It’s not often you get to fish with a true legend however when you get to fish with TWO legends on the same day in the same boat, it is an experience like no other! It all started when I got a phone call from Admiral Fish, Tony Floor, who I have had the good fortune to know for about 15 years and when he says we’re going fishing, I’ve learned to never say no. Plus we were going out with Derek Floyd whose skills Tony has been yacking about for the last four years. He runs a major charter operation out of Sitka and for the last four years has been running a winter operation out of Skyline Marina. The winter season opened on the 1st December and on the weekend of the 5th and 6th of December there would be the Resurrection Salmon Derby out of Friday Harbor. This would be an opportunity to go out on the 3rd and do a little exploring in advance of the big derby.
We met up with Derek at his boat at 0700; it was 28°F out with a breeze out of the Fraser River Valley bringing the wind chill in at about 19°F. As always, it pays to have the right gear and be on a boat with a real heater. Derek, Tony, and George Harris (Pres of the NMTA) had been out the day before and limited out by noon. The only mistake being that they kept a couple of just over legal fish that were the first hitters of the day. Then the magic went into action as Derek and the Admirals contacts started checking in with fish reports so they upped lines and headed over to Spring Passage where they got the rest of their limit.
We went straight to Spring Pass and to get out of the northeasterly we went slightly north to Cormorant Bay immediately made a slow run watching the sounder looking for bait and fish. This is where it got interesting when you’ve got two of the best in the business looking at the screens and both are drooling. Lots of herring and plenty of big targets just off the bottom. Time to get the lines wet.
We fished two lines on Scotty down riggers. The popular rig yesterday was the red (small 4-5”) herring with a flasher. Both Tony and Derek agreed that they should also keep the black and white Cop Car Kingfisher spoon in back of a flasher down on the other side. It didn’t take long before we had our first hit and after that the action stayed pretty steady. Derek driving the boat, watching the sounder, watching for birds and generally making sure we were behaving ourselves by focusing that ever sensitive rod tip.
We landed about four fish, had one double hook-up, let a couple of shakers go and farmed two pretty good sized fish. Amazingly enough, they were all hatchery fish, so we didn’t have to throw any back.
The breeze picked up so we moved across Presidents Channel to Waldron Island and fished Cowlitz Bay using exactly the same rigs with exactly the same results; MORE FISH! As we got close to our limit we drifted out towards Mouatt Reef and saw some good targets in a little more water. We got the big fish of the day, a beautiful bright 14 pounder, in 177’of water with the downrigger at 170 feet. Immediately as that fish hit, another one hit the herring at about 120’. A double for the last two fish and we had limited out 15 minutes faster than the day before.
The other interesting part of the day was trying out my new boots from XtraTuf that I had picked up at Pacific Marine Expo which is really for commercial marine applications. I needed a new pair of boots and these were amazingly comfortable with a real non-skid sole. In conjunction with the new boots and the fact that it was really cold I also tried my new heated insoles from Thermacell and wow, was that a killer combination. My feet never got cold or tired.
All in all another great day on the water and in my opinion, if you want to catch fish, give Derek Floyd a call at 425-239-5740 or you can checkout his website at www.AnglersChoiceFishing.com, you won’t be disappointed.