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Tough year so far. Forecast was for poor coho returns and it looks like they might be right.

We got out of town at 4:00 on Thursday and encountered brutal traffic from Bellevue to Tacoma Narrows; even with the HOV lane open to us. I may reconsider and take the ferry on the way over next time. Took 2 hours to reach Bremerton and it should be an hour.

Got into camp at 9:30. It really is nice arriving when the trailer is set up and the boat is on station. Had an onshore wind so fog and waves were problems on Friday. Ended up back on the beach fishing rocks and didn't even do too well on them.

Saturday came with an offshore wind so didn't have to fight the fog but with the wind blowing against the swell it was too rough to go to Swiftsure. We had traveled about 3 miles west of Tatoosh and then got a call from a friend out on the banks telling us to turn around. It took him the better part of 1.5 hours to get back and he has a much better boat for offshore. We did find birds and bait in huge concentrations about 2-3 miles out of the cut at Tatoosh. Looked really good but we probably fished 15 bait balls without a strike. Even ran right up to several to see if we could see salmon flashing but no go. Only coho out there seem to be hanging at Swiftsure. The offshore wind and hot temperatured did give us one of the nicest days we have ever had in terms of weather. We fished rocks on the south end of Skagway Bay and had to strip down to t-shirts because of the heat. Spectacular lighting on the rock formations as the sun moved across the sky.

Sunday was rough. Fog started at Tatoosh but looked patchy so after a little indecision we went for it. Seas were calm. Bad part was that the lock on my storage locker had frozen and my GPS and life jackets were in there. Decided to stick our nose out and see if the fog let up. Part way out had a report that there were coho everywhere and they were on the bite. We had a break in the fog just as we arrived so got set up on an area with birds, whales, sea lions and fish. Finally! Except....the fog came back in and visability droped to about 100 feet. So here we are, can't see the birds, can't see the fish, not sure if we have drifted into Canada and couldn't see a freighter if it was right on us. We did have a few strikes harling and landed one native casting but then the bite went off and we couldn't get back on it. Luckly a friend with good electronics had stayed close and we were able to run with him back inside Tatoosh and into the sunshine. We sould have come in on the compass but it was nice to have a guide.

We went back to Skagway and fished bottom fish for a couple of hours. Harry did catch 3 lings and lost a huge one. Of course he was fishing live bait as he had hooked small rock fish while having lunch and didn't want to put down his sandwich to land them. Don't get between Harry and food. One was a nice 10 pound fish though so into the boat.

And then the fog blanketed us again so we crept our way around Skagway rocks and the wash rocks in the cut at Tatoosh and came back out into the sunshine. No birds inside so we went to the beach, cleaned fish, cleaned boat, put boat on trailer and back to yard, cleaned the trailer and started driving back at 6:00. A multi vehicle accident at the bridge cost us some time but I knew a by pass so we only lost 15 minutes or so.

We are going to take week 4 off. I am taking too many risks out there and am putting myself in the penalty box for a week. Being at Swiftsure without the right safety equipment and navigation aids is nuts. Even if it is the only place we can seem to find fish. Week 5 is Makah Days though and even if we just go to see the fireworks it will be worth the trip. And....maybe...just maybe, the coho will move inside. W
 

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Language, its a virus
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Thanks for report...its not looking good
for coho here in the Sound based on your
and other peoples findings.

We still have about one more month.....

Dave
 

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Just swimming around, chasing fish in Beervana
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Awesome report, dude! That's some hairy stuff, fishing in the super-dense fog and all. I'm hoping that since the summer was about a month delayed, the coho are a few weeks later rather than non-existent. Wishful thinking, perhaps.
 

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Moving to FL
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Yes, thanks for the report. It's years like this (and 2008) that make me wish I had 4 more feet of boat so I could safely fish outside. I keep having nightmares about all the coho I've missed out on this year because I couldn't get out to one of the few locations where they've been for the last 2 months. As someone said here...the problem with getting a boat is shortly after you buy it, you'll want something bigger!
 

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Your Preferred WFF Poster
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It's years like this (and 2008) that make me wish I had 4 more feet of boat so I could safely fish outside. I keep having nightmares about all the coho I've missed out on this year because I couldn't get out to one of the few locations where they've been for the last 2 months.
the coho fishing has been spotty even at those outside locations this season.
 
G

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Nice report looks as though your piggy bank is committed to some high tech navigation depth finder or just a hand-held GPS. Sound bad for fish and we like reports to gauge river timing so thanks for the update. I fished around that area a long time ago, a limit of fresh sea run coho within 30 min. was the standard. Good luck next time out and keep it safe.
 

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get a can of corrosion X, keep it on the boat for when your locks saltup. next, stop being a hazard to ME by running around without navigation aids, radar reflector or any means of finding your way to or from. guys like you are what keeps me on the beach when the fog closes down even though i have radar, gps.....and most importantly a RADAR REFLECTOR. small boats are virtually invisable on radar, expecially if they are fiberglass, so if you think for a second that a freighter closing down on you at 24 knots can see you, think again. your only defense is that RADAR REFLECTOR.
 

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GT:

I agree with you that safety should be a primary concern at all times, but you don't have all the facts. First, Bum could have broken in to his console at any time it really became necessary. Second, he was in radio and phone communication with me. I had just made the run in front of him. Fog was patchy, not solid and Bum certainly was capable of navigating under the conditions. When he arrived there was about 3 plus miles of visibility. Shortly after he did arrive, and before the fog settled in, I transferred my spare handheld GPS to him, so that he would not have to make the choice on whether to kick the door down. We then stayed in visual contact with each other until we left. Finally, we both ran together back to Tatoosh, but only after checking to see whether the shipping lane was clear of commercial AIS targets. We ran back together with not less than 1/2 mile of visibility and I dropped him there (in clear sunshine) before heading in to NB.

Excellent point about radar reflectors. Not only should you have one on board, but it should be as high as possible off deck to make a decent target.

Fish fever should never overtake good common sense and safe boating. My motto- "Safe boating, like safe sex is no accident." There is no hook-up, not even topwater, that is worth putting yourself in jeopardy. Bum knows this. Without a partner, he chose to stay home for the weekend, given the forecast.

If you really want to talk about an unsafe situation, you should have seen the boats caught out at Swiftsure on Saturday when the 20 plus knot easterly suddenly came on (as forecast) against the flooding tide. Swamped boats, USCG rescues, etc. Don't get me started.

Safe boating.

RR
 

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Not Politically Correct
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I remember listening to Tofino Traffic (VTS) when it was pea soup foggy. A Sealand container ship was coming down the coast. Traffic informed them of a large fishing fleet (sport) off of Barkley Sound and requested they alter course to transit the outside edge of the fleet. The captain of the container ship refused and stayed on course. They must have schedules to meet or something. The vessel I run is 297'. We have two radars going at all times regardless of visibility, each on different scales, usually 12 and 3 mile. At times depending on weather even steel vessels as large as 85' are at times hard to see especially close in. AIS is a godsend to us to see vessels in the area as the signal displays on our plotters and radars. I would assume most small sport boats do not have an AIS. Please realize even with a radar reflector you will be hard to see so don't consider yourself safe just because you have a reflector up. Stay safe.
 

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thanks for the expanded view of what was going on riverrun. personally i really could care less if NZ bum locked up his PFDs and couldn't get to them or that he had no means of navigating in the fog save following you. the problem comes when his stupidity turns into tragedy and others have to risk their behinds. sorry riverrun, there is simply no excuse for this sort of lack of seamanship behavior, none.
 

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we've all made mistakes out on the water, even the most self-righteous of us. the only good part in those mistakes is that we learn far more from them than anything else.

swiftsure is without a doubt the worst run from neah bay. the currents make it the worst run and roughest water on the north coast (outside of river bars).

enjoy makah days and be safe.
 

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Take em'
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good luck out there on week five, i just got back and was up there since tuesday we did awesome on tuesday the weather was great and caught nice ten pound lings all day fishin out on skagway and yesterday was super foggy and not many fish but we did catch a halibut that weighed about 50 pounds or so! we were the only crazy guys out there in a center console yesterday! hope to see some of you guys up there some day
 
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