Sports

Fish, Fur, Fowl: Shrimpers need to hustle

If you have been dragging your feet about getting out and giving shrimping a try, now is the time. There are rumors the season might close soon in Area 7.

Sports anglers quickly caught their quota for Marine Area 9 and it closed shortly after the season opened.

On two separate trips this past weekend, we managed to pull two and a half limits in one pull on four pots. Now I admit we let them soak for almost four hours on Friday while we were ling cod fishing.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s weather was bad. My son and I fought waves for an hour before getting out to Iceberg Point on Lopez Island only to find the water was not what I considered good to set our pots. Instead, we sought out calmer water and did some fishing.

I did not shrimp the water off of Biz Point this week but after talking to a few people, the shrimp are still there. Give it a shot.

It is open Wednesday though Saturday so you have to plan your trips as many of us work during the time it is open.

Lings still seem to be the talk around the salt right now. On my first two trips this weekend we managed to find our limits and I learned a new technique courtesy of a great angler, D.J. Stevenson.

D.J. has been talking about using swim baits in what most would consider very shallow water and having some good success, so school was in session for me when we went out last Thursday.

I was very eager to learn the new technique and I was amazed how effective it is.

Target the same type of rocky bottom structure that you would normally send bait or jigs down to, but instead of the water being 100 feet or more in depth, you can look for water from 20 to 40 feet.

Yes, that is not a typo, it

works. Just cast your swim bait out there and let the current work for you.

This technique works well for

other species and I am sure if you downsized the lures a bit, you could probably catch greenling as well. I used swim baits in either five or six-inch size in white, yellow, orange and trout colors.

Halibut continue to provide some action to anglers. Hein seems to be the top producer right now and horse herring are the bait of choice. Be sure to look for small tidal changes to give you the most time to fish.

I haven’t gotten out there after halibut in a while but next time, I think I am going to take my

downrigger with me so I can try bouncing a herring off the bottom.

Last but not least, the local lakes are starting to cool off so you are going to have to work harder for your limits.

Talking with some of the anglers who are still trying their luck on the lakes, they said power baits in almost every color have been the most effective lures.

One last note, the WDFW will be mailing out the new Dungeness crab catch cards to those who purchased their license early for the upcoming crab season that is set to open July 4.

Until next time, be safe and courteous on the water and I will see you out there.

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