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The Outlaw Fishing Guide, Grays Harbor County, Washington

Outlaw Fishing Guide Sponsored by Peninsula Boats

Volume 1, Issue 1

This is the first of many articles of a lawless bastard who, of course, revels in the thought of stretching the limits of the law around his little finger. Some of the things you read at this web site will probably enrage or disgust you-- but remember I'm a local and I have my opinions too.

I'm writing this for the sheer enjoyment of running my mouth on the web. I'll always give you the best advice known to myself and others in the Grays Harbor area. I'll tackle some of the bogus regs & laws on fishing in our state, gear to use for your elusive quarry, places to do your fishing damage, vendors to buy from, guides who strike me as pretty cool people, and boats: how I'd rate them. Crap, sounds like a political platform doesn't it? "Eeech." Sorry. I'm not a political personality, but I am a person who does appreciate great fishing and, ultimately, eating like a king. Which brings me to the final thing I'll write about in this intro: recipes. Grays Harbor has some of the finest tastes in the world and is readily available for those who know how and where to get them.

As most of you know the salmon season started slow - once the fish hit the bay, they bit sporadically leaving a lot of fishermen piss drunk and their wives screaming. As usual I would see the guys with the ultimate toys having a hell of a time launching or trailering the boats at the 28th Street Landing. I would ask how they did and found (1) fish per boat (4) anglers. That's slack. As the season progressed catches had risen to 3-to-5 per boat. The most popular gear used was 3-to-4 oz. Banana lead 000 dodgers - flashers & green triangles and cut-plug herring using 2 and 3/0 hooks.

The bank maggots in their infinite wisdom swore by #4 and 5 orange vibrax spinners and caught a mixed bag of king and coho from the mouth of the Wishkah to Elliott Slough (lakeside). The boat basing threw out their minions to the dock maggots (Dockus Maggotii). These guys used anything they could throw or plunk with. My favorite, the improved Grays Harbor method 1 oz. weight on the bottom 4-to-5/0 treble with yarn disguise on the top. Pitch and jerk. The fish will fill your cooler. Eggs did very well for jacks this year at both Westport and Ocean Shores marinas. My pick for gear: light poles, light line, bobbers and 1/0 hooks with loop. I've always enjoyed the energy that jacks expend fighting light tackle and are the best and easiest to barbecue and smoke.

Lower rivers also put out a good number of fish. Slow trolled cut plug herring, plastic plugs and spinners did the trick when you weren't slamming the motor in reverse to un-snag the lure from some Christmas tree everybody contributed to. Myself, I use a kayak to gain the results desired. It's quiet fun; easy to retrieve lures from said holiday snag and a better chance to see wild game for the upcoming seasons. Also to fight a 30-pound king from a kayak says something about the person. Be it sanity or brass. I suggest you try it. This will certainly thrust you into confidence or pucker-factor, either way, you can say you did it, or still do!

Aahh, yes, the upper rivers, in my mind, is the finest example of drift fishing, run-and-gun, sight or proximity angling. We'll start with my description of drift, use of bobber-and-eggs, yarn and corky. I use bullet weights above a swivel - they seem to hang up less on snags - a long leader 4-to-6 ft. Depending on what river you're on, color is paramount, as the fish are programmed to that at feeding time.

Run-and-gun is my term for pocket fishing when you can run up or down a riverbank picking holes with spinners. It's fast and lots of action and normally produces a limit of fish if the right color combo and depth is chosen.

Sight or proximity fishing is when you can see schools of fish moving up glides or drops. At this point, go light on weight, stretch your leaders to 4-to-6 feet and go with black yarn. As the fish swim up, pitch your line ahead of them, keep your pole tip low and to the side, the current will carry your leader through the mouths of unsuspecting fish. As you feel the line stop or tug, tug back, fish on! It's that easy.

I hope you find this service useful and enlightening - not really! If there are more of you out there - then there is less fish for me. Faithfully submitted by your Outlaw Guide. Oh yeah, next month: Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon.

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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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