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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 25, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Two big halibut reeled in off Westport; coastal summer salmon season also looming on horizon

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Happy Memorial Day!

Hope some of you got a chance to go out and fish during the long weekend.

I heard the halibut fishing off Westport was good once again on Sunday with just about everyone getting their one-halibut daily limit along with limits or close to limits of rockfish and lingcod.

“The 159 pounder [caught by Justin Werry of Kent fishing on the charter boat Sea Angel with Capt. Brian Mirante of Westport Charters] is the biggest halibut we have weighed at Westport in history,” said Larry Giese, owner of Deep Sea Charters in Westport.

Some of you who fished the gold old days of 1970s, 80s and 90s in Puget Sound remember Brian Mirante who is the son of Paul Mirante, a longtime charter boat operator out of Ballard. Both Brian and Paul have been fishing full time since 2005 off the coast at Westport Charters.

Another 106 pound halibut was brought in at Westport by Mark Strbiak of Seattle who was fishing with his daughter Natasha Strbiak aboard the charter boat Ranger with Capt. Don Davenport of Ocean Charters.

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Giese wanted to remind people that halibut fishing is still open at Westport on Sundays only, and the fishing is good.

This spring has been the season of giant-sized fish with numerous halibut over 100 pounds caught all the way from the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca off Sequim where a pair of 240 pound-plus halibut were recently caught to Neah Bay on the western Strait clear down to Westport.

In case you missed my Sunday Outdoor Notebook it sounds like the May-June commercial troll chinook salmon fishery is off to a good start when the weather allows them to get out of Neah Bay and Westport.

Not only have catches of chinook been decent, but they are also releasing a good number of coho too.

The ocean sport quota will be 176,400 hatchery coho and 20,500 chinook.

The huge jump in the coho catch quota is due to a forecasted Columbia River hatchery coho return of more than 1.2 million fish, the largest since 2001.

The North Coast will open June 27, and the South Coast will open June 28. Westport, Neah Bay and La Push will close Sept. 20 or until the quota is achieved. Ilwaco will close Sept. 30 or until the quota is achieved.

(Photos by Larry Giese of Deep Sea Charters at Westport)

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