Fish & Feathers: Salmon, halibut, tuna highlight the scene!

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>A 1,000-pound bull sea lion awaits salmon entering the Columbia River.

This past weekend, new fish arrived off the mouth of the Columbia River. Coho in the range of 8-10 pounds and Chinook from 15- 25 pounds are close to the CR buoy and plentiful.

Albacore tuna are being caught 30 miles off the coast - which is close - in good numbers. This is my favorite type of fishing, excellent meat, lots of action, a ton of marine life and a great experience.

Halibut are very abundant now, with boat limits taken most every day and many fish range in the 40 to 50-pound range.

Call and set up an Ilwaco charter fishing trip today.

Many people ask what certain nautical terminology means and here are just a few that may help you in becoming a more experienced fisherman.

What is a rip?

Rips are visible disturbances on the water's surface that appear as long narrow bands of calm water bracketed on either side by rough water. Rips form at or near temperature boundaries. These boundaries set up food chains that draw bait into the area. These boundaries are called soft edges when the change across them is only .5° to 1.0° F, and hard edges when the change across them is 2° F to 4° F or more. The rough water at the hard-edge rips is more pronounced than the soft edges.

How can rips help your fishing?

Game fish tend to gather along rips for several reasons: Plankton gathers along temperature boundaries, setting up a food chain that draws baitfish to the area. Plankton tends to congregate on the cool side of the rip. This is because colder water has a higher nutrient content and lower salinity level than warmer water.

How can a fisherman use a rip?

Concentrate on using rips containing floating debris and/or bait. Bait should be trolled along the edge of rips. Remember whether the current flows north or south, fish tend to swim with the current. A water temperature gauge is a necessary ingredient when fishing tuna.

Nautical OriginsOverwhelm - Old English for capsize or flounder.

Above board - Anything on or above the open deck. If something is open and in plain view, it is above board.

Cut of his jib - Warships had their foresails or jibs cut thinly so that they could maintain point and not be blown off course. Upon sighting thin foresails on a distant ship a captain might not like the "cut of his jib" and would have the opportunity to escape.

Ron Malast is owner/operator of the charter boat Big Dipper operating out of Pacific Salmon Charters in Ilwaco (360) 642-3466.

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