worked well for him on larger sized SRC ever since. When I switched to his pattern, I was into the SRC and we had a couple of doubles which is the ultimate blessing when fishing with a buddy. Some much for my preference to use
    clouser minnows and skated surface flies.

    A year ago a fisheries biologist told my fishing buddy that he believed SRC in the saltchuck generally tend to hang together by size class. Today and the last month or so that seems to be true. At most locations we have either catch only nice/larged sized SRC and others only smaller fish. Have others of you been experiencing that kind of pattern at your favorite SRC locations?
  2. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,628
    Somewhere on the Coast
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    Thanks for the report and enlightening commentary. I always look forward to reading your posts, as what you have to say is usally fascinating as well as educational.
    I am saving up for a boat that I can take out in the Canal, Sound, and Strait...don't feel like my 13' canoe can cut the mustard in big water. The canoe (square stern w/trolling motor) is good for the protected estuaries and lower rivers here in Twin Harbors area, but that doesn't start until after June 1st and doesn't really pick up until after the middle of July.
    Thanks for sharing!:thumb

    Jimbo
  3. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Jimbo

    Thanks for the comments. I'm just a 67 year old fellow trying to pass on some experiences and my love of fishing in the saltchuck of Puget Sound before being called home by the Lord.

    For the first two years that I fished out in Puget Sound, I paddled a 16 ft. canoe chasing after resident silvers. It got the job done. Some days I would paddle up to eight miles hugging the shoreline hopefully with the current. In someways, it was good using a canoe since it slowed me down and was easier to observe what was happening on the water plus you can slip quieter up onto a group of fish. The exercise was great but a boat sure makes it easy to cover a lot of water which translates into having many more very successful fishing outings.
  4. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
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    You shouldn't be surprised that back-in-the-salt cutthroat are hitting any kind of small krill imitation at this time because there are a lot of amphipods and euphausids around and these little shrimp-like critters are a favorite of both cutthroat and coho salmon. This feeding pattern will continue through most of May when baitfish will become a more important food item.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  5. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    My fishing buddy's pattern is 2" long and bulkier. Krill(1/2")and amphipod(1//8")are much slimmer and smaller than his pattern. It would appear doubtful that the SRC would think his pattern is either one of those. In the past, it has not been uncommon to find sand shrimp in resident silvers stomachs. I tied up a 2" tan shrimp pattern that worked well but have not used it much of late so will have to try it on the SRC.
  6. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
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    If you are fishing Hood Canal there are a lot of larger shrimp around. I also have a sand shrimp pattern that I call the Estuary Shrimp. I've used it for years in California estuaries and in Willapa Bay tidewater around the Naselle and Nemah rivers, taking both late run chum, coho and later on, steelhead. Your patterns sounds good and is a type not wiedly used, at least without giant lead eyes. However, over shallow, mud and grass bottoms it can really be a killer -- no lead required.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  7. Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Posts: 1,433
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
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    New River Mike

    I've been following posts about SRC's avidly as I've developed quite a fancy for them since moving over here to the OP.
    At the risk of confirming my ignorance - what exactly is "the saltchuck"?
    Thanks...

    :dunno
  8. Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Posts: 852
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Salt Water.
  9. Ken Hunter Member

    Posts: 155
    Shoreline, Wa, USA.
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    The shrimp pattern makes sense but how do you fish it?

    Thanks

    Ken
  10. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    My fishing buddy and I fish sand shrimp patterns using full extra fast sinking lines. The thought being that sand shrimp tend to hang out near the bottom as will SRC particularly if there is tide current at that location.
    The most productive retrieve has usually been a short quick retrieve with short(1-2 sec.) pauses or short slow retrieve with short pauses. The key seems to be to get the fly down near the bottom when fishing sand shrimp patterns as well as bait fish patterns. The exception being when the SRC are chasing candlefish up to the surface then put on the floating line and a skating candlefish pattern and have at them.
  11. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Mike,

    I thought you went back East or something?

    Bob, the these damn friends keep hopin' about on ya.:beer2
  12. rockfish Member

    Posts: 730
    Manchester, Wa
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    a really flashy wooley buggar is all you need for srcs personally for my opinion, even when they zero in on a particular food source, there about the most aggressive little devils that isnt a so called junk fish that I can think of.

    but I wouldn't know this spring because been to busy running over people in pontoons, float tubes and small boats, in my new bass boat, whats up now, got the bass boat, been doing alot of freshwater fishing mostly in long lake in port orchard where I live and other lakes that allow us speen demons to terrorize the lakes.

    we need to have a src clave here pretty quick. gotta start fishing for bluegill and crappie, caught some big bluegill on these leech patterns for bass where they put such a nice bend in the rod I thought I actually had a good bass on then up comes a bluegill.

    tight lines, roger you the man
  13. deaddrift New Member

    Posts: 29
    victoria, bc, canada.
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    i think one of the most neglated areas is the feeding habits of cuts at different times of the year.
    i fish off the beach as often as i can get away with. i went down to look for some cuts and bluebacks the other day...so while i was sittin' on a log disappointed 'cause there were no fish showing, i noticed this creature burrowing into the soft sand (not mud) about 15 feet from the water.
    it looked like a shrimp to me - transluscent very light olive body one inch long, (there were smaller ones to) with two red atennae as long as its body. A native told me it was a huge sand flea???
    pretty sure it wasn't a ghost shrimp -no pink or orange in the body.

    i found patterns under sand shrimp but couldn't find any reference to 'sand shrimp' in my tidal books. what are their habits and appearance.
    is there a difference between a mud shrimp and a sand shrimp?

    whatever this was it would be a fine juicy morsel for a cut. if these 'shrimp' like to hug the shore it could be the target for so many of the cuts up here that cruise as lose as 6 inches off the beach.

    How far off the beach are the cuts that you're catching with this pattern?
  14. rockfish Member

    Posts: 730
    Manchester, Wa
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    you can find tons of those big sand flea looking things around rock weed, where ever theres rockweed those bigger sand fleas, pill bugs or whatever are everywhere.



    catch and release wild sculpins
  15. Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Posts: 852
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
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    I will second a SRC Clave