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Went fishing with 6 friends on a charter out of Astoria today and finished with 1 legal and 2 shakers for the boat. The captain was marking tons of fish on the flats below the bridge but no biters. It seemed like it was pretty slow by the reports over the radios. When we pulled into the pier we did see some groups with some nice fish though.
A strong lesson was reinforced to me today though. What might work well one day may not work well the next. Dont be afraid to mix baits up a bit untill you come up with what works. We started with anchovies and the deckhand added scent to the baitbucket right from the start. We hooked one shaker and lots of sculpins. By midday I asked the deckhand if they had any smelt. The deckhand reached into the cooler and opened up a package of smelt. I took a smelt and baited my buddies freshly sculpanized hook. He hooked and landed a 44' within 5 minutes. When I went to grab some more smelt, they had already been added to the juiced up baitbucket and we never did use fresh nonscented bait for the rest of the day.
Was it a pure coincidence? Possibly but next time I go I will make sure I give the captain my twocents about trying to mix the baits up a bit instead of going with what worked yesterday.
 

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Carefull before you give the captain your $.02. I understand completely, but it is his boat and his bait. You are paying him to get you a fish and he is using experience on what has produced from him in the past. He probably shouldn't have dunked all of the smelt in the scent, but :shrug: My guess is he would tell you, "Well, if you want to tell me what to fish with, maybe you should take your own boat." Just my $.02. Somedays fish won't bite.

Green Machine
 

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While talking to the skipper, get on the cell phone, call your bank and cancel the check you wrote to him earlier for the ride. Tell him to keep the freakin' deposit. Then, while standing in front of him, call another guide out of the synopsis.

Just my .02

Some guides are like Donna Summer, "they work hard for the money!"

Some are lazy and are in it to write off their boats and equipment. You are the customer and no matter what some might say, the guide has entered into a contract to PROVIDE SERVICE!

Krue
 

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I think I would be a little reserved in giving my two cents to the skipper of the boat. Not every trip yields limits to the boat for their passengers. Everybody has a bad day, even the Tacklebuster at the estuary. Sometimes on a day when the bite is off, nobody around you is doing any better, you have to stick with what has produced for you in the past.

Take last Sunday the 8th for example. The bite was red hot on Friday and Saturday but Sunday was another story. I know guys that pulled anchor and ran half way around the estuary chasing their tails trying get into fish. The fact remained that the bite was off but persistance paid off for my boat. We put two keepers on a rope when most boats had squat. Sometimes you got to stick to your guns and hope for the best. You can spend all day trying 17 different baits and 32 different depths but end results probably will not be much better.

I am not a big fan on scents down in the estuary because I am convinced the fish key in on a bait and that's what they will feed on. Four years ago sand shrimp was the hot ticket. I would see people literally kill the bite putting sturgeon feast or some other junk on their bait. The only time I will use a scent in the estuary is when the bite is off, I know the fish are there, and I am trying to spark a scent trail to congragate the fish in hopes to spark a bite. I won't use the popular stuff everyone else has, I try stuff the sturgeon are not used to.

I like soaking my leaders in vanilla extract. What also works really well are those catfish nuggets by Berkley. Crawfish or worm spray the bass guys like work really well also. Try something different that they haven't smelled so much and a lot of the times it will spark a good bite when every other boat in the vicinity sits and watches.

Tight lines........
 

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Sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory trip. I prefer to stay away from the larger party boats [sounds like you were on one] - might be somewhat cheaper, but I think the whole experience is much better with the guides in the smaller boats - in my opinion. But they are all producers...just some better than others, or it's their turn to fish instead of catch.

But regardless, some times you just aren't going to hit it right. The year before last we spent two days on the water, fishing hard, and only brought in one keeper. Caught our fair share of shakers and enjoyed every moment. That guide worked his butt off and was more disappointed than we were.

This is the guide's [skipper's and deck hand's] livelihood. Granted there may be a few
but for the most part these folks are trying to make your trip a success. Not saying that you don't have a legitimate grip, but suggest that the next time out try a different outfit. The Ifish guides on the main page are top notch from what I understand.
 

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Tacklebuster is right. We did the same thing that Sunday and got two fish as well, but we had to really work for them.
 

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We too had to work very hard for the three fish we went home with last Sunday. We threw everything at em. We ended up hooking nearly a dozen fish that day but we were on the water for 10 hrs. Oh, and most fish were caught on SCENTED smelt. So do think too much of what the bait boy did with the smelt on your trip, cause yesterday was a really slow day too and we manage to boat one nice fish and released a monster and a shaker, two of the fish including the keeper were caught on SCENTED smelt, the other was caught on squid.

[ 06-16-2003, 07:22 AM: Message edited by: TundraIII ]
 
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