Marine Area 8-2: Home Water 3
The first place I ever used a downrigger was here in Possession Sound.
Having grown up in this area, I've spent more than my fair share of time fishing these waters. Although portions of 8-2 are open during the summer, most notably the Tulalip "bubble" fishery outside of Tulalip Bay, the longest opportunity we have is our winter chinook season November 1 through April 30 and that's our focus here.
You've heard this advice so often that you're probably tired of listening to it but nowhere is it more important to find the bait to locate the blackmouth.
Fortunately, The largest boat launch facility in Washington State, the Port of Everett's 10th Street ramp is located right in the heart of Area 8-2 so you will not have far to run. In fact, one of the best locations, south Gedney ( known as "Hat Island" in the local parlance) is literally minutes outside the harbor!
Less than three miles from the Everett Harbor Jetty lies Hat Island and no matter where the wind is coming from you can always find a place to hide. The funny thing is, Hat is so close to the harbor that is often overlooked by local anglers! You can't really blame the guys… Heck, as soon your boat gets on plane leaving Everett, Hat Island goes by before you have a chance to think about fishing it! That's a shame because the sandy flat around the south end is something of a "mini Possession Bar", holding herring, shrimp and even the occasional candlefish hatch! Follow the edge of the sand bar outlined on the map and don't be shy about contacting the bottom with your downrigger balls!
To the north of Hat Island lies the "Racetrack" or underwater ridge that extends from Hat Island to Camano Head. Often you'll find bait all along the ridge and the area immediately around Camano is some of my favorite water in this area.
Due east of Camano head, Tulalip Bay is a large eel grass flat that amounts to a big bait factory. Herring must have a protected area that supports underwater vegetation in order to spawn successfully and Tulalip Bay fits that description very nicely. "T-Bay" remains an enigma, winter or summer but on the days that you just cannot find bait anywhere… You'll find it here and don't be surprised if you find a springer or two here come March and April!
Speaking of springers, that's the only way I could describe this March monster my wife Kathy caught at Tulalip Bay a few years ago. To this day, it's still the biggest blackmouth..or springer we've ever caught!
When wet weather approaches, the prevailing southerlies can severely reduce the water that we can comfortably and safely fish. On those days, I often head for Langley on Whidbey Island. Starting at Sandy Point, you are in fairly protected water that can be fairly productive as well!
Mabana is something of a non-descript bump on Camano Island that is often bypassed by anglers heading for Elger Bay or Baby Island. If you're looking for an out-of-the -way spot to keep in your bait and blackmouth search pattern, Mabana is it! It's almost always worth one pass and if it's holding herring it may produce a fish or two for you as well!