The fairly strong southwest winds in the morning were problematic for many salmon anglers who ventured out to try their luck in today’s (July 16) hatchery-marked chinook selective fishery opener in northern and central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Areas 9 and 10).
I fished the Kingston area from 6 a.m. until Noon, and saw fair action for kings with some anglers faring better than others.
Dogfish were a problem early on as can be expected during a flood tide there, but once the water started to ebb the pesky doggies disappeared, the herring schools reappeared along with some kings.
While we ended up empty handed on our fishing outing at Kingston, others like Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle, landed one hatchery king and lost another at Kingston.
Robbins has made nine trips to the Kingston area, and has landed or released at least one king every time out on the water.
Highliners were Ed and Irene Toyoji who showed up “late” at Kingston around 8 a.m., and were done in two hours with their four-fish daily limit of hatchery kings, 14 to 16 pounds.
Courtney Atkins, the state Fish and Wildlife checker at the Shilshole Bay boat launch checked 46 boats with 26 chinook by 12:30 p.m., and reported that success amongst the anglers she saw was fairly decent.
A state Fish and Wildlife research boat off President’s Point hooked one king, while another test fishery boat up at Pilot Point managed to hook five kings.
The king fishing at Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend was the talk of town last summer when it opened to gangbuster fishing, but today’s action was fair.
“It wasn’t bloodbath as in past years, and there were fish being caught on and off with a little bite happening here and there,” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist who was on the water scanning the fishery today. “The bite would come on and you would see four or five fish caught, and then it would die off for a while and then pick back up again. I know a friend who managed to get his limit after fishing for some time.”
The downrigger trollers at Possession Bar also found good action, and the afternoon ebb tide bite at Point No Point was marginal.
The inner-Elliott Bay king fishery reopened today (July 16), and 61 boats hooked six kings.
“Hopefully that (the king catch in the bay) is a sign of things to come and it will be better,” said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife checker at the Don Armeni boat launch today (July 16).
While there is some optimism, a tribal Elliott Bay test fishery of five gill-net boats managed to only catch a mere five chinook this past Wednesday.
The inner-Elliott Bay fishery is open Fridays to Sundays only.
Other places where I’d heard of kings caught at Meadow Point, Richmond Beach, Jefferson Head and Apple Cove Point.