Become One of the 10% That Catch

I have always heard the old addage that 10% of fisherman catch 90% of the fish.  While this may not be an exact figure, I do believe that there is some accuracy to this.  As an observer of fisherman I have always wondered why there is that one guy that always seems to catch fish while others have all the excuses, and believe me I have had to pull a few of those excuses out of the hat before.  Everything from I didn't hit the tide right, I had the wrong bait, the fish haven't shown up yet, it was combat fishing, or my favorite, It was my buddy's fault. So what gives? Why is it that the 10% out there catches the most fish? I believe I can answer that for you.

The first thing that comes to mind is time.  Some guys just put in the time, and have that experience and knowledge from trial and error to draw on.  I know that from my days in the NFL.  Towards the end of my career I could just see things easier and anticipate the when, where, and how.  We like to say that our good buddy Ron Garner is "lucky" when his wife Jean lands a 141lb halibut on her first drop of the season, but I would just say that Ron has been there and done that before.  He knew when to show up, where to go, and how to get it done.  What Ron and many other fisherman have is local knowledge of the fish they are targeting.

With salt in our veins, my boys and I have had to use these strategies to catch local bass.

Part of the problem we face in this fast paced world we live in is that ability to put in that time to attain that local knowledge.  On the flip side, this world we live in provides us with unlimited ways to attain that knowledge without ever hitting the water.  When I first moved here and started to fish for salmon it was completley different to anything I had ever done while growing up in Florida.  The idea of using a big plastic flasher while trolling seemed very strange.   Luckily I had the internet.  The world wide web provided me with all the resources I needed to learn the ins and outs of salmon fishing. Magazines also provide us with a great way to attain the knowledge needed to target our favorite fish.  The maps, how to articles, and run timing are all great things that many magazines provide on a regular basis. We are also in the fortunate position here in the northwest to have more fishing clubs and seminars than anywhere else in the world perhaps.  Joining a local club that has a focus on the type of fishing that you like to do is perhaps the best way to close the gap on the guys that have the knowledge and yourself.  See if you can have one of them recommend a guide or take you on a trip themselves.  Going out on the water with a good fisherman is a great way to become one yourself.  Hang around successful people and do what they do, and you to will be able to experience success.


What's next after attaining all of that knowledge?  I believe that the the most important thing to becoming a 10%er is attention to detail.  This is something that has been pounded in to me by variuos coaches throught my career.  There is no point in putting in all that time on the water and attaining the necessary knowledge if we are going to go out and not practice what we know.  One thing that has always struck me when talking to a good fisherman is that they always ask the detail questions.  It is not enough for you to tell them about the fish you caught but they want to know where you were?  How you did it?  What you were using?  When were you there?  The good fisherman I know bank all of this knowledge and use it when the time is right.  Details are not lost on these guys.  Good fisherman never cut corners, they make sure things are done down to the last detail.  Most of the guys that you know that seem so LUCKY have stacked the odds in there favor before they ever left the dock.  

The Summer Salmon Seminar and Tuna Clinic at Bayside Marine!

   Thanks to all who attended this event! We had a great time and we're pleasantly surprised by the turnout. The Second Annual Summer Salmon Seminar and Tuna Clinic at Bayside Marine doubled in size from the previous year with over 200 in attendance!

We started off with introductions and thanking our gracious hosts…

  And then it was SHOWTIME!!! I lead off with a brand new Skagit River chinook Powerpoint.

 

The crowd was well fed and watered by the Bayside Marine gang and we kept them in their seats by bribing them with tackle door prizes!!!

 

Robbo was up next and his Mooching Magic presentation left him absolutely mobbed at the end of his seminar.

 

Former Seahawk Robbie Tobeck had some younger fans attending..

 

Tobeck had the adult "fans" pinned to his Tuna Tech PowerPoint and brought a great selection of blue water gear as well!

 

Thanks again for attending and look for future OUTDOOR LINE SEMINARS coming to a location near you!…OR, you could just tune us in every Saturday and get the info without leaving the comfort of your radio!!!!

 

Brine Your Way to Salmon Success!

With saltwater salmon fishing firing up along the West Coast now is a good time to talk about herring brines.  Brining herring before fishing it helps to toughen it up and can produce a more vibrant and shiny herring that catch more fish.  If your herring is soft and mushy it will either fall off the hook on its own or the first whack from a fish will take it right off the hook.  If your bait is tough enough to take a few wallops from a salmon before it commits to the bait the odds of hooking that fish go up substantially.

John Posey from Lamiglas Rods hooked this 48 lb Chinook with me after it played with his bait for almost a minute.  Had the bait fallen off on the first smack from this fish I’m sure the result wouldn’t have been the same!

Here’s a simple brine that I use to brine between 12 and 20 cases of herring each and every summer in Southeast Alaska.  We burn thru a ton of bait in our Alaska charter operation and since we buy the highest quality bait possible all we need to do is toughen it up a bit before fishing it.  The herring will begin toughening up within about an hour of adding them to this brine and I usually cut up between 4 and 6 dozen baits first thing in the morning before we leave the dock and add them to this brine, adding more bait as the day goes on.  This solution is good for about ten to twelve dozen herring before a new solution will need to be mixed.  I keep a large plastic jar with a water tight screw-on lid full of Canning and Pickling salt, so that the salt stays dry and doesn’t clump from getting wet.

Simple Bait Brine:

One gallon sea water
-No oil slicks, scum, or pollutants
-Take clean sea water from outside the harbor
Two cups non iodized salt (canning and pickling salt)
-Rock salt works, but it doesn’t dissolve as fast as granulated salt
Add two tablespoons of garlic, anise, or Pautzke’s Liquid Krill if desired

This is a more advanced brine that works great for low quality baits that have been thawed and refrozen several times or for baits that are going to be trolled.  This brine will keep ten to twelve dozen herring cured for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Advanced Bait Brine:

2 ½ gallons of water
3 tablespoons Mrs Stewarts Liquid Bluing
4 cups non iodized salt (canning/pickling)
1 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons of pure anise or garlic
UV Liquid and/or Pautzke Liquid Krill

70% of the salmon that come back to Puget Sound are from hatchery origin.  The primary protein source in hatchery fish food, and in the ocean, is krill and many hatchery pellets also contain anise.  Something to think about when you’re targetting Puget Sound salmon or any salmon for that matter!

Rob Endsley

The “Opening Day” Effect

 

  I have been affected by opening day…

  I don’t care what kind of opener it is Brother, but I am there!!!

  River opener, shrimp opener, crab opener, Marine area opener, deer opener, elk opener, duck opener…

  Well, you get the picture…

   Sorry, I kinda went all “Bubba Gump shrimp” on you there for a moment…

   That’s part of my ODE (Opening Day Effect) disorder… You’ve heard of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)? It’s just like that but it’s brought on by looking at the fishing or hunting regs, or a look at a calendar that is open to a month containing a potential opening day.

   A couple of years ago I was in chinook “hog heaven” with a June one river opener that yielded a couple of hatchery Skagit springers…  

 

   

   And -The very next day, a June second Tulalip “bubble” opener that produced a dandy pair of chrome kings! 

!

 

Over the years the fishing seasons seem to follow loose patterns that once recognized, can lead the way to consistent success.


  First, get your butt out on opening day! Oh, really???
  Since the fish have not seen sport gear for a while and fish abundance is up, success comes a bit easier on the opener and often you can hook fish in new areas utilizing differing techniques and gear styles and colors.  The opportunity to experiment a bit when fish abundance is high and you can get immediate feedback on your efforts should not be overlooked. Often your “experimental” results will resonate success through-out the entire season and lead you to other technique innovations as well!

   By far the biggest aspect of opening day is the most obvious. It’s your first opportunity, first shot, first day on the water! Experience is always the best teacher and the earlier you can learn a new season’s “lessons” the better fisherman you will be! Never stop learning and good luck on your opener!!!

 

Launch Sequence Started!

The launch sequence started yesterday when I recieved a phone call from the Alaska Marine Highway in Prince Rupert, BC.  The second the gentleman said, "Hi Rob, this is John from the Alaska Marine Highway system" I knew they had cancelled my ferry from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan.  That ferry would have given me 48 more hours of Mexican food, Chinese food, Mariners, 710 ESPN Seattle, and time with my honey.          

The ferry game is tricky because there's only one sailing from Ketchikan to Prince of Wales Island at 3:30 p.m..  Miss that sailing and you get gouged by the overpriced hotels in Ketchikan and you're stuck twiddling your thumbs for an extra day in Ketch in a sea of tourists.  So, when I set up my journey to Alaska every year I catch an early ferry out of Rupert that arrives a couple hours before the island ferry takes off, getting it all done in one day.  Wham, bam, thank you maam! 

The end result is that I had to book an earlier ferry, two days earlier to be exact, from Rupert to Ketchikan that lands at exactly 3:30 p.m., the same time the other ferry leaves.  Sooo, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday trying to bribe the nice folks at the Interisland Ferry Authority to hold the boat just long enough so that I can slam the Charter Wagon on deck and head to Craig.  Miss the boat and I'm stuck with 10,000 cruise-shippers picking their way thru the sea of jewelry and gift shops that is downtown Ketchikan.  No thanks!    

Here's how the drive works:
Bellingham to Prince Rupert-961 Miles
Alaska Marine Highway, Prince Rupert to Ketchikan, 6 hours
Ketchikan to Prince of Wales Island, 3 hours
Hollis to Craig, 35 miles


Breaking the Chains!
Somewhere around Spences Bridge in BC is where the chains of the Lower 48 break and the mental pace slows considerably.  I can't tell you how many times I've looked down at my spedometer to find that I'm going 10 miles per hour "under" the speed limit.  Aside from a few whoop-dee-doos and potholes along the journey, it's fairly easy driving all the way thru BC. The scenery from Prince George to Prince Rupert is to die for and it's hard to keep the rig between the lines there's so much incredible scenery to look at.  The Swiss Alps have nothing on this place!

With all of the supplies going out next week on the barge and nothing to tow the drive should be fairly simple.  Knock on wood!  Shipping the Costco order north to Craig is so easy it's hardly worth the trouble and added weight of packing the rig to the gunwales with three months worth of food and beverages.      

For the next three months life is simple.  Fish, eat, sleep!   

Catching Bluefin in the NW? We’ll Find Out Soon!!

For quite a few years now we I have been hearing stories from all of my tuna buddies about the big bluefin they see on occasion busting the water.  I also hear the stories about guys getting spooled by something unseen and hear the speculation about what it could be.  Adding to all of that was Tred Barta visiting the Oregon Tuna Classic www.oregontunaclassic.com last year and giving the guys a little clinic  on how to target these big bluefin.  This really got my good friend Del Stephens who is the chair of the Oregon Tuna Classic and one of the pioneers of sportfishing for Albacore in the nw determined to find out once and for all if those fish are out there in big enough numbers to target.  Del has been on a mission this winter learning everything he can about fishing for bluefin and putting quite a bit of money into his quest.  He has attended seminars back east, invested who knows how much money in new tackle, and spent some time actually fishing for bluefin in North Carolina.  He recently asked me to go on a trip to Hatteras, North Carolina and fish with him but it was last minute and I couldn't go.  Not going turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my fishing career.  Below is Del's account of the trip when he returned. 

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When you think of places like the Outer Banks names like Oregon Inlet, Nags Head and Hatteras come to mind. From Portland Oregon there is no short way to get there either. The closest airport is Norfolk, VA and then a 3 hour drive down the coast line and onto the island traveling south through the little coastal communities that dot the outer banks.

I had researched a few charters and had wanted to go after giant blue fin tuna when out of the blue I received an email, that was forwarded to me, from a charter skipper who had fished one of my friends on a previous trip and he was sending him a note to say “they were in.”

The first morning I arrived at the Hatteras Village Marina at 6:15 am road weary and blood shot eyes from dealing with the time change since it was only 3:15 am Oregon time. A brief introduction to Captain Dan Rooks and his first mate Mike Edwards and we cast the lines and eased out of the slip in the morning darkness.  It wasn’t long before we dropped lines in the water and started trolling. A few skirted ballyhoos on the long riggers and a couple lines down the middle to fill the spread. It was a nice day on the ocean and we could hear the radio chatter of other charters working the area, all in search of these big fish. After an hour of trolling with no luck we picked up the lines and ran another 10 miles to where a bite was  reported. We dropped our lines in and within 10 minutes I had my first blue fin tuna on the hook and was doing battle. I quickly realized I had way too many clothes on and was over heating bad, I was plenty warm for a boat ride but too well dressed for this workout.

The first day produced constant action once we got into them about 10:00am and by 2:00 pm I was ready to call it a day. I yelled up to the bridge and told Captain Dan I could handle one more and then I’d be done for the day. A few minutes later he obliged and we had number 8 on the hook. The tally now was 8 fish landed, 7 tagged and released with a nice 125 pounder in the box to take home. What a first day, landing fish ranging from 125-170lbs and doing it in 10-15 minutes each time.  My muscles were tired, my whole body was exhausted and felt like a noodle. I had three days of fishing with these guys and if this was any indication of how things were going to be I was in for the time of my life.

Day two I was groggy but chipper as I said good morning to the guys and climbed aboard for another day.  We started trolling where we left off the day before and after an hour with no action I was nodding off sitting on the ice box against the bulkhead. The seas were forecasted to be rough in the afternoon and we had a three foot wind chop with occasional white caps. I was lacking sleep and still tired from the day before but sleep would have to wait. At 10:30am I moved into the salon to have a snack and my thoughts wandered back to the day before. Another hour of trolling, looking for more blue fin tuna, and it was time for a sandwich. I had just taken my first bite when the sound of singing reels told me we had found the fish.  I made a dash for the fighting chair for our first hookup of the day, a triple, and my thoughts were now focused on the task at hand. What a way to start the day. The first fish was barely 100 pounds but the skipper ask if I would keep it and donate it to the community, so it went in the box. Now it was on to number two and the either the activities of the day before were taking their toll or this was a much larger fish. The second fish was kicking my tail, my muscles were screaming and my whole body ached as this battle was an endurance test of strength and will. This fight took longer but after what seemed like an eternity we were able to tag and release a tuna well over 250 pounds. It was now onto number three and by now I was hot and overheating bad. Mike took my hat off, threw it into the salon, and after a short battle was surprised when the fish came to the boat in just a few minutes. A nice fish in the mid 150’s but considerably smaller than number two. Mike tagged and released the third fish as I stood up out of the fighting chair on wobbly legs.

 A few high fives and I turned around making my way to the salon to shed some clothes and cool off. I downed a bottle of water and set on the bench in the salon with my legs and arms just hanging limp trying to let them recuperate.  A brief five minute rest and the sound of singing clickers brought me back to the fighting chair. This time, a double, and I set out to cranking them in slow and steady…pump, lift and reel…pump, lift and reel. By now my muscles were loosening up and the fish were coming in easier. I was starting to focus more on technique and now that my muscles were warmed up it didn’t seem so awkward. The first fish came in, was tagged then released and Mike handed me the second rod. I caught a glimpse of other fish darting back and forth past the back of the boat. It was incredible, they were swarming all around us and it reminded me of a live bait bite with albacore.  I was working the fish, slow and steady, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a ballyhoo sailing past me out over the back of the boat. Suddenly six feet of fish came clear out of the water just ten feet behind the boat and inhaled the bait. What a sight, another 150 pounder on the hook and now fish number three was waiting for me. I was now in a groove and focusing on my technique and was now bringing these brutes to the boat in less than 10 minutes. Another fish tagged, released, and I was on to number three and a moment later another ballyhoo went sailing past me out the back of the boat. The bait landed and was in the water less than 10 seconds when there was a huge boil from fish crashing the bait, all competing for food, and now number four was on the hook and waiting for me. What started out as a double had now turned into a four fish hookup.

Finally number seven had been tagged and released and I stood up out of the fighting chair and told Captain Dan we needed to break yesterdays eight fish total. He said no problem and I headed to the salon for more water and a rest. We didn’t even have all the gear out again and we were hooked up again. I took the rod and after a short fight number eight was now tagged and released. We had established a routine now and things were getting easier. The fish were coming in within a few minutes tagged and being released. I had just enough time to have a snack, sip of water and soon the sound of the singing clicker indicated number nine was on the hook. I dashed out of the salon and took up the position in the chair to do battle with our last fish but the skipper couldn’t resist seeing all the fish swarming behind the boat and pitched another ballyhoo out the back hooking another fish.  I guess it would be a ten fish day.

In no time I had them up to the boat, one at a time, and Mike tagged and released them.
It was only 1:30pm and I couldn’t believe we had landed ten fish in just two hours. There was no way we would’ve achieved this if it had not been for Mike’s coaching me while I focused on my technique battling these magnificent fish. If you’d told me I could land ten fish between 100 and 250 pounds all in  a manner of two hours, I’d of said “no way” but that’s what just happened. I felt a sense of satisfaction and a definite feeling of accomplishment and couldn’t wait to tell my buddies back home. The skipper and his mate had really put on a show and with some coaching this angler had experienced way more than I had ever dreamed possible.

The wind had been forecast to build in the afternoon so it was a good time to be headed in for the day. I finished the rest of my sandwich and lay down on the bench as we started the long run back in. We were 55 miles out, 15 miles farther than the day before and now had a sporty sea. Fortunately it was a following sea and should make for a smooth trip.
The next morning I was at the boat with a smile and Captain Dan took me up to the little café at the marina store for a cup of coffee. He mentioned we were not in a big hurry since we were only going to be running a short distance to the where we’d be fishing today. We pulled out of the slip as the sun was breaking over the horizon. It was a beautiful sight shinning against the low cloud cover.
We rigged a diver rod for Wahoo, a few close lines for yellow fin and had a couple lines out for blue fin tuna. The morning eek by slowly with no action but around noon we picked up a couple small yellow fin tuna and a black fin tuna that went in the box. We were trolling over sunken wrecks and some under water structures and after a few passes over the same wreck the skipper noticed fish below about 150 feet down. He ask if I knew how to use a butterfly jig and after a nod of acknowledgement he said if I wanted to give it a try he’d stop the boat over the wreck and I could try my luck. He asks if I was very good with the butterfly jig and I told him I was pretty decent at it. He said to take my pick of the jig rods in the salon since they had been left by another fisherman and they didn’t really know much about them or how to use them and maybe they could learn something.
The boat came to a stop and I counted to 150 as the jig was dropping and when I thought I had it where it should be I flip the bail and started the erratic jig retrieve pump and reel action used for bringing up the jig. It only took about three pumps of the rod and I was hooked up and the skipper laughed and commented that he figured I knew what I was doing. Mike put a fighting belt on me and after a brief battle I landed a nice 20 pound amberjack that went in the box. I showed them the technique again and explained the action used with the jig.
By 3:00pm we had a nice box full of black fin and yellow fin tuna to go with the amberjack. We pulled the gear and headed for the harbor. No blue fin tuna today but still a great day on the water.
Once back in the slip I stayed and visited with Captain Dan and Mike covering more details of the techniques and gear used over the last couple days.
It was a fabulous trip and turned out to be way more than I had expected. We had hit the Blue Fin Tuna at an opportune time the first couple days and these guys really put on a show. I came out to learn more about this fishery and they were very willing to share some of their successful techniques and now I had many pages of notes and couldn’t wait to get back to Oregon to give them a try once the summer water temps warmed and the tuna were within reach.
I told them I’d be back and look forward to getting out there again sometime this winter or next spring, whenever the blue fin tuna show up again.

     
       

 

Lose Less Gear, Catch More Bottomfish!

It’s no secret that bottomfish associate with structure on the ocean floor.  When dropping gear onto submerged structure like pinnacles, rock piles, and elevated plateaus it’s easy to spend more time tying on new gear than working productive water and actually catching fish.  I ran into a gentleman in the tackle shop the other day that was loading up on jigs and various other bottomfish gear.  When I asked him how the fishing had been he replied, “The fishing is great, but that catching has been darned poor.  We spend more time re-tying than we do fishing.”  Aha…help is on the way brother!

Here’s a couple of pointers to lose less gear and put more fish in the boat the next time you find yourself on the bottomfish grounds.  First and foremost, always try to find the top of the pinnacle and mark it on the gps, as this will always be the starting point and where to begin dropping gear.  Ling cod, rock fish, sea bass, yelloweye, halibut, and various other bottomfish will usually hold on the lee, or downstream side of submerged structure.  This conserves energy and gives them the advantage of ambushing prey as it washes past the pinnacle.  Working jigs and bait down the back side of submerged structure and thru this zone draws strikes and keeps the gear in the feeding zone.  If a drift is made without a strike it’s easy to reel in, return back to the top of the pinnacle, and make another drift, perhaps moving over slightly on the pinnacle to cover some new ground.

By dropping the gear on the front side of submerged structure, however, it’s far too easy to overrun the pinnacle and snag all the gear on the face of the rocks, losing valuable time and even more valuable gear.  Even if the drift of the boat is checked by back trolling into the current the odds of snagging up in this scenario are pretty predictable.  Spend more time in the fishy zone on the downtream side of rocky structure and you’ll put more fish in the boat, more fillets on the table, and keep those hard-earned dollars in your wallet.

 

Tiger Muskies, Tobeck, Tarps and Trees

  

   My first experience with the pike family was in a backwater of Alaska’s Lake Illiamna. I was a UW fisheries student assisting with an ongoing sockeye salmon research project. On a free afternoon, some compadres and I absconded with a research boat and went exploring. What we found was a seemingly endless maze of islands and inlets each holding a mix of rainbows, arctic char and red salmon. 

   Eventually we found a structure-filled bay without any of these willing biters. It was then we looked closer and saw these elongate creatures lurking around the structure…

  NORTHERN PIKE! We scrambled for the steel leaders and snapped on the biggest spoons and plugs we could find! I lobbed a Magnum Tadpolly beyond the stumps and cranked it past the hovering predators. No longer hovering, the pike switched to full attack mode! “Ike” the pike grabbed the Mag and just kept on going, headed for a root ball. I hit the binders, he came straight out of the water and then…. Fought like a beach towel the rest of the way in… After a summer of catching salmon one after another, the pikes pugilistic prowess was well, a bit underwhelming and my chronic case of “salmon snobbery” continued unabated.

   Cut to May 2009 and my first outing on Lake Tapps with Todd Reis of the Cascade Muskie Association and one Robert Lee Tobeck, co-host of the Outdoor Line. Todd is a certifiable muskie maniac and would be our guide for the day. Little did I know how much guiding he would have to do…

For the real estate agent, Lake Tapps is a dream with lake-front property interspersed with natural areas.

For the bass and Tiger Muskie man, structure fishing is the name of the game and precision casting is the key to unlocking the structure.

For Todd Reis, a pair of needle-nose pliers and a boat load of patience would be required to get through this day…

 Our first pass of the day involved working the docks along the waterfront homes adjacent to the north end ramp. Tobeck, ever the competitor, worked to get his gear closest to the cover. Unfortunately, Robbie’s over-achieving characteristics manifested themselves in his casting.

 He “overachieved” into this beach umbrella…

 

    And, into this bush…

 

 

 Tobeck "tossing" tirade would also find a stump…

 

   And an innocent log that was just sitting there minding it’s own business! 

 

   Now, I could understand being a bit rusty after a winter of downrigger fishing but when Tobeck referred to this intersection as “fishy looking”…I started to scratch my head a bit.

 

 

Fortunately, Todd Reis patience would be rewarded as we boated a 46” specimen that turned out to be the largest of the season to date.

 

It had been a long time since my first pike and this Tiger Muskie brought back some great memories and provided me with an experience I’ll never forget. If this trip was any indication of my future fishing exploits with Tobeck, I think I’ll ask to borrow one of his old helmets. If he reads this blog…I’ll need pads too!

 

 

Lake Washington Full of Bass, Crawfish, and Seahawks


     Lake Washington was full of activity this weekend.  We had the NW Bass Lake Washington Open,  the Seahawks CAST for KIDS event, and the Tobeck boys hunting down some of the biggest crawfish on the planet.
 
      It was a record turnout for the NW Bass Qualifier this weekend!  With 92 boats entered  you knew the competition was going to be stiff.  Andrew Gemmill came away with first place by a slim margin weighing in 22.48 lbs. while second place finisher, Paul Hall, weighed in 22.38 lbs. Sixth place finisher Steve Lebsack weighed in the days biggest fish at 5.66 lbs.  The consensus on the lake this weekend is that it's about 2 weeks behind normal and should be on fire real soon with the warm weather that's in the forcast.

   Mason and Madden took advantage of the warm weather to break out the kayaks for the first time this spring to target some of the biggest crawfish in the world.  The crawfish were big but they didn't come in the numbers that we wanted to see.  We tried to experiment with some new bait which didn't produce for us.  Mason felt we needed to get back to using shad while Madden felt we shold have been deeper.  This is one of my favorite fisheries as I sit on the shore and watch the boys get a workout paddling their kayaks as I puff on a premium cigar.

  
     

Mason and Madden displaying their catch.

      The Seahawks have been teaming up with CAST for KIDS for the past three years to put on fishing events for kids that may never have had an opportunity to fish or will never have the opportunity to fish again.  This year the kids were joined by Matt Hasselbeck and Patrick Kerney who have both been guests on The Outdoor Line.  Matt caught a 4 1/2 lb smallie and we are still waiting on a report from Kerney.  The smiles from the kids at this event always leaves me with such a great impression of how much fun we all have when we catch a fish. One thing that we try to do on the show is tell people to take a kid fishing and the CAST organization is always doing just that.  If you want to volunteer go to www.castforkids.org and thanks to the Seahawks for helping promote our sport. 
     

Patrick Kerney getting ready to head out.

 

Matt Hasselbeck getting a quick lesson from bass pro Clay Dyer.  www.teamdyer.com

Outdoor Line Halibut Quest, “Victory at Sea!”

A big thanks to the Outdoor Line listeners that joined us in Westport on May 12th for the 2009 Halibut Quest aboard the "Rampage". The day started with 25 to 30 knot winds, a max ebb bar crossing with the Rampage taking greeners, and a 3 hour run to the grounds in a serious ocean lump. The men and women that joined us yesterday gutted it out (literally), fishing in 700 to 800 feet of water to limit out the boat on halibut from 15 to 65 pounds.

A bunch of the Piscatorial Pursuits salty dawgs were on the Hula Girl and can attest to the morning bar crossing. All I can say was that it was "interesting"! The ocean was also lumped up good and it took us 3 plus hours to beat our way to the grounds. While we did have some folks get sick on our boat everyone, and I mean everyone, worked their butt's off to limit out the boat.

Canyon Man battled thru a morning blow out session to bag this 40 plus pound halibut, taking home a new Lamiglas halibut rod, a Daiwa Sealine halibut reel donated by Outdoor Emporium, a $100 4 Wheel Parts gift card, and a Grunden's Windjammer jacket.

Our own Nelly bagged the biggest butt with this 62 pounder, but since we were sponsoring the derby he didn't get jack and we're going to feed him a bunch of crap on the radio Saturday for not buying his derby ticket!

If you hold it waaaaaaaay out in front of you it makes it look bigger! Robbie Tobeck with a 100 pound halibut

This is one tough hombre! Gabe from Outdoor Emporium battled sea sickness all morning but never left the rail.

Dropping to 800 feet can make for some interesting tangles. Steve and Lance, the deck hands aboard the Rampage, never stopped baiting hooks or helping our listeners keep their gear in the water.

Steve loads the box after sorting all the halibut on deck.


In addition to our listeners we also have to thank the Islander Resort, Outdoor Emporium, 4 Wheel Parts, Grundens, Mustad Hooks, and Berkley Fishing for helping make this trip extra special. Everyone on the trip walked away with schwag from these fine companies and we look forward to seeing you all on future Outdoor Line adventures! Thank you!