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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife wants to take our 10 year anniversary vacation up at Neah Bay or Sekiu this July. I have a 21.5' NR Commander, Humminbird 787c2 depth/gps, 8hp Yami kicker, with 2 scotty electric riggers and am looking mainly for some good bottomfish and lings. Dont want to go anywhere past Tatoosh at all and would be surprised if I even ventured up there. I'm curious as to what's the water like up there on a good day and a so-so day. I know the boat will handle some slop becuase I've been in it, but not really interested in getting the snot beat out of me all the time. I've been to CQ so that's no problem, but the fishing is so much better at NB from all the reports I've seen using the search. Target 1 for this trip would be lings and target 2 would be salmon. I should be ok by waddah and hopefully by sail rock. Is there a huge difference in the water they way it acts between NB and CQ? The other option would be to trailer the boat on the nice days up to NB from CQ and I have no problem with that. Any help on this would be great. Seeing my wife with a big toothed critter would be great!!
 

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The best ling fishing is on the outside (duncan, duntze, tatoosh..etc). The later in july the better as the weather calms down. i would go in august if you could swing that. The water can be miserable at Neah and i would have to think that it is a world of difference from sekiu as you not only get the wind waves but the big un-blocked ocean swells. I have only been diving at sekiu so I can't compare the two side by side. You just have to pick your days. 6 foot swells at 8 seconds with a 2 ft wind wave is very common and also means you stay home unless you like a rough ride. Last summer the weather was pretty good and it got better later in the summer. With your boat you can fish "the inside" on most days. Swing out to the fingers on the North side of Whaddah and drift for lings. If you're lucky you may even hit a reopen for halibut. You can fish kings at whaddah too from the green can along the 100' to 200' line. Have caught a few nice ones doing this but prefer the offshore runs.

Give a holler if you're up that way.....C-DOCK 35' ALBIN - HANG'M HIGH - Tommy
 

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I have fished NB countless times over the last 8 years. I have a 20 footer, and most of the time have no problem. I can tell you that it can be horrible, or like glass. Sometimes all in the same day. I'd say that if you watch the weather reports, tides, and swell, you can predict what you're gonna get most of the time. You have plently of boat even for the outside. Often the water is rougher inside the strait than on the open ocean. If you decide that its too much on any particular day, you can always fish inside, or even run to Sekiu. I've never had a problem finding lings inside or out.
 

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Cornfed said:
The water can be miserable at Neah and i would have to think that it is a world of difference from sekiu as you not only get the wind waves but the big un-blocked ocean swells. I have only been diving at sekiu so I can't compare the two side by side.
Having fished both quite a bit, I'll choose Neah Bay everytime. I have been forced off the water more at Sekiu than Neah Bay. At least at Neah Bay you can always fish around Wadaah Island and usually the shoreline from Tatoosh Island all the way to Seal Rock and beyond is semi-protected. Duncan Rock and Duntze rock are hard to fish if the water isn't cooperating, so when the water is flat you have plenty of boat to go there. On nice days, I make it out there in my 15' Arima and I've gone around Tatoosh and down as far as Makah Bay. Always with an eye on the weather though!

One more thing... Choose good tides. You can't control the wind and rain, but you can predict the tides. Big tide exchange normally means big swells and a very short slack tide which makes bottomfishing much more difficult. Throw in some wind and you can have very nasty, unpredictable water.

Tides for the 4th of July weekend don't look so good, but the weekend of July 12 looks good, the next weekend is okay, I'm loving the weekend of the 26th. Check it out.
 

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One more thing. Congratulations! My wife's idea of an anniversary trip always revolves around expensive hotels and/or cruise ships to foreign lands.

You didn't say anything about accomodations. Neither Sekiu nor Neah Bay has anything available that would pass for more than fish camp accomodations, but Neah Bay is sorely lacking. When I go to Neah Bay, I spend all day on the boat and I sleep in my rig. Definitely not an anniversary worthy crib!
 

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As others have mentioned the water is often better in the ocean than near the end of the strait particularly in late July and August. Use this NW Swell watch web site to get an idea of what the conditions will be. This site predicts swells out 7 days from the present and it pretty accurate 3-4 days out. If you see several days with low swells/wind predicted in a row, the middle days are almost always good. For me with my 22' C-Dory, swells of less than 4 ft with periods greater than 7s are almost unnoticeable especially if there's not wind chop on top. As long as the period in s is a little bigger than the swell in feet, I'm OK. Swells > 6' can be annoying unless they're very long period.

A lot of people get scared exiting the end of the straits because the water can be quite sloppy especially during large tidal exchanges. However, my experience has been that you really don't know how the ocean will be until you're about 1 mile south or west of Tatoosh. The water near Tatoosh is often much more confused and choppy than the water a little bit away so don't let a 15 min uncomfortable ride deter you from checking things out a little to the south. The ling cod and rock code fishing to the south of Tatoosh is awesome and it gets better the further south you go. It's pretty easy to limit the boat in 1-2 hours down at Cape Alava (15 miles south) and I run down there 4-6 times a year. Good king/coho fishing on the way down too.

As for accommodations - the others are right the motels in Neah Bay are awful. There's one or two that rise to marginal in Sekiu. If you are planning on RV'ing it, I'd suggest you get a cabin at Hobuck Beach resort. These are newer units and are pretty nice from what I've seen. Also, Rose's bed and breakfast in Neah Bay got good reviews from friends of mine last year.
 

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My husband and I have also fished Neah Bay and Sekiu many times. We always stay at Straitside resort. Funky old place but clean and the people are great. It takes about as long to trailer the boat to NB - hour drive - as it does to run from Sekiu. We fish Duncan Rock for bottom fish and troll back for salmon. We catch Ling when trolling for salmon. Tup:
 

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I would also recommend the Straitside Resort. With the family, it's the cleanest. But, they have horrible parking for vehicles and boat trailers. Moorage is fine as they are next to Curley's and Van Riper's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks very much for the info everyone!! That does help quite a bit. I talked to the boss today and she would like to stay at CQ so far and our pick is the Straitside. We stayed there last time we were up at CQ and really liked it. I'm going to probably trailer the boat to NB mainly because even though the time is the same, gas is a whole lot cheaper by truck than boat. That big jet will go through some gas and I don't want to blow through 1/2 my tank in one day if I can avoid it. I almost choke when I put 1/4 tank in and someone may have to call 911 if I do the whole thing at once for 70 gallons :shock: . I did check out the tides for both and the week of July 12 seems to be pretty good all around. One thing I love about my better half is that her idea of a vacation involves boats and water, what more could a guy ask for :D I'm still looking for some info about some areas that hold fish better than others. Between previous experience, google, and the fabulous searches here I've got some good ideas but would really like to know some of the quirks and maybe tricks to finding fish in slower conditions. Sometimes the most crazy ideas produce the best results eh! One of the hardest things I've had to figure out is how the fish move with the tides in big open waters like CQ and NB.
 

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A couple of reasons that the water is rough as hell at the west end of the straight.
1. To the south and west of tatoosh there are the twin humps which rise to 70 ft from 250ft. All that wave energy hits the wall and gets pushed to the surface.
2. Between Tatoosh and Duncan Rock it is freakin' shallow, up to 35ft. This is not good. Don't go between tatoosh and duncan on a rough day.
3. Unless the forecast is absolutely dead calm, Swiftsure Bank has its own mind made up. With left Neah one morning for Swiftsure to be met with 6 ft swells at 6 seconds with 3 foot wind wave. sick:

Anything on the inside of tatoosh is pretty calm and protected. It takes a snotty day to ruin that water. On the open ocean, all you have to contend with is the unaltered ocean swell and wind.

The majority of the kings are offshore whether people like it or not. I would suggest you get a Canadian license and then run over to renfrew if you are interested in hitting up the kings that frequent those areas. The columbians dip in there around mid-July. It is a 14 mile run across....not bad. There are lots of ling places between whaddah and tatoosh, but I have caught my biggest lings on the outside. Here's a dinker from last year...


I could give you coordinates, but they would all be for the outside.

As far as rigging. Swimbait on the bottom and a dropper loop with shrimp fly about 18in. up. Can put together some pics. if you want. Stay away from iron unless you have some money you are trying to get rid of.
 

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I will see if I can tie up some rigs (and take some pictures) tomorrow night. I will post the pics in another thread so I don't hijack this one. Look for it in the next couple days.
 

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Cornfed, I'd like your coords and more info on Swiftsure, if you're willing to share. I plan on making my 1st trip up there this year, and being in the know helps me plan accordingly. Thanks!

Pete
 

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I will get the coordinates next time I go to my boat and then send you a PM. I don't feel like giving coordinates to the world wide web, but will help anybody that asks so remind me to PM them to you. With the amount of OT I am putting in, it may be some time before I go back to the boat.

However, I can tell you a little (or a lot depending on how much you want to know) about Swiftsure. For those of you that don't know, Swiftsure is a bank located about 20 miles from the port of Neah Bay and mostly in Canadian waters. You need a Canadian fishing license that you must get in person, from a Canadian vendor in Canada...get that? I buy a yearly non-resident license...it is only $108 or so and is worth every penny. About the bank: There is a series of humps that come up to about 100', but that area is closed so don't try to fish there. Check the Canadian site for the waypoints of the closure. It is a DIAMOND shape. The southern border follows the US/Canada border. They do enforce the regulations regarding this closure area so don't be stupid.
FAQ answered:
NO...you can not bring back a yelloweye no matter what.
NO...you can not catch a halibut limit in Canada and then in the US
NO...you do not have to check in with customs if you do not touch land (either by making port or throwing anchor) - this according to discussion with aux. coast guard at boat show. NOT OFFICIAL. I do keep hearing about this phantom I-9 form but know nothing about it???
You can only use 32 ounces of lead to get down.
You can use as many poles as you like. We run five. Four off the back one off the front.
You can NOT bring back Canadian salmon on a day that salmon is closed in Washington. The regs. are wrong, the WAC is right.

Basically, you want to fish around the closure. Go up to the line but don't cross it. The SW corner up to about halfway up the west side boundary has been most productive for us. however, there are some spots on the NE corner that have produced too. I prefer NE corner early in the season and SW corner later in the season. SE corner is too deep. NW corner - Fished their once didn't catch any. Might be good just haven't needed to go there. If you drift long enough at Swiftsure....you will catch halibut. We have never been skunked there. Another thing...if the long liners move in...then you need to move out.

It is my supreme goal to spend every weekend at Neah Bay until I migrate to Westport in late July. PM before you head up there or give a holler at the dock. I will be on C-Dock (most likely) on HANG'M HIGH, which is the only 35' Albin usually in the marina. I am the young buck, not the old man. You can call me TOMMY GUNS (Tommy is fine too)...6'1" 280 lbs....you can't miss me. I would be glad to run with you, show you my rigs, keep in contact when we're at the bank, help where I can or have you help me, etc. if we create a good network up there, there is no reason we shouldn't be in the good quality fish every time.

Oh and one more thing....I have not found a buoy that accurately gives wave/wind data for Swiftsure so if you know of one...let me know.
 

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Here are a couple pics. of Swiftsure fish... Kept a couple small ones in the first pic because they were my gf's first halibut ever. I will never keep a small hali. again. For reference, the one I am holding in the first pic. is 45 lbs.









 

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You can buy a license online, but not for fishing halibut off Swiftsure. They really don't want us fishing there.
Cornfed, do you take the Port Angeles ferry across and get your license for that area or some other ingenious way? What a hassle.
 

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Swede said:
You can buy a license online, but not for fishing halibut off Swiftsure. They really don't want us fishing there.
Cornfed, do you take the Port Angeles ferry across and get your license for that area or some other ingenious way? What a hassle.
We always Launch our boat in Port Angeles run across to victoria island (45 minutes) grab some licenses and food, head back to Port Angeles and on to Neah Bay. Makes the trip about 3 hours longer, but well worth it.
 

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Swede said:
You can buy a license online, but not for fishing halibut off Swiftsure. They really don't want us fishing there.
Cornfed, do you take the Port Angeles ferry across and get your license for that area or some other ingenious way? What a hassle.
I drive up from Seattle and just cross over the border to Surrey. They have a store right off the main road that sells licenses. I will have to find the name of the store (maybe "Campbell River Store" even though it is in surrey).We get a group of people together and head up. That is the last hassle I want to deal with while on my way to Neah Bay (stopping in PA, bording a ferry)....BLAH. Yea,...the sure don't want our charter boats capitalizing on that area.
 
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