Salt water micro fishing in the Pacific Northwest

by Dwight Jones
(Crescent City, California)

Buffalo sculpin

Buffalo sculpin

I live in a small town on the Oregon/California border. The harbor looks like it would have great fishing, but few people do well here unless they have boats. Boat owners catch their limits of rockfish and lingcod throughout the summer, but shore-based anglers have fewer fish we can target with any regularity.

I just learned that juvenile rockfish, sculpins, greenling, and cabazon live under a dock in the harbor. They are really fun to catch on micro equipment! I like this kind of fishing because its up-close and personal. You can usually see the fish you are targeting. That makes it more enjoyable than some other kinds of fishing.

I use the 4-foot Shimotsuke in shallow water and the 10-foot Soyokaze for deeper water or when I'm expecting fish that are a little bigger. A Kiyotaki 18 or 24 would do well if you only want to buy one rod.

I have been using "Trout Magnets" and the smaller "Mini Magnet" jigs. I squirted some scent into the storage box so the plastic would absorb the scent. I'm quite happy with this system. I've also had good results with small flies that sink. Mini-Clousers are a favorite.

A variety of baits can also be used. The minnow bait in a tube needs to be mixed with flour or gluten to help it stay on the hook. Berkeley Crappie Nibbles work well and are convenient. I think you could use almost any bait because these growing fish will hit just about anything, repeating hitting until they manage to hook themselves. Salt water fish are stronger and fight harder than fresh water fish of similar size.

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