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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 5, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Salmon fishing is very good all across Washington’s open marine areas


The summer salmon fishing action has been exciting not only on the coast, but decent in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles, the San Juan Islands and clear into Central and southern Puget Sound.

I fished with Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle, who purchased a “beast of a boat” 23-foot Grady White with a 300-horsepower Yamaha on Monday in Central Puget Sound.

We left Shilshole Bay at 6 a.m., and made one drift off Jefferson Head where it looked good with lots of baitfish, but we decided to head north to Kingston.

After a few drifts I got slack lined while dropping down my weight to about 60 feet of water, and reeled then set the hook on a nice 19.7 pound king that we released (Central Puget Sound north of Point Monroe and Meadow Point boundary line is open for catch and release only).

About 30 minutes later I thought I hooked a dogfish as I set the hook near the bottom and then it made some lazy bounces as I reeled up.

Then the line started to go up and out away from the boat as Robbins said, “I like those kind of dogfish.”

We released that fish, and saw about six other kings or small salmon caught and released. It was a good day and then around the 10 a.m. the bite died.

The coho bite has also been fairly good as reported by the local charter boats out of Shilshole Bay, and many have been getting limits of the fiesty fish weighing 2 to 4 pounds.

I got other great reports from my friend who fished up at Sekiu on July 1-2, and brought home 13 kings up to 20 pounds, and released just as many wild fish. There are also a bunch of early pink salmon that showed up there and the line the strait clear into Port Angeles. At “PA” the king bite was also good off Ediz Hook and the humps.

The San Juan Islands was also very good for the king opener on July 1 and has remained productive through Tuesday, July 5.

Here is a fishing report from Kevin Klein of Friday Harbor, who is a Puget Sound Anglers San Juan Island Chaper member and CCA Northsound member:

“There is “good,” there is “very good,” and then there is “crazy good.”

The San Juans since the July 1 salmon opener have been “crazy good.”

I had a funny feeling that there would be kings around, but couldn’t imagine this. Fish are everywhere, North, South, East, and West. They are biting on everything, but feeding mostly on candlefish. I have been using the “Tailwagger” and “4 lite” spoons by Silver Horde behind a Q-cove flasher with much success. However, these are hungry salmon, and hootchies and bait are also working.

Troll close to the bottom, elevated a bit more than blackmouth, but not much. I have caught a lot of clipped fish, and have actually just been releasing unclipped salmon, and keeping hatchery. That’s good to see. So are the multiple reports of big chinook over 30 pounds.

The upcoming Bellingham Derby could take a real monster to win it. I had five fish to the boat on the morning of July 4 by 7 a.m., and this has been common.

The San Juans are now “Ground Zero” for some of the best salmon fishing on the planet.

(Photo taken by Andy Holman of “Spud” Goodsell with a 30 pounds king caught while fishing with Jay Field owner Dash One Charters of Anacortes.)



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