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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 28, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Chicago White Sox players hit the waters of Puget Sound for salmon

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Here is my Sunday Outdoor Notebook in case you missed it in The Seattle Times on Sunday:

Baseball players rarely find free time during the long season. But when they do, they take advantage of it.

That was what Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, and pitchers Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Zach Stewart did on Thursday afternoon by booking a salmon fishing charter trip on Puget Sound.

After getting some rest from a late-night flight, the players met Captain Steve Kesling, owner of Adventure Charters in Seattle to pursue what has been an excellent pink and coho salmon fishery this late summer.

It took only 15 minutes of trolling in front of Shilshole Bay before the first rod popped off the downrigger, and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ball landed a nice pink salmon.

“Usually the afternoon bite is somewhat slower than the morning, but we had fairly consistent action over the course of five hours,” Kesling said.

This was the second time Beckham and Ball had joined Kesling on Puget Sound, while Buehrle, Danks and Stewart had never fished for salmon before.

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“We’ve seen all the sights in Seattle like the (Space Needle), downtown and (Pike Place) Market so this is something different to do,” said Buehrle, who threw a perfect game in 2009 and a no-hitter in 2007. “Otherwise we’d just be sitting in our hotel room doing nothing. It was a great time.”

Beckham pointed out that this fishing trip didn’t produce the big coho like their 2009 outing.

“It was so much fun catching salmon, although this time we didn’t get any big ones, and we didn’t catch as many,” said Beckham, who did some bass fishing in the offseason. “The other time we went out in the morning (when the bite) was probably better. That doesn’t matter though since it was such a nice day.”

This isn’t the first fishing outing the White Sox have pursued on an off-day this summer. Back in July, a group went walleye fishing on Lake Erie.

“When we had an off day in Cleveland, and caught our limit of walleyes trolling around with night crawlers,” Ball said. “We like to make it an effort on these off days to go fishing.”

The group managed to catch nine pink salmon, and lost just as many.

“This was a lot of fun and I’d do it again,” Buehrle said. “It is something where we can go out and just enjoy being on the water.”

And what did they do with their catch?

A good chunk of the fish arrived at the White Sox clubhouse for dinner Friday night before their game with the Mariners.

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