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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Surprise catch by state Fish and Wildlife test fishery boat in northern Puget Sound

halibut.jpg

The state Fish and Wildlife test fishery boat was out Friday morning plying the waters of northern Puget Sound in search of winter chinook when they hooked into something clearly unexpected.

Toby Black and Pete Sergeef were downrigger trolling off the Tin Shed drift on Possession Bar located on the south side of Whidbey Island.

Much to their surprise instead of battling a chinook they found themselves going toe-to-toe with a halibut that they estimated weighed about 34 pounds before releasing it back into the briny deep.

Halibut populations have made a fairly good showing in recent years mainly around the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and northern Puget Sound.

Those halibut fisheries get underway May 5 through May 29. They will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and closed Sunday through Wednesday except for Memorial Day weekend when they will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Pete Sergeef)

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