May 7th Area 6 Halibut Opener Results

Yesterday I launched at John Wayne Marina at 4 a.m. thinking I would beat the crowd. Wrong, or so I thought when I arrived to a line at the boat ramp and nearly full parking lot. What I did not realize at that early morning time was the fact that this marina would experience the busiest halibut opener ever, but first my rant.

In March WDFW gave the Tribes a 48 hour opener for halibut. Okay, I can live with that, as it gives enough time for halibut to move into the area and “repopulate” prime halibut grounds. Last Sunday, May 1 and Monday May 2, WDFW gave the Tribes another 48 hour opener. Why?

Their second 48 hour opener, just days before the sport fish opener was a HUGE success for the Tribes. They literally got thousands of pounds of halibut from Eastern Bank, Hein Bank, Partridge Bank,  Dallas Bank, Coyote Bank, Dungeness Bank, Freshwater Bay and other areas as well. This second opening combined with horrible tides and currents made Saturday’s Area 6 halibut opener a massive failure for the majority of boats. This is the first year in many years that no halibut hit the deck on my boat on opening day and I was not alone, in fact my failure was in the majority. When I returned to the marina at 11:30 a.m. fish checkers had counted just six halibut.

We came in early, as did dozens of other boats because the wind kicked up in a hurry, the start of a major wind storm that cut short the opening. I should also point out, the Tribe’s first scheduled opener in March had a major storm, so WDFW issued an emergency change in their season for safety reasons. Of course I agree with this, as nobody, Tribal, commercial or sport should have to risk their life or property for fish. But it seems WDFW fish managers really don’t care about sports anglers. Fact, they never cancel our season because of weather. Fact, they always schedule our season around bad tides in hopes we will not catch many fish. Fact, they would prefer we don’t catch fish. Fact, when we don’t catch fish they have fish managers who invent new math to say we did catch fish.

Do you think I’m wrong?

Back to John Wayne Marina. Because WDFW fish managers decided to open La Push, Neah Bay, Sekiu, Area 6, 7 & 9 all on the same day, with just one day instead of two, they figured it would spread out the fishing pressure. Wrong! Many anglers yesterday said they would have normally gone to the ocean as in year’s past, but not for just one day, instead of the usual opener, then one day closed followed by another open day. Instead, pressure was at an all time record at John Wayne Marina. In the morning when I arrived I thought I got a late start. In reality I got an extremely early start. Trucks and trailers filled every vacant space, sides of roads and anywhere anyone could find to park trucks and trailers, all the way from the marina up to nearly Highway 101. With trucks and trailers so far from the marina it bottle necked the entire process. Average take out time was two hours.

Thanks again WDFW, for nothing. It’s time to change the rules in Washington State from a “derby” style opener to a punch card that allows halibut anglers to spread out pressure and choose safe days to go fishing, without fear of massive crowds and gale force winds.

Perhaps our new director will see the logic in this and help make the needed changes. There’s a meeting about this very topic on May23rd in Port Townsend. I will keep you posted. Rant over.




Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Halibut Fishing Middle Bank, Canada Side of Border

Posted in Anchoring for Halibut, B.C. Halibut Maps, Halibut Fishing Tackle, Halibut Fishing Tips, Halibut Fishing Videos, How to legally fish Canadian waters, Puget Sound Halibut Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Halibut Fishing, Washington Halibut Maps | 2 Comments

Halibut Fishing In Canadian Waters, What You Need To Know To Stay Legal

Here’s the latest information on what you need to do to legally fish in British Columbia Canada waters.

  1. Purchase your B.C. Tidal Waters Fishing License. You can purchase it in B.C. at a dealer or go online and purchase your single day, multiple day or annual license. However, if you purchase an online license you can not fish in Areas   Here’s the link to purchase your license online. B.C. Tidal Water Fishing License Online Purchase Cost for 1 day, $7.35 CND, 3 day, $19.95 CND, 5 day, $32.55 CND, Annual, $106.05 CND All above prices are for ages 16 and up. Also, this online license prohibits non-Canadian license holders from fishing for halibut in Areas 23, 121 & 123. This would apply to halibut anglers departing from Neah Bay either by charter boat or private boat. Halibut anglers who plan to fish these areas MUST purchase their license in person from a dealer in British Columbia.
  2. Everyone aboard your vessel MUST have a passport or enhanced driver’s license, I-68 or Nexus Pass.
  3. Upon entering Canadian waters, the captain of the vessel MUST call 1-888-CAN-PASS. The Canadian Custom’s agent will ask a series of questions including, boat registration info, names and passport numbers for everyone aboard, their birth dates, where you are located now, where you departed from, how long you will be in Canadian waters, if you have guns, tobacco or firearms aboard.
  4. When re-entering U.S. waters you MUST call U.S. Customs at 1-800-562-5943  If you have either a Nexus Pass or an I-68 on file you will be able to clear customs via telephone. Also note, everyone MUST have one of these documents in order to avoid docking and waiting for a U.S. Custom’s official to inspect your vessel and I.D. of everyone aboard. An I-68 costs $16 per person or $32 for the entire family at the same address and is good for one year and enables boaters entering the U.S. from Canada to clear customs via telephone. The Nexus Pass is good for five years and costs $50. A Nexus Pass requires both countries to approve the applicant and make take several weeks. Both will require an in person interview. The I-68 can be purchased and obtained that day in most cases. To obtain an I-68 call your local U.S. Customs office and schedule a time to fill out the paperwork and be interviewed. You will need your U.S. Passport, or Enhanced Driver’s License.

Also note: It is legal to bring halibut back to your home port, even if halibut is closed in Washington waters. It is not legal to bring back salmon caught in B.C. waters if the port you are returning to is closed to the taking of salmon. Many anglers dispute this, especially those with Nexus Passes. My conversations with WDFW enforcement agents say they will ticket anyone landing salmon caught in Canada if salmon fishing is closed where they are docking.

Here’s what the WDFW Fishing Rules Pamphlet says.
“It is unlawful to possess in marine waters or land into Washington any fresh salmon taken for personal use from Canadian waters unless such salmon meet current salmon regulations for the Catch Record Card area where the salmon are landed, unless you physically clear Customs in Bedwell Harbour, Sydney, Ucluelet, Victoria, or White Rock, and get your Customs clearance number at the port. If you are in possession
of salmon that would be unlawful if taken in Washington, you may not fish in Washington waters.”

And please note, B.C. has several Rockfish Conservation Areas that prohibit any kind of hook and line fishing. Anglers fishing near Middlebank need to know where they can and can’t fish. Please look at the maps below and note the coordinates of the no fishing zone.

BC No Fishing Zone

MiddlebankAs you can see, there’s lots of areas to the S.W. away from the restricted no fishing zone. All of this open area is good halibut fishing. Recently the most productive areas have been in the 160 to 200 depth areas. Look at the tides and current before dropping anchor and try to put yourself up current from a slope. Halibut will travel up to a mile following your scent field so put lots of bait in the water and use chum bags off your downrigger.

Posted in Anchoring for Halibut, B.C. Halibut Maps, Halibut Fishing Tips, How to legally fish Canadian waters, Puget Sound Halibut Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Halibut Fishing, Washington Halibut Maps, Washington Halibut Regs | 1 Comment

2016 Puget Sound Salmon Season Might Not Happen

As of April 15th 2016,  after heated negotiations between tribal fisheries managers and WDFW there will not be any sport fishing for salmon in Puget Sound or the Strait of Juan de Fuca this coming …

Source: 2016 Puget Sound Salmon Season Might Not Happen

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Steelhead Fishing on Hoh River With Guide Pat Neal

SquidPro Tackle's Salmon Chronicles

YouTube Image.jpgApril is a great time to experience some of the best steelhead fishing in the world, on the Olympic Peninsula’s Hoh River. Yesterday, April 9th, friend Robert and I joined famed steelhead guide, Pat Neal for a 10 mile float on the lower Hoh River.

Our float began at the Cottonwood Campground and wound 10 miles downriver to a private land pullout that costs $5 upon retrieving your drift boat.

During our float trip, Pat Neal entertained us with stories of Mick Dodge, local politics and of course plenty of fishing stories. Pat has been a full time guide since the mid 1980s and also writes for the Peninsula Daily News, as a “Wilderness Gossip Columnist.” I’d heard stories of Pat for years and now I know why. He is super humble with his expert skills, claiming not to be the best guide, just friendliest. His intimate knowledge of the…

View original post 253 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FAT Squid & Brite Bite Halibut Tackle Testimonial

Kay TestimonialHere’s an e-mail I received today from a very satisfied tackle customer who attended my halibut fishing seminar at the Great Alaskan Sport Show in Anchorage last year.

“My husband, Ralph Collins and I went to John Beath’s seminar last spring on halibut fishing at the Anchorage Sportsman Show. Following that we bought everything possible from his booth  that he recommended for successful fishing.

We have fished the same area for over 20 years in Seward, Alaska, and normally did pretty good. However, after using John’s tackle, lures and fishing techniques, we did outstanding!

In only 6 days of fishing, we hauled in 420 pounds of halibut fillets. My brother and sister were up in August, and my brother, Mic Dorrance, caught a 236lb halibut and my sister, Diane Jacobson, caught a 100 pounder. I have enclosed a picture of Mic’s 236.

In the past we have had to soak bait for an hour to get a bite, with John’s techniques, lights and lures, we got bites immediately. It certainly made a huge difference in our catch, and I highly recommend anything that John is recommending!

Thank you John! Kay Dorrance, Anchorage, Alaska”


Posted in Halibut Fishing Photos, Halibut Fishing Tackle, Halibut Fishing Tips, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Halibut Fishing Coyote Bank, B.C. Canada

Posted in Anchoring for Halibut, Halibut Fishing Tackle, Halibut Fishing Tips, Halibut Fishing Videos, Uncategorized, Washington Halibut Fishing | Leave a comment