I won't bore you with too many of my corny jokes or anything since there are quite a few pictures to fill the space. Long story short, it was an awesome trip and some pretty darn cool fish were caught, some new, some not.
We decided to make a little side trip and spend the night in Seattle on the way down to Oregon. So while the wife and kids were sleeping, I picked out a new pier I hadn't been to before (Redondo Beach) and gave it a go! It was just the usual suspects though, nothing new that night.
|These things are EVERYWHERE on the Pacific Northwest coast.|
|Not my first one of these, by a few hundred, but now it's officially on the list.|
|I know where it is, and I'm still not sure I see it.|
|Not a particularly dignified example of the species, but it counts! This was the first one of these I've seen in a tidepool, and I've looked in a LOT of tidepools.|
|The kids had fun looking into the little aquariums|
|And here we see my parents in their natural habitat.|
And a few crabs:
|I caught crabs. There's a joke in there somewhere I think...|
|Nice pecs on this one.|
|It's always cool to see the difference between males (top) and females (bottom).|
|I even caught a male and a female on the same cast|
|Black Rockfish were all over the place.|
|Note the bluish tint to its tongue.|
The next day, my dad and I headed out on a charter trip. We tried one that I hadn't done before. Last year Oregon had to close down their near-shore bottom fishing in late-summer, since they had already met their groundfish quota for the year for several species. This made people mad... So in an effort to provide additional harvest opportunities, they opened up what they call a "long leader fishery" outside of the 40 fathom line to access fish that were previously not very pressured (except, you know... the pressure of just living deeper than the 40 fathom line...) For this fishery, you have to use specific gear. Basically it's like a dropshot-type rig with 30 feet of line between the weight and the hooks. This is to avoid bottom dwelling critters like Yelloweye Rockfish which are protected, while still having access to more sustainable (more mid-water) fish like Yellowtail Rockfish. See illustration below courtesy of ODFW:
So anyway... A few of the potentially encountered species would be new to me so I wanted to give it a try:
|Long leader gear lined up and ready to go|
|He seems angry.|
|Gotta love those "non-target" fish!|
|"The Dude" working on 500 feet of line with a fish on the other end that doesn't want to.|
Rockfish are a favorite family of fish of mine. I've always been fascinated with the variety of different ones. So I was excited that I didn't know what I had caught. Luckily, through the magic of Facebook, it was quickly identified (by some anglers with encyclopedic knowledge of fish ID... Thanks again!) as a Grass Rockfish. WOO! Apparently they're more common farther south, like in California. But not so much that far north. The ODFW website calls them an "unusual species" to catch. Either way, it was a new one for me, and one that I was definitely not expecting.
|That's number 126 if you're counting along at home.|
|Interesting forehead structures. Kind of looked like laid back horns.|
Also, I guess I lied a little about not being too long-winded here. But hey, I didn't hold you down and make you read it all. That's on you!