Steve Y. has been wanting me to come down to fish with him in area 11. All of his Facebook posts have had me salivating for the chance to catch a salmon on the jig. I’ve never targeting salmon using the jig aka ‘iron’ or ‘dart’, but I know friends like Thao T. swear by it and when you don’t have downriggers, or a right sized boat, going to simpler methods also work when the fish are in and the catch rates are so good.
I took the hour long drive to meet Steve at the Pt. Defiance marina to be greeted by an amazing morning sunrise. All the colors of the orange sky against the silloette of the mountains and Vashon island made for a spectacular morning.
The boathouse is really a neat place, with each craft up to 17′ that is stored in these lockers. Each boat is wheeled on dollys and all the gear is kept in the locker.
There is an elevator shaft that raises and lowers the boats and passengers to the water line, just roll it out and your on the water in seconds.
We were underway heading towards the clay banks in 120-170′ of water. The old Point No Point hull that was used for decades at the Norwegian Pt has a long standing history with the Yuasa family. This hull was the same that Steve’s father fished with his uncle and young Steve when he was growing up. Steve has restored it and kept up the tradition of mooching, jigging and when he wants to troll uses his ‘meat line’ rods.
GLoomis Salmon Mooching rods in the 8’2″ one piece length, rated at 12-25# and 0.5 – 5 oz lure rating were light fast action and perfectly balanced with the old school Shimano Bantam Line counter reels. Spooled with hi-vis yellow power pro and short 40# leaders to Pt. Wilson darts in the white and white/chartruese colors were the ticket. Lures were 4.75 oz in wt and Steve likes to use a small buzz bomb rubber stop to keep the lines from chaffing. He ties the double mooching hooks close together to keep the fish hooked when they decide to take a snap at the erratic darts.
Heres a photo of Doug Yuasa, Steves’ nephew. He was meat lining and picked up a nice 13# fish after a few passes.
Jigging is definitely alot of fun, but also you have to have a touch. Steve ended up hooking both our keeper fish. The first was a nice 18# that spat the hook just as I slide the net under the fish, lucky that it was a hatchery marked fish! Second keeper was a 8# that was bonked and tucked into the box. While I didn’t land a keep, I had good action, hooking 5 fish, landed two sublegal sized kings and getting two dog fish. Definitely a good work out and learned a new fishery and technique that works and is alot of fun.