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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Chicago White Sox players hook salmon in Puget Sound

AJ Pierzynski.jpg

What do major league baseball players do on their off day in Seattle?

How about book a salmon fishing charter trip on Puget Sound after taking a late night flight into town on Sunday.

That was what Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and third baseman Gordon Beckham, along with assistant trainer Brian Ball and director of media relations Bob Beghtol did this morning (Sept. 14).

It started at 6 a.m. when the group met Captain Steve Kesling, owner of Adventure Charters in Seattle at the Shilshole Bay Marina to pursue what has been a very good coho and pink salmon fishery of late.

Gordon Beckham.jpg

They started their fishing quest in front of Shilshole Bay between Meadow Point and West Point trolling mini squids on flashers at a depth of 60 to 70 feet.

“Gordon hooked our first fish at 6:15 a.m., and he lost it, but we had steady action from the start until 9 a.m.,” Kesling said.

All four had never fished for salmon before, although each had been out fishing for a wide range of other fish.

A few years ago, Pierzynski hooked a 400 pound thresher shark off southern California during an off day in Anaheim.

“I live in Florida, and I try and get out as much as I can in the offseason to fish,” Pierzynski said.

There was a little bit of a learning curve to fish for salmon, but it didn’t take long for the group to get the hang of it, Kesling said.

“I kind of saw it [his first salmon fishing experience] differently because when you think of salmon your first thought is a river or stream, so it was a very interesting [out on Puget Sound],” said Beckham, who has done a lot of deep sea fishing off the eastern and southeastern coasts before. “It was a blast and I didn’t know what to expect, but it was certainly fun.”

The salmon would come fast and not just one or two fish on at once, but multiple hook ups.

“We had fish hit all four poles at least once, and we had some triples too,” Kesling said.

“I would say it has been an amazing run of pinks, and they are now being replaced by ocean coho.”

Ball took the honor of catching the largest and second largest coho of day that weighed between 12 and 14 pounds. The total catch for about five hours of fishing was eight coho and eight pinks.

Group pix.jpg

“I definitely will come back out again to go fishing on an off day next year, and it is great to come to cities like this and do what is native to the land,” Beckham said.

“Besides [Ball] missing 17 fish in row,” Pierzynski joked, “it was a good fun time, and we got our limit so that was nice. When we come back next year we’ll be out again.”

And what do they plan to do with all the fish they caught?

A good chunk of the fish will arrive at the White Sox clubhouse for dinner tomorrow night before their game with the Mariners.

(Photos taken by Captain Steve Kesling, owner of Adventure Charters in Seattle; www.seattlesalmoncharters.com.)

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