What's 6" and surface feeds on euphausiids?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by riseform, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. riseform

    riseform Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,115
    Media:
    225
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I fished the incoming tide yesterday and as I approached the beach I could see surface activity that brought a smile to my face. Over the last week, the few times I witnessed surface activity were quickly rewarded with a cutthroat within one or two casts. I tied on my trusty surf candy and quickly realized these fish wanted nothing to do with my offering. I peered into the water and my usual bait fish were around in addition to an incredible population of clear 2cm euphausiids. I resorted to watching the spectacle without participating.

    From what I could determine, the feeding fish bulging at the surface were around six inches or slightly larger. Occasionally I'd see one near me rise quickly, feed and return to the depths. I'm embarrassed to ask, but being new to the salt I'll swallow my pride. What's the differential diagnosis (and age) for surface feeding fish of that size in this situation?
     
  2. Steven Green

    Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    517
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Poulsbo, Washington
    I've seen that recently too, they look a lot like herring to me.
     
  3. Hooker

    Hooker Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    WA
    Herring and/or perch. Perch will make a little popping sound when they feed. Herring usually are a little more "splashy"
     
  4. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,323
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    107
    Danny DeVito at an all you can eat shrimp feed? I dunno..
     
  5. Bugthrower

    Bugthrower Willits

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    141
    Media:
    248
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    Miniature Puget Sound Tarpon, otherwise known as Pacific Herring or could have been sticklebacks.
     
  6. HARDER

    HARDER New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma
    I noticed the same thing on Saturday in Case Inlet. I saw fish splashing the surface and upon closter examination, they were feeding on euphasids. The small fish were moving in one direction, as though there was no threat. If the fish are all over the place, there will usually be a predator or two in hot persuit. I was wondering what they were when they cruised under the rowboat and concluded they were herring.
     
  7. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Taco Ma
    I've seen juvenile coho, herring, anchovies, and smelt all in that size range in close like that in the past 2 weeks down on Pickering.
    Lost of sand lance and still some chum fry smaller than that around too. Hundreds of 2" sculpins right on the edge of the water at low tide. Forage fish of one sort or another all over the place right now. Picked up 5 cutts in 1/2 hour of fishing the other day too, no coincidence...
     
  8. John B

    John B just tryin' to keep the skunk off

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I also encountered what looked to be juvenile cohos (~7" or so) last time I was out. They were rising in a rip around a point which was channeling a bunch of chum fry their way. I was hoping some of their older, larger brethren would also be taking part in the buffet, but had to move on down the beach after regrettably hooking a couple of these little guys. I had seen a bunch of herring around in that same size range, so that's what I was expecting when I felt the first little tug, but was surprised to see a little coho had taken the fly.
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    951
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    riseform -
    This is also the time of year that most of this year's crop of smolts have just left their natal home waters. The cutthroat smolts at the time of smolting are typically in that 6 to 8 inch range.

    While it is prossible or even probable that the fish you saw as suggested were herring or small coho they could also have been cutthroat. These small cutthroat do grow pretty quickly and by late summer they will reach that 8 to 11 inch size that we often associate with first year sea-runs.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  10. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    not sure
    I was out fishing the the South Hood Canal this weekend and the perch were everywhere! Thousand upon thousand! This was happening Every where I went. Over the weekend I fished quite a few places on the canal and perch fry were Ever where (did I mention this already)? Unfortunately I have not seen the numbers of chum fry so far this year. Sad situation and I hope The Dec. floods have not hurt the chum as bad as I think the storm did. By the way does anyone have a fly pattern for these perch?
     
  11. riseform

    riseform Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,115
    Media:
    225
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I'd like to thank everyone for sharing your insight.

    Wouldn't herring swim and feed as a school? These appeared to be individual fish rhythmically rising from holding areas rather than a sweeping school of marauding feeders. I'm tempted to believe these were juvenile coho or even cutthroat smolts given my observations.

    Given that I'm still clueless, I'll try a herring pattern the next time I encounter this situation and see if I get lucky with a larger predator.
     
  12. Olyfly

    Olyfly -

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Mark,

    A good pattern that I have found works for the shiner perch is a yellow Knutsen's spider with a white or greyish-white colar/hackle.

    -Oly
     
  13. Bugthrower

    Bugthrower Willits

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    141
    Media:
    248
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    When there are no larger predators around herring pretty much just mill around feeding in a relaxed fashion, from my experience when herring display this behavior the success rate is minimal.
     
  14. riseform

    riseform Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,115
    Media:
    225
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Makes good sense, thanks.
     
  15. chuckfish

    chuckfish island boy

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bainbridge island, washington
    i live on port blakely on bainbridge
    the beforementioned has been happening for the last 2 weeks
    here, they are herring and i believe they are spawning
    someone can correct the spawning if i am incorrect on that part
    but they are herring and sometimes waves of them
     
  16. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    17,870
    Media:
    283
    Likes Received:
    1,680
    Location:
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Chuckfish, any chance we met last weekend at Peninsula Outfitters and/or Eglon beach? I met a sharp fella from Blakely in a small group there.
     

Share This Page