Just two more days of halibut fishing in Neah Bay. While many anglers will head to the C closure area, Table Top, Compass Rose or elsewhere offshore, those with smaller trailer boats will want to stay on the inside. Here’s a map of the Garbage Dump. the x gets you to the spot. Once there check your depth sounder and begin your drift. The area is large, giving anglers lots of area to prospect for halibut. The area marked with * puts you on the inside middle of the drift. Either area could produce decent catches while providing a closer spot for Neah Bay halibut anglers with smaller boats.
Best Bait: Herring, Sardine or Squid should do the trick this weekend.
Best Lures: Lead head jigs, 12 to 24 ounce sizes. I also like the FAT Squid Jig Heads combined with a 7.5 inch FAT Squid. Spreader bars with upside down squids also work well. Bait the circle hook on the upside down squid with any of the baits listed above. Be sure to use a 12 inch 30-pound test tag line from the bottom of the spreader bar to the weight. This tag line becomes a breakaway in case your spreader bar’s weight gets snagged on the bottom. Instead of losing your entire rig, most of the time you just lose your weight.
When using a spreader bar or other bait or lure, be sure to raise your gear off bottom, usually four to six feet. As the illustration shows, if a rock pile or rise on the bottom gets between your gear and the halibut, they simply won’t see your offering. Continue to maintain contact with the bottom, lowering your bait or lure to the bottom every minute or two. This makes your halibut bait or lure come alive as well as making halibut-attracting noise on the bottom. After banging the bottom with the lead a few times raise your gear off bottom again.
Keeping your gear off bottom prevents snags and gives the fish a better line of sight. It also forces the halibut to commit to a more aggressive bite. When they swim off bottom to go after your offering they typically hit harder which increases hook up ratios which in turn increases the halibut angler’s catch rate.
Good luck this weekend, below you’ll find the press release about the last two days at Neah Bay and La Push.
Two more days to catch halibut off the north coast of Washington
OLYMPIA – Anglers will have two days this week to catch halibut off the state’s north coast before the fishery closes for the year in those waters.
Fishing will be open Thursday, May 22, and Saturday, May 24, in marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) before closing under a rule issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
State fishery managers expect the recreational harvest in those areas to reach the 108,030-pound area quota by the end of the last day of fishing, said Michele Culver, WDFW regional manager.
Culver said halibut fishing will also close Wednesday, May 21, in the nearshore area of Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores). The rest of that area has been closed to halibut fishing since Sunday, May 18, when the area’s 40,739-pound quota was taken by the recreational fishery.
In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two fish in any form and must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.