As summer time lures all of us to the water, I am left wondering about the folks who don’t fish… For instance the jet skiers and weird yacht people that never take off their deck shoes. Do they just not know? Or perhaps is it best that they never find out? Either way, I am glad that someone ruined my life by saying “want to go fishing” when I was a little kid.
Summer time brings out the best in me for sure. I love the sunshine, the cool water and most of all the lack of layers on the boat… Most importantly, pushing off the dock in the morning wearing shorts and a light hoodie with a grin from ear to ear.
Summer Time Pro Tips: Cold Water
Find Cold Water!!! Sea Run Cutthroat behave like a saltwater fish in the summer time. They crush baitfish patterns, leap through the air, and hunt like a Jack Crevalle or Blue Fish. It is easy to forget that they are still a cold water trout species. We checked the temps at the Alderbrook Dock yesterday and it was 72 Degrees! It’s still the first half of June. Here’s how to handle the heat.
Three Ways To Stay Chill
- Run to the deeper fastest current- Alderbrook Resort is in the back of a small shallow bay. It is one of the warmest docks in all of Hood Canal. If you run out of the bay into the faster tidal current, the water dropped to 68 degrees. Still to warm for cutthroat fishing, however it is trending in the right direction.
- Fish The Big Stuff- Hood Canal and the South Sound both suffer from warming water temps in the summer. The reason is they are at the end of the tidal exchange and much of the water does not completely flush during the tide change. If you are finding warm water and can not seem to get out of it move into a larger more main channel of water. If you are fishing Quilcene Bay on Hood Canal perhaps move out to dabob past Pt. Whitney. Or if you are fishing Eld Inlet, in the South Sound and temps are getting above 65 Degrees, move out to Dana Passage and see if it drops again.
- Deeper and Faster – I think under perfect conditions a cutthroat will move a amazing distance to eat a fly. But when the surface water is warming, these fish do not want to be up high in the water column or in the froggy water. They want well oxygenated cold clean water. Where will they find that when it is 95 degrees? 6-12′ deep in the faster current. Move out of the bay’s and out on the points and fish the drop offs.
Summer Time Pro Tips – Take Care Of Our Fish (soap box warning)
If you see us on here or social media releasing a fish by hand, one of two things is happening. First, I am walking someone through proper fish handling (it is our job) and filming it. Second, I have a very experienced angler on board the boat. Our resource is always more important than a picture.
Either way we are picking perfect conditions for it, where the fish is landed swiftly, left in the water, and the hook was removed easily. If any of those three things couldn’t or didn’t happen, it is never touched and the fish is dumped from the net without adding more stress. Our guest want photos of their catch, and we have to balance that with our morals of taking care of our fish. As a rule we never fish water above 65 degrees and we never sacrifice good fish handling for a photo opportunity.
You know when a fish is released in the best condition possible, and you know when you made a mistake and the fish is swimming back in less than good condition. Ultimately we are anglers and we are harming these fish, let’s be as ethical as we can about it.