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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 5, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Chinook fishery picks up in some places of Puget Sound, but coho still biting for a double whammy

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It’s a new month and with that comes more salmon fishing opportunities especially for resident chinook.

Central Puget Sound is open now through Jan. 31 for hatchery-marked chinook [those with a missing adipose fin may be kept in a two-salmon daily limit], and even though the high pressure winds have knocked out most chances to wet a line of late it appears the bite this morning [Oct. 5] was good and it should stay that way for a while.

“We got our first two keepers [hatchery chinook] of the season at Jefferson Head that were just legal-size of 24 and 22 inches,” said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife fish sampler. “There is a lot of baitfish [herring schools] in the area. There was a lot of sub-legal size chinook that are 16 to 17 inches so those should be of legal size in the next couple of months.”

Sergeef said he checked at the Shilshole Bay ramp over the weekend, and had only eight boats out yesterday in the windy weather who caught nothing. On Saturday, he had 59 boats with 113 anglers with one chinook and 34 coho.

Coho catches have been modest, but fish being caught are the bigger hooked nosed coho that hit the scales at 10 to 16 pounds.

South-central Puget Sound is also open for chinook salmon, but fishing has been spotty from Vashon Island to Tacoma. Checks showed a fair number of coho being caught.

Try Allen Bank off Blake Island, Southworth, Alki Point, West Point to Meadow Point, Point Monroe and Yeomalt Point for a mix of coho, chinook and a few early chum.

Up north in Marine Area 9, coho fishing is still fair at times off Possession Bar, Marrowstone Island [decent places for beach anglers], Bush Point on Whidbey Island, Scatchet Head, Point No Point, Double Bluff, Edmonds area and from the Shipwreck to Mukilteo.

A reminder that only the southern portion of Marine Area 8-2 is open for coho. That covers a boundary line from the Port of Everett west to Randall Point near the Clinton Ferry Landing.

The San Juan Islands are open for salmon, and the daily limit is two fish of which only one may be a chinook. Fish checks from the weekend showed a sparse angler turnout and pitiful catches.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca at Sekiu has been good for coho and a fair number of chinook were caught over the weekend. The Sekiu area is open for chinook [one per day] and coho now through Oct. 15.

In the eastern Strait catches have ramped up off Port Angeles at Winter Hole and the humps for both a mix of chinook and coho. Just to the west, Freshwater Bay has been also decent for chinook and coho.

(Photo of George Harris, president of the Northwest Marine Trade Association and a true diehard salmon angler who had a limit of four coho for his boat by 9:15 a.m. this past Saturday off Shilshole Bay.)

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