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Temp was 39.3 when we crossed through the north gap and only 40.8 when we started setting lines in 40fow just south of the north gap. We got all the lines in before the first hit which was a small 3yr old 30 down back 15 passes on a Raider Double Purple Spook. Once the 9.9 Yamaha was warmed up I found the shifter was frozen and didn’t thaw out until around 9AM. I don’t like trolling with the 200 Yamaha as always concerned about fouling the plugs but had already added Stabil and carb cleaner so no problem. Fishing was not as fast and furious as last couple of times and never found any suspended bait the entire trip. We did mark some stuck to the bottom in 40-55fow and a few hooks where we found most of our fish from St Mary’s to the Filter. We were sliding on the icy deck while sweating with too many clothes until around 10.

Every rod got hit today but the boards were the most productive. The experiment with the dipsy found the OffShore release popping too easily with a regular dipsy but did work with a smaller dipsy and took 3 fish. Riggers with SWRs were hot last time but today pretty quiet. Most of the salmon came late AM and 2 of the 3 yr olds after noon. We were looking for our last fish when the 6 color fired, just the way one would hope to end the year, a 13.5# screamer on 3F Chart/orange Evil Eye. All the 3 yr olds took line like they were much larger and assume it has to do with the cold water. The Lakers have shown up releasing 5 dandies up to around 15#. We took a picture of one we assumed to be a Red Fin but our pic didn’t do it’s great colors any justice. The surface temp and down temp on the Depth Raider down as deep as 25’ were the same all day and trolling speed was 2.2-2.5(old Depth Raider 1.8-2.1).

Best setups 3,4 & 5 color reg Dirty Oz, Dipsy back 40 then out 65 Brad’s Wonderbread, 6 color Spotted Cow then 3F Char/orange Evil Eye, SWR down 20 Brads Bloody Nose and other SWR down 30 NBK. We ended up with only 19 in the box as someone miscounted. 7 Chinooks with 4 3yr olds and the rest were browns and some pretty nice ones that are headed for the smoker.

I wasn’t ready yet but the forecast looks really cold this weekend so sadly we fogged the engines and pulled the electronics and heading for the barn tomorrow for another long winter.

Tight lines and full coolers,

Grey Beard






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