Big minus low tides were the likely culprit on creating slow halibut fishing in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca this past week.
“It was not that hot of halibut fishing, and minus low tides were probably to blame,” said James Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife creel sampler in the Strait. “We had a couple decent sized fish come in that weighed 63 and 76 pounds. The counts were pretty low so nothing real exciting the report this past week.”
Bennett says the big news is the Port Angeles Halibut Derby coming up this weekend, and Sekiu (Marine Catch Area 5) opens for halibut on Thursday, May 26.
Entry fee is $40 per angler, and tickets are available online at Swain’s General Store’s website or at Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles or Friday, May 27 at the Port Angeles Yacht Club Derby Headquarters.
Largest halibut is worth $5,000, second place is $2,500 and third place is $1,500. Pay outs for largest fish goes all the way to 30th place.
All fish caught must be brought in by water to the West Boat Haven ramp and docks in Port Angeles.
Last year more than 688 anglers competed, and Ken Kirkman of Port Angeles took home the $5,000 with an 88 pound halibut. Second weighed 68 pounds, third was 64 pounds, fourth was 63 pounds and fifth was 62 pounds.
For details, call Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles at 360-452-2357.
Halibut catches by the numbers:
Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles — May 19: 53 boats with 104 anglers caught 18 halibut, one lingcod and one Pacific cod; May 20: 81 boats with 175 anglers caught 25 halibut and one lingcod; May 21: 73 boats with 157 anglers caught 25 halibut and one lingcod.
John Wayne Marina, Sequim — May 19: 46 boats with 99 anglers caught five halibut; May 21: 26 boats with 66 anglers caught four halibut.
Port Angeles West ramp — May 20: 31 boats with 78 anglers caught eight halibut.