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The Outlaw Fishing Guide, Grays Harbor County, Washington

Outlaw Fishing Guide Sponsored by Peninsula Boats

Volume 2, Issue 1

January is typically the hot month for steelhead fishermen, including tribal gill netting if you haven't noticed by the catch number reports. Talk to any sportfisher and they will tell you gill netting stinks. It should be illegal. But, by the same token, it has its commercial place. The Quinault tribe even with federal help produces more fish than it removes. They are also engendered to stream and land surveys throughout the Grays Harbor water sheds. They have a huge responsibility as caretakers of all of our rivers and streams. Myself being a redneck, I've learned to take the good with the bad and am thankful for the great fishing even with the nets in the water. The Boldt Decision divided gill netting with custodial duties. So, if Tribal members wanted to commercial fish, they also had to have a hatchery plus a land and stream program to keep the fish population at top levels.

I have a bitch to make about jetsleds in tidal influenced waters: fish smolts of all species get beached by the wakes of these boats. If this continues I can guarantee that it will be documented and submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Department. A buddy of mine, a Biologist, who loves to fish like the rest of us, has personally seen hundreds of chum smolts during steelhead season beached on the Wynoochee River at Twin Bridges. It's ironic that so many fish have been killed just down the road from the Fish and Wildlife Department.

The body of this article is about etiquette…if you hadn't guessed.

The sleds should slow a bit and the gill netters should try to eliminate by catch. Hell, I'm guilty of corking a couple of guys out of a hole on the Willapa River. I got my ass reamed over the phone by a guy who knows "those guys" that we weaseled in on. We did get a grand slam of coho and steelhead, royally pissing "those guys" off. But, hey, it was a great day. "Those guys" had fish, we had fish. He showed up at 1:00 p.m. In all 12 people had banked fish, we just did it better. I could go on about this story, but this is an issue I'll resolve later with the guy who did all the screaming... maybe.

Well, enough about that etiquette crap. Let's get down to business. The Wynoochee is putting out solid numbers of fish and boats. Eight boats holding 3 men each…that's a lot of guys in a single hole. We had to work for them that day. The Willapa is kicking down again. The North River, Queets, Satsop, Humptulips, Salmon, Hoquiam, Elk, and John's Rivers are all great ones to choose from. (Refer to my last article for gear.)

What do you think about sturgeon? Aside from being the bugliest fish on the planet. Tastes great, hard to catch? Yeah, sturgeons are finicky eaters. They have a rudimentary digestive system which can only handle so much, similar to sharks and reptiles. Eat, eat, and eat then lay off for a month! The perfect diet! You know that tube mouth is great for parking over a clam or shrimp, and it doesn't hurt for sucking up smelt on the run either.

As a predator, these fish are top notch. No bigger fish is going to tangle with those sharp little buttons on their backs and sides. Anything smaller is lunch.

Here is an excellent trick to catch finicky sturgeon: use a slider with a float between the hook and a 3-way swivel. It keeps the bait off the bottom and makes it harder for bull heads to take your bait. Next month, we'll gear up for surf and jetty fishing as well as my commentary on steelhead and sturgeon.

Keep the emails coming! 13,000 readers last month... haven't pissed off too many people with my writings. Email me @ outlaw@ghonline.com And remember, if I don't see you on the water, that's more fish for me!

Click Here for Previous Issue.

We also encourage your feedback. Send your comments via e-mail to outlaw@ghonline.com.

Outlaw Fishing Guide Sponsored by Peninsula Boats

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Note: Opinions expressed by The Outlaw Fishing Guide are not necessarily those of Grays Harbor Online, any of its employees, sponsors or affiliates.


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