Puget Sound personal-use halibut anglers didn't know it then, but they caught a few of their 2013 fish when they jigged up flatties in May 2012.
Under the watchful eyes of the bilateral International Pacific Halibut Commission, which sets harvest allocations intended to conserve these fish, exceeding their catch quotas isn't acceptable.
That's why there will be a shorter season (fewer days) to fish these delectable bottomfish when the coming sport opportunity starts May 2 in inside waters.
In another of Washington's halibut management zones, a different scenario played out last year, prompting managers to shift the weekly open days this year to invite more effort.
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Bellingham's LFS Marine and Outdoors will hold a workshop Saturday, April 20, designed to make you better halibut and shrimp fishers.
The shrimp seminar will focus on how to take advantage of the increased opportunity afforded by this year's quota shift, while halibut fishing guru John Beath will discuss that latest in "anchoring" techniques for flatties.
LFS's organizer Zack Miller promises an added bonus this year in the form of demo boats rigged out for these two spring personal-use fisheries both opening the first week of May.
For more details about the 2013 personal-use halibut season, LFS Marine and Outdoors annual shrimp and halibut workshop next month and an update on the North Cascades Highway spring unburdening, plus additional fishing and hunting news, read Sunday's Outdoors column.
Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent, since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at http://pblogs.bellinghamherald.com/outdoors.