Late May Rockfish Bite
Had the chance to get out and fish 3 days the last weekend, and managed to really put some fish away, with the total count for the weekend on my jet ski being 1 halibut, 4 ling cod, and 12 seabass.
The 1st day halibut was a nearshore bite out of the Nehalem River in about 150 feet of water, saw several other boats out fishing, but I was the 1st to pull a halibut in and left, so didn't get a good idea if they were successful or not. You can read more about that story here.
The next two days where fishing out of Netarts Bay, and while the drift was a bit fast on Saturday, myself John and Matt each pulled our limits on ling cod and seabass before lunch time. Swim baits on a jig head tied below a shrimp fly was working well for me, and even pulled in a few doubles.
It would have been a little easier fishing if had a 10oz or 12oz jig head to hold a more vertical position in the drift, but the 6oz did just fine if it was timed right on the drop over the structure. I would ride the jetski to the top of the drift killing the motor with a little bit of momentum to carry me ahead a bit, at the same time casting backward over the suspended school of fish floating around 50 feet below the surface. By the time my momentum stopped and I drifted back far enough to be vertical over my jig, it had enough time to get in the strike zone, and i would pick a fish up nearly every pass. Then need to reset and do it again. Once my limit of rockfish were filled with this technique, I started to ride farther up before casting back to allow the jig to get below the school of fish and sit on bottom at 150 feet, this was a bit trickier, but still produced several ling cod bites before i found two i wanted to keep.
Sunday was a solo run for me, and I was in a hurry to get back home and see the wife before she left for work that evening, so i quickly put in another limit of seabass and ling cod before 8:30 and was on my way home. Sundays drift was almost unfair to the fish at .4mph when I got started, and I sat over a large group of suspended fish and put on a school session for a near by charter boat that moved in close to me once he saw me pulling in fish. By the time I left, it was moving along at 2mph again.