The fishing in May was in general descent. Nothing lights out, but pretty reliable for “getting the job done” – meaning getting limits of kings. We had to show patience; it didn’t pay to drive all over looking for the mother lode, but good things came to those who waited.
Typically the fishing only improves in June, but the first week was very spotty. If you were in there right place at the right time, you could get the job done. If you made one or two zigs when you should have zagged, if people missed a couple key bites, the day could be downright difficult. In short, there were days when the job didn’t get done. Thankfully, halibut fishing has been good if the weather allows us offshore, and it has most days.
Why the slower fishing in early June? The water temperature has been a bit lower than normal. The kings seem a bit more likely than normal to school over rockfish whereas and less on the flats that we normally fish. For the most part, baitfish seem plentiful as are the other signs of life like whales and birds. The bait also seems a bit more mobile than normal – here today, gone tomorrow. We’ve had more than a few visitations from orcas, which can push the salmon around. Lastly, the abundance index is low and, perhaps, we’re getting a little real world verification, although I still assert that the abundance index has no direct correlation to what we experience on the grounds.
Today the fishing for kings improved. We boated 5 and released 3 on my boat and the other boats had similar scores. We found lots of bait and saw lots of humpback whales – great signs of life. It’s mid-June so things should light up more and more each day. Based on what I saw today, I’ll go out on a limb and bet it’s on a strong upswing.