Tag Archives: SEATTLE BOAT SHOW

Sportsmen’s And Boat Show Season Arrives In The Northwest

Congratulations, Jason Bauer, you’ve died and gone to heaven.

True, heaven will look a lot like the state fairgrounds in midwinter, but on the flip side there are scones – not to mention a giant walleye tank and the smells of alder smoke and cooking meat hanging in the air.

WALLEYE ARE AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR GAME FISH IN THE NORTHWEST AND WILL BE FEATURED IN A GIANT FISH TANK AT THREE UPCOMING SPORTSMEN’S SHOWS. (ERIC ENGBRETSON, USFWS, VIA FLICKR, CC 2.0)

Bauer, if you don’t know him, is an award-winning Northwest barbecue “pitmaster” and he’s also a longtime bugeye fisherman who once operated the site Northwestwalleye.com.

Both of his favorite pursuits will be on full display at the big Washington Sportsmen’s Show (Jan. 23-27) at the State Fair & Events Center in Puyallup, where Bauer will be coordinating cooking competitions between closely observing the inhabitants of Walleye Alley.

Both exhibits are firsts, and the latter will feature pro anglers giving talks, tackle on hand to buy, and more.

Trey Carskadon of O’Loughlin Trade Shows in Portland and Tacoma, which puts on this and two other similar events, expects the new fish tank to be a big deal, given recent issues with salmonid returns, but it’s also part of updating each season’s shows to keep them fresh and exciting.

“Our battle cry for this year’s spate of shows is ‘new,’” Carskadon notes.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that that is also what the organizers of other boat and sportsmen’s shows slated for Central Washington, Southwest Oregon, the Inland Northwest and elsewhere aim for as well as they seek to boost their foot traffic.

“One of the comments we hear often is ‘It’s the same old show,’” says Carskadon. “It never is, but we’ve taken those comments to heart and really shaken things up for 2019. Most years see at least a 30 percent turnover in exhibitors and features, but looking ahead we’ve moved folks around, added new features, exhibitors and personalities.”

Just as important, the shows are also something like the social event of the year for Our Tribe. At no other time do so many of us come together, and in a way that is comforting for the enduring strength of our heritage and pastimes. I dare say that those who put on the shows share the bond.

“We’re celebrating the ‘outdoor recreational culture,’” says Joe Pate, who has a quartet of shows in Southwest Oregon and Northern California.

All told, there are more than two dozen across the greater Northwest. Wherever you live, there’s one within an hour or two of you. Here are some of this year’s highlights from them:

NORTHWEST TACKLE MAKERS are excited about Walleye Alley and the 20 to 30 fish that by special state permit will be lurking in the big tank on loan from Berkley.

Buzz Ramsey at Yakima Bait was lining up local guides and national experts to give seminars and working on a handout that will include their top tips and a map showing the area’s best waters.

“If people are interested in walleye, this will be the place to be,” says Ramsey.

MIDWEST WALLEYE EXPERTS JOHNNIE CANDLE (PICTURED) AND MARK ROMANACK WILL BE AMONG THE EXPERTS GIVING DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE O’LOUGHLIN SHOWS’ WALLEYE TANK. LOCAL GUIDES SCHEDULED TO APPEAR INCLUDE CODY HERMAN, KEITH JENSEN, SHANE MAGNUSON, AUSTIN MOSER, SHELBY ROSS, WILLIE ROSS AND TOURNAMENT ANGLER LEELAND LAFERTY. (JOHNNIE CANDLE)

Bob Loomis at Mack’s Lure in Wenatchee sees it as a chance to get more anglers chasing a new species at a rough time for more celebrated local fish stocks

“Our walleye fishery is an outstanding fishery that the state and retailers totally overlook,” he notes.

While also a salmon and steelhead angler, Loomis says Washington needs to look at “other” markets besides the big two “to help give them a little breathing room.”

Last year’s Kokanee Tank is on hiatus after some of the fish spawned and the others died, but Carskadon says it should be back for 2020 with a new crop of kokes and a tank better suited to the species’ needs.

“Kokanee and walleye fisheries can take the pressure off of the salmon/steelhead portion of the markets for a while in order to continue to get license sales, sell guide trips, gas, food, lures, etc., sustaining markets, not putting them out of business,” asserts Loomis.

Walleye Alley will also be at the truly humongous Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show (Feb. 6-10) in Portland.

In another first, this year’s Puyallup show will feature the shindig’s inaugural Outdoor Cooking Competition, which runs all five days of the event, with the first dedicated to a 12-team game meat contest.

Jason Bauer says his “partner in crime” pitched the idea to O’Loughlin last year and they will be coordinating the competition along with cooking and grilling demonstrations and food sampling.

“We’re stoked,” says Carskadon. “Some big names are aboard and coming from around the country to show their grilling skills and serve up seminars on how to do it at a level that’s well beyond most backyard grillers. Winners from this event advance to other national events.”

The Portland show will have a new backyard barbecue feature, he says.

As for other new attractions, Carskadon says that Garmin is not only unveiling a totally new product – “I don’t know what it is other than something ‘big’ is promised” – but will have a Tech Center at Puyallup and Portland for GPS and marine electronics and seminars.

And the new Kayak Fishing Pavilion at Puyallup will include experts detailing how to get started, rigging up and destinations, along with retailer booths, he says.

SPEAKING OF WATER-BASED recreation, the Seattle Boat Show gets up on plane for a Jan. 25-Feb. 2 run at two locations in the Emerald City, CenturyLink Field Event Center and South Lake Union.

Besides something like 1,000 boats of all types on display, the show is known for its topnotch seminars, and this year’s features even more than ever. All totaled, more than 200 will be held, with nearly 80 of those focused specifically on fishing and crabbing, up from 55 last year, says Mark Yuasa at the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

BOAT SHOWS ALLOW PROSPECTIVE BUYERS TO KICK THE TIRES, PER SE, ON HUNDREDS OF DIFFERENT MODELS. SEATTLE’S BIG DOIN’S COMBINES THAT WITH GREAT SEMINARS FROM EXPERT ANGLERS AND CRABBERS. (SEATTLE BOAT SHOW)

“There will be 14 speakers (12 in 2017 and 10 in 2016) and five that are new to this year’s show. They are Mike Surdyk with Raymarine Electronics; Capt. Kent Alger, owner of Guides NW; and Hobie Kayak pro-staff ambassadors David Nguyen, Hung Nguyen and Keith Creameans,” he says.

The “all-star line-up” will cover a wide variety of topics designed to help watercraft-born anglers up their game on salt- and freshwaters alike, Yuasa says.

NMTA plans to hold a second boat show in Anacortes (May 16-19), and other watercraft events will occur in Portland (Jan. 9-13), Spokane (Jan. 26-Feb. 16), Vancouver, BC (Feb. 6-10) and Richland (May 2-5).

And along with ocean boats, guides, clam gear and more, the Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show (Feb. 23-24) will feature Charles Loos (known as “Tinman” on Ifish) and the Coast Guard’s Dan Shipman on safe boating and kayaking at sea.

“Whether you run on powerboats, kayaks or personal watercraft, you’ll gain actionable knowledge to keep your vessel and crew safe in our challenging ocean,” says organizer Marie Keene of OCEAN, the Oregon Coalition for Educating Anglers.

ATTENDEES OF THE SALTWATER SPORTSMEN’S SHOW IN SALEM INSPECT SHELLFISHING EQUIPMENT AT THE TWO-DAY MID-FEBRUARY EVENT. (SALTWATER SPORTSMEN’S SHOW)

JOE PATE OF Exposure Shows proudly says that his venues in Eugene (Feb. 1-3), Roseburg (Feb. 15-17), Medford (Feb. 22-24) and Anderson, California (March 1-3) offer the same features as the big boys, just on a smaller scale, but he also likes to spice things up.

On hand each day at all four will be the all-female Lumberjills and their Chics with Axes show. While the act has actually been around for 25 years and was founded by Tina Scheer of Survivor: Panama and Nat Geo’s Ultimate Survival Alaska! – who will also be in attendance – it will be making its Oregon debut and is sure to be a hit.

Also at his own booth at each show will be five-time mixed martial arts champion Tim Sylvia, whose Hit Squad Outdoors show recently made the move to the Sportsman’s Channel. Pate jokes that at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, Sylvia is about as big as the biggest of the grizzlies he also plans to bring in to all four venues.

Of course there’s also the 15th Annual Southern Oregon Head and Horns Competition, free to enter with paid show admission. The top prize at each show is a Bushnell riflescope, while all competitors are in the running for a two-night stay at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville.

Along with a BB gun range and fish pond, there’s also an archery shooting gallery for the kids, plus log furniture displays, expert demonstrations and more.

IN CENTRAL WASHINGTON, Merle Shuyler says he has a few new items for his shows in Tri-Cities (Jan. 18-20), Yakima (Feb. 15-17) and Wenatchee (Feb. 22-24), including the first annual Yakima Bait Yard Sale at the middle event.

“They will have for sale thousands of different Yakima Bait products at rock-bottom prices. This will include many of their more popular lures and fishing accessories,” says Shuyler.

A 24-foot-high climbing wall will give budding Alex Honnolds a chance to practice at Yakima and Pasco, while Gerry Reyes and Flat Out Fishing’s fish-fighting simulator is scheduled for the latter, he says. Replacing the retiring Cee Dub “Butch” Welch at the Outdoor Cooking Camp is Richie Harrod of Harrod Outdoors and he will be at the Pasco and Wenatchee shows.

“The West Texas Rattlesnake Show will be at all three of our shows and I believe that it will be the first time that this traveling rattlesnake show has been to the state of Washington,” Shuyler adds. “Dave Richardson is the handler and there will be several performances each show day. These entertaining presentations are geared for the entire family and offer educational as well as comedy aspects of handling wild rattlesnakes.”

AND IN SPOKANE and a little later in winter, the Big Horn Adventure Show – the granddaddy of ’em all in the Northwest at 59 years – promises a few new items and several popular ones that are returning during its March 21-24 run.

Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young measurers will be on hand to tape hunters’ trophy bucks and bulls as well as shed antlers for prizes.

Along with kid- and family-friendly activities – note that the 24th is free entry for children 13 and under – organizers are also trying to attract more women to the outdoors through a special offer that includes a goodie bag.

“Friday night’s ‘Ladies Night’ will be bigger and better going into our third year,” says Wanda Clifford of the venerable Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, which puts on the show. “This year we have a special ‘Ladies Night’ Big Horn Hat for sale.”

The West Texas Rattlesnake Show will also be slithering its way into Spokane, but if you’d rather have your own hands-on fun, there will be daily camping contests.

“This competition will find contestants setting up a camp and packing a backpack with the right survival items,” says Clifford.

Each day’s winner will score $1,000, but for those who’ve had their fill of roughing it, an entire building will be full of RVs to see.

WHICHEVER SHOW OR shows you go to this season, you’re bound to see new things while surrounded by fellow Northwest sportsmen. Whether you walk away with good deals on gear, a top prize for a big rack, or a sack of scones, you’re sure to have had a good time.

Editor’s note: For a full schedule of this year’s shows and links to each, go here.

Yuasa: Blackmouth Fisheries, Seattle Boat Show, Derbies Highlight January

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

It’s time to hit the “refresh button” as we ring in the New Year with plenty of fishing choices, a chance to participate in a NW Salmon Derby Series event or, tops on the list, taking in the 72nd Seattle Boat Show.

I’m feeling reinvigorated just thinking about all the places to go, events to see and fish to catch, if you catch my drift!
First off there’s no need to winterize your boat in the Pacific Northwest especially with the salmon fishing opportunities that abound right now from the San Juan Islands to Olympia.

AUTHOR MARK YUASA IS EXCITED ABOUT 2019’S POSSIBILITIES. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

The winter chinook fisheries hit full-stride when it opened today (January 1) for winter hatchery chinook at the highly-popular marine fishing grounds of northern and central Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands (Marine Catch Areas 7, 9 and 10).

Three key ingredients to make your outing a success is finding schools of baitfish (herring and candlefish) since blackmouth are hard-wired on feeding. That means it’s important to stay on top of baitfish and if you drift off them be sure to rev up the main motor and move right back to that same location.

The second tip is to not keep your presentation near the surface or at mid-water column depths like you often would do in the summer-time. These fish tend to hang right off the bottom digging their noses in the sand for bait like candlefish or picking off schools of herring. Keep your bait moving up and down the water column and let it soak for a little bit on or near the bottom before reeling it back up. If using downriggers set them at multiple depths and be sure one of the lead balls is bouncing right off the bottom.

Third is knowing a winter blackmouth’s habit during tidal movements and it isn’t necessary to be out on the water at the crack of dawn as you would during the summer. These fish are more predictable so if the bite occurred at a certain time of the day, it’s most likely they’ll do the same the following day only an hour later. Understanding their tendencies and where fish are hanging out on certain tides will lead to better success.

David Stormer, the WDFW Puget Sound Recreational fisheries manager says to keep in mind closing dates could hinge on catch guidelines or encounter limits for sub-legal and legal-size chinook (the minimum size limit is 22 inches).

The San Juan Islands winter fishery can’t exceed 3,176 total unmarked encounters and/or exceed 11,867 total encounters. WDFW will provide in-season catch estimates around Jan. 11.

In northern Puget Sound the encounter ceiling is 10,004 chinook; and central Puget Sound (Area 10) it is 3,596. WDFW will provide in-season catch estimates for 9 and 10 around Jan. 18.

All three areas will begin with a one hatchery chinook daily limit.
My word of advice is to go sooner than later, which will likely guarantee you more time on the water.

Salmon predictions roll out soon

We’re still a couple months out before anglers get their first glimpse of 2019 salmon forecasts but here’s early insight on pink salmon that return during odd-numbered years.

“We are just starting to get the spawning surveys and forecasts compiled,” said Marisa Litz, the WDFW pink and chum salmon biologist. “What we know for pinks is that a lot of fry can produce a lot of fish. Pinks are known to produce a lot of fry even coming off low returns. We won’t know for sure what 2019 holds but if we get that type of production we may see somewhat of an uptick in pinks.”

The pinks seem to be a very prolific fish, the run doubled from 1997 to 1999 although it is not a guarantee nor a consistent situation. It was like 1991 when 500,000 pinks returned and then soared to 1-million by 1993.

“It is something to be cautiously optimistic about,” Litz said.

WDFW and tribal co-managers are in the process of completing drafts for all salmon returns and the pink draft estimate for 2017 wasn’t very rosy.

“The pink runs are very boom or bust and we can see some pretty dramatic changes,” Litz said. “The total pink return was 480,858 pinks in 2017 (down from preseason forecast that year of 1,150,522) and to give you some context this is the lowest run size we’ve seen since 1997.”

In terms of a run-size and prior to 1997 you’d have to go all the way back to 1975 to see a lower run than that. Litz pointed out the 2017 pink return puts it in the top three lowest runs in the past 40 years.

For the past 15 years pink returns have steadily increased with more than a million returning in 2013, which was a record setting year.

“We had a lot of flooding and drought conditions in 2015,” Litz said. “That summer rivers were extremely low, and the spawning channels were very narrow when the pinks arrived. Then we had big floods and scouring of spawning beds and that wiped out a lot fish.”

The reductions from 2015 to 2017 was drastic, especially in the freshwater production environment, but the marine production was also hampered with a blow to the arm by the “Blob” – a mass of warm water that wreaked havoc on the Pacific Ocean ecosystem.

Here is a look at how some Puget Sound pink returns fared in 2017:
The Dungeness River had a pink return of 356,000 in 2015 and was 20,000 in 2017; Nooksack was 335,000 to 35,000 (96,218 was preseason forecast); Skagit was 411,000 to 86,000 in 2017 (85,600); Hood Canal was 646,000 to 39,000 (229,440); Puyallup was 800,000 to 100,000 (382,391); and Nisqually was 200,000 to 9,000 (21,463).

“The Green pink return was just getting started and new to this river system and we had close to 100,000 in 2013,” Litz said. “It appears the run is there to stay; we had about 50 percent less come back in 2017 (118,689) to what we saw in 2015.”

The Fraser River pink return was estimated at more than 8-million in 2017 and run-size ended up being 3,616,000 with an escapement goal of 6-million. That actual return was the second lowest since 1965.

Anglers got an early peek at Columbia River salmon return predictions last month that don’t look very rosy for spring and summer chinook and sockeye, and all are down from the 10-year average.

A total of 157,500 spring chinook are forecast to return down from a forecast of 248,520 last year and an actual return of 176,642. The upriver-bound total is 99,300 down from 166,700 last year and an actual return of 115,081.

Lower Columbia tributaries are also taking a hit with Cowlitz at 1,300 (5,150 forecasted in 2018 and actual return of 4,000); Kalama, 1,400 (1,450 and 2,300); Lewis, 1,600 (3,700 and 3,200); Willamette, 40,200 (53,820 and 37,441); and Sandy, 5,500 (5,400 and 4,733).

The Upper Columbia summer chinook return is 35,900 down from 67,300 last year and an actual return of 42,120. As for sockeye it is 94,400 down from 99,000 and 210,915.

Other news from the Big-C showed a 2018 fall chinook prediction of 376,000 and preliminary returns are about 75 percent of the forecast. The good news is bright jack chinook appear improved compared to 2017 and tule jack are similar to 2017.

The 2019 fall chinook outlook show bright stocks similar, and tule stock less than the 10-year average. Poor ocean conditions the past several years will likely hinder returns in 2019.

The 2018 Columbia coho return is about 35-percent of the preseason forecast of 213,600. The good news is jack coho returns are much improved over recent years and are about 50-percent greater than the recent 10-year average.

Other salmon nibbles and bites

Anglers who ventured off the coast managed to find good coho fishing this past summer while the king fishing never really took off.

“We had a pretty darn good coho fishery coast-wide and had a couple places close, which reached their coho quota early and while that is never good news what it means is that we caught fish,” said Wendy Beeghly, the WDFW coastal salmon manager. “Chinook fishing was slow everywhere last year. It makes sense since chinook returns weren’t very good in the Columbia River.”

Beeghly noted the coho seen in sampling were healthy, bigger and fatter so that was encouraging.

“While we can’t provide anything definitive just yet, what we saw with coho last season was good news compared to prior years and we all hope that what lies ahead will be good,” Beeghly said.

Federal fisheries managers are also reporting that environmental conditions in the ocean are improving, salmon productivity has made a turn for the better and the food chain is on the mend.

“The coho response to those factors should be a lot quicker than chinook which take some time and are slower to recover,” said Ryan Lothrop, a WDFW salmon specialist for the Columbia River region.

WDFW will present their salmon forecasts at the end of February in Olympia. The Pacific Fishery Management Council will approve final salmon seasons April 9-16 in Rohnert Park, CA.

Seattle Boat Show drops anchor soon

The Seattle Boat Show – the largest boat show on the West Coast – is Jan. 25 through Feb. 2. This is your one-stop shop for checking out hundreds of fishing boats, informative fishing seminars, and state-of-the-art gear and electronics.

There will be 78 free fishing seminars (up from 55 last year), and more coverage on a variety of new topics by top-notch experts that will provide an in-depth wealth of knowledge on how to catch fish across the Pacific Northwest. For a complete list of all fishing and boating seminars, go to https://seattleboatshow.com/seminars/.

This is also a great time for visitors to check out the NW Salmon Derby Series grand prize $75,000 Weldcraft 202 Rebel Hardtop boat from Renaissance Marine Group in Clarkston powered with a Yamaha 200hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ-loader galvanized trailer. It will be on display in the West Hall at the Master Marine Boat Center.

THE NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES’ GRAND PRIZE BOAT WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT THE HUGE SEATTLE BOAT SHOW COMING UP JAN. 25-FEB. 2. (NMTA)

The fully-rigged boat comes with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; a custom WhoDat Tower; and a Dual Electronics Stereo. Other sponsors who make the derby series a major success include Silver Horde Lures; Harbor Marine; Master Marine and Tom-n-Jerry’s; Salmon, Steelhead Journal; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News; Sportco and Outdoor Emporium; and Prism Graphics. The boat will be pulled to each event by a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado – not part of the grand prize giveaway – courtesy of our sponsor Northwest Chevrolet and Burien Chevrolet.

First up are the now sold-out Resurrection Salmon Derby Jan. 4-6 in Anacortes (http://www.resurrectionderby.com/); Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Jan. 17-19 (https://www.rocheharbor.com/events/derby); and Friday Harbor Salmon Classic Feb. 7-9(http://fridayharborsalmonclassic.com/.

Those will be followed by the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby March 8-10 (http://gardinersalmonderby.org/); and Everett Blackmouth Derby March 16-17 (http://www.everettblackmouthderby.com/).

There are 15 derby events in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada, and the drawing for the grand prize boat will take place at the conclusion of the Everett CohoDerby on Sept. 21-22. For derby details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

I’ll see you on the water or come say “hi” at the great Seattle Boat Show!

 

New Boat Show In Anacortes Coming In Mid-May

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST MARINE TRADE ASSOCIATION

Spring is blooming for boaters to hop onboard the new Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show May 17-20 at the Port of Anacortes’ Cap Sante Marina that is projected to have nearly 300 boats on display.

ORGANIZERS SAY THEY’LL HAVE NEARLY 300 BOATS ON HAND AT THE CAP SANTE MARINA IN ANACORTES FOR THE REGION’S NEWEST WATERCRAFT SHOW, SLATED FOR MAY 17-20. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) and Anacortes Chamber of Commerce have come together for this show set in one of region’s most popular boating areas. Attendees can soak in the sights of in-water and shore-side boats ranging from trailer-sized to a 68-foot Prestige from Sundance Yachts. Boats for sale include new and brokerage types in the water at the marina, and at nearby boatyards – Banana Belt Boats and North Harbor Diesel – located just south of the marina with free bus shuttle service. In the marina parking area there will be a large display of boats on trailers, and a huge shoreside tent filled with accessories and electronics.

“Teaming with the producers of the Seattle Boat Show to bring their expertise to our beautiful waterfront community and the gem of all marinas – Cap Sante Marina, is yet another way to offer our guests an opportunity to experience Anacortes – our island getaway,” said Stephanie Hamilton, the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce president.

Anacortes is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver B.C. The Anacortes area has more than 40 marine-related businesses to cover every boater’s wants and needs. For details, go to https://anacortesboatandyachtshow.com/.

Tickets

Cost is $10 for adults; $15 for unlimited pass; youth 17-and-under are free; 50-percent off for Veterans every day of show; and Yacht Club Members get in free on Thursday and Friday. E-tickets will go on sale April 2 and include a 12-month subscription to Sea Magazine and/or Boating World.

Hotel, Shopping and Dining

Attendees who stay at participating hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast locales will receive two free tickets to the show for each nights’ stay. Accommodations are available for all price ranges with several offering pristine views of the surrounding waters. There are many sights to see, places to shop and restaurants from casual to fine dining. For details, go to https://anacortes.org/.

Things to do

The Anacortes Farmers Market happens on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors offer farmers produce, yummy food and vibrant art plus live music. After the show, head over to Swinomish Casino & Lodge or take a hike and soak in sunset views at Mount Erie Park, the highest point on Fidalgo Island. Other activities include exploring nearby Washington Park and Deception Pass State Park; whale watching with local charter-boat businesses; having a picnic or strolling at Storvik Park or Seafarers Memorial Park; or viewing the Anacortes Mural Project on Commercial Avenue.

Yuasa: Tons Of Blackmouth Fishing, Razor Clam Digging Ops In March

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

The feeling of excitement started to build in the middle of last month when the days were getting a little longer, spring felt just that much closer, and most of all more fishing options are now coming into play throughout the Pacific Northwest.

It was back during the Seattle Boat Show – our most successful in attendance and boat sales – after logging 90-plus miles on my sneakers and putting in 12- to 15-hour days where people came up to chat with me on all things fishing. But, in particular it was one man who said, “Hey you’re Mark Yuasa and I just loved your columns, but miss you not being in the newspaper.”

AUTHOR MARK YUASA REPORTS THAT FAMED POSSESSION BAR HAS BEEN PRODUCING BLACKMOUTH SINCE IT REOPENED FEB. 16. (NMTA)

I replied, “Well thank you for the kind words, but no need to miss out on my column.”

That drew a rather perplexed look, which in turn I told him you can still find me in places like the Reel News and other outdoor publications. His response was “Wow that is great and I’m stoked! So where should I go fishing in the next couple of months?”

That last comment got his head swirling faster than a jig fluttering to the bottom of Puget Sound as I spoon fed him with plenty of fishing choices.

Even if you could stay “Sleepless in Seattle” there wouldn’t be enough time to hit every spring-time fishery on the must do list, but there’s no doubt with a little homework that an angler who uses their free time wisely can score an A+ in the fishing gradebook.
In order to keep everyone’s grade above the standards here are the possibilities for success.

After months of delays, the northern Puget Sound and east side of Whidbey Island (Marine Catch Areas 9, 8-1 and 8-2) finally reopened for hatchery chinook.

It appears hitting the pause button did work to some extent as the catch of sub-legal chinook – those under the 22-inch minimum “keeper” size limit – were less abundant as they had been way back before the Christmas holidays.

The first few days of the fishing season – which began on Feb. 16 – saw nasty weather with winds 10 to 30 knots blowing, but by President’s Day (Feb. 20) the situation calmed down enough that anglers managed to dial-in on success.

Hit the usual spots like Possession Bar, Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend, Point No Point, Marrowstone Island; Double Bluff off south west side of Whidbey Island; Hat Island at the “racetrack”; Columbia Beach; Onamac Point; and Elger Bay.

Still on top of list, but not quite as grand as it had been in January are the San Juan Islands (Area 7) where catches of nice-sized fish were still coming from places like Thatcher Pass; Peavine Pass; Speiden Island; Spring Pass; Obstruction Island; Clark and Barnes Islands; Parker Reef; Point Thompson; Peavine Pass; Doughty Point; Obstruction Pass; Waldron Island; Lopez Pass; and Presidents Channel.

Even more exciting is the fact that the Strait of Juan de Fuca comes into play for hatchery chinook this month.

Sekiu in the western Strait harkens me back to the “good old days” of salmon fishing, and it’s open March 16 through April 30. The good news here is that don’t expect any premature closure with hungry chinook from the Caves to Eagle Point, and west from Slip Point-Mussolini Rock area to Pillar Point. The eastern Strait off Port Angeles to Freshwater Bay is another stop off for chinook through April 15.

Closer to Seattle, the doors to salmon fishing in central Puget Sound (Area 10) have closed, but south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) and Hood Canal (Area 12) are open through April 30, and southern Puget Sound is open year-round.

This month also marks a special time for coastal communities who come out of a winter slumber as the bottom-fishing season kicks into high gear.

Ilwaco, Westport and La Push for opens lingcod and other bottom-fish on March 10. Bottom-fish fishing west of the Bonilla Tatoosh Island line off Neah Bay also opens on March 10, and east of the line is currently open year-round. The lingcod fishery on northern coast opens April 16.

Many will begin to make regular trips to the Lower Columbia River in pursuit of spring chinook. The 2018 forecast is 166,700 upriver spring chinook, which is 90 percent of recent 10-year average return. That is compared to 160,400 forecasted in 2017 and an actual return of 115,822, but somewhat down from 2016’s 188,800 and 187,816.

Spring coastal razor clam digs will be down somewhat from previous years, but mark your calendars for tentative dates set through April.

Final approval will depend on further marine toxin testing, which will likely be announced a week before each scheduled dig series. Digs in March occur during evening low tides after 12 p.m. while those in April are during morning low tides until 12 p.m. or until times noted below.

Dates are: March 2-3 at Mocrocks; March 16 at Copalis and Mocrocks; March 17 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; April 19-20 at Mocrocks; April 21 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, digging hours will be extended to 1 p.m.; and April 22 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, digging hours will be extended to 2 p.m.

More digging dates could occur later this spring if sufficient clams remain available to harvest.

The Puget Sound salmon forecasts were released on Feb. 27, and those who’d like to get involved with this rather arduous process should take a seat at some of the upcoming meetings.

Early word on the street is that fishing seasons could resemble last season, but it’s still too early in the game to know exactly how things will pan out. For a list of other meeting dates, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

First three events in Salmon Derby Series start off with decent action

Thousands of anglers converged to San Juan Islands for three salmon derbies – part of the NMTA’s NW Salmon Derby Series – since the New Year with good catches and decent weather conditions.

The Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 8-10 had 100 boats with 329 anglers that weighed-in 122 fish (winning fish was 19.15 pounds).

In Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Jan. 18-20 had 100 boats with 357 anglers weighing in 179 chinook (winning fish was 17 pounds, 11 ounces). The Resurrection Derby on Jan. 5-7 saw 102 boats with 334 anglers reeling-in 50 hatchery chinook (winning fish was 18.28 pounds).

There are 15 derbies in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada. Next up is Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby on March 9-11, and Everett Blackmouth Derby on March 17-18.

(NMTA)

Check out the grand prize $65,000 KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with a Honda 150hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ-loader trailer. It is fully-rigged with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; custom WhoDat Tower; and Dual Electronic stereo. Drawing for the boat will take place at conclusion of derby series. For details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

Lastly, it was super great meeting everyone at the Seattle Boat Show where our combined net attendance for all three locations was 52,928, up 2.1 percent over last year. Indoor attendance at CenturyLink Field Event Center over all nine days of the show was 46,938, up 0.8 percent compared to last year.

On that note, I’ll see you on the water very soon!

Yuasa: ‘Winter Chinook Fishing Hitting Full Stride’

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

It’s the start of 2018, and there are plenty of on-water salmon fishing activities to ring in during the New Year!

If you catch my drift this isn’t a time to sit back on the couch in front of a fireplace or TV as winter chinook fishing is hitting full-stride, and the table quality of these fish are like non-other to be had on the BBQ grill.

BE SURE TO CATCH THE SUNRISE AT SEKIU WHEN IT OPENS FOR SALMON FISHING ON MARCH 16. (MARK YUASA)

Keep in mind closing dates on many fishing areas mentioned below could hinge on catch guidelines or encounter limits for both sub-legal and legal-size chinook that often make or break if anglers can fish for hatchery-produced salmon. This unfortunate situation came to fruition in November for two northern marine areas when the sub-legal catch skyrocketed.

On that note, my word of advice is to go sooner than later, which will likely guarantee you more time on the water.

The San Juan Islands (Marine Catch Area 7) opened Jan. 1 with fishing allowed through April 30 for hatchery chinook.

Let me stand on my soap box, and preach to you about island chain being as close as you can get to awesome scenery and wildlife viewing that is very similar to Alaska’s coastline. And let’s not forget there’s a decent chance to catch a quality large-size chinook just minutes from nearby boat ramps or marinas.

A good gauge on success in the islands will occur when anglers hit the water for the Resurrection Salmon Derby – part of the NMTA’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series – on Jan. 5-7 in Anacortes at Cap Sante Marina. This is followed by Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Jan. 18-20. For details, go to NW Salmon Derby Series.

Closer to Seattle is central Puget Sound (Area 10), which has been quietly producing some fair to good action at places like Southworth, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester, Rich Passage, West Point, Jefferson Head and Point Monroe. The closure date for 10 is Feb. 28.

Back in mid-November, northern Puget Sound (Area 9) fell victim to the huge sub-legal chinook (fish under the 22-inch minimum size limit) encounter rate and was shut-down until further notice.

Area 9 was scheduled to reopen for hatchery chinook from Jan. 16 through April 15. Look for blackmouth at places like Possession Bar, Double Bluff off southwest side of Whidbey Island, Point No Point, Foulweather Bluff, Pilot Point, Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend and Scatchet Head.

Areas 8-1 and 8-2 – eastside of Whidbey Island – also experienced a set-back in November, and was supposed to reopen sometime this month and could happen concurrent to the Area 9 opener. Keep an eye out for an announcement on this situation by WDFW very soon.

Don’t overlook, south-central (Area 11), Hood Canal (Area 12) and southern Puget Sound (Area 13), which are all open now through April 30.

Other winter chinook fisheries on the “must go” list are western Strait (Area 5) from March 16 to April 30; and eastern Strait (Area 6) from March 1 to April 15.

New Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan proposed

Salmon politics started brewing on Dec. 1 when fishery managers released the 368-page Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan.

This fishing plan – sent to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries for review – and guides conservation and harvest of Puget Sound chinook salmon from the ocean clear into inner-marine waterways takes effect from 2019 through 2029.

AUTHOR MARK YUASA WORRIES THAT THE OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH WINTER CHINOOK IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS “COULD BE A THING OF THE PAST IF THE PROPOSED PUGET SOUND CHINOOK HARVEST MANAGEMENT PLAN BECOMES A REALITY.” (MARK YUASA)

The controversial plan has raised issues and many in sport-fishing industry are concerned that the plan could adversely affect sport salmon fishing opportunities.

There is an 18-month public comment period, and this will surely be a hot topic of many debates in the months to come. To view the comprehensive plan, go to Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan.

Seattle Boat Show drops anchor Jan. 26-Feb. 3 at three locations

The Seattle Boat Show from Jan. 26 through Feb. 3 is the one-stop place to get your fix on hundreds of fishing boats, informative seminars, and state-of-the-art gear and electronics.

There will be 55 free fishing seminars, and more coverage on a variety of new topics by top-notch experts that will provide anglers with the most in-depth wealth of knowledge on how to catch fish across the Pacific Northwest. For a complete list of all fishing and boating seminars, go to https://seattleboatshow.com/seminars/.

This will also be a time when visitors can check out the NW Salmon Derby Series grand prize $65,000 KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with a Honda 150hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ-loader galvanized trailer. The fully-rigged boat comes with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine electronics; a custom WhoDat Tower; and a Dual Electronic Stereo.

THE 2018 NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES GRAND PRIZE BOAT. (NMTA)

There are 15 derby events in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada, and the drawing for the grand prize boat will take place at conclusion of the Everett Derby in September or November. For derby details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

I’ll see you on the water or at the biggest boat show on the West Coast, the great Seattle Boat Show!

 

55 Fishing Seminars, 10 New Topics On Tap At Seattle Boat Show

The Seattle Boat Show today announced its lineup of free fishing seminars for the Jan. 26-Feb. 3 shindig, and it includes a pretty sharp slate of skippers and other anglers.

Organizers report they’ll hold a total of 55 seminars with 10 new topics, including bringing in experts from Eastern Washington such as guide Austin Moser, who will be presenting on how to catch Lake Roosevelt’s big kokanee.

GUIDE AUSTIN MOSER HOISTS FOUR NICE LAKE ROOSEVELT KOKANEE. (AUSTINSNORTHWESTADVENTURES.COM)

Other speakers include radio show host and downrigger salmon fishing expert Tom Nelson, tuna fisherman Tommy Donlin, kayak angler Brad Hole, crabber Clyde McBrayer, and others.

“There is no better way for an angler to improve his or her success on the water than investing in an hour or two at one of the show’s seminars,” organizers state in a press release.

There will also be seminars on marine electronics, cruising and more.

CLYDE MCBRAYER SPEAKS DURING A SEATTLE BOAT SHOW FISHING SEMINAR. (SEATTLE BOAT SHOW)

While the show has added a new third location this year at Bell Harbor Marina, all the fishing seminars will be held on Stage 1 of the North Hall at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

For more on the Seattle Boat Show, go here.

Meanwhile, here’s a rundown on who’s speaking on what, when, courtesy of the show:

Friday, January 26th
2:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Fishing for San Juan Islands Chinook Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Gary Krein Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in C. Washington Dave Graybill Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Successful Halibut Fishing on North Coast and Strait Mike Jamboretz Stage #1 North Hall
Saturday, January 27th
12:00 PM Saltwater Structure Strategies Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
1:00 PM Fishing for Columbia River Kings from Buoy 10 to Brewster Mark Gavin Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Successful Halibut Fishing on North Coast and Strait Mike Jamboretz Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Fly Fishing in Puget Sound Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
Sunday, January 28th
1:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in C. Washington Dave Graybill Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Trophy Kokanee in Lake Roosevelt Austin Moser Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Live Bait Fishing for Tuna Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
Monday, January 29th
2:00 PM Triple Threat Salmon Angling Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Gary Krein Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Anyone Can Catch a Tuna Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Successful Halibut Fishing on North Coast and Strait Mike Jamboretz Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Saltwater Structure Strategies Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Successfully Fishing Lakes Washington/Sammamish Year Round Mark Gavin Stage #1 North Hall
Tuesday, January 30th
2:00 PM Columbia River Springers in Your Boat! Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Gary Krein Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Fishing for San Juan Islands Chinook Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Live Bait Fishing for Tuna Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #1 North Hall
Wednesday, January 31st
2:00 PM Fishing for Columbia River Kings from Buoy 10 to Brewster Mark Gavin Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Fishing the World Championship Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Successful Halibut Fishing on North Coast and Strait Mike Jamboretz Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Saltwater Structure Strategies Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
Thursday, February 1st
2:00 PM Successfully Fishing Lakes Washington/Sammamish Year Round Mark Gavin Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Triple Threat Salmon Angling Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Gary Krein Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #1 North Hall
Friday, February 2nd
2:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Fishing for San Juan Islands Chinook Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Gary Krein Stage #1 North Hall
Saturday, February 3rd
12:00 PM Top Tactics for Winter Blackmouth John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
1:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing in Washington Clyde McBrayer Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM How to Maximize Your Marine Electronics to Locate Fish John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom (TJ) Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Salmon Fishing: Coast and Puget Sound John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Fly Fishing in Puget Sound Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Salmon and Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #1 North Hall

‘Sea Change’ Of Sorts Coming To Seattle Boat Show: 3rd Location, More Watercraft Added

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST MARINE TRADE ASSOCIATION

January 2018 marks a sea change for the Seattle Boat Show. For the first time in the show’s 71-year history, there will be three locations – indoors at CenturyLink Field Event Center and afloat at South Lake Union and the newly added Bell Harbor Marina.

THE 2018 SEATTLE BOAT SHOW, BILLED AS THE LARGEST ON THE WEST COAST, RUNS JAN. 26-FEB. 3 AT CENTURYLINK FIELD, SOUTH LAKE UNION AND – NEW THIS YEAR – BELL HARBOR MARINA ON THE WATERFRONT. (SEATTLE BOAT SHOW)

 

What this means for attendees is that there will be more to see and do at what was already the west coast’s largest boat show and the third largest in North America. The 2018 show will have more boats on display and more free shuttles conveniently transporting attendees between all three locations. Additionally, there are more hotels offering special packages for out-of-town attendees to choose from and more new seminar topics and presenters. The show opens Friday, Jan. 26 and runs through Saturday, Feb 3, 2018.

More boats

The addition of Bell Harbor Marina to the mix provides attendees with not only more locations but also more boats to check out. At press time, show applications were still flooding in, but all indications are that there will be a record number of boats on display for the 2018 show.

(SEATTLE BOAT SHOW)

More new seminars

One of the most popular features year in and year out at the Seattle Boat Show is the extensive line-up of free boating and fishing seminars and the advanced training classes for a fee through Boat Show University. No other show in North America matches the Seattle seminar schedule in terms of the quality, variety and number of seminars offered. Regular seminar attendees will be pleased to note the number of new speakers and seminars for 2018. There are 25 new presenters, more panels and more new seminars focused on technology, electronics, communications and navigation. On the fishing stage alone there will be 19 new topics. Boat Show University will have more classes on weather, maintenance and cruising the Inside Passage

More parking

With the addition of Bell Harbor Marina comes convenient access to the Bell Street Parking Garage across the street. Even better, parking there will be free – all nine days of the show –  with the purchase of an e-ticket. There will also be free weekend parking at South Lake Union at the 300 Yale Street garage.

“SO WE COULD PUT A ‘RIGGER MOUNT HERE, AND A CUP HOLDER FOR OUR BABY BOTTLES HERE … (SEATTLE BOAT SHOW)

More hotels.

For 2018 the Seattle Boat Show is partnering with six local hotels –  Courtyard Pioneer Square; Crowne Plaza Seattle; Silver Cloud Hotel Stadium; Marriott Residence Inn; Marriott Courtyard; and the Silver Cloud Lake Union– offering more choices than ever before for out-of-town showgoers. Visit http://www.seattleboatshow.com/official-hotels for special rates and discount codes.

About the Seattle Boat Show

The show features three locations, 1,000 recreational vessels and more than 400 exhibitors. There are more than three acres of the latest innovations in accessories, technology and boating gear on display indoors, plus hundreds of world-class yachts on the water at South Lake Union and Bell Harbor Marina. There are approximately 200 free seminars during the nine days of the show and advanced training classes for a fee through Boat Show University. A free shuttle runs continuously between all three locations.

For a complete list of exhibitors, seminars, travel package and ticket prices, please visit www.SeattleBoatShow.com  E-tickets go on sale Dec. 1, 2017.