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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 20, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Ocean chinook fishery off to a slow start, but look for it to break out in the weeks ahead

Gordybigking.JPG

It is only day three on the coastal hatchery-marked king salmon fishery, and many are still plying the vast ocean trying to nail down where the fish are milling.

Westport located off the south central coast had the largest turnout of anglers, but those who headed out on the Saturday opener found it to be very slow.

“Things started off very slow on Saturday, and there might have been one charter boat that got 10 fish, but a lot of them had nothing,” said Mark Cedergreen, president of the Westport Charter Boat Association.

“By Sunday fishing was much better, but there again not everybody got into the fish,” Cedergreen said. “All the boats had kings, and some people managed to get their (two hatchery chinook daily) limits. A lot of people has at least one king.”

Cedergreen says the hatchery-mark rate was fairly good, and today (Monday, June 20) the ocean was beautiful and flat.

The biggest king weighed in at the daily Westport Derby on Saturday’s opener was 25 pounds dressed. Gordon Yamaguchi of Olympia had the largest hatchery king caught to date that weighed 37 pounds.

“The best fishing on Sunday afternoon was right off the mouth of the harbor around Buoy 8, and at the end of the sunken jetty,” Cedergreen said. “A lot of the boats this morning (Monday, June 20) are back off Ocean Shores, and that is where the best bite has been the last couple of days.”

“It is not an exciting start to the season, but it is only day three and we have a lot of the fishing left ahead of us,” Cedergreen said. “I guess the good thing is we are back in the saddle again.”

Word to the north at La Push was slow king fishing, and somewhat better at Neah Bay. Ilwaco was good on the opener for kings.

All four ports are open daily for hatchery-marked chinook through June 25.

Ilwaco is open daily from June 26 to Sept. 30 for all chinook and hatchery-marked coho. The season could close sooner if the quotas are attained.

Westport is open Sundays through Thursdays only from June 26 to Sept. 18 for all chinook and hatchery-marked coho. The season could close sooner if the quotas are attained.

La Push and Neah Bay are open June 26 to Sept. 18 for all chinook and hatchery-marked coho. The season could close sooner if the quotas are attained.

Check the regulation pamphlet for specific daily limits, and other specific rules.

(Photo courtesy of Gordon Yamaguchi)

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