Drift Fishing For Salmon, Lingcod, and Kelp Greenling
We took off Saturday morning at about 9:00 am. My crew consisted of my wife Sherrie and 3 good friends. Our target was for about 8:00 but reality and a few trips to the store left us departing by 9:00. On this excursion, we opted to take my parent’s 45′ twin diesel cruiser rather than our 32′ sailboat. Let me tell you that there is a huge difference between a 45′ luxury power boat and an older 32′ sailboat.
We departed moorage at Cap Sante Marine Harbor without incident and proceeded down Guemes Channel en-route to Washington Head on Fidalgo Island, the lighthouse on Barnes Island and eventually ended up fishing a drift on Allen Island.
View Rephyl Fishing Trip in a larger map
All of these destinations are within an hour or two of Anacortes, even when leaving from downtown. If Departing from Washington Park or from Skyline Marina, they are accessible from a small boat or even a dinghy, maybe 20 or 30 minutes at slow speeds. You do not want to get out here with oars alone (except in a Kayak) because currents can run up to 5 knots or better in some of the channels. We’ve grabbed onto more than one struggling boat and helped them into shore.
Our first stop was off of Washington Head where we mooched for salmon without much luck. We then drifted along the shore by the Barnes Island light house with 3 or 4 legal Green Ling Keepers as well as some nice other bottom fish that we released. After that, we bounced over to Allen Island and drifted a few kelp beds. I won’t tell you exactly where they are, but you can get the general idea from the fishing map above. We caught and released several very nice Rock Fish of a variety of species, a few very nice Ling Cod – also released, some Kelp Green-ling, (a couple kept, most released), and a couple of rocks with scallops, hermit crabs, clams and other varied sea-life attached. Curtis caught the most interesting and varied specimen.
Returning to home was as uneventful as the trip out though I will have to admit that I was extremely nervous backing my parent’s boat down a 500′ x 50′ channel with rocks on one side and a few million dollars worth of yachts on the other. No, it was not 500 Ft. wide and 50′ long. I was shaking like a “whore in church” when the lines were finally secured. The pictures do not do it justice when you are at the wheel!