Puget Sound salmon anglers did much better on this past Sunday’s Areas 9 and 10 marked Chinook opener, at least in the northern waters and compared to last year’s start of the fishery.
WDFW hasn’t updated its quota stats yet, but according to daily creel sampling tallies, 615 fishermen came into Everett with 202 kings on Sunday, 187 came into Fort Casey with 129 and 234 arrived at Shilshole with 38.
On the 2016 openers, 96, 36 and 44 Chinook were checked at those same ramps, or .2 kings per angler for the two northern launches and .16 for the southern.
Kingston, which wasn’t monitored on last year’s opener, recorded 26 for 259 anglers.
After poking around in the morning in more southerly waters without success, angler Chase Gunnell and crew ran up to Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend.
“The bite turned on in the latter half of the tide. Kept two nice kings and released a native. Herring Aide Coho Killer behind a moonjelly flasher pulled in two, green, yellow and white Coho Killer behind a red racer got the other one. All fish right off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. The fish are out there and making their way south!” he said.
Tom Nelson of 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Outdoor Line reported good fishing on the second day too, and was buoyed by reports of Chinook action to the west in the Straits.
As for salmon fishing elsewhere on Washington’s saltwaters, here are this week’s reports from Wendy Beeghley of WDFW (first), John Keizer of Saltpatrol.com (second) and Kevin Klein of Puget Sound Anglers (third):
Columbia Ocean Area (including Oregon)
A total of 2,006 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 307 Chinook and 1,463 coho. Through July 16, a cumulative total of 2,565 Chinook (19% of the area guideline) and 1,804 coho (9% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 2,239 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 284 Chinook and 1,053 coho. Through July 16, a cumulative total of 1,553 Chinook (7% of the area guideline) and 1,350 coho (9% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 89 anglers participated in the all species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 67 Chinook and 28 coho. Through July 16, a cumulative total of 156 Chinook (6% of the area guideline) and 53 coho (5% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 1,999 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 2,352 Chinook and 291 coho. Through July 16, a cumulative total of 4,698 Chinook (60% of the area guideline) and 688 coho (16% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
Fished Westport Sunday with Jerry Henderson. He caught a nice king and I nailed a decent coho just Northwest of the harbor in 280 feet trolling 100 feet on the downrigger.
Best action for kings came on a Pro-Troll Flasher with a purple haze squid with 6/0 Mustad hooks tied on 50-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon.
We found the coho in the upper 20 to 60 feet of water and we did better pulling a Fish Flash and Herring Aide spoon.
Tuna fishing is going full on now with local charters running southwest around 50 miles plugging their boats with albacore tuna.
The Bellingham Puget Sound Angler’s annual salmon derby took place this last weekend. Fishing for hatchery Chinook was anywhere from red hot to ice cold depending on where you were. Kings aren’t all over the Islands right now, but if you land on them, it can be very good fishing. Hoochies, spoons and bait have all been working.
Doug Marr took the $7500 first place prize with a 26.10-pound clipped fish. Alex Davis landed the biggest kid’s division Chinook at 15.42 pounds. The Bellingham Salmon Derby has always been a fun, family friendly event, with proceeds going to a lot of great causes.
Crabbing kicked off on July 15th. It’s been pretty good from most reports. Look for days with soft tides, or drop for a couple hours during a tide change. Dropping pots on a low and letting them soak into the flood can be productive. Our weather has been pretty darn good, and adding some Dungeness into the mix truly makes it feel like summer is here!
1. Doug Marr took top prize in the Bellingham Salmon Derby with this 26.10 lb hatchery Chinook. Well done!
2. Alex Davis showed up on top of the Kid’s division again with this 15.42 lber. Nice job young man!
3. Oliver Marica and family got a crab feed going on the open July 15th. It’s Dungie time!