Summer SRC Doldrums About Over

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    The SRC fishing has slowly been picking up after the usually slow summer doldrums(frequently get close to being skunked). From my experience, the SRC seem to be normally scattered and tougher to find from mid-June through mid-Aug. Some possible reasons for the slower summer SRC fishing are: (1) preponderance of sunny days(however, SRC not as light sensitive as silvers), (2) more days of extreme tide exchanges which tend to scatter the SRC and their food supply, (3) the SRC's natural tendency to wander in the saltchuck in the summer looking for a meal to fill their stomachs, (4) etc.(your thoughts!).

    Over the last couple of weeks, the SRC fishing has been picking up. If you can find a spot where the SRC are hanging out, you can usually land a couple of fish.

    Last week, my fishing buddy was using a brown shrimp pattern while I had on the usually reliable Olive/white clouser minnow. He landed a couple of nice sized SRC while I didn't have any strikes. So I switched to the brown shrimp pattern and started hooking up fish. We usually start out using different patterns which helps to figure out what the hot pattern might be that day. If you are getting numerous fish just taping your fly with few hook-ups, it is time to switch patterns or change your retrieve to get a more aggressive response. However being an "old stubborn guy", I have a tendency to not switch patterns often enough when I am not having much/any success.

    Yesterday, the SRC fishing was pretty good. The SRC seem to be getting closer to the esturaries as they follow mitgrating salmon.

    There are just too many fishing options this time of year. What is a fellow to do?

    Roger
     
  2. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    I have definetly noticed slow summer cutt fishing, the fishing for them in the salt where I live always seem to pick in about October, is great through spring. I think that it may have a lot to do with increased light conditions, but who knows. I have learned my own subborn to switch my fly lessons from those fish. I often get a lot of nicks on one fly and switch to another and start getting solid takes.
     
  3. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    Agreed - west area 13 spots that were great last winter and sporadic-to-fishless a couple months ago seemed to have fish the past two weekends! Hooray!
     
  4. Luke Filmer

    Luke Filmer Member

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    Seems like they are becoming a bit larger too. Do the larger ones hang in deeper water in the summer, and cruise closer in the fall?
    I hooked a couple hawgs this a.m. on a beach I fish which usually yeilds 10" to 12" fish.
    Saw a huge ratfish swim by me too :thumb:
     
  5. Mike Etgen

    Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

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    I'm glad to see this post! I wondered if it was only me who had experienced my best SRC fishing over the winter and into April - now I see I had some company. Sounds as if it's time to light that candle again...

    And - what's a ratfish?
     
  6. Sterling silver

    Sterling silver Member

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    Mike, if you look in the dictionary (er, let's change that to google search) under "ugly fish" you'll see a picture of a ratfish. Kinda like a dogfish with a ratty looking face and ratty looking spots. You don't wanna catch one as it just curls up like a dogfish and has a similar spine by its tail that can be painful if applied to your hand or arm.
     
  7. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    They have big ugly buck teeth on their upper jaw. And I'm not lying about this or pulling your leg.

    Jim
     
  8. South Sound

    South Sound Member

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    During the summer months the cutthroat are much deeper and farther out from shore. I have had consistant success with them from my boat, but only limited from shore. I also have used fast sinking line to get down. They have been deeper than the traditional "see the bottom" mentality. I am not talking 30 or 40 feet. But I would say 15-possibly 25. They have now moved back into the shallows to a certain degree from what I can tell. However the big ones of last spring have yet to be found consistantly again, in the salt alone. I am talking the 18-20+ inch range. Oh how I love cutthroat.
     
  9. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    There is something I have never understood about sea runs and maybe some one has the answer. In that they are late winter and early spring spawners, why are some still in the salt through winter and spring? Is it that just a portion of the mature population spawn in any given year? If so what is the normal period of time between spawning cycles, one year, two years?

    Dave
     
  10. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    There is no evidence that sea-run cutthroat ever spend an entire year in salt water; once they achieve sexual maturity they spawn every year. The presence of cutthroat in salt water year-round can be explained by the widely varying life histories of the species (and, except for our anadromous bull trout, sea-run cutthroat have the most variable life histories of any salmonid). While March is the peak spawning month, some fish may be spawning as early as the end of January and some as late as June. Particularly in some of the smaller streams, it is impossible for the fish to even enter before the late fall rains raise the water level enough to provide access. Fish who have spawned will usually move rather quickly back down to salt water and, since they have continued to feed while in fresh water (unlike steelhead) they can regain their condition quite rapidly. I have only rarely caught cutthroat in salt water who were "snakey". So, between those who have spawned early and returned to the saltchuck and those who delay spawning until later, there are always some numbers of fish available to the angler.
     
  11. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

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  12. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Preston, thankyou for tying the loose ends together.

    Explained that way it makes sense.

    Dave
     
  13. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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  14. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Ratfish, nasty, nasty fish. The spine on the back towards the tail will break off and the infection it can cause in many cases requires medical attention.

    Dave
     
  15. Dizane

    Dizane Coast to Coast

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    I've caught one. Wasn't very fun.

    Dane
     
  16. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

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    Caught maybe 40-50 over the years of my youth fishing dead baitfish and the like for anything that would bite. The strangest part about them is the arm like feelers on their sides. I can rember the first one I caught up in the San Juans thinking and asking my dad if the fish was some missing link between creatures of the sea and creatures of the land.
    I have never caught one on a fly or any other type of lure.
     
  17. Luke Filmer

    Luke Filmer Member

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    After doing so well yesterday...
    I tried the same beach this a.m. I hit the water at 7:00 a.m. and the fog was thick.
    I casted 3 times before sticking a nice 18" cutthroat hen. Real clean ( no sea lice) and a great acrobat. I thought it was a coho till the spots appeared.
    This was great, I thought I would be in for an awesome fishfull morning.
    I fished for 2 more hours without any strikes. I did not even see my ratfish buddy.
    The herons were not afraid at all. I got almost 10 feet away from a big one at one point.
    Also spotted a nice bald eagle, and a couple kingfishers.

    All in all, it was a good day :cool:
     
  18. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    I had to figure out if the doldrums were at an end, so I took the little zodiak that picked up over the summer out to the canal for a test spin. I managed to get on nice about 18" cutt, and lost on other in about an hour of fishing.
     

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