Fishing for dinner... Tips and tricks

chodups

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Nov 2, 2005
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Yeah. We were almost out of food and would have been if we hadn't sniveled those halibut steaks, bottles of wine, coffee and a case of beer from the Tradewind Tugboat Tours. That bought us some time. Otherwise, those sorry-assed muddy clams that Keith and Larry pulled out of the mud on Triquet would have been our death knell. Long ways to Shearwater on an empty stomach.

Jon
 

Stumpy

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Mar 13, 2008
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staten island, new york
Monster said:
Very cool rig there Stumpy, and a great design!
Personally, I like it because it pops off with two clevis pins and the mounts are almost invisible. If I were to build pontoons for myself, they'd be bigger, and go with a sail rig, which I've been thinking about lately, for another skin boat. just not sure how to mount a rudder to the frame.
 

Monster

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Yes, to be honest I was wondering just how one would pull in a salmon that big from a tippy ocean kayak, but that rig looks like a fantastic solution!
 

kayakwriter

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Just to demonstrate you can catch a respectably sized fish with nothing but a hand line. Mine's a kite line holder, but I'm really liking Sheila P's idea for the twine holder. I'll have to look into that.

 

dvfrggr

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kayakwriter said:
Just to demonstrate you can catch a respectably sized fish with nothing but a hand line.

Very respectable!
Someone in our group caught a fish like that and if memory serves me well the meat had a green hue to it. That fish was incredibly tasty!
 

oul

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dvfrggr said:
Someone in our group caught a fish like that and if memory serves me well the meat had a green hue to it. That fish was incredibly tasty!
Yes, Ling Cod have a bit of green cast to the meat. Big filet's like off of that ling or Dave's fish are perfect for basting with a mixture of melted butter, garlic and a little lemon then toss it on the grill. Yum, one of my favorite food.
 

Monster

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Just out of curiosity, how many of these larger ling cod caught were simply let go because they were too big to eat for even three people to finish around a campfire? I assume that if they were kept, it was because people were either in large enough groups to actually eat that much fish or, people were heading back that night and therefor able to freeze what couldn't be eaten?

I like fishing as much as the next paddler but I was under the impression that it takes well over a decade for these big fellows to reach the size they do and given that most of the east coast of VI has been under a voluntary ban on rock fish for the last five years, and specific limits and bans on green-ling, I've always let anything big I catch go.. while specifically trying to catch the little fellows.

I let this beast go after taking it's picture for posterity on my last big trip...

 

Astoriadave

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Monster,

Someone, on a different thread, pointed out that groundfish caught at depth and brought to the surface stand a very good chance of suffering fatal injury from over-expansion of their gas bladder (aka swim bladder): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_bladder

You've no doubt seen extreme examples of this, in which the bladder distends out the creature's maw ... typically in fish caught roughly 100 meters below the surface. I've never seen that in a groundfish landed from depths of 10-15 meters, which is pretty much the practical limit for where and how I fish from a kayak. [That orange monster was taken from about 20 meters down ... deepest catch I've ever made from a kayak.]

But, the other person made the claim that even fish taken from 10 meters down may, emphasis may, suffer internal damage which eventually kills them. I have no way to verify that. But, my rule is that everything which comes to the surface gets eaten. If the luck of the draw provides three little ones, that's it. If the first one is big enough for dinner, that's it for the day.

In some popular kayaking areas (Broken Group, for example), the taking of groundfish is now prohibited, to allow stocks to recover. I believe that is a DFO restriction, and not a voluntary one at all.
 

Astoriadave

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Hunh. I did not expect to find anything this detailed or particular to returning ground fish safely, but here it is, provided by Sea Grant and the California Dept of Fish and Game: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/release.pdf

It is a pdf file, or I'd extract it and post it here.

Worth noting is that they claim the apparent extent of gas bladder distension does not necessarily correlate with mortality, if the fish is repatriated appropriately. The stuff you learn!
 

Monster

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Good find Dave, but I can speak from personal experience when I say that rock fish of a size of two feet or more are able to withstand the pressure change of being brought up from greater depths than smaller sized rock fish can survive.

I'm sure many of us have killed smaller rock fish by fishing for them in waters that were too deep, but that 3.5' ling cod I caught in the picture I posted above had plenty of spunk left him when I let him go and he dove strait back down to the bottom and fast. Had I brought up a meal sized rock fish from the same depth it's eyes and stomach would have bloated outwards and it wouldn't have survived.

It is for these reasons that I always tell people to fish at the right depth for the size fish you want and try to use right sized lures to avoid taking the size fish you don't want.
 

elmo

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Does anyone else enjoy the lovely little kelp greenling as much as I do? :mrgreen:

Perfect for a single meal and easy fishing right along the kelp beds - and DEEEE-LISH-US.

 

Astoriadave

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Monster: That brochure I linked is worth a closer read, I suspect. They indicate that even groundfish with distended stomachs (I thought that was the gas bladder, but it is not) and distended eyes can survive, with data showing at least some of them surviving a year plus later.

As to whether fish of size which do not show signs of distention have higher survival rates, I do not know, but suspect you are right. I wish I could find that earlier claim that there is internal damage which compromises such caught fish.

I agree your practice of fishing where you can expect to catch the type of fish you plan to eat is sound and sane. Wish everyone who fished felt that way.

Elmo:
yes, those little guys are really tasty, and easy to catch on shallow reefs. Similar in flavor to petrale sole, one of my fave flatfish.
 

DarrenM

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Ok so....

Whats a tasty, abundant, small fish to be fishing for?
How deep?
What lures?

I think im sold on the hand line idea


:lol:
 

Astoriadave

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Darren, those kelp greenling are a good choice: 10-20 feet deep, 2-3 ounce lead-headed jig with a colorful plastic worm threaded onto the jig shank, and work the edges of kelp-shrouded rocks. You will have to dodge the surge.

In the Brokens, back when this was legal (1996), we caught some on the reefs just inside Trickett and Lovett. Not sure if they would be found in quantity in the Gulf Islands. You lose gear fishing in the kelp, so cheap things like the lead headed jigs are good. plastic worms are cheap, also. BTW, I suspect 30 lb test mono would be good, or you will lose even more gear.

Monster and others will have even better ideas and advice.

I expect greenling need the kelp as protection so bigger more aggressive rockfish and lings do not wipe them out.
 

elmo

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I have always fished off the rough, rocky slopes for Greenling - just inside of the kelp - with a piece of pile worm on a hook and slices of the 'head' of the worm to keep it on. Jigging is unneccesary as they seem to gobble the pile worm piece as it drifts around. Hook is on two feet of 15lb test line, and a old spark-plug on a six inch leader of really light test line (5lb or less). They are both hooked into the main line with a good swivel. When the Greenling ducks into the rocks, which they inevitably do, a quick tug on the line gets the fish out but leaves the snagged spark-plug behind.

Not that I'm advocating filling the ocean with spark-plugs but it works VERY well. I'm sure a few minutes of beach-combing would find a handful of suitably sized (and shaped) rocks that'd work just as well. No sense wasting money on expensive lures as the fish don't care.

Kelp Greenling are a nice sweet meat, very fine grained.
daniel
 

dvfrggr

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Monster,
Greg released this one and added another smaller one to his previous catch for the night's meal.

 

andreas

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Wow, what an ugly fish :shock:

Any chance we can have some "on the water" lessons at the spring camp out?
 

Monster

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It's time to fess up dvfrggr, that salmon wasn't caught from that kayak was it! Not that it matters, my ling is still the largest in this thread :lol:

I'm relieved to see others practicing catch and release on the larger than meal sized ones though. Anyone who takes a fish larger than they can eat in it's entirety (or freeze for later) is just being destructive.
 
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