Ocean Lings: Now the big boys! Not all the Lings out in
the ocean are huge, but if you're going to get a huge one your
chances of getting one are greatly increased in the open Ocean.
Bradley Pott with a La Push Ling approaching
the 30lb mark!
The Target: Generally when fishing for Lings
out in the open ocean, we are in fact targeting Halibut. That's
most the time... there are times when we go to specific areas
that are known Ling producers which may or may not have Halibut
These Lings were picked up while targeting
Halibut... Nice BONUS huh?
Pictured are Todd Girtz and Don Coatney
Methods: Out in 500 - 800ft of water one
things for sure, we're using something heavy. My favorite all
time "go to" rig for Lings has to be the 35oz Norwegian
Jig. Not only will this get you to the bottom fast, the Lings
absolutely love these things. Halibut will also jump on them so
if you're specifically trying for Lings, "jig" more
frequently instead of just leaving it on the bottom. The more
action the jig has the more likely you are to hook a Ling than
a halibut. Another method is a plain old pipe jig. Same as with
the Norwegian jig, more movement will entice a Ling.
Now if you happen to catch a "scrap" fish,
hook it up and drop it down! A Ling will be all over this presentation.
Just make sure you use big enough hooks and let the Ling swallow
it. You don't want to real up over 500ft with nothing on the other
Tackle Recommendations: For the deep ocean
fishing we're using strictly Halibut gear. A nice stout 5' rod
rated up to 150lbs, and 400 yards of 80lb Power Pro on a Penn
Senator 114H Reel with power handle works very nicely.
Other Methods: If were out Halibut fishing
and have our Hali's in the boat, then it's time to target Lings
by themselves. We'll leave the Halibut grounds and go to the rockiest
areas we know. Unlike the Puget Sound breaker walls and reefs,
these are going to be natural rocky areas so if you don't know
of any, start studying charts. You want the rockiest, gear stealing,
high pinnacle looking water you can find. For these types of areas
we're generally less than 200ft of water so we're switching gears
again. I really like a "dart" in this type of water.
Usually a 6oz or larger in white or blue/chrome. Another very
popular choice is a mudraker, but because I'm looking for extremely
rocky areas, these usually either get hung up and lost, or I get
a fish. The fish part I like, loosing a $12 lure I don't.
Closer to Shore: If the open ocean doesn't
sound like the way to go, there are plenty of spots closer in
that will hold Lings as well. Again, look for pinnacles and rocky
areas. Darts, mudrakers and live bait all work well!
Tackle Recommendations: As long as your not
out in the 500ft plus water, I stay with my same setup as mentioned
above for the Sound.
Be Careful: Remember this is the ocean! Always
put SAFETY before any fish. Make sure you have all your safety
equipment and watch the weather. These are big fish but no fish
is worth your life.
Have fun but be careful... the weather can