Tale of two days, what a difference! Beach report and a question...

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by formerguide, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Steve -
    Ling cod mature at a pretty young age. The males typically mature at age 2 and length of about 18 inches. The females mature a year or two later and are typically in that 25 to 27 inch size range at first spawning. For the first couple years the males and females grow at similar rates; after that point the females grow much faster than the females. A very old ling cod would be a late teenage fish. The slower growing males typically reach a max. length of the about 36 inches. The females can get much larger (approaching 5 feet and weights of 60 or pounds though my best PS fly caught fish was only about 35#).

    The logical behind the length slot limits for ling cod in Puget Sound is to protect those larger older females. The fecundity of the females vary substantially with there size. A 10# female may have 60,000 eggs while a 30 # fish may have 10 times as many eggs. They have some interesting behaviors that are probably outside the scope of this thread. Lings are fairly abundant in their preferred habitats (high relieve rocky areas) it is just that sort of habitat is not all that common in the Sound. Outside of the spawning period many of the lings are "home bodies" which make individual pieces of habitat vulnerable to being "fished out" and it may take several years to grow replacement fish.

    Lings can be sexed fairly easily by examining their vents; the female's vent is oval shaped while the male's is tear-drop shaped. When I opt to harvest a ling if possible I try for a 30 inch male; something to think about if you are into selective harvest.

    Curt
     
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  2. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

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    Steve and Curt,

    Awesome info in the lingcod. I'm definitely going to make some effort to get some, will start looking at old threads. I've chased a lot of tuna and stripers, so have some idea on fishing deeper water for some big boys when necessary, but will have a lot to learn. Steve, good luck tomorrow, hope you get rid of the shack nasties and get into a few!

    As for the size of the fish, I got into a lot of 10-14" or so fish in the morning. Later at the second spot, defintely the larger fish were a bit bigger, the fish in the bottom pic, didn't really measure, but I'd guess 16-17" is likely right, but not certain. Doesn't matter, was a great day of course, lost a nicer fish up close that I would have liked to get to hand. I have really been lucky though. I know I've caught 6 or so that were pretty large including the one I shared in an earlier report last week, so feel fortunate, blind fishing like this really is luck, at least as far as size is concerned.

    Dan
     
  3. Dipnet

    Dipnet The wanted posters say Tim Hartman

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    Speaking of lingcod, saw this interesting video on another fishin' board:
     
  4. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

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    Oh my goodness, that is bloody awesome. Thanks for sharing! Tell me you wouldn't be happy catching either of those fish. What a predator a ling apparently is.

    Dan
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    That is a very fine report, Dan.

    I don't worry about harvesting Lings out here on the coast, but I would probably release a large female, if I caught one.
    I caught a higher percentage of smaller males (under 28") last year fishing in shallower water, which was only 15' to 20' deep. Even as late as mid/late June. I caught and released a few around 22" and just under that, but I did keep most of my "keepers," including a 32.5" female that I hooked in only about 15' close in to the Jetty rocks.
    I wonder. Had these males been guarding nests? Seems kind of late in the year for that, but I don't really know. Or were they just still hanging out in the "shallows" just because they were getting territorial?
     
  6. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    Sorry to keep your thread side tracked Dan, but just wanted to thank Curt yet again for teaching me more about the fish I chase. Great info, thanks.
     
  7. Dipnet

    Dipnet The wanted posters say Tim Hartman

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    Well, if I could catch either of those and wanted to have fish for dinner I'd let you take the salmon! When I was a young buck (in the '60s and '70s) we caught a lot of big lings under the Narrows Bridge. The debris from the old bridge made great habitat for lings.
     
  8. Walt K

    Walt K Searcher

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    Dan, as a private tidelands owner, I use nets to protect my seeded clam bed from predatory ducks (sounds odd, doesn't it), and definitely would not want you to walk on it. Baby clams ain't that tough!
     
  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    As an aside, I put my name on the waiting list for the "window washer" at the Monterey Bay Aquarium years ago, figuring a PADI Master Diver and a former SEAL would have a leg up on said list. No chance. It'd be well into the 23rd century before I'd get the call.
     
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  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Ahhh....they were probably afraid that you would scare the sharks into hiding.:D