Westport surfperch alert!

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Chester Allen, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

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    I grew up in Grayland. Started surfing the summer of 1970 at the jetty and then in the winter we would surf the groins at low water. Gas chamber groin was my favorite. There were probably only 8 or 9 of us back then. Then we discovered a certain point in the Straits. We would surf that during Xmas break from college. Damn that was a good left in the winter. Some say a mirror image of Malibu. We weren't using hoods back then and I remember ice cream headaches when punching through a wave on the way back out. Gawd to be young and stupid again. I still say to get rid of a good head cold is to go out surfing. Something about getting all that salt water jammed up into your nose. Seems to clear a cold out of your head for some reason. Too bad life and work took me away from that sport. Maybe I should go buy a suit (larger size of course :mad:) and a long board.
     
  2. Rocket Red

    Rocket Red Vegetarian Cannibal

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    Awesome thread. The best surf fly-fishing I have ever had was just north of the Washaway beach jetty. I was actually an intern for WSDot working that project. I would get there early and fish the beach. The day I remember most vividly the waves were packed with fish just like in Chester's earlier description. I would cast and make two strips before I had one on, then even if I lost that one, I would have another on before I got my line retrieved. They hit really hard if you are stripping fast.

    Oh yeah, beach 4 is the best surf perch beach I have ever fished. It gets hit hard, but there is structure behind the waves, and the trough is right off shore. The only problem is you need a good period of small swells (2 or 3 days), to keep the water clean. The water near the shorebreak is often too dingy. However, you can get up on some of the rocks and pitch into deeper pockets, which is fun. If the clarity is bad, you may have to bastardize your fly and have a prawn chunk hanging off it . . . if you are man enough.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I didn't start surfing here til the Spring of '79.

    I tried clam necks with a small corky and yarn, with a 1/2 oz barrel sinker sliding on 10lb test, just South of the Washaway Beach jetty today, on both sides of that little outcropping/island with the lone tree on it. The SW wind was blowing too hard directly onshore to fly cast into, and the water was murky today. Was clearer the last time I was there. I was a little late on the tide, after running into an old friend on the way there and swapping stories for too long.

    I hadn't tried that spot before, but it looks fishy. Clam necks suck, any way. Sandshrimp are better bait. Sometimes I like to prospect with bait. I guess I have to go dig some sandshrimp.:eek: If the perch are in close enough, my flyrod will be waiting in its case nearby on the beach.

    I found a couple of troughs along the beach. You can usually find one off the beach somewhere out in front of Twin Harbors State Park. The beach in front of Lighthouse State Park on the end of Ocean Ave is worth checking.

    Hey Banzai, Think you could come up with a battery-powered lighted streamer? I hear they get the big ones at night on lighted plugs. The squid are attracted to the boat's lights. My friends have some good stories about squid fishing. From what I gather, it was done mainly "C&R" to kill time at night when out fishing on three day trips.
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Oh yeh! Hey Kim, my buddy just showed me his new 4/5mm hooded winter suit. Its an O'neil. That new rubber is really stretchy and light. Much improved over suits made only 10 years ago. Only thing is, you have to somehow crawl into them through the neck hole.:hmmm: No kidding.
     
  5. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    Before I got into landscapes, I would spend lots of time photographing surfing when I wasn't actually surfing myself. Haven't shot any surfing pics lately but here are a few from local areas. Most will recognize the first three as Kookport. The last one is a spot not to be named on the OP that has some fishy as hell looking water around those kelp beds. I've actually seen references to this area here on WFF but for fishing. It's the one place in Washington that gave me the shark vibe.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

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  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I saw the mount of that Great White displayed at the Seattle boat show back in the early or mid 80's. It was 17' long and really "girthy." Quite fearsome to behold, from a surfer's point of view, if you let your imagination run away with you.
    However, your chances of getting taken out by a drunk driver on any of your local roads are a gazillion times greater than your chances of getting bit by a Great White while surfing in WA waters.
    Oregon is a different matter. Great White central down there, from Seaside Point and on down the coast.
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Nice shots, Thomas. You don't see too many clean 8 - 10+ foot days at the Jetty peak like the one in your first pic. I've got a small collection of photos of WA surfing taken back throughout the 80's and 90's. Stuffed in a box somewhere.
    That last shot of the "un-named" spot is classic WA wilderness surfing, waiting for a "peak to nowhere.":clown:
     
  9. Chester Allen

    Chester Allen Fishing addict and scribbler

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    I hardly ever get a head cold. I went by the Mermaid Deli on the way home Tuesday, and bent down to get my wallet out of my backpack -- and saltwater ran out of my nose and pooled up on the floor. I got some napkins and cleaned up the saltwater....

    The girl behind the counter didn't even blink an eye. I bet she sees that a lot.

    Thomas, those are awesome shots. BIG, clean and offshore. Epic days out there. Those waves are a little big for my skill set, which tends to feel happiest on those smaller, cleaner longboard days. Geez, I must be 47....

    The new wetsuits are expensive -- but light and warm. I demoed the new Patagonia suit last fall, and it was fabulous. "What's in your wallet?"

    Matt, it's pretty easy to learn how to stand up on a surfboard. The hard part -- which is also the fun part -- is learning how to read waves, being in position -- especially on a beach break like Westport -- and just becoming a better paddler and rider. It's all about getting better -- without becoming a knucklehead in the process. The good news is that there is no penalty for falling.

    And paddling a surfboard around is a good way to find fish.
     
  10. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    Well, I just mit mid-40's myself and came to surfing too late to ever be a proficient shortboarder. Those pics were from a few years back when I was surfing every weekend and swimming/training during the week. I wouldn't paddle out into that now: 1) I'd get my ass handed to me, 2) wouldn't want to waste such a good wave that someone else could better use, especially in the Corner. I'm definitely more low-risk, picky now. I'm all about shoulder high, long, clean lefts where I can cruise on my McTavish Original 9'6" and comtemplate the magic of stoke. If I could do that at dawn and fish a dusk hatch with a giant hamburger interlude at midday on the OP... That would be a helluva day.
     
  11. Chester Allen

    Chester Allen Fishing addict and scribbler

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    Thomas --
    You just summed up my entire philosophy of surfing to the T.

    I'm 47 -- 48 next month -- and I started surfing in SoCal at 14. I surfed hard for years, but it slipped away from me when I moved to the Northwest. Sure, I surfed from time to time, but not on regular basis.

    I started surfing regularly again -- once or twice a week -- about five years ago, and I'm all about the longboard ride -- magic.... I'm pretty picky about conditions as well.
    My daughter, who is 18, has surfed for a few years, and nothing beats a day on the water with her. She also likes to fish after surfing.
     
  12. Banzai

    Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

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    I guess larger streamers with glow in the dark material or even those little chem lights might work for the Humboldts. Figure a 10 wt with a sink tip may handle some of them? They hit the harbor in the later part of the year? Perhaps another chapter in the strange fishing journal.
     
  13. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Humboldt Squid are voracious feeders that will eat anything they can catch. A large wounded baitfish pattern might be all you need. You might need your biggest stick, as they have jet propulsion. My friend got spooled by a huge one ("big as a man"). It took 300 yds of 30 lb test and left the reel empty. Later, they saw the still lit-up plug going back and forth under the boat. That was a really big one, though.
    They were out commercial shrimping, staying out about 3 days until they filled the hold. The squidding was the evening entertainment. The squid were attracted by the powerful halogen lights on the boat.

    They were really thick in the boat basin, last October, but I'm not kicking myself for not trying for one, just so that I could claim that I caught one. I could have just grabbed a dying one from the rocks and processed it for jetty bait. That population explosion and mass die-off may have been a one-time occurrence. It looked like they were taking over the ocean for a while there. Maybe this colder water will keep 'em away. Its only about 47 degrees F along the beaches right now.
     
  14. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

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    Perch, Surfing, Squid, now thats one hell of a thread.
    I saw a show on Humbolt Squid and those things scare
    me.... I found an article about some guy diving with
    them in Mexico... he had to wear body armour to protect
    himself.
    David
     
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Banzai, give me a shout when you head out this way.
    Remember the #1 rule of surf perch fishing, and that is to keep moving until you find the surf perch. The schools move around, and they may have just vacated the good looking spot you are fishing. If you don't get any strikes after working the entire zone you are fishing, move on.
    I worked about 200 yds of shoreline around some structure yesterday, casting to 50 or 60 yards out with my spin outfit and bait, and retrieving slowly all the way in. Murky water, was a new location for me to try, & not even a hit. I fished for about an hour and a half.
    However, I arrived after the tide had already hit high and turned. That strategy has only worked for me before at a spot with a very steep beach and deep trough right along the shoreline.

    Crap. I wasn't planning on surf or jetty fishing today, but the conditions have shaped up to where they are beckoning me to abandon work plans, and if I hurry, I can still get the last hour or so of incoming tide. If any of my customers are reading this, well, all I can say is that the world won't end if your grass isn't cut today. Sorry.:p