If you’re a salmon fishing nut like me, then it is all but guaranteed that you’ll be tossing about in bed — like a kid on the night before Christmas — on Friday night in anticipation of the northern and central Puget Sound hatchery-marked chinook opener this coming Saturday, July 16.
Central Puget Sound has been open for coho since July 1, and while they’re catching good numbers of nice-sized coho anglers have also been incidentally releasing numerous kings although this morning (July 13) was pretty much a bust due to strong southerly winds.
“The king fishing is looking like it’ll be pretty good when it opens, and it was off the charts the last few days,” said Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle, who has been fishing mainly around Jefferson Head and Kingston.
Robbins told me not to divulge his numbers of king caught and released since July 5, but let me just say that it has reached double digits on more than one occasion.
The king mark rate so far appears to be lower with about 50 percent (70 to 75 percent the past few years) having a missing adipose fin indicating they’re of hatchery origin.
Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Fishing Charters in Shilshole Bay says they’ve been finding good numbers of coho averaging 3 pounds with some up to 5 pounds.
“We’ve been catching kings too, and the coho this year are very nice size,” Krein said. “We’re finding coho as far south as yellow can off West Point, along Bainbridge Island, Shilshole Bay and Jeff Head.”
“We worked hard (Tuesday) to get out fish, and it has been funny because everyday it has been cloudy we’ve had a tough time catching fish, and everyday is sunny it has been great fishing,” Krein said. “If that makes any sense at all in all honesty it really doesn’t make sense.”
A good outgoing tide in the morning should produce a good bite for hatchery kings at places like Port Townsend, Double Bluff off Whidbey Island, Point No Point, Pilot Point, Possession Bar, Edmonds oil dock, Richmond Beach, The Trees, Jefferson Head, Kingston, Apple Tree Cove and Point Monroe.