Feb 2014

January Statistics

January proved to be a challenging fish month. Wind, bone chilling cold, heavy rains, and cold water temperatures tempered the fish bite and provided limited fishing windows. The Puget Sound region and the Long Beach peninsula provided the majority of the species with most of those being shellfish (see map to the left). Shellfish diversity in the Cascadia region is impressive. Several of the shellfish I harvested during January were new species to me entirely with Market Squid and Pacific Oyster being among the highlights. Bottomfish in the Puget Sound was also very productive and fun with numerous Brown Sole falling victim to Razor Clam necks bounced along the bottom. Freshwater fishing was frustratingly unproductive. I put in many fish-less hours in search of steelhead and only had one short encounter with a “blackmouth” or resident Puget Sound chinook before it spit the hook. Perch and trout fish also proved poor on local lakes and in the surf largely due to high winds and strong tides. However, I still ended up with 13 species overall for the month which is a respectable start to the big year.

I spent a total 80.3 hours fishing and of the 10 species or species groups I spent targeting only 4 of those groups proved fruitful (green in the graph below). A little less than half of my fish effort was from the bank, about 40% was done from kayak, and the remainder was done from a drift boat. I expect as water temperatures rise and fish become more active those stats will improve.

I traveled a total of 1018 miles in pursuit of fish. The majority, 968 miles, was done in my car. I peddled or paddled 42.5 miles which explains why my back is killing me and walked a little over 7.5 miles in piscine pursuits.

I made my annual donation to ODFW for the privilege of fishing in that state which I still have yet to do. In total I spent $463 on bait, tackle, lures, launch fees, and licenses necessary for my big year. Hopefully those costs will fall as I begin to focus locally on warm water species in the coming months. I also looking to minimize costs by using versatile tackle and lures. The lowly night crawler, jig, or spinner may prove to be my most valuable lures/bait.

It will be interesting to see how the months compare as I progress through the big year. I suspect that May through September will be the most productive with either July or August being the top species producing months but we will see.