Westport jetty

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by SwingerWhy, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Does anyone have any tips for fishing for seabass, lingcod, and cabezon off the Westport jetty? Rod weight, line, and flies. Any info would be great.
  2. look for jetty fly fishing discussion the saltwater forum from last august

    Jetty FlyFishing?

    Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by phil217, Aug 17, 2012.
  3. Great info thanks
  4. It wasn't Westport but I jetty fished for the first time this past weekend. I used a 9ft 9wt, a 30 ft SA Type IV shooting head with an intermediate Airflo Ridge running line. I caught a few black rock bass on a white clouser type thing and 24 inch lingcod on a white rabbit strip leach. The ling was a remarkably hard fighter, I might be addicted.
  5. Every time I go out there the wind is blowing how do you guys time your fishing?
  6. Just try to hit it on light wind days.;) Mornings usually have the lightest wind in the Spring and Summer. If the tide change is late morning or early afternoon, the wind velocity often increases right after the tide change. Onshore winds usually pick up by mid afternoon. If a mild low is moving onshore and the wind is from the S or SW, the wind will be at your back if you are fishing on the N side of the jetty. Sometimes you can find fish on the S side of the jetty when the wind is blowing from the N.
    I recommend paying close attention to the local wind forecast, and checking the "spot forecast" for the area, paying attention to times of any increases in wind velocity or direction that are in the near-term forecast. Those "spot forecasts" lose their accuracy after two or three days out, but are usually pretty accurate for the coming 48 hours. I check it first thing in the mornings, and before I retire at night. I always take note if the actual wind varies much from the forecasts. Sometimes the forecast is just plain wrong, but not very often.
    Check the Langley Hill Doppler radar for coastal and offshore weather heading in.

    Sometimes the wind will back off late, when the inland land mass begins to cool. Other times, for reasons unfathomable to me, it just defies the forecast and goes nearly calm right in the middle of the afternoon.

    Although some folks will fish out on the jetty during any phase of the tide, because that's when they can go fishing, I never like to fish there during the max ebb. Some folks just hike out there first thing early in the morning, to secure a preferred spot.
    After the max ebb current backs off, you can hit it before the low tide change and fish thru the change, and then the incoming all the way thru the high tide change, if you like.
    I usually cast and retrieve jigs with spinning gear. Bait or flies are effective, too. I prefer to paddle out along the jetty and fish it from my SOT kayak, but I'll hike out and fish from the rocks at times. In the past few years, the place has become popular, and I usually find all my favorite rocks already occupied. So I just wait for my preferred yak-fishing conditions to happen, then I go. I rarely launch when the surface and wind conditions will make things difficult for me.
    I was getting set up with a shooting head on my 8 wt, but after I developed "tennis elbow" in my casting arm (R), I have mothballed any gear bigger than a med 5 wt. Prefer to go after trout with my 3 wts, until the arm is back 100%.
    I can jig left-handed with my level winds and not stress out the bad arm. I can swap handles on the spin reels over to the R side and same deal. Getting ambidextrous, slowly.
  7. The Lings hang out on the bottom, but may follow anything that looks like food all the way to the top. You can hardly go too big, fly or lure-wise, for these baddies. 6" or bigger will do. You can hardly go wrong with white, and maybe some flash.
    Black Rockfish hang out in schools and can be at any level in the water column. They will hit a 6" Clouser, but I might try to notice the size of any baitfish or anchovies that are present, and select for the upper-end size of those. Chartreuse or white are worth a try.
    Cabezon like to eat crabs and squid, and hang out near the bottom or right in the Jetty rocks, as do Rock Greenling. There are also Kelp Greenling out there, as well as Striped Sea Perch, sometimes Red Tail Surf Perch on the inner end (I got a Walleye Perch out there last year), big sculpins, the rare Wolf Eel (only heard of 'em, never seen or hooked one).
    I went out to Westhaven yesterday at sunset and observed a river otter (looked like a big male) fishing around the wave-refraction mound at the inner tip of the jetty, then I nearly stumbled over a fat porcupine as I walked along the trail toward the ocean side of the berm. It bailed into the jetty rocks. I saw one out there 2 years ago. The wind was brutal. I was the only one in the park while I was there.
    Jeff Peacock and Bob Triggs like this.
  8. I think that if you hooked a big Ling on a fly when fishing from the rocks, you'd want to be using something heavier than a mere 8 wt. 10 wt might be about right for Lings. An 8 wt is fine for Black Rockfish (a 6 wt probably wouldn't be too light for the average fish). 8 wt would be fine for Lings from a boat, since you are pulling them away from the rocks, so they can't hole up so easily.
    Minimum rod length 9'. I don't "spey" but a 14' Spey rod might be ideal for Lings, if you are fishing from the jetty rocks. You'd have a better chance of landing a big one, since they will almost always try to hole up in the rocks. You have a better chance of landing one if you stand close to the water or on a high rock and hold your rod as high as you can and with drag set as tight as your gear will stand and give it absolutely no quarter. NONE, period! None at all. Never let up! It will take line, anyway. Try to pull it up, as you have the disadvantage of the rock slope being parallel to your retrieve, and you are fighting the fish up along this slope, just above the rocks. Its just too easy for 'em to dive in and wedge themselves in. So a long, heavy rod, heavy leader, pulling straight up, will help.
    A Ling will make a powerful second run after your first get it to to near the surface. Then it will try for a third, but it will be noticeably weaker on that third attempt to get back down, and now that you have kept it out of the rocks, you should have a long-handled salmon net to land it. This can be a challenge, too. (I just use a plastic lip-gripper when fishing from my yak).
    Use straight 30# (or more) Maxima as a leader/bite-tippet. You could use 1/4" rope, as they aren't shy.
    More often than not, a big Ling will dive into the rocks and hole up, and maybe fray you off.
    I was feeling that the spinnig gear that I normally use for salmon (including Kings in the rivers) was much too light for landing Lings from the Jetty.
    I was going to buy some heavier gear just for the Lings, but my bad arm saved me from that!
  9. At low tide, it might be easier to get down to the LIngs, but the jetty rocks are now a steep jumble that is over 20' high right behind you, so watch your back cast. Two-handed rod and spey casting is sounding better and better. I think its a good application out there.
  10. My experience is limited to precisely 1 fish but that one relatively small ling already has me considering getting a heavier rod for this sort of fishing.
  11. For sure, they are powerful beasts, but once they realized that they are hooked, they give it their all and burn out relatively quickly. After the third run, they come up and make ever-shorter dashes and finally wallow on the surface.
  12. I just checked the hourly point forecast...hmmmm....not looking good today or tomorrow....
    Maybe later;)
  13. If your serious about catching lings on the fly get a 12wt and use a minimum of 50lb test leader. And like Jim said as soon as you hook them turn their head and keep them coming or they will get you down in the rocks and its game over. Even with 50lb and a 12wt a 15 pound plus ling is going to do what they want and if happens to be an unusually tough one it will break your gear, ( leader and or rod ) in a second.
  14. What type of line do you think for a 14' 9wt i bought it xhavent used it and would rather blow it up rather than my winston singles. Thanks everyone great info guy's
  15. I've never fished for lings so by rights shouldn't comment but I wonder re the spey set up; better for casting for sure in a tight spot but the longer the rod, the poorer the leverage on a fish so you may get it handed to you big style if the intial surges are really powerful. Perhaps a heavy switch rod could be the best of both worlds. It would also suck to have a good spey rod torn to bits. That said there's lots of 11-12 wts in the spey rod world that can be bought pretty cheap as there's little demand, see if you can find a 12-12.5' 'shorty'. Spey rods line wts I think too are a bit different from single handers by > a wt or 2 but folks with more smarts than I have can pitch in here.

    Take a look at the steelhead forum re looking at line grains rather than manufacturers line wts to match a rod and you'll be in a good place. With a heavy skagit set up you'd certainly be able to huck a very big heavy fugly a good way with a serious sink tip for bigger depths. Figure out the grains and you could buy some cheapo used bellies and heads as I'll bet you'll lose the odd one in the rocks. Skagit running lines are typically 20-30 lb so you'd need a lighter leader if you're rocked, or use a heavier mono shooting/running line, again spey/steelie pages are full of this good info. I'd consider a slightly longer leader this so your main line doesn't get trapped; steelheaders often only use a 2-4 ft leader with lobbing the fuglies on T14 but if a fish shot 6' into the rocks your tip/main line could get trapped and you may get screwed getting your line back.


  16. This can't be overstated. In my (non-fly) ling experience if their head so much as nears the water surface they have a tendency to spit the hook no matter how long they've been hooked/you've been fighting them. I think often they aren't hooked they are just clamped down reaaaaaally f'in tight on your gear so get a net under them as soon as you can if you intend to turn 'em into fish and chips.
  17. Dave, I recovered a very frayed section of blue running line from the jetty rocks on a minus tide once.
    If I do any fly fishing along the jetty, it will be from my kayak or a boat.

    bigdood, you are right about them just clamping down and holding on without being hooked. When I'm fishing jigs, I set the hook extra hard once I feel one on my line so that I make certain the jig is turned around and I get the hook buried. Usually, that sends 'em off to the races.
    Quite often you will feel one take your lure and clamp down on it, and if you don't set the hook hard it might not realize anythings up yet and it easily can be pumped up like dead weight until it sees the surface. Pull its head above the surface and it lets go. If its hooked and feels it, or if it comes all the way up to the top, it will bolt back down toward the bottom and its game on.
  18. Here's your one and only freebie. For fishing the Jetty on the N (Harbor) side, my call is for Saturday all day, and for Sunday afternoon, from the low tide change on. Wednesday's wind forecast is looking OK, too. Not sure how any surf will be affecting things. Water is still on the cool side, but I saw some successful anglers hiking in last weekend. Ling bite appeared that it was poor (anglers I saw didn't have any! That doesn't mean that none were caught, though...I wasn't there that long), but my stringer observations indicated that some black rockfish and greenlings were biting. It looked sort of crowded out there in spite of the gnarly conditions.

    I checked the surf forecast, and it looks favorable for fishing. A diminishing NW swell should be around 5' on Sat, and the swell direction is supposed to swing around and be from the SW, at only 4' on Sunday.
    So I would say that Sunday afternoon, once the wind swings from E to S and drops to "light & variable," will have the mellower conditions for fly fishing there, over the next few days. That about coincides with the low tide change and incoming tide.

    If you see a yak angler out there in a "mango" Tarpon 140 and there's a big fin closing in from behind, please shout me a hedz up!:eek: Please! If I make it in, I'll buy ya a beer.
  19. Didn't want to hassle launching the yak and jig for Lings with my bad arm, but the conditions were so nice and user friendly yesterday, that I finally caved in and went fishing in the evening. I walked out on the jetty to my "secret spot right out in the open," and worked on wiring in L-handed rod handling and R-handed reel cranking.
    Made several casts with an extra-large "glow" grub on a 1 1/2 oz head, but got no love, and eventually lost that to the bottom.
    It was after 7pm and I must have been impatient, because I tied a 5" swimbait directly to my 12# mono, instead of tying in a 12" 30# bite tippet. Wouldn't ya know it? I hooked a nice Ling in just a few casts. It made a good run, didn't hole up, but on its second run, it just busted me off... Line was cut clean on the end. I shoulda known better. :( My bad.

    Nice overcast conditions right now, but its looking like rain by this afternoon or evening.
  20. Since the moon is coming into Full, and its rising in the evening, I have been waiting until after the late afternoon low tide change before heading down to the Jetty after 6pm to try for a Ling, casting jigs and swim baits from the rocks. So far my strategy has worked the last two evenings, to get a Ling on the end of my line each time.
    Yesterday, I made sure to tie in a good 15" section of 30# Maxima for a bite tippet. I was casting a 6" holographic swim-bait, and after a few casts, I felt a tentative take. Missed it. Lost my swim-bait trying to finesse it just over the top of the rocks, but that's the name of the game. I tied on another one and kept working it as close to the bottom as I could, often letting my line go slack for a brief moment before lifting it off the bottom again. I was working close to a small submerged rockpile that I found last year with my sonar. Seems to be a spot Lings like to hang out near. Its not much, and is easy to miss when reading the sonar, since it is so small. Its a jig-eater, though, so you have to know where to place your cast. This isn't just blind casting. Its a small holding zone that I found.

    Well, at around 7pm I felt another tentative grab, and then let my lure sink. Fish on! Felt like a pretty good sized Ling coming up like dead weight, since it wasn't ware it was hooked yet. suddenly, it took off, ripping a bunch of line from my reel as it headed back down over the ledge and made it into a hidey hole in the rocks. Dang! I felt it pull in further and I could almost feel my line getting drawn down into a crack between two rocks.
    I slacked my line to remove the pressure, and then suddenly the Ling decided to take off and head out deeper, ripping more line from my reel. Suddenly, my line parted:( .
    When I reeled in the empty line, a good 18" of it was badly frayed where the Ling pulled it over the rocks.

    This fish was hooked in exactly the same locale as the one the night before. It might be the same fish. If so, I now have a nemesis.:confused: Oh boy!

    Yesterday evening, it was really calm and glassy. I should have been in my yak. We had very user friendly conditions on Sat and Sun.
    Funny thing, though. :D I have been enjoying reading (lurking) on another site that a couple of "lazy" yak-fishers got rolled in the surf here at Half Moon Bay, mainly because they tried to launch thru the surf instead of simply wheeling their carts another couple hundred yards up the beach to where there isn't any surf to deal with. I guess some people just like to make things hard on themselves. They will learn. Or not. Losing and breaking gear gets expensive!
    Its all good entertainment for the beach peanut gallery, though.

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