Westport jetty

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

  1. SwingerWhy

    SwingerWhy New Member

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    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.
    Thanks
     
  2. cutthroat kid

    cutthroat kid cut throat kid

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    look for jetty fly fishing discussion the saltwater forum from last august

    Jetty FlyFishing?

    Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by phil217, Aug 17, 2012.
     
  3. SwingerWhy

    SwingerWhy New Member

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    Great info thanks
     
  4. underachiever

    underachiever !

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    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. Just.Mark

    Just.Mark Member

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    Every time I go out there the wind is blowing how do you guys time your fishing?
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    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. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    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. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    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. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    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. underachiever

    underachiever !

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    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. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    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. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I just checked the hourly point forecast...hmmmm....not looking good today or tomorrow....
    Maybe later;)
     
  13. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    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. SwingerWhy

    SwingerWhy New Member

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    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. Dave Boyle

    Dave Boyle Active Member

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    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.

    Cheers,

    Dave