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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Strait of Juan de Fuca loaded with chinook, coho and flush with pinks

My two best and most reliable sources in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are saying the hot bite when the hatchery king fishery opened on July 1 has slowed down, but pinks and hatchery coho are everywhere too.

“It was pretty close to a king per boat average for kings, and coho along with some pinks at Sekiu and Port Angeles,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait. “By the third day (July 3) we got hit with some wind and now (July 7) it is fog.”

Bennett says the pinks showed up early, and that probably means we are going to have a strong run (six-million is the pink forecast) if they show up that early. A couple weeks ago at Neah Bay the pinks showed up in big numbers and they are definitely on their way.

The biggest king weighed at Sekiu was 30 pounds, and at Port Angeles the largest was 27 pounds.

“We’ve also had a couple of good sized coho, but most of the ones I saw were in the 4 to 5 pound range,” Bennett said. “Effort was down on the opener, and I expected to see about twice the number of anglers.”

Just to the west at Sekiu, Chris Mohr who is about as honest as one can get about flipping reports out says the king bite has slowed down in recent days.

“We had a really great three days (July 1-3), and (Tuesday and Wednesday, July 5-6) the king bite really dropped off, and now I would say is the time to go out for humpies (pinks) and bust some (hatchery-marked) silvers,” Mohr said.

While the numbers of king started to wane, anglers should remember these fish come in waves, and it is guaranteed to pick up in the coming days.

Mohr weighed a pink that was 7 pounds, and the bit for those and coho is “amazing.”

“The coho are in the 4 to 6 pound range,” Mohr said. “Limits are not the exception, but more the rule. Everybody is looking for kings right now, and lot won’t even bother yet for the humpies and coho. This is just the front shoulder of the pinks, and I can’t imagine what it will be like in a month from now. The humpies were all over the surface, and jumping everywhere.”

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