Clueless on the high seas

There was a small village worth of boats around the corner on a recent fishing trip, so we kept going. Well, I did. There were three of us in my skiff, but since it’s my boat and I was driving, it was my decision.

I slowed us on the edge of consistent water that hid a significant shelf below the surface. It looked as good as any place based on my limited knowledge. We proceeded to catch nothing over the next hour.

I’ve been fishing for years with friends and can identify dozens of easy, secret and semi-secret spots for kings and halibut within an hour or so of Klawock, but my ocean fishing around Ketchikan is in its infancy. I’m plugged in over there. Still learning over here.

I’ve always enjoyed mooching much more than using a downrigger. I feel like I’m angling, rather than waiting. But proven methods are proven methods, and once someone improves on a method, it’s tried and widely adopted. That’s probably why when I’m fishing Prince of Wales I mostly mooch and when fishing with buddies in Ketchikan, I’m sittin’ and watchin’.

My new (1986) Boston Whaler came with a downrigger, but it’s not hooked up, so my poor two friends had to mooch while everyone else trolled back and forth. We either looked like we knew something everyone else didn’t, or we were the suckers.

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