The Geoduck Restaurant Salmon Derby was held on March 5-6 in Brinnon on Hood Canal, which is part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series.
The derby had 100 anglers who landed a total of 27 hatchery chinook.
The winner was Rick Poyner with an 18 pound, 2 3/8 ounce hatchery chinook that earned him $400. Second went to Mitch Wilson with a 16 pound, 7 3/8 ounce hatchery chinook worth $300 and he also took home the largest fish of the first day worth $100. Third place went to Tyler Speaks with a 15 pound, 4 3/8 ounce hatchery chinook worth $200.
Next up is the Everett Blackmouth Derby hosted by Bayside Marine on March 19 at the Everett 12th Street boat ramp. For details on the Everett Derby or call 425-501-4024 or email@example.com.
After that is the popular and sold-out Anacortes Salmon Derby on March 26-27. For details on the Anacortes Derby or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A break in the weather allowed some folks to finally get out onto the saltwater to pursue hatchery chinook, and managed to find some fair to good fishing.
TJ Nelson, outdoor show host on The Outdoor Line on 710 AM ESPN and Lake Stevens resident was out on the water in recent days and found a nice 12-pound hatchery chinook on Coyote Bank.
For most who don’t know early spring is the prime time for hitting these exposed banks on the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca. Since these areas are open water boaters who do venture out need to pat attention to the weather forecast.
Other good places to cash-in on hatchery winter chinook are Middle, Hein, Partridge and Salmon banks.
In the Strait of Juan de Fuca the Port Angeles area remains a good choice for hatchery chinook. A check at the Ediz Hook ramp on Sunday showed 32 boats with 62 anglers that caught 32 chinook.
Places to fish around Port Angeles are Freshwater Bay and Winter Hole and Humps off Port Angeles.
Folks at Olson’s Resort in Sekiu on the western Strait say a few boats got out over the weekend, but no reports on how they did.
In the San Juan Islands it still remains a quality over quantity type of hatchery chinook fishery with some nice ones in the lower to mid-teens being caught.
“It has been an excellent winter, and it did slow down but if a person wanted to out fishing he’d have a good chance of getting a nice fish,” said Jay Field, owner of Dash One Charters in Anacortes.
Field caught some chinook at Guemes Channel and Lopez Flats, but also pointed out that fish were being caught at Eagle Bluff and Obstruction Pass.
Other fair reports came from Possession Bar, Double Bluff on the south east side of Whidbey Island, Hat Island, Elger Bay, Point No Point and Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend.