After 7 months of being land locked by the winter storms that stir up the Oregon coast, a day off work finally lined up with a forecast of a fishable ocean. The ski was all set-up and ready for a window like this, and I was more than ready to get the taste of that salt spray again! The target for this trip is the staple food for the family, rockfish and ling cod. Excellent table fare, and something that was completely gone from the freezer.
The weather window was a short one day forecast, of light and variable wind, with a 7 foot north west swell, which was on the upper end of comfortable, and definitely limited the available ports to launch from. Ultimately, I chose Depoe Bay. The short trip out of the harbor here, and near port fishing grounds would be advantageous if the weather turned south.
As i approached the fishing grounds, I paid special attention to the rocks and where the swell was breaking. I had only ever fished out of here on my kayak, and the areas that I had fished before were way too close to the break zone of the larger swell. However, i quickly found good structure well away from the breakers and picked up two small ling cod in pretty short order...then the bad luck started to set in.
You see, there was a bet riding on this day. A bet i was destine to win. The night before, my fishing buddy John ran into trouble with the security remote on his ski and couldn't get his ski out of learner mode. Each year we place a bet on who will boat the 1st keeper fish, and due to his misfortune, this was a sure win of an ice cold 6 pack with him stuck at the dealership repairing his remote. Two hours of jigging later, with only tail bites and shaken hooks, i was beginning to wonder if i was going to fail.
I was starting to become confused as to what was going wrong, when John text asking for a fishing report and curious which brand of amber ale I would like. Our kayak fishing buddy Shannon was also included in this message and well aware of the stakes on the line. I gave the two of them the quick update, and illustrated how poor I was doing landing fish. Shannon insisted that John put the voodoo doll down, and within minutes - bam! A keeper Ling Cod (Beer Cod) in the catch bag!
Finished the day out with one more keeper ling cod, one sea bass, with several small ling cod and one cabazon released. somewhat of a slow day, and not the freezer filler trip i needed. But man, was it great to be on the water again.