How I caught my first lingcod

Taryn's Wreckreation Guide

June 4, 2018

Growing up in the PNW, I have spent a TON of time out on the water crabbing and fishing, but until yesterday I had never landed a lingcod. 


Over the past few lingcod seasons, my dad has been going out to the San Juan Islands to fish for them with his buddies. Every trip they take, he sends me pictures of these wild, prehistoric creatures that could definitely be a contender in an ugliest fish contest. But make no mistake - although they are dreadful to look at, they are seriously good eating. 


On Sunday afternoon, Brad and I jumped on one of All Star Fishing Charter's boats with his uncle Glenn and cousin Michael to try our luck at netting this gnarly looking sea beast. Our adventures were lead by Captain Nick and his right-hand-man Tito. We took off out of Shilshole Marina and traveled to the south tip of Whidbey Island through some rough waters and rainy weather. Once we got to the sweet spots, we got the inside scoop on where these fish live and how they're caught. Tito gave us the run-down on dropping our lines to the bottom with live perch as our bait. Low and behold, after landing a few rock fish to warm up, I caught my first lingcod! He was about 34" and a lot of fun to bring to the water's surface. 


The mouth on a lingcod is MASSIVE - a gaping, cavernous hole filled with intimidating teeth! 


Throughout the afternoon, our group caught a ton of rock fish, a stunning greenling and a cabezon. 


When we got back to the dock, Captain Nick cleaned my lingcod for me to bring home. This morning, I took the fish to Silvana Meats, proudly proclaiming that this was my very first lingcod, and they vacuum sealed the meat for me I am so excited to make beer-battered fish and chips this week! 

Thank you again to Captain Nick and Tito! We had such an amazing experience with All Star Fishing Charters, and will DEFINITELY be back for salmon in a few weeks. Lingcod season is open until the 15th, so you should jump on it quick if you want to feel the rush of catching one! 


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly