Sometimes you gotta struggle...

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by doublebluff, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. I was at my folks house this weekend, and I was watching the Sound out the window. I noticed a group of Bonaparte gulls (I think) being very active right next to shore. I strolled down to see what was going on. The wind was blowing offshore pretty good. A cold afternoon, an outgoing tide, a lot of beach, with those little saltwater rivulets draining the low spots in the beach. The gulls were flying into the wind and looking to the water, then occasionally diving down and flying just above the surface. We're talking 6-8 inches of water, mostly. Finally, a head plunge. Sometimes this led to a beakfull of very skinny fish, about 2-3 inches in length. A few swallows and it was gone. Fish-feed or failure, they got their ass off the water and back in the game.

    All the feeding happened while flying into the wind. Trips downwind were just to get positioned again. Sitting on the surface was just wasted time.

    They knew that when it's "go-time", success often involves a lot of struggle. The coasting downwind is fun and easy, but it doesn't really get you anything except ready for the next go round.

    Anybody know what the fish likely were? I walked around to try and get a good look at them in the water but never saw a single one.

  2. More than likely the small fish along the shoreline were chum fry as they are a lot of them in shallow water right now. They have been ranging from 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches long. In another 2 to 3 weeks or so sand lance fry(1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches) should be showing up along shorelines.

    You are probably right that they were Bonoparte gulls. They are pretty much all white with a distinctive black head. They are smaller and more delicate looking than common gulls.

  3. Pretty sure about the gulls, black head and all. The fry sure were skinny and long. It was the west side of Whidbey- I woundn't have thought those teeny things would get that far until they got bigger. Going with the flow, I guess...
  4. Well, I saw some pretty good schools of at least 1 1/2 to 2 inch sandlance (or "candlefish, if you will) on Marrowstone Island (specifically Mystery Bay) on Easter Sunday so perhaps that was what doublebluff observed. The baby chums I saw at the time in this area were smaller.

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