There are a few feeder chinook in the Grande, Thrasher, and Neck Point area. These fish weigh eight to 10 pounds, and may be early winter fish that stay in the Gulf.
Last year, much to my surprise, the October fishing was relatively active. These were mostly undersized four to five pound fish, with the occasional ten to fifteen pounder in the mix.
Most fishing is accomplished by bottombouncing in 130 to 180 feet of water. Lures of choice include Rhys Davis teasers in green/chartreuse, Coyote or Golden Horde spoons in Kitchen Sink, or green glow/silver, or the T-Rex hoochie.
We cleaned some chinook with needlefish in their tummies last week. These are elongate baitfish, found in schools near the bottom. Tiny strip and Kripple K spoons are good imitators of needlefish.
Ling and rockfish season closes on Oct. 1. Ling fishing has been sensational over the past two months. I was really worrying over the effect our fishing was having on the ling stocks, but the fishing has just gotten better as the season winds down. I wonder if ling come up from the depths into the 30 to 60 foot zone during late summer.
My one concern is the harvesting of the 25 pound plus females, as they are the future of the stocks. My target zone for the fish is in the 12 to 15 pound range, but it’s a quandary on charter when we catch the big ones. People naturally get excited catching big fish, but biologically it’s better to release the really big ones.
I have put the proposition on the table twice through the Sports Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) to have a slot limit on the ling. Neither the Main Board of SFAB, nor Department of Fisheries and Oceans thought a slot limit was worthwhile pursuing. It makes perfect biological sense to let the big ones go, but no one wants to take on the topic.
Prawning is good off the Flat Tops. We are now encountering “berried” spawning prawns. Please let the big females go! Try tuna cat food fished at 350 feet, and expect 100 plus per trap.
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