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Pacific Northwest Tell us about hunting in the PNW here!

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
beaver
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PNW tips thread...

Quote:
I like the idea of a PNW tips thread. First tip: don't do maintenance on your guns. Just keep buying new ones.

Second tip: learn how to blood trail your fish that get off your spear.

Third tip: never tell the wife what dive gear really costs.

We have the beginnings of a book here. Gonna make us rich.
So blame North Star for thinking this idea might have merit

I will try to get the ball rolling with a few of my top tips regarding fishing in the wide open PNW

Context:

the water is cold: temps average mid to upper 40's

We see winds regularly 20-60 knots but occasionally there are nice days

currents/kelp: massive currents up to 13 knots in places (think the speed of an Olympic sprinter) and kelp beds that are massive and often tangled with line from H/L guys


Not enough to deter you? read on.

OK my top tips are , in no particular order:

1. You don't need a cannon, options for Blue water hunting are limited to getting on a boat and going offshore for Tuna, small maneuverable STURDY guns made for reef hunting are my suggestions. After doing this for a dozen years my top go to guns are: Omer Airbalete 70-80 cm ( great accuracy, most comfortable gun I have ever held, shoots like a laser, Omer support and warranty IS AMAZING, if I could only have one gun this would be it)

a Riffe metal tech 0 for band and a small boat locker back up (sea bear), back up gun if my first 2 fail or ???? You could drop an anchor on the Riffe and it will still work, support and Warranty is also amazing, I will review the gun in depth when I get more blood on it.

the sea bear, because in a trip my primary failed, and I went back to the boat for my "back up gun" the little 24" sea bear, and it took one of my biggest fish over 40 pound ling. How could you not have that on board, it takes up so little space

I use a Mako float line/float with all this gear.

2. Big fish like to eat tasty things. Days with little tide and water movement often yield the BIGGEST fish, eels and octopus are favorites of Big Lings and tend to come out to feed on little Nemo's when the currents allow Nemo to swim around.

3. Spear a rock fish first, use your line as "stringer" a #4 rock fish flopping around is easy to manage (there are no sharks up here so that is not a worry) often some of my biggest lings shoot out of wrecks and kelp beds to see if my rock fish is an "easy meal"

4. Carry a back up pneumatic loader or 3, trying to use a stick or putting a hole through gloves trying to load a pneumatic, to get that prize fish...just plain SUX

5. Find a good boat driver/diver partner. They are as valuable and useful as a good lawyer/accountant should you ever need them. Bribe them with fish and booze as per PNW SOP, or in my case my boat driver dive partner is my wife...the bribe was a nice diamond, house, and BMW, and I still got the better of the deal.


OK that's a start, I am sure lots more PNW tips to come, lets share people, we are a small dedicated community. If you are a luker, consider signing up, if you are visitor to PNW you will find that for Beer most of us will whore out our spots, boats, homes,lend our guns, etc.

Because that's the type of people we are!


p.s. pleases have a sense of humor/humour get it? If you take yourself so seriously you can't laugh when you look in a mirror, its not our fault
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Last edited by beaver; 06-13-2011 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
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Re: PNW tips thread...

We are off and running. I can smell the royalties already. Next we will be on Oprah.

1. You have got to have a flashlight. I use an intova, but U/K is good, as are others - be sure to spent the extra money on an LED bulb model. Batteries last a lot longer and they don't burn out. Most of the time Lings and Cabezon are hiding in holes digesting what they ate, and without a light you cannot see them. Get one with an easy BIG on/off switch that you can manipulate through 7mm gloves. A lot of big fish are shot in very dark holes.

2. PAY ATTENTION to current and surge when around holes/structure. You can get blown into a hole and stuck there permanently. Not good. Think and assess first, and approach holes carefully.

3. Always wear two knives in different locations on your body. PNW fishing line is no joke, and you need a way to cut free even if you blow it and drop one knife. I carry a fish killer in my left arm and a larger knife on the inside of my calf. Only ever had to use one - yet.

4. When you shoot a rock fish first, don't stone it. The more wiggle and thrashing about the better for attracting lings and cabs. Shoot it in the middle. And remember, it is part of you limit. You gotta eat it.

5. Buy a grinder. They call them rockfish for a reason - they live around rocks - and rocks are hard on spear points. Spear points are hard - and hard to file. Ergo, get a grinder. A file is a joke.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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Re: PNW tips thread...

My favorite web site for predicting ocean conditions is www.magicseaweed.com Just type your location into the boxes below the black menu line, and you get tide, swell, and wind information for the shore area, which is where most of us dive.

Great resource to consult before you drive a couple of hours to the coast. I dive on the days that the swell is 5 feet or less and the wind is 10 mph or less, because I take a small boat out into the open ocean. Obviously, the less the swell, the more likely the vis will be better. Vis is also usually better on high tide than on low tide, and better on an incoming tide than an outgoing one.

Here is another great site that ljsargent turned me onto for Oregon bar cameras http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/marine/bars_mover.php Fun to look at even when you are tied to your desk.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Star View Post
We are off and running. I can smell the royalties already. Next we will be on Oprah.

1. You have got to have a flashlight. I use an intova, but U/K is good, as are others - be sure to spent the extra money on an LED bulb model. Batteries last a lot longer and they don't burn out. Most of the time Lings and Cabezon are hiding in holes digesting what they ate, and without a light you cannot see them. Get one with an easy BIG on/off switch that you can manipulate through 7mm gloves. A lot of big fish are shot in very dark holes.

2. PAY ATTENTION to current and surge when around holes/structure. You can get blown into a hole and stuck there permanently. Not good. Think and assess first, and approach holes carefully.

3. Always wear two knives in different locations on your body. PNW fishing line is no joke, and you need a way to cut free even if you blow it and drop one knife. I carry a fish killer in my left arm and a larger knife on the inside of my calf. Only ever had to use one - yet.

4. When you shoot a rock fish first, don't stone it. The more wiggle and thrashing about the better for attracting lings and cabs. Shoot it in the middle. And remember, it is part of you limit. You gotta eat it.

5. Buy a grinder. They call them rockfish for a reason - they live around rocks - and rocks are hard on spear points. Spear points are hard - and hard to file. Ergo, get a grinder. A file is a joke.
Oprah is over with. Maybe Montel lol.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Have another plan when you drive a long way to the ocean like I do, and find when you get there the vis is ZERO because of an algae bloom or whatever. Bring rod and reels, photograph tide pools, roast hot dogs on the beach, etc.

Make every trip a good one, even if you can't get in the water. The ocean is too cool to just drive away from even if you can't dive when you get there.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: PNW tips thread...

continued... already this could become addictive

Quote:
We are off and running. I can smell the royalties already. Next we will be on Oprah.

1. You have got to have a flashlight. I use an intova, but U/K is good, as are others - be sure to spent the extra money on an LED bulb model. Batteries last a lot longer and they don't burn out. Most of the time Lings and Cabezon are hiding in holes digesting what they ate, and without a light you cannot see them. Get one with an easy BIG on/off switch that you can manipulate through 7mm gloves. A lot of big fish are shot in very dark holes.
Just bought one, can't wait to try it and post a report

2. PAY ATTENTION to current and surge when around holes/structure. You can get blown into a hole and stuck there permanently. Not good. Think and assess first, and approach holes carefully. Definitely totally OMG Go to the front of the line #1 tip

3. Always wear two knives in different locations on your body. PNW fishing line is no joke, and you need a way to cut free even if you blow it and drop one knife. I carry a fish killer in my left arm and a larger knife on the inside of my calf. Only ever had to use one - yet. another winner

4. When you shoot a rock fish first, don't stone it. The more wiggle and thrashing about the better for attracting lings and cabs. Shoot it in the middle. And remember, it is part of you limit. You gotta eat it. aim better and hit the gill plate ... not stoned, still wiggles, doesn't ruin the meat, Who the F doesn't eat a rockfish they are sooo good?

5. Buy a grinder. They call them rockfish for a reason - they live around rocks - and rocks are hard on spear points. Spear points are hard - and hard to file. Ergo, get a grinder. A file is a joke. had one since day one, consider a thread on rock points as opposed to floppers
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: PNW tips thread...

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Originally Posted by toptuna View Post
Oprah is over with. Maybe Montel lol.
Ha Ha - you just found out what a Neanderthal I am. I don't even own a TV or ever watch it. I just heard about her from scuttlebutt. Oh well.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #8
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Its ok Toptuna has a Canadian wife so he feels like an honorary PNW'er ( quick teach him the secret handshake) I will vouch for him, he is good people.

lets bust his cherry when he visits next year, the beer alone should make him cry like a little school girl.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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Re: PNW tips thread...

He can stop by my place any time he wants. Got a spare bedroom he can camp out in.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:13 PM   #10
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Re: PNW tips thread...

1. Echo two knives. I go for one at the waist and one on the leg.

2. See an old net on the bottom, don't go near it. Log the GPS and report it to NW Straights Comm.

3. I like http://i90.atmos.washington.edu/ferr...mainframe1.htm for real time weather in the straights

4. Bond with the H&L guys and the commercials. Unstick a crab pot or anchor for someone.

5. Two rocks banged together will not only bring in 6 gills at night, it will sometimes get a curious ling or cab out to look around. Not as good as the wiggling rockfish trick

6. Attack a dungie from above not the side.

7. Relax and look at the tube snouts every now and then.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #11
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Re: PNW tips thread...

rgr the bond with H/L guys...it is amazing what can happen, when you pick up an anchor or hand over lead cannon balls from down riggers.

I have a few good bottles of scotch/bottles of wine/cases of beer from said acts. p.s. if you find a cell phone put it in fresh water immediately no air exposure. rinse repeat in fresh then dry out...they come back to life.

chasing dungies is like herding cats for me.... the juice is not worth the squeeze

If the regs in your area allow it take a knife kit with you
. Gutting cleaning and filleting your fish on site is better than digging a f-ing hole in your yard to bury guts after a long day of diving....karma points for feeding the crabs.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:49 AM   #12
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Good stuff here! Here's a couple I have found to be helpful, mostly by doing all of these the wrong way...
1. While holes often hide nice fish they can be tough to get out of when the surge is cramming you in there... No fish is worth your life.
2. If you do decide to stick yourself into holes or rock, don't leave anything hanging off you that can get stuck (stringers etc.)
3. Don't forget your suit lube... preferably warmed and kept in a thermos. 45 degree saltwater is not a fun lube. Also do not forget your socks or gloves.
4. Try to educate people about this sport. It's not very common up here and most people are genuinely curious about the crazy guy with the "harpoon" and no tanks. I often give a fish away if I have one as well. I think it's good karma.
5. When introducing someone to spearing up here, be sure they are comfortable in the water. I had a guy panic pretty bad his first time in the kelp. Viz can be tough and people can be hard to see in kelp beds, particularly with swell.
6. Should go without saying, but bleed all your fish immediately. They will taste much better for it.
7. Be ready to thumb a dive if the conditions aren't safe. Swell can hurt you bad on entry and exit if you aren't paying attention. If the conditions are safe and it's just bad viz, go diving. You can often get fish anyway.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #13
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Northwest Diver - Good points, especially #5 and #7. The ocean is no place to break in a new diver. I started my sons out in the pool, then we went to lakes, then to the river. It was after all of that, learning about gear, technique, current, and complete comfort in the water, that I introduced them to the ocean.

All three of them told me they were really glad the ocean was not their first experience at diving. It might be OK in Florida or some other warm water, calm seas, and high visibility location, but not up here.

A panicked diver is no joke, and if he panics he will probably not ever want to go again. Assess your new buddies skill level carefully. He can kill both you and himself. I have always told my boys: you have to be able to self rescue, you cannot depend on others to save you, and if you don't think you can do so, then stay out of the water. Don't look to another diver to keep you safe.

And as you said, don't be afraid to bag a dive if conditions are bad, or if you yourself are doing bad or it doesn't feel right. Live to dive another day, and don't let anybody talk you into going in if you don't feel that your skill level matches the conditions. And in addition - don't pressure or mock another diver who bags a dive at any point. Affirm every diver when he backs off, and respect his safety decisions. He will dive with you again in the future if you do.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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Re: PNW tips thread...

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Originally Posted by North Star View Post
you have to be able to self rescue.
While a great skill in any diving situation, this is vital in the PNW. Regardless of whether you free or scuba, you are likely to be seperated from a diving partner due to low vis/hunting activity at some point during your dive. Luck favors the prepared, so that's the best way to be!

I appreciate what you say Max about preparing new divers (getting to know gear etc), but lets face it, there is NO other environment like the ocean. And the PNW is about as extreme as it gets. We're all green the first time we get in, regardless of comfort in other conditions. I say, don't hide it from a new diver just take them out on really nice days to begin with (few and far between up here I know). It is the only place they will learn the conditions they'll be facing. I'm talking surf and surge mainly, which just can't be simulated in other bodies of water. Some will freak out, which I agree is dangerous. But good conditions will minimize that danger and aid you in calming them and exiting safely if need be. Always dive to the skills of the lowest common denominator! And remember, not all your friends are cut out to dive here, and that's ok! Just don't sell it as such.

To sum it all up, I live by what my father (who taught me how to dive) told me about our play ground: "It's all about respect, never turn your back on the ocean."

I should also note that just about everything said thus far is right on target as far as I'm concerned!

Last edited by winklecl; 06-14-2011 at 04:34 PM. Reason: can't spell and brain works too slow to write everything the first time!
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Winklecl - Well said, and point well taken on newbies and the ocean for the first time.

I find that jetty dives between the two jetties a good place to introduce new divers to the conditions up here. Pick a calm day, and the water between the two jetties can be really calm. They are not far from land, and don't have to enter and exit through a shore break, which is where a lot of new guys get into trouble.

But you have to dive at hi tide for the best vis, and current can really rip once it the tide changes. PAY ATTENTION to the time as to when the tide changes, and don't put a newbie in ripping current. Start the dive an hour before hi tide and end it an hour after. There is a reason for the old adage: "you can't swim against the tide."

Smaller tidal changes produce less current; don't start them when there is a 9 foot change between low and high tide. A good first experience in the ocean hooks them for life, and that's the goal.
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