Well, the plan this week was to go halibut and lingcod fishing on Wednesday and Thursday. On the weekend, it looked like the weather was going to be bad, so we started to prep for fly fishing in Eastern Washington instead. However, on Monday, the wind forecast improved, so we decided to hit the Halibut and Lingcod after all.
On Wednesday morning, we stopped by John’s Sporting Goods to get some pointers on where and how to catch halibut. He talked us out of going to Hein Bank, and told us to go to Partridge Bank instead. After dropping $100 on gear that we probably didn’t need, we continued our way up to Anacortes.
Halibut is only open Thursdays-Saturdays, so we decided to hit the lingcod on Wednesday afternoon. Did I mention it rained on Wednesday? It pretty much rained nonstop, the entire time we were out there. Fishing was good though, and we had our limits in about an hour. Threw back several that were too small, and one monster (38”) that was too big (there is a 36” maximum size limit for lingcod, all of the really big ones are females).
Thursday came and it was time to chase after halibut. There was a slight breeze in the morning, but we cruised out to Partridge Bank at normal cruising speed for the Arima. We got our lines down for the first pass and things were looking good. As we moved around for our second drift through the area, the wind started to pick up, to the point that we were having issues keeping our bait on the bottom. Then the seas started to pick up, so after about the fourth pass, we decided to head to the islands to see if we could get a better drift while going after lingcod again. So, no halibut for us.
The ride back up to the islands was a little bumpy. We decided to pull into McArdle Bay to get out of the seas and relax for a bit while we changed from halibut gear over to lingcod gear. Then, it was off to the secret lingcod spot. Well, it was just as windy there as it was out halibut fishing. In order to keep the line down, I backed the boat into the wind while my Dad fished. We nailed one right away using this technique (see video here).
We tried a few more passes through the secret spot, but it was tough fishing and we were worn out from getting banged around all morning. We then had a bit of a rough ride back to port. Overall it was a great trip – three lings in two days, plus threw back an oversized one. Better than a good day of trout fishing!
Video that my Dad took: